The demands on our creative energies is high. The need for our content and ideas has never been greater. We know we need to write more, practice more, paint more, produce more and create more… but for many of us, all we have is a deficit of inspiration.
Where do you come up with all of your ideas?
Where do you find your inspiration?
How the hell can you be consistently creative?
Embracing the Art of Zen can help.
Zen can be approximately translated as “absorption” or a “meditative state”.
Once you allow yourself to be in a contemplative and reflective state, you will find inspiration literally everywhere.
But it first needs to start with your self awareness. Be aware of your need for inspiration. Be aware that you need to actually think about it and force yourself into an open and receptive state of mind.
You need to tune yourself in to your creative channel. It doesn’t just happen, you need to put yourself into that place deep within the recesses of your mind.
Open yourself up to:
…looking at each and every thing differently.
…considering things from a new perspective.
…living in the moment.
…taking everything in.
Always be absorbing, thinking, dwelling, matching, combining, tweaking, spinning, mixing and mashing different ideas and influences together.
Stuck in a rut? Treat yourself to a change of environment. Change your mental vibe.
Smash your tired old environment and introduce new and exciting colours and smells and sights and sounds into your field of awareness.
Go to a coffee shop. Walk your dog. Work out at the gym. Go for a swim. Play some ball. Read a book. Watch a documentary. Visit an art gallery. Have a coffee with a peer who you’ve never met before and talk. I mean, really talk. Pick up a paint brush. Doodle. Fix that broken faucet in the bathroom. Wash your car. Have a bath. Give your partner a massage. Try cooking a new recipe. Go grocery shopping somewhere new.
And while you’re doing all of these things… be present.
Live in the moment.
Be here. Now.
Let the wheels of your mind turn and lead you to new places which you’ve never considered before.
Did you hear that bird chirping? Did you notice the pattern in which that bumblebee circles that flower’s bud? Did you notice the design of the wood grain on that table? Did you hear that sweet comment that woman said to her lover? Did you feel how soft that material felt?
A walk in the park is 100x more effective than staring blankly at a computer screen. Sometimes the time you spend away from your guitar or piano can be far more productive than if you’re just sitting in your rehearsal space, frustrated with your lack of muse.
Reinterpret your environment.
Absorb outside stimuli for creative inspiration.
Always be brainstorming.
Observe the world around you. Take it all in. Notice the little things. Think about them. Dwell on them. Tear them apart and rebuild them with pieces of something else.
(Dude… do you see that cloud with that rad swirly thing going on? That would make a killer t-shirt design.)
And when you feel that spark of an exciting idea… capture it.
Write it down. Record it.
Don’t let it disappear.
Take notes constantly.
Leave yourself audio notes or voicemails.
Some of the world’s most amazing discoveries were made this way. We’ve all heard the story of Isaac Newton discovering the concept of gravity while chilling out underneath an apple tree, thinking about the fruit that fell to the ground. He was in a state of Zen.
You never know where your next idea might come from.
Embrace Zen and the fine art of perpetual inspiration… and take your creative output to an entirely new level.
Suggested Tool for Capturing Inspiration:
Use Evernote (a free download for your desktop and mobile devices) to record and track all of your thoughts, writings, notes, photos, voice memos and audio recordings. It automatically syncs all of your content to the cloud. Evernote allows you to capture your content however and wherever you need it, while making it instantly accessible on all of your devices.
by Brian Thompson @thornybleeder
Brian is a creative coach, music marketer, podcaster, blogger and the guy behind The DIY Daily Newsletter & Podcast.
Read Brian’s music marketing advice blogs at Thorny Bleeder.