if you’re a creative of any kind, whether your creative pursuits are professional, semi-professional, or simply a hobby, you definitely understand the ebb and flow of inspiration.
you will have times where inspiration is almost manic in nature, an obsession with your latest idea so strong that you just cannot focus on anything else until you have completed the work which is boring a hole through your your mind.
and then you’ll have times where the last thing you want to do is touch your medium, be it paint, textile, written word, or otherwise.
and then everything in between.
but what if the periods of complete un-inspiration are too frequent these days, or you just can’t seem to break past them or some other block standing in between you and your inspired, creative self?
ask for guidance
first and foremost, this could be as simple as just seeking inspiration that already exists elsewhere, but that just isn’t making its way to you.
this could be from any specific deities or spirits/spirit guides you work with, or from tarot, oracle, or other divination methods.
btw, a really great book for creatives and tarot is the aptly named The Creative Tarot, by Jessa Crispin. its a great all around book with some really great interpretations, but they’re really solidly geared towards creatives and creative pursuits, as well as the suggested spreads she includes.
this guidance might also be from colleagues or peers. right now we’re all still kind of, or really, isolated from those we would normally regularly get inspired by, through conversation, activities and so forth.
so it may be hard to find that same source of inspiration when you can’t be around those inspiring folks right now. but call them up, facetime, or zoom and share a cup of coffee or a virtual happy hour if its been a while. find out what they’re working on, discuss things you’ve been reading, share thoughts and experiences, and see where it leads.
a waxing moon spell for inspiration
this is another method to more formally open up your mind and senses to receive inspiration. it may happen in the moment, may come to you a day or two later in a dream, or may pop up in the form of synchronicities in the following days or weeks.
what you’ll need:
- something that symbolizes your medium or one of your main tools used in your creative process (if you’re a writer, maybe this is a quill or pen, even your laptop; if you’re a painter, maybe its a piece of canvas or a brush, etc)
- a gold candle (in a pinch a yellow candle can substitute), and something to light it with
- a piece of paper and something to write with
- sit comfortably and place the blank paper and writing utensil in front of you. light the candle.
- meditate on the flame as you watch it flicker and ebb/flow. clear thoughts from your mind, and be particularly aware of thoughts of self-doubt
- in both hands, hold the object or symbol of your craft that you’ve chosen and close your eyes. picture the object in your mind and envision the energy surrounding it.
- whatever color that energy is, visualize yourself gradually peeling it away, from top to bottom, end to end. once the object has had all previous energy removed, let your mind clear and envision a color that symbolizes inspiration to you. it can be any color, and its not important to anyone other than you which one you pick.
- holding this color in your mind for a while, think on what inspiration looks like to you. what is the product or outcome of this spell that you hope to receive? let this vision expand as far as you need it to in your mind, while still holding your color inspiration somewhere in the image or background, letting the two associate and meld together.
- if you wish to stay in vision for a bit longer, explore thoughts, emotions, colors, images, and anything else that comes and flows freely to you in this exercise.
- when you feel satisfied that you have a specific outcome settled, begin to ‘paint’ or gently cover your object in your mind with the color of inspiration you have chosen. start from one end or one side and slowly work your way to the other, covering every inch of your tool or symbolic object with your inspired color energy.
- feel its energetic weight in your hands and know that you are ready to receive inspiration.
- open your eyes and write any details you wish to save that have come to you or that you feel were important to remember. you can also use this as a brainstorm session to let all thoughts, emotions, and ideas freely flow onto the paper. single words, phrases, pictures, anything that comes to you, put it all down.
- when you feel you have finished, blow out the candle. save your idea sheet somewhere meaningful that you can continue to refer to it when needed.
confession and accountability
i’m going to include this last little bit because i know if i put this out there, i’ll have to be accountable to it.
i’m a creative and have many mediums that i tool around with, but i’ve recently visited the topic and explored inspiration because i need to spur my own self into motion to revisit a project i did last fall.
i actually wrote a full length novel during NaNoWriMo (if you’re not familiar with national novel writing month, go check them out here, its a super cool organization).
i didn’t officially participate through their site, but i created a calendar and tracker for myself to write a full novel in a month (76,000+ words). it was fun, grueling, but also highly rewarding to h0ld myself accountable to a goal, and it was a story idea i had said i wanted to write for over a year, but never got around to it.
then i edited it for a couple months and, with the advice of a friend who is a published author, i sent queries to a handful of agents earlier this year, then just never really went back to it.
authors often query dozens and dozens of agents before getting a request for manuscript or even a hint of interest, or getting no interest at all. i think i sent out maybe 10 queries and then got swamped with life and didn’t send any more after that due to lack of time, and, if i’m being honest, self-doubt.
so its been on my mind recently to revisit this book, with some new inspired ideas and eyes for it, make some changes, then resume the process of querying.
if you’re interested in knowing more, its what i would call a paranormal mystery (with a small amount of romance, but in this first book of the series, the romance is super sub-plot and really slow burn, so don’t get excited), but my author friend told me it actually sounds more like it would fit into the category of ‘urban fantasy’ since paranormal mysteries are considered ‘cute’ and ‘fun’, and typically aren’t too dark, which my book certainly does take on a bit of.
it will eventually have a larger story arc over the course of probably 4-5 books, but could potentially go longer. its witchy, spooky, dark, but funny, real, and relatable. once i do some of this revisiting, i’ll post more about it so that you all know i’m sticking to it.
anyway, what are your projects that you know you need to work on, but have been putting off?
what are your projects you were once super inspired to create, but at some point lost that drive?
do you feel like you’re still into those ideas and projects, or are you ready to cut the cord and move on?