I’ve picked up a new hobby this past week: hand embroidering. I always imagined it as an outdated little thing that takes too much time and is only for people who can draw more than stick figures (i.e., not me). That is until my sister mailed me her sweet go at embroidery and I fell in love. I’ve since been watching videos online and looking through Instagram hashtags non-stop, and it’s become this form of art I am really interested in.
I thought it would be fun to make a series of them for the holidays. Maybe I’ll sell them here on my website (would you buy?), maybe I’ll give them as gifts, or maybe I’ll just keep them for myself to enjoy because that’s what I love about creating. It’s for myself first and foremost.
As a creative, the biggest help I’ve learned in overcoming creative blocks and lack of inspiration is to be creative in other ways. I would say my main form of creativity is writing. I went to school for it and have written for as long as I can remember. And there have been many dry spells for me in terms of writing where I have felt zero inspiration, zero drive to create anything at all (even a grocery shopping list).
I would try sitting at my desk for hours staring at the screen, or even longhand writing to try and spark something, and nothing. But what I’ve learned about inspiration is that you have to seek it out. You can’t just wait for it to come knocking on your door. I grew up with this self-belief that I was not a true creative. As my mother painted miraculous works of art, I could hardly draw anything more than a rose. I believed that I wasn’t really a creative, I just happened to be able to write really well.
But I’ve always loved the idea behind creating. How something can be made from nothing. How a piece of art can form from the most basic element. When I was a teenager, I picked up knitting and suddenly my idea of what it means to be creative was flipped on its head. I could make sweaters and scarves in an afternoon and everyone complimented me on something I had formed with my own hands. I was addicted to creation.
Over the years, I’ve gotten into knitting, crocheting, pottery, looms, and more. And what has come from it is this sudden reverse in my lack of inspiration. Now, when my hands don’t type what I’d like them to, I merely turn to another one of my creative hobbies for a few hours and like magic, I am inspired.
So, my next adventure is decided to be in the hand embroidery department. I’ve already created my first little hoop and am so proud of it I could burst. Plus, I’ve started morning pages, which is writing 3 pages every single morning first thing when you wake up. Whatever comes to mind. They go hand-in-hand, my love for making something with my hands allows my hands to write out words found deep in my heart.
Rather than stifling my creativity by forcing it in only one direction, I’m instead kindling the fire in every aspect to create a big flame that warms my entire creative life.
Here’s my question for you: what do you do to find inspiration?
And if you struggle with a lack of inspiration fairly often (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us), I encourage you to try picking up a new hobby and see where the creativity takes you.