What Inspires You?

What better way to begin a new year than to think about inspiration? Where do you find inspiration? What drives you to create? I’m not just talking about photography. Artists, designers, dancers, writers, athletes, brides, parents, entrepreneurs, I could go on. Inspiration comes in many forms and diverges into many paths. We have all felt the caress of inspiration at some point in our lives.

We all have obvious sources of inspiration, but have you ever stopped to think about what really inspires you? When I began writing this post, I had a general understanding of what inspires me, such as my surroundings, other people, art, books, fashion or music.

But what happens when you have lost inspiration? In preparation for this post, I started to make a detailed list of what inspires me. I found it to be tougher than expected to make a thorough “go-to” list of inspiration for those days when my muse has disappeared. I also found it to be a rewarding exercise.

Just to give you an idea of how my mind was working, I thought about finding inspiration to write this piece. I thought about the “Five W’s of Journalism” and how to apply that to my writing. Aha! Inspiration in a concept propelled me further!

With that in mind, I used those five words to develop my list. Having an outline helped to focus myself on what brings me to that exciting place when my creative juices are flowing. Create your own list and keep it handy for the next time you are struggling to find ideas.

Who inspires me?

What inspires me?

When am I inspired?

Where do I get inspired?

Why do I do this?

In addition, there is sometimes a sixth word, which is “how.” This word I wanted to make a separate comment on.

How do you find inspiration?

Be present. Open up to your world and be aware. Our energy today is too fast and multi-tiered. Slow down and remember that the stranger next to you or an element of your surroundings you just flew by in a rush may have held a key to unlock an inner door to your creativity. And in being present, you also may find that you will find sources of inspiration in unlikely places! Don’t forget to add those to your list!

Be aware, let life in and I guarantee, you will be rewarded.

FYI: all photos, except for the top image, were shot in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, 2008. The top image was shot in New Paltz, New York, 2007.


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