How will you stay inspired in 2020?
Whether related to creative endeavours (like writing books!) or just staying positive and motivated during a 9-5, the idea of staying inspired has been on my mind a lot lately. Sometimes it's just too hard to get going on the projects I need to, whether that be my writing or something as simple as cleaning the house. So, as a of New Year's resolution of sorts, I am working harder to create good habits that can foster inspiration and therefore productivity. Here are three of the things I am working to maintain and improve this year:
1. Create routines:
I'm the kind of person that if I wait for inspiration to strike, especially when it comes to writing, the work just will not get done. It's far too easy to chuck your headphones on, turn on a YouTube video, and think, "I'm just not ready to start working yet." For me, I need the discipline of a routine to get going, whether that's having a to-do list of chores on the docket that day, or a "writing hour" set out where I have to write every day. I often enlist the help of my husband here, and ask him to encourage me to get started on a regular basis. In the evenings now he often will turn to me and say, "Ok! Time to do some writing!" And that has been immensely helpful. There are other things I like to do, too, like setting a certain writing mood using low lighting, candles, and a specific music playlist that I feel matches the themes of my book. Creating the right atmosphere and routine and just getting started whether I feel inspired or not has been paramount to my productivity and is something I seek to continue to refine in 2020.
2. Find people to look up to:
I mentioned YouTube in the point above as a potential distraction, but in the right circumstances it can also be a great motivator. One of my favourite ways to get inspired is to watch videos or listen to podcasts that interview successful authors and publishers. Hearing stories of success, and just seeing the passion others have for this industry, is immensely helpful and inspiring. This also includes reading the work of other writers you love. Now, don't fall into the trap of using all your productive time "getting inspired" by listening to or reading other people - you have to put the work in, too.
3. Engage in other hobbies:
One of the best ways I have found to stay inspired in my core activities (work and writing) is to cultivate other hobbies and interests completely outside of those spheres. Some of the things I have enjoyed over the past year include learning to bake sourdough bread at home, painting and drawing, cooking and learning new recipes, and going to the gym. For me, these hobbies create immense joy in my life and also allow for a sort of meditation - the feel of dough squishing between my fingers or the weight of a barbell on my back create wonderful opportunities for mindfulness in a mind that is often running at a thousand miles a minute (or should I say kilometres? I am in Canada after all!) Not only do these hobbies act as stress relief, they offer creative outlets outside of my writing that help me feel more engaged and well-rounded as a person overall. This leaves me feeling refreshed, revived, and ready to get to work. In 2020 I plan to continue with these activities, and perhaps even add something new into the mix - who knows what this year will bring!
What are you doing to stay inspired in 2020? Did you make any resolutions? Feel free to leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you!