nspiration. More precise; how to get inspiration. It is an interesting phenomenon. If you have it, you feel like on top of the world and you can do almost everything with your inspiration. But if you don’t have it, it can be very frustrating and you don’t know where to start. So how to get inspiration?
How to get inspiration
But let’s go back. I want to tell a little story about my grandfather. My grandfather was a doctor in a small town in the Netherlands, in the middle part of the country called ‘De Veluwe’. He was a very well-known doctor. Mostly because he was the only doctor in a range of 50 km, but also because he was very good. He had a lot of experience. My grandmother was his assistant, they met during World War 2. He was a hard working doctor. From 7 in the morning until late at night. My mother told me that although he had long days, he would make sure he would be there for lunch, dinner and for any activities or plays my mother or her brother or sister would have. He was a familyman.
When I was a young boy, around 6 or 7, I always loved to hang out with my grandfather. He told me great stories about life and everything he had been trough. Stories about the war, but also about living in the countryside and going on adventures. Great memories.
But what he really was, was an inspiration. For my mother, her brother and sister, our families and many others. Including me. He had achieved a lot during his life. By doing what he loved the most. And that’s where I get my inspiration from. Doing the things I love. Because when I do these things, I become a better man, I feel better, I am nicer and I feel more free.
Whenever I don’t have any inspiration, I look back. At stories with my grandfather and with other loved ones. People close to my heart. And it always comes down to doing the things you love. Life is short. So make the best out of it.
Start by doing
To get my inspiration flowing again I just start by doing. Doing the things I love. In this case making a video, taking a picture or just going outside. Clearing the mind. It doesn’t have to be anything for a reason. I just take a photo of a door knob for example. Once I have taken the photo I look at it. I like it. Or not. I try to make it better. I learn how to make it better. Better lighting, better composition, better angle. I learn, make and repeat.
Before I know it I am working on a photography series about door knobs! It’s an example ofcourse, but it hopefully gives an idea that whenever I don’t have any inspiration, I just pick up my camera and start shooting. With a camera or with my phone. Going for a walk also helps very well.
Remember the moment you had inspiration, what where you doing? Relive that moment
Time to get practical. You are looking for inspiration and can’t seem to find it right now. How to get inspiration. That’s OK. You can’t be in inspiration mode all the time. There are moments that you feel uninspired, tired or maybe angry. That’s all part of life. It’s how you deal with these situations that make you stronger and wiser for the future. I follow the very simple process of Learn, Make, Repeat. In the case of picking up the camera, I try to learn something new or try to improve my craft. This can result in me making a lot of photos and trying to catch that certain frame I am looking for, or reading a blog post or watching a video. Learning by doing, and in that case also finding new inspiration to create things. It is as easy as that.
Answer the Public
No worries, there are a few other options I use. First of them is Answer the public. On this website I type in a certain topic that I am interested in. For example Online Video. Answer the Public will give me all the questions that are being asked about Online Video. For example, what is Online Video? You can try this with any topic that comes to mind. Maybe interesting to explore some topics you have no knowledge about and learn something new. So when looking for inspiration, try Answer the Public. You might find some great new ideas and you know which questions people are asking, so you know where to focus on!
News & Trends
Another option I regularly use is following the news and trends in my niche. Read blog posts, follow certain accounts on Twitter or attend tradeshows. This is an easy way to get in touch with likeminded people and discuss different topics. Why not try to create content about a trend that is currently happening? It can be as simple as tweeting about it and making a short blog post on your website!
Look around and watch others
Sometimes you really have no idea what to do to get inspiration. If that happens, just watch others and talk to others. Tell them about your situation or look at what they are doing. Don’t copy them but just watch and learn. Maybe they can be that little push you need to start creating something.
And remember, it’s ok if you don’t have inspiration! It happens to the most of us.
Just remember to breathe, take it easy and inspiration will come, no worries.
I made a video about it a while ago, it’s in Dutch but with YouTube subtitles I am sure you will get the message. Feel free to watch it.
Take care, and #keepcreating