Gaining inspiration is a hard subject to give advice — or even to receive advice — on. Based on the conversations with creative people I’ve had, one person gets inspiration from something completely opposite from the last person I talked to, so I don’t want to speak to how you should find inspiration.
Instead, this post is about nurturing creativity. Things that we can do to make us more receptive to inspiration, things that can help make our creative time more productive, things that we can do to grow in being creators.
The first word I have on this list scribbled on the back of a pattern-in-progress is this: Workspace.
If you love where you create, you will have an easier time creating. I didn’t love my workspace — in fact, I didn’t really even have a fixed workspace — until last month, when I pulled together what I had on hand and made something that I love.
I simply put a card table in the corner of my bedroom, and put things that make me happy on it.
I even love my chair: a weird 60s folding chair in a bright blue that was in the house when we brought it.
One of the reasons that I’m considering what it means to be creative and ways we can enhance our creativity is because my “studio” has been making me feel inspired and creative. It makes me feel more official, if nothing else.
The next word: Rest. Creative rest is just like rest in the normal sense. If we don’t go to sleep, we won’t be ready for the next day. If we don’t take a break from running after an ultra-marathon, we get hurt the next time we run. If we don’t take a few days and recharge our batteries by not creating, we’re going to get burnt-out. Rest is one of the most important things related to functioning highly, research shows, but it is also underrated. Rest is not a something you should focus on only when you’re at the end of your rope.
Rest is also regenerative, which is why when we take a break from creating, we come back with more creativity and more energy.
Word 3: Explore. Another way to nurture creativity is to explore other creative avenues. If your thing is writing, try painting. A knit designer like me? How about sculpting? You don’t have to become a master at your alternative creative outlet. Goodness, you don’t even have to be good at it. But when you come back to your creative activity of choice, you’ll be amazed with how much you’ve been inspired and have more .
Here are some of my Other Projects:
The last word is Study. Studying obviously grows our minds, nurturing our creativity. I’ve got a few books that I pull out and read once in a while. Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries, anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and Clara Parkes’ first three books are all books I read to help my knowledge grow about knitting. To help me push my writing boundaries, I read The Elements of Style at least once a year.
Studying does not only help our knowledge grow, but it grows our creativity as well.
I am curious to see if these suggestions helped nurture your creativity, and what other things you do to to grow creatively.
Thank you for bearing with me these past few weeks while I’ve been talking on strange ideas about inspiration and creativity. The next and last post in this series is about one of the single most crippling things concerning creativity: criticism.