Rainy days can suck.
When a rainy day hits, I normally want nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee. Others feel stuck, couped up inside. The rain tends to make people feel sleepy, and the weather screams "take a nap" into the core of your soul.
But when rainy days dry up your creative well, may writers wait for inspiration to strike. You might watch the clock tick, procrastinate and scroll through social media, or twiddle your thumbs. Hope washes over you, and you wish you had some creative inspiration or a muse to help you get over this writer's block.
There's a better way.
Don't wait for a good idea to come to you. Create your own constant flowing well of motivation to fuel your writing and other creative endeavors.
Creative inspiration can be created yourself and stored up for a later date, like a never-ending well you can pull from each time you feel the lull begin. If you write daily, you may already use some of these recharging techniques without even realizing it.
Try them out, see what works for you. I don't expect each of these tips to work for everyone, so pick your favorites. Let me know what you think and what works for you.
Here are 10 tips to learn how to store inspiration for a rainy day. Use them to fuel your creativity daily, and you'll never run empty.
1. Remember Your Why
List 5 reasons you want to write or create. When you feel inspired, store some of this jolt as fuel to create your next project later by listing out your reasons for wanting to do so.
Do you want to write to sustain your lifestyle, or is there something bigger going on? What makes you want to create? Why is it so important you write today? Think of the top reasons that drive you.
If you ever feel uninspired, inadequate, or shaky, refer back to your list of desires and goals, your reasons for creating something new and magical. Align yourself with your goals, and hopefully, you'll get an inspiration boost.
2. Listen to Weekly Podcasts
Entertainment, education, and tips on just about any topic imaginable, there's a podcast for everything these days.
No matter what creative field you're interested in, you can find tons of podcasts on the subject. Tune in weekly, and you may find yourself feeling inspired each time you listen.
Industry updates will keep you in the know-how, and you may even build new and meaningful connections. If you're looking for a new podcast, try out the following awesome choices:
- Adventures in Design for living a creative life
- The Accidental Creative for insight from top creative professionals
- Note to Self for technology innovations and best practices
- Overshare to delve into the messier side of being a creative professional
- Happier for productivity tips to keep your creative projects going
3. Live a Day In Your Favorite Author's Shoes
Exploring and allowing your imagination to take flight is an easy way to build inspiration, yet we often can't help searching for this spark in our favorite writers and artists.
If you can afford to travel, why not head to where an author who inspires you lived or worked?! The online website TripFiction is full of ideas and books set in various areas. You can search around by location, author name, or genre to find something that interests you.
Who knows? Maybe there will be a cool spot near you that you hadn't expected to find.
4. Join a Writing Group
Meetup with like-minded people based in your hometown to connect and stay creatively charged all year round.
Groups can offer feedback or motivate you to write even when writer's block kicks in, and if you're a person who needs outer accountability to achieve a goal, groups will keep you on track. Websites like MeetUp can help you find events and groups near you.
5. Get Out of Your Head and Into a Good Book
Reading is inspirational. When I find my brain is hyperfocused on words or I'm stuck rethinking what my character would or would not do, I have to take a step back and into a vastly different story sometimes.
If you read a good book at the right moment, you may find that you can come back to your work with fresh eyes. Suddenly, the answers seem clear. Reading daily helps me maintain my writing schedule as well. Check out my library page if you're looking for your next great read.
6. Make Time to Play
Allow yourself to play mindlessly. Let loose! Jump around, dance in your undies, build a fort in your home, do whatever 10-year-old you would have done with a parent-free night at home.
As an adult, you can do whatever you want! So please take advantage of it and fulfill your childhood dreams. If you make this a part of your self-care Sunday routine, playing around can benefit your life in multiple ways.
7. Exercise Your Imagination
Head to a public place you enjoy, and people watch. Check-in with your surroundings and attempt to describe them in 3 words. Allow yourself to see the characters and settings in your mind, and run with the stories you come up with.
Writing real characters into being is all about capturing people's authenticity. Watch how people behave when they think no one is watching. Discover mannerisms, speaking patterns, habits, etc.
8. Use Sound to Your Advantage
Everyone is different. Some people work better in a silent setting, while others need noise to focus.
Figure out what works best for you. If it's silence, head to a quiet room in your local library or invest in a pair of earplugs. If you need noise, put on some music.
9. Try Something New
In the case of an emergency, try another art form. New crafts recharge the brain, and creative people are often interested in more than one expression form.
When I'm extremely blocked or too in my own head, painting, reorganizing my apartment, or playing around with photography is a fun way to flex creative muscles without reaching a total burnout. Too much push, and I may Netflix binge for a few days.
Try a new art form and come back to your writing later or link them together if possible by creating a visual representation of your story, for example.
10. Realize When Enough is Enough
Everyone has good days and bad days. When nothing seems to be working, and you have tried every technique imaginable, give it a rest.
You will know when you've hit a wall as you learn how to read yourself accurately. Sometimes your brain needs inactivity, especially if you're pushing yourself to the limit.
Take some time to check in with yourself. Enjoy a bubble bath, take a nap, or grab a coffee with a friend. Go back to your work after you've recharged your batteries.
How do you manage to store up inspiration? Have any of these techniques worked well for you? Let me know what you think in the comments below.