Today is one of those days that I feel uninspired and unmotivated. I mostly want to curl up in my cozy bed and sleep for the afternoon, or else snuggle with my husband on the couch and read a favorite, familiar book—the kind that makes you get lost to the world and come back with a fresh view of the world; more aware, more rested.
But clearly, I’m instead trying to sit down and write another blog post. 😉 It’s part of my job, part of my tasks for today, and so I’m showing up with a diversion from what my plan was. (I’m smirking because I just finished writing a post about how and why to plan out your content ahead of time so you don’t get stuck, and here I am Not Doing What I Planned. Ha. Joke’s on me😉).
But what do I do when I don’t have motivation? What inspires me to keep going?
Well honestly? A lot of times I just have to keep.plugging.away. I set timers a lot—it’s better to have only a little bit done then none. But there’s also a few fun things that genuinely do help me stay inspired!
I can’t necessarily always do these things right in the uninspired moment, honestly. But incorporating them routinely into my life makes me feel way more alive and okay and ready to do my work as well as I can.
Once upon a time I said I hated running. My brother said, “Well, that means you need to run.”
So, I did.
I started with shorts walks where I would just run for 30 seconds or a minute at a time. Slowly I built up a little more endurance and started listening to podcasts while I ran. I would often stop and take pictures of trees as they changed through the seasons, noticing the leaves, the blossoms, the colors. It became therapeutic for me. I started breathing deeper. My shoulders lost their stress. Running turned into something I actually enjoyed! Who would have thought!
Now that I live in Idaho, I don’t run very often during the frigid winter months. My native-to-California body can’t quite handle the bitter winds that come to the Idaho desert. But running is still one of my favorite things, and a default routine that helps in every way.
In the copywriting world, I’m still new to the game. And it still feels like a strange place to be for me. I struggle to relate to the terms that are generally used around copywriting and marketing. “Hooking” and “persuading”, while they make sense if you understand them, aren’t really terms I’m comfortable using most of the time (I’ll probably write about this more at some point, if you’re interested).
It can make me feel insecure sometimes to try then to get inspiration either from other copywriters that also deliberately operate in a gentler way (I always feel like I’m copying them) or from the copywriters that tend to use language that feels more confrontational and manipulative.
Designers, though have so often filled the inspiration hole for me. What they do is somewhat similar to copywriting—both of us create very key parts of websites—but it’s different enough that their blog posts and techniques feel new and insightful to me. Their process is just different enough than mine that I feel refreshed and inspired when I learn from them! Plus, design is just beautiful, so that’s an added benefit. 😊
My color print
It’s funny to me how often the things that inspire me the most to write are things that AREN’T words. You would think that reading other people’s words would inspire me to write my own—and they often do!—but also I frequently feel inspired by colors, or textures, or other things that make me think of words. My sister-in-law Rayna gave me this beautiful print that is simply little spots of color with descriptive names. The most accurate names possible, I think—and it’s so fun to look at. I have it sitting on my desk right now, and I stop and gaze at it often during my workday.
Inspiration certainly isn’t always easy to come by. But for me, it’s helpful to know things that consistently inspire me. Then on days like today when I feel stuck and tired and sluggish, I know what things I should default to so I can remember what I love and why I do it.
Maybe you should make a list like this too?