“Your environment can have such an incredible impact on your productivity, and there are times we may think past this in order to get as much work done as possible – no matter the location. Sometimes, when I’m experiencing a bit of a slump, I take it upon myself to change my environment, even if it’s just for a little while. You may ask, “Can busting out your laptop on a park bench on a cool, chilly morning really do more for my productivity?” The answer to that is: it very well might.”
A change of pace, a change of environment may be exactly what you need right now. Now, while there will be the usual bookstores and coffeeshops on this list, I wanted to focus more of my attention on what may seem unconventional to some – but still leave me rather inspired, fulfilled, excited to get back to work. Sometimes, it’s as simple as an hour trip out of your city to spark interest, enough that you really start to see a different perspective, so much so providing a clear mind to get more done when you return to work. When I lack inspiration, I start small, taking an hour or two to clean my home – organize a few things, before I settle in to actively start searching for a start.
There are times when a story is sitting at the back of my mind waiting to be released, but I simply cannot settle down enough to get writing, or I simply cannot begin just yet. I could very well have a lot of work to catch up on, assignments to turn in, errands that need to be dealt with, all clouding my mind and taking me farther away from creating content I love. It could be something as simple as seeing someone walking down the sidewalk carrying a cup of coffee, or someone rushing to catch a taxi in the busy downtown peak hour. It could be anything you want it to be. We get so caught up in our current projects, we sometimes forget how easy it can be to start anew, as creating can be as limitless as we’d like it to be. So now, I’d like to share with you my personal list of where I go to clear my head, to get back in the mindset of creating, to find that inspiration I’m constantly looking for.
5 PLACES I GO WHEN I LACK WRITING INSPIRATION
- Bookstores, Coffeeshops, and Libraries Galore: I wanted to start with this one because it may seem a bit obvious to some, but it is effective nonetheless. This is usually my first stop when I need to get out of the house, out of the office, for a bit to clear my head before returning to work. I may take a trip to my local bookstore, buy a few reads that will inevitably inspire me (much like the one I’m currently reading and cannot wait to review for you all), or sit around, flip through a few pages and grab a cup of coffee. The environment alone makes me want to read, to write, to explore new ideas – and sometimes a story idea will come to mind, but at the very least, I know I feel good, and absolutely ready to get back to work.
- Downtown Dwelling: This past weekend I spent quite a bit of time celebrating my birthday in the downtown area of Toronto. The change of environment really resonated with me, allowing me to breathe a different kind of air for a little while. The fast-paced environment of the city itself was riveting, one I had forgotten about as I haven’t been downtown in quite some time. Though, it was interesting to see how different the lifestyle is, how in awe I was that I don’t take trips downtown more often. I must also say, downtown is a lovely place to go looking for bookstores, coffeeshops, and libraries galore. Though, I spent most of my time just taking it all in.
- A Walk in the Park (Quite Literally): When last have you gone for a walk to clear your head? Surely it sounds like an easy thing to do, one you “might get to later if you have the time.” This is certainly not the approach when you find yourself overwhelmed with work or experiencing a creative slump. I’ve been taking the time to appreciate a walk when I can, focusing solely on letting my mind wander, so when I get back home, it’ll be just a bit easier to center myself.
- Exploring the Arts: If you’re anything like me, museums, theatre, and anything of the sort really does excite you. When was the last time you’ve been to any of those things? I’ve been trying to incorporate more of these outings into my life, as I really do feel refreshed and creative once I’ve spent some time admiring someone else’s work or achievements. Something as simple as a day at a museum, I’ve found, can really just spark interest – and maybe even a story. If you haven’t given it a try, maybe it’s time to explore the arts.
- Sightseeing (Right at Home): We sometimes forget how interesting, how many things there are to do right around us. Especially, if you’re like me, stuck at your desk for half the day everyday. I’ve been making it my mission to spend more time on myself during the weekends, taking charge of my downtime to really enjoy it, relax, and reset for whatever it is that needs my attention. When we’re busy working on a project, we sometimes forget just how to take time to ourselves, and when that project becomes a bit overwhelming or its not moving in the direction we thought it might, this can really take a toll on us – and inevitably become a little stressful. If you find that you’ve been spending a little too much time wrapped up in work, feeling overwhelmed or uninspired, take a few minutes to do something for you. Whether that’s a fifteen minute walk, a quick trip to a store you love, running a bath to settle into, or taking a trip around your city, enjoying what it has to offer. You never know, you could potentially find that spark of inspiration you’re looking for, right at home.
I hope you all enjoyed this here list, and I hope it has inspired you. I thank you for taking the time to read!