How do you connect with something to inspire yourself? Some people seem to constantly be searching for it. Others seem to always have it inside themselves, ready at a moment's notice.
Creativity requires inspiration. You may call it something else. The point is that the sort of projects we're talking about typically start because there is something that arouses creativity, instills a sense of artistic urgency and/or invigorates the passion of the creator. So, call it what you like.
The point is that in order to forge ahead with a creative work, you'll need whatever invigorating, galvanizing, provoking, reassuring forms of inspiration work for you. And, of course, what I also mean is that I'll need the inspiration that works for me.
I encourage you to actually write the things that say “write down” in the rest of this post. Writing things down affects us — a body connection — that just considering something or even typing it cannot reach.
Start with one person who inspires you. Is there a mentor or teacher who has challenged you to excel at your art? Is there another artist (in your field or another) whose work attracts you? Is a lover, a friend, or a family member your muse? Once you've named them, write down the qualities about them that you think of when you are inspired by them. Notice your connection to these qualities.
Next, think of a place that triggers your artistic side. Is your creativity fed by a specific room? By being out in nature? By a certain form of architecture? If you come up with a list of places, choose one. Then, write down the shapes, colors, textures, sensations, smells, and whatever else contributes to the inspiration of this place.
Finally, consider the objects that connect you to your passion. Feel free to write down a list of the possibilities. These may be the tools of your trade — a paintbrush, a guitar plectrum/pick, or the like — or they may not be directly related to your art. While the thing may be a piece of art, a song, a movie or the like, try to choose a small object that will fit in your hand. This will allow you to carry it in a pocket or purse, so that your inspiration is always at the ready. Write down that you are intentionally carrying this object to keep you grounded in your project (even if it feels a bit contrived or silly). For example, I might write: “I am carrying this guitar pick as a reminder to stay connected to the songs I'm writing for my new album.”
Once you have your inspiring person, place and thing written down, you are already inspiring yourself. And you'll be ready for part 3…