Finding inspiration


ife can be such an inspiration killer at times. With work loads piling up and home-schooling children not to mention health concerns, lockdown and the dreaded pandemic, you can find that being creative is impossible. I understand.

First of all, don’t be too hard on yourself- life is stressful. Breathe in… breathe out… Give yourself a hug.

“Turn lockdown around!” (in the tune of Gloria Estefan’s ‘Turn the Beat Around’) If that comparison went over your head, don’t worry, I’m just showing my age…

Inspiration can awaken us to new potentials by allowing us to exceed our standard experiences and restrictions. Inspiration motivates a person from apathy to possibility, and changes the way we recognise our own capabilities.

The dictionary describes inspirations as:


  • 1      the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

“Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration”

Similar: Creativity, inventiveness, innovation, innovativeness, ingenuity, imagination, imaginativeness, originality, individuality, artistry, expressiveness, creative power, creative talent, creative skill, genius, insight, vision, wit, finesse, flair, brilliance, sophistication

  1. a sudden brilliant or timely idea.

“then I had an inspiration”

Similar: bright idea, brilliant idea, timely thought, revelation, brainwave, aha moment

Artistic inspiration is described as an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or visual art and other artistic endeavours.

Merriam Webster explains the true meaning of inspiration as;

Something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone. : a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something. : a good idea.

The history of the word inspiration is unusual in that its figurative sense predates its literal one. It comes from the Latin inspiratus (the past participle of inspirare, “to breathe into, inspire”) In English has had the meaning “the drawing of air into the lungs” since the middle of the 16th century. This breathing sense is still in common use among doctors, as is expiration (“the act or process of releasing air from the lungs”). However, before inspiration was used to refer to breath it had a theological English meaning, referring to a divine influence upon a person, from a divine entity; this sense dates to the early 14th century. The sense of inspiration often found today (“someone or something that inspires”) is considerably newer than either of these two senses, dating from the 19th century. Interesting isn’t it. Even the word inspiration is inspired!

 If you are looking to find inspiration to break through the barrier there are a few suggestions I’d like to share with you.

  1. Reflect. When you are feeling unmotivated and uninspired don’t start giving yourself a hard time and concluding silly things like you are not good enough, you have no talent- that is self-sabotage. Instead, spend some time thinking about the great things you have done in life, or even the most difficult times in your life and recognise the strength you must have mustered to get through it. Remind yourself of how great you are. Reinforce your self-belief because you can do anything you want. You just have to want it.
  2. Read. This first piece of advice may seem so simple that you haven’t even thought of it. Read. What do you enjoy reading? Which authors do you like? Why do you like them? We get inspiration from who inspires us, so it is a great place to start. Take some time to be the reader and remember what you enjoy. What gets you hooked into a piece of writing? How are things described to you, for example- straight forward descriptions or metaphorical ones? Notice what makes you like the author(s) you like.
  3. Explore new Authors. It is always an interesting research activity to read styles and genres you don’t read or even like. What is it about that style you don’t like? Why aren’t you hooked into the piece? Could you write it better? How? Why? If you are a novelist, read some poetry and see how messages are being portrayed in a different way. If you are a Poet, read a novel or even some journalism to explore how they describe things. If nothing else, you will learn what you don’t like and why. This exercise could help you define your writing style.
  4. Learn new words. News flash: there are words you don’t know. Learn continuously! Flick through a dictionary and learn new words and their meaning. Look up words that you have heard but didn’t know what they meant. When you come across a word that you don’t know when reading- look it up! Instead of continuing to read to try and figure out what the word meant which most of us do in general. Make friends with your dictionary. I have a huge one that even tells me the population size of countries etc. these snippets of information could come in handy when writing!
  5. Go for a walk. Going for a walk is great on any day but going on a walk to look for inspiration is a whole different journey. Observe your surroundings, nature, how man-made buildings rip into the skyline. What if the trees could talk, what would they say?  What do the building’s look like they are saying by their size, shape and design of them? Observe all the different shades of colour. Do any of them make you feel anything or remind you of another time? Observe people from afar. Imagine or dictate description of their life. Their families, their profession their outlook. Give them dialogue, what are they saying?

It is also often said that if you can’t find inspiration- keep your topic simple. Write about something you know have a passion for- even if it isn’t what you want to write about in the long run. I say it all the time, creativity is a muscle that you must exercise and writing about something you know lots about is easier than writing about something new. The combined skills of thinking whilst writing is often all the inspiration you need- so write anything!

 I will leave you with some of my favourite inspirational quotes, find some that you can relate to for yourself, they can be a great quick pick-me-up to remind you of how powerful you are. Never forget that.

Inspiration quotes.

  1. Your present circumstances do not determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.

Nido Qubien.

  1. I hope you realise every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.

Juanzen Dizon.

  1. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Martin Luther King.

  1. It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela.

And remember..

  1. Its not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

Henry David Thoreau.