What to do When Inspiration Doesn’t Strike

Has that ever happen to you? Like one day, you’re so pumped up, you need to write something or draw or basically create something. You get a pen or your laptop or something else ready. Your body is practically burning with readiness. Kinda like Spongebob chanting, “I’m ready!” all the way to Krusty Krab.

Then twenty minutes later, you’re still staring at a blank canvas or paper.

Frustrating, right?

What to do When Inspiration Doesn't Strike | Because there are times when the inspiration fairy doesn't visit.

Inspiration is an essential part of the creative process. Heck, I’d even go so far as say that it’s a foundation of creativity. It’s the watermill of the creative process; it’s what keeps one’s creative juices flowing. It’s the mitochondria! (You know, because mitochondria is the power house of the cell :D)

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’m the kind of person who has unlimited sources of inspiration (yet a very limited motivation). But I have to admit I still get those “blank days”. And I’d usually end up resenting myself for it. Most of all, I’d curse the Inspiration Fairy for not visiting. (Resentment makes me childish *shrugs*)

So what do I do when the Inspiration Fairy doesn’t visit?

Take a Break

This is where one lesson I learned from Hayao Miyazaki comes in. In his films, Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki always utilizes those quiet moments in his films. Like when we see Chihiro/Sen riding a train for spirits from Spirited Away.

Related: 4 Storytelling (+Life!) Lessons from Hayao Miyazaki’s Films

Pauses always gives you the time to regroup, reflect and absorb what you have done so far. Honestly? I think it’s a brilliant thing–pause. A lot of people seem to fuss about not doing anything, not being busy.

I would know; I thought this way before.

But recently, I’ve learned the power of pausing. I believe that creative blocks or other occurrences when inspiration doesn’t strike is your brain telling you they need to rest. So give them that rest. Do something else. This could be related to what you’re working on or not. The point is to keep your focus away from your creative work for a while.

Ana Dutra even wrote for Harvard Business Review that pausing and reflecting on what you’ve done creates a breathing room, a space where you allow yourself and others grow.

There are different ways to pause. And most of them are easily achievable.

+ Take a walk and look around
+ Read a book
+ Write something
+ Meditate
+ Have a short exercise or stretching

These were pretty vague, I know. But that’s the point. Relax. And you won’t be able to do this if you “take a break” expecting that after it, inspiration will come back.

See, inspiration has to come back on its own. So don’t force it. Relax and embrace the pause. Believe me, your brain is embracing it too.

What do you do when inspiration does not strike? Do you take a break when it happens? If yes, how does pausing help you?

Have an inspired day, awesome peeps! ❤

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6 thoughts on “What to do When Inspiration Doesn’t Strike

  1. One of my teachers told me recently to take a break from certain topics because although you may want to not quit until you master it, sometimes after “breaking up” with it for a while and then coming back to it, things may click because your frustration and perspective has changed. I’m the type of person that can’t move on until everything is complete and leaving things hanging/incomplete and moving onto other things stresses me but at the same time, it does work. Sometimes all you need is a break.

    Awesome post Kate. When I need inspiration, I stalk your blog 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holy mackerel, I’m that type of person too! It’s like when I start something, I need to finish it and if I don’t there’s that voice inside my head nagging me, “finish it! Finish it!”
      I swear, Kiya, sometimes I feel like we’re twins born 2 years and miles apart 😂
      Totally agree with your teacher! It was so hard for me to start doing this but I am now and it works. Sometimes I’ll even try to sleep on it and continue the next day.
      Thank you for this insightful comment, Kiya! And awww you’re melting my heart again 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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