There's a big difference between being inspired to do something than being motivated to do something. Doesn't it seem also that the two don't always come at the same time? I've seen this a lot in the last few years with my writing and with homeschooling. I've also noticed that if I'm lacking inspiration or motivation with my writing I have it in spades with homeschooling and vise versa. When motivation is high but I'm completely UN-inspired, this can lead to major frustration and self-doubt.
So, what's a woman (or man) to do?
Here are a few things that work for me:
1-READ. Read. Read and read some more. This one should be a no-brainer to me, but it's not. Like many moms, I don't have a lot of time to read so when I'm motivated to get something done (writing) I want to DO IT and not waste time. BUT, reading is therapeutic and feeds your brain...audio books have been very helpful, also. I've even found this with children's poetry (we read a lot for homeschool) and picture books. Here are a few "children's" books have inspired me: Miss Rumphius
2-GET OUT. It's been freezing here in Pennsylvania but getting out in nature is always a great place recharge your inspiration. Buy a small blank journal to keep as a nature journal and sketch what you see. I'm NOT an artist but when I do this with my girls I find it energizing, relaxing, and it forces my mind use different muscles...opening it up to inspiration.
3-WATCH AN EPIC MOVIE. So, it doesn't HAVE to be epic, but epic helps me. I love movies that have a lot of big ideas or "other world" concepts. Again, this forces our minds to branch out from our own plot or inspiration problems. For me movies made from classic books (any version of Little Women always inspires me) can do this for me also. Maybe there's something about watching someone else work out a problem in fiction that develops inspiration and our sub-conscience can begin to connect the dots.
4-ART. I've never been very knowledgable when it comes to art and I don't think you have to be in order to be inspired by it. When it comes to inspiration, for me, it would be art in the form of paintings or old photography. I waffle between the beauty and talent that it takes to create such artwork to plotting out my own storyline for the characters in the scene. Artwork like this gets me every time...
5-REST. Taking some time away is usually healthy. I've done this numerous times. In this time away I will do any # of 1-4 or none of them. I'll watch regular old TV shows I like, clean the house, go shopping, get elbow deep into homeschool curricula, take a bubble bath...etc. Nothing really out of the ordinary, but just live life and give my inspiration hang-up some space to solve itself.
6-PUSH THROUGH IT. When you can't do any of the above because of a deadline, sometimes just pushing your story forward and writing no matter what (even if it's really bad)...the grove will settle in. Sure, you'll probably have to go back during the editorial phase and delete those forced pages (sometimes chapters!), no harm done. I think every writer has done this at some point to force themselves through the uninspired in order to what does inspire them.
It goes without saying that through any of these you should pray for God's guidance and have a few people you can chat with. Other writers are great, but I've brainstormed with my husband and my mom and they both have been valuable assets. The main thing is...DON'T GIVE UP.
How do you recharge your inspiration? I'd love to hear your tips!