Inspiration can be an elusive and fickle beast. Some days it’s there, whispering or even roaring in your ear. Others, it’s gone and no amount of bribery will bring it out of hiding.
When you work in a creative field like we do, you simply don’t have time to chase the tail of inspiration. You need to know where to find it and how to harness it. That means you might need to have a some tricks up your proverbial sleeve. Here are a few of our favorite ways to find inspiration.
Let your mind wander. Sometimes free associating and taking notes or using a voice recorder will yield delightfully surprising results. I look at some of the key points the project needs to express, and begin to riff – could be lines of copy, themes, visual ideas, or maybe poetic phrases that would catch attention. The trick is to let your mind wander, and later, go back and sift through for a few usable nuggets.
Meander through YouTube. I know, it sounds like nothing more than a procrastination technique. But sometimes seeing how someone else treated a subject will trigger an idea for how you can approach your topic or meet your client’s goal. I’d recommend that you try to stay away from subjects that are too similar to what you are working on to inadvertently avoid plagiarizing someone else’s work.
Listen to music. Years ago I was working on a video for a teen audience, and I was having a little trouble imagining the language and tone. So, I put in a CD with music that my target audience would listen to (I asked for suggestions) and it put me in the right frame of mind.
Do something else. Just walk away from whatever you’re struggling with and let it recede to the back of your mind. While you’re mowing the lawn or shopping for groceries or balancing your checkbook your subconscious will continue to work on finding a solution to your creative dilemma. Then, when you sit back down at your desk to again to focus on your project, you’re more likely to find a worthy creative path.
This is a decidedly short list of tips for finding inspiration. Of course there are tons of resources out there designed to inspire you and stimulate your creativity. Keep searching until you find a few that work well for you. When you find them, let us know where YOU find inspiration.
Susan Reetz, of Clear Focus Media, LLC, is a writer/director/producer for film, video, web and print. Her scriptwriting and producing work has earned numerous local, national, and international awards. She also writes feature articles, brochure copy, news releases, web copy, and other promotional materials. She can be reached at 715-212-6239 or Susan@ClearFocus.Media.