via Stephen Poff
Did you know that in addition to these writings we also run a detective agency? And we recently got our first case!
I received this question from a dame in search of that ever elusive and mythical, Inspiration:
I’m desperately trying to find some more inspiration to do creative, but I never feel like I get any good ideas! Where do you find your inspiration?
Thank you for contacting us here at the Fish & Fowl HQ. We are pleased to be your go-to source for sleuthing.
Everyone struggles with Seeking’s problem from time to time. And the answer, how to find inspiration, can be a frustrating one. Inspiration comes from everything and nothing. Sometimes it’s the shape of a cloud, or the way milks swirls in tea.
Mostly I find my inspiration comes from random snatches of dialogue with friends or through research of something unrelated. I always keep a notebook around to collect quotes, thoughts, or just phrases that catch me. In fact I feel naked without a pen and paper in my my bag. Most of the things I write down I just forget about, or don’t hold the same meaning later in the night, but a few of them still catch, and those become short stories, articles, or part of a larger piece. If you could see the backend of Fish nor Fowl, there are always about 15 drafts that are half-finished, have only a title, or might never be finished. I try to clean them out and up often, but that’s how my creative process works, constantly in a state of flux. It’s frustrating because sometimes I can feel like I never get anything done, but it’s nice because I almost never feel at a loss for things to write about.
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
– Jack London
Here are some great ways to perk up your inspiration meter:
Take public transit
No matter what your creative media, being around people is a great way to go. You’ll hear weird conversations, see elaborate outfits, or simply experience daily life for a lot of folks. Write down what you see, or surreptitiously take photographs, but let the environment of a moving city take you over and see what comes up.
Go see good art
Go to your favorite museum and spend an afternoon alone just looking at pieces that grab you. Analyze what makes them so intriguing and how you could incorporate that into your own work. A word of caution though, don’t let looking at really good stuff make you depressed, which sometimes happens to me. Take into account how long these artists have been working at their craft and even on one piece. If all else fails, just imagine how dysfunctional their life must be for them to be so good.
Go for a long drive
For some reason, I always feel inspired on long drives. Maybe it’s just that my mind finally has time to unwind, but it works. If you don’t have a car, go with someone, but make it clear you want a quiet, soothing drive to unwind and think.
If you live in a city, sometimes it’s hard to let go of the fast pace and mechanicalness of it all. Go to the park, or better yet, a forest preserve, and lose yourself in nature for a while. Take your creative implements with you, and sit under a tree or in a field and just let go.
Break a Sweat
Excercise can help you get out of your head. Becoming totally physical will give your mind a break to gather itself and get that creativity back to the forefront.
Dabble in other art
Sometimes you just need a change of pace. Try painting, even if it’s just finger painting, or a dance class, just something that forces you to be creative but not in your forte. Who knows, you might even end up being good at whatever you try, or it could seriously influence your next masterpiece.
Where does your inspiration come from?