I've been thinking a lot about inspiration lately, and how it affects the work we do, and how it connects with who we are. I enjoy doing a lot of creative stuff. I write music, I design, I enjoy cooking, I like taking pictures, the list goes on. I enjoy creating things. It's easy to say, " I need to be creative to create things" but it's difficult to stay creative. I need inspiration to create, and honestly, inspiration just isn't there most of the time. I get caught up in my unpaid bills, taking care of my elderly neighbors, the work that needs to be done around the house, the work that needs to be done at work, the list goes on and on. I'm sure it's the same for you if you're reading this too. When these things take over in my mind, it's hard to find inspiration, and without inspiration, I don't create. Then I get depressed. It's a spiral from there, and before I know it, I'm having to dig myself out of the same hole I fall into time and time again. I'm getting better at climbing out of this hole, I just need to get better and not falling in. I don't think that inspiration just comes to you, you have to go and find it. When inspiration hits it feels like IT has come to ME, because it's such a beautiful thing. Reflecting on this, I've found that I find inspiration because I went out and looked for it. Maybe I read something, or watched something, or went for a hike, had lunch with a friend, went canoeing with my family, but I certainly wasn't just sitting around waiting for it. I've come across a few ways that I can help myself find inspiration, and help my muse find me. I write, every day, no matter what. I have to. The other day I was feeling pretty empty, took my notebook with me to lunch, and ended up writing the form, and a lot of, a new song. I didn't set out to do write a song, I just took my notebook and wrote. I just needed to do it. So writing, every day, seems to help. I get outside. That seems to help. We went canoeing recently as a family, and had a great time. I took my camera, and got some pretty nice shots. Not all of them were the best shot I've ever taken. In fact, most of them were very ordinary, but I made the effort. Even if I don't come away with anything in particular, I come away refreshed because I put in the effort. The inspiration I feel to do anything, exercise, make something in the kitchen, build something, it's all inspiration, and I'm respectful and thankful for all of it. Just because it doesn't have a songwriting purpose, doesn't mean it never will. Just because it didn't inspire me to take a photo, doesn't mean it never will. It just doesn't, yet. I try to relate what I'm doing to songwriting. I personify feelings, create stories in my mind, come up with adjectives. I try to relate everything back to songwriting. I try to relate what I'm seeing to photography. I try and look for composition in things. I try to see things in interesting shapes. Probably the most important thing I do is carry a notebook with me everywhere I go. Everywhere. I take notes all the time. I only use this notebook for these thoughts and ideas. If I need to go to the store, I don't make a list on this notebook paper. I pay reverence to this notebook. It's my journal, my idea book, my notebook. If I have a thought, I write it down or draw it. No matter what. I do these things to help myself become more creative, and more passionate. I do these things to resist resistance. Hopefully I can become more effective and productive as a creative person. Hopefully I can live inspired.