About creativity, inspiration and frustration
It's eight o'clock. You just woke up and now you are drinking that cup of coffee that you enjoy every single morning. You deserve it! It could be a relaxing and a happy journey, but today you just can't help thinking of your next project. In fact, you are never able to forget about it. You know you have to find the next "great idea". But exactly right now when you need all that inspiration, your head is as empty as that bottle of cola in the trash. It's time to be creative! And you usually are. But now you just have that feeling of involuntary sabotage.
This is just an example of how inspiration can be missing. It is a situation that we have lived at least once in our life. Inspiration is not always there when we need it. And it seems to hide even deeper when we desperately need it! The worst part is: if there is not inspiration, there is not creativity either. Creativity and inspiration are inseparable buddies, but it is also frustration, who only visits from time to time, but is always playing an important role in the relation of this two friends. You can try to ignore it, although the perverse frustration tends to be really quiet and you only realize about his presence when it decides to scream at your back making you spring from your chair.
Where is the inspiration when we are looking for it? Inspiration is always there. You don't need to force it. It will be always floating like the air. But just because it's there, it doesn't mean that you will exactly find what you were looking for. It exists in different forms: maybe on a picture, it could be the notes of your favorite song, the color you love, some textures, a conversation, a situation occurring next to you... It could be everything! There are some people who know it and don’t wait to need the inspiration to start looking for it. Some people just start collecting it, because they know they will need it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. Some creatives write diaries, others just notes. Other people prefer to take pictures or capture a moment in a sketch. What about voice notes? They are really helpful to collect important, interesting and relevant information. Some people like to cut the picture from magazines and keep them in an envelope, many others like to paste it directly on the pages of their notebooks. Highlighting a text on a book? Not a bad idea if the book is yours. Are you a smartphone freak? Then you can do almost all that in your device. You only need the right application; or you just could tweet, post, share, like, broadcast, stream, snap or vine it. Do what better works for you, but do something! Don't let inspiration go away!
Creativity is the result of inspiration and finding inspiration is not that easy. There is another fact that we have to face —we won't find creativity without inspiration, but when we are inspired, creativity comes by itself. Sadly it is not valid inspiration. You may have to look hard for it, but the result is that idea coming true and as consequence the manifestation of creativity.
You probably won't find creativity in the first place, nor inspiration, but you have to trust your process and all those things, that have always worked for you. Each creative, no matter how bad we are, has his own ritual in order to find inspiration. We usually call it creative process. It is most of the time understood as a formal algorithm with specific steps to follow. But I think we should take this "formal way" just as an orientation because creativity has no rules and sometimes it just come from the end, the spontaneous or the absurd. Yes, there may be some frustration involved in the process, but the key is not giving up on your ideas because that would mean giving up on you.
We have talked about looking for inspiration, but maybe the answer is just to stop looking for it and letting it finding you. You just need to keep your senses open, considering that inspiration is everywhere. It could be hiding from time to time, however, it just takes to look in the right direction. That implies flexibility, an open mind and, of course, tolerance for frustration, because, it doesn't matter we like it or not, frustration seems to be the best friend of inspiration.
How do you handle your frustration?