As I was lamenting to our cartoonist about some Blogtoons that I felt were uninspired, he replied, “even when you’re not inspired you still seem to crank out decent content.” I found this to be a great compliment and highly motivational.
You can’t be inspired all the time. Sometimes you just need to get it done.
Creating when you’re inspired is much easier. Have you ever noticed that when you feel inspired, your work feels effortless? This is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “Flow”.
Increase the ratio of inspired to uninspired work. When writing Blogtoons I feel inspired probably about 90-95% of the time. That’s a pretty high percentage, allowing for the other 5-10% when I have to crank it out through brute force, to be bearable. If your ratio is low, I bet your days are very draining.
Increasing your inspired time doesn’t mean that you have to quit your job and raise Alpacas.
For the next week, track your activities and note which ones inspire you. You might be surprised to find out that you are inspired more than you realize. Armed with this information, you can now lean into those inspirational areas. I’m not telling you to neglect your other work, it’s a very subtle shift, by making this shift your other work will become easier.
Uninspired work - just do it. You’ll often hear writers talk about “writing for 15 minutes per day whether you want to or not.” The fact is, you might get inspired halfway through, but you won’t know until you are halfway through, so you better get started.
Getting something on paper gives you something to react to. Jot down some structure and come back to it later. Your sub-par ideas might spark some inspiration when you look at them later.
You are also building a muscle. You are learning how to become resilient and create from different places.
How have you gotten things done when you didn’t feel inspired? Let us know!