[Podcast] 3 Ways to Stay Inspired to Create Personal Work


"Inspiration Is for Amateurs—The Rest of Us Just Show Up and Get to Work" 

– Chuck Close


I found myself wondering recently about why the word "inspiration" gets such a bad wrap. Let's explore:

There's a myth floating out there that the most artistic and creative endeavors begin with a magic strike of inspiration. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, there is no pixie dust involved in creativity.

If we believe this lie, it can feel difficult to create anything because we are not feeling "inspired". It's no surprise that the spark won't appear when we want it to.

Many books like The War of Art will tell you that in order to make great things, you can't wait for the inspiration. You have to show up and "do the work". Try to execute some ideas and see what happens.

When you actually sit down and start sketching ideas, you are allowing the possibility for great things to happen.

Here's the thing though: a lot of the time your personal work will not live up to your standards. It might feel dumb, unfinished or even cringe-worthy since we are our own worst critic. But without this commitment to experimentation, it's unlikely you will make anything at all! When you let go of the pressure to make something of value and just start playing around, you have done the hardest part. From there it's all about focus and persistence.

As you can tell, I don't advocate "waiting for the muse" and expecting to hit a home run every time. However, I have had experience doing certain things that can help you stay excited and increase your chances of making your best work. It's not rocket science. I'm talking about hitting two birds with one stone — pushing yourself, and making projects that have a positive impact on yourself and others.

These three practices are:

1. Varying your intake

2. Changing your environment

3. Getting around community and doing collaborations

My good friend Scotty Russell of Perspective-Collective and I go deeper on these topics in a short conversation for Episode 26 of his new podcast. We also share some of the struggles we face when trying to stay excited about our work. 

I am honored that he would ask me to be the first interviewee on his podcast, and I hope you will enjoy the episode!

Check out the podcast interview below. You can also listen and subscribe here on Scotty's website.




Eric Friedensohn