Recently, your friendly St. Michael Patch editor Mike Schoemer gave me a hard time for not blogging on The St. Michael Patch since the end of the 30 Pictures in 30 Days Photo Challenge.
I certainly deserved it, as the number one rule in blogging is to be consistent in posting. After all, how can people follow and engage with you if you don't post anything?
I felt like I inundated you with so many posts during the 30 days that perhaps it was time to give us all a little breather from the whirlwind that is me. After all, I really didn't think I had any other ideas at the moment that the various groups would be interested in, so why not just take a few days off until inspiration strikes and I have a fresh batch of tips and tricks to share?
As excuses go, I think it was a pretty good one. But here's the thing: Inspiration is a very fickle friend. When you don't need it, inspiration seems to be everywhere. Ideas flourish, new ideas get developed, interesting pictures get taken, and great stories get written. When you want it the most, however, it can be like looking for "Where's Waldo?" with your eyes closed and the book shut. And yet, so many of us do just that. We sit in the dark with our eyes shut, waiting for inspiration to appear. We keep our cameras in the bag because we don't think there is anything interesting to take a picture of because we can't see it RIGHT NOW. And while we're waiting, doubt creeps in, and because we can't think of the perfect idea, the perfect picture to take, the perfect thing to write, we do nothing.
Am I alone here? I'm guessing not.
The sad thing is that I know better than this. I know from personal and professional experience that without a doubt, the best way to find inspiration is to look for it. So what if you don't have something fabulous to take a photo of today? Then get up, grab your camera and take a fabulous picture of something very ordinary. Write about the most mundane part of your day. Sit down for five minutes and make a list of every idea that runs through your mind, no matter how silly or unrealistic, and see where that leads.
Some of my best pictures and projects started out as really bad or mediocre ideas, but they were springboards for new and better ones that inspired me further. First, however, I had to learn to let go of being super critical of what I could dream up and do. It was a hard lesson, but one worth learning. The need for perfection can talk most of us out of finding ways to stretch our creative skills because no one wants to dream dreams or create things that are "average". Once you can do that, you can find your creative genius.
Part II of this post will include five ways to find inspiration when you need it most. Stay tuned.