How to Get Motivated and Unstuck to Start on Your Next Creative Project
We are going to talk about five ways to get you inspired to create or create again, and how can you feel motivated and get unstuck when you’re not completing your next project, whether that’s the next book, whether that’s the next talk, or whether you’re building a program. So I want to jump in.
But the first thing I want to say is that so many of us during COVID In still today, we were so shaken, right our lives changed what they looked like many of us had our income sources taken away or changed, right. So if you were doing a in person event, a tour anything, those stopped. And so a lot of us really did some reassessing, reviewing, but for some of us, it was hard to get back going into the next thing.
And for others, even one of the things that happened is, there’s many, many authors that had have published books during COVID. They were already slated to write a book, but in many cases, their book content actually changed because of the what we were experiencing. So what’s amazing about that is is I think, first we have to give ourselves permission, that whatever we’ve done in the past, surely is going to inform our future project or product. But it might be different than what we were planning on it being and I think we have to give ourselves permission for that to be okay. So what I want to do today is talk you through if you’re stuck, or you’re just not getting the project done, let’s figure out why that is. So I think the first thing though, is that we have to be honest with ourselves about what’s really going on. And I love what Mark Patterson in his book Chase, the lion talks about, there is a section that says The Art of the Start. And he basically talks in talks about and says you cannot finish what you do not start. And he shares a story of a gentleman fan Bennett who literally for I think it was 19 years, just trying to see if that’s right, doesn’t actually start the book that he feels called to write. And he says I was living in Delayed obedience, but he hears a sermon by this pastor, Mark Patterson, and he realizes, wow, I, I really need to do this. So this is what he says. They made a decision that day to give God one hour every day until the book he dreamed of writing was a reality. Oh, here it was, it took them 15 years to get to the starting line.
It only took him nine weeks to get to the finish line, a 50,000 word manuscript. And he goes on and says, What do you need to start? First, give yourself a start date, and I highly recommend today. Second, give God an hour a day, every day, it might mean getting up an hour earlier or staying up an hour late. But that’s how dreams become reality.
Third, give yourself a deadline. Deadlines are lifelines. Without them, nothing gets done. So the first question I have for you is what is your priority? And when you look at your schedule, is that priority actually on your schedule? So if you’re trying to finish this next thing, it could be the book maybe it’s starting a podcast after you’ve already done the book or the coaching. What is stopping you? You know? So that’s the first thing and I think the biggest reason that we aren’t creating we’re not inspired to create is because we aren’t committing to it. And we’re not consistent. So the first thing is, is we have a commitment or consistency problem in a lot of cases if we’re dealing with this if we’re struggling through it, and I’ve been there. Well last year about a year ago I started this podcast, and I have been 100% consistent with it but If I’m being honest, I have several book project started, that are just sitting there on occasion, I dabble. Because I haven’t made the commitment to myself or my schedule to finish one of those book projects. I think I said to myself, well, I’m focused on the podcast. But the truth is, I want to finish one of those projects this year. So that means I’m going to have to put it on my schedule, and keep it, you know, a time a set time each day or each every other day.
And I’m going to have to be committed to making that time sacred for writing. And for you, it might be something else. But that’s the first thing is we have to one, look at our priorities and our schedule, do they match with the priority of creating our project and to being creative the time we need to actually be creative. So do you have time in your schedule, to do the new work that to create the new creation, because if we don’t, we’re gonna get busy, and all of the work that we have to do just to maintain our business, and we’re gonna get busy with our lives, and there won’t be room for the creation of the new thing to be creative.
The next thing is, I think that we truly get so busy, we don’t, we don’t make time in our schedules to slow down, we don’t make time in our schedules to take more breaks, and to make space for our mind to get quiet. So that we can hear God we can hear his, the creativity, he’s giving us the idea that he’s putting on our hearts, and so that we can actually hear these ideas, and we can actually capture them, we have to get quiet, so that we can settle ourselves settle our minds, because that’s when our creative inspiration often comes to us.
It might be, you know, a sentence, it might be an idea for a Chapter, it might be an idea for a podcast episode or a chapter or not a chapter a part of your next talk. But whatever it is, this is often when we get those, you know, those creative downloads, this is when we have time to partner with God, to really step into what he’s calling us to do in our work. So I think that’s the second way that we can be inspired to create and to get those creative ideas.
The next thing is that, I really think for me, one of the biggest things is I have to keep filling myself up. And I think all of us do in order to tap into our creativity and to actually commit to getting the work done. So what I mean by this is, how do you fill yourself up for me, it’s getting around creative people that are doing things, right, that are talking through what they’re working on. And they’re exciting. And then it’s getting, putting creative content in front of me.
So filling myself up. So that could be words that inspire me in books, which I buy all the time. It could be sayings or quotes, could be a Bible verse, it could be a beautiful visual, a photo that just just makes me feel amazing. It’s just beautiful. There’s nothing else I can say about it, but it just captures me. So how can you add more things into your day into your week that fill you up. So whatever it is that make you feel creative, that make you feel inspired, add more of that kind of content into your week. And the next thing is, I think we have to be willing to try new creative forms.
If you are a let’s see, if you are a nonfiction writer, try writing just for yourself a short story or a poem. If you’re a podcaster. Try doing a video instead of just audio. If you are a coach, you obviously you know, words are so important to you as well, just like the writer and the speaker. Words are important. So what lifts you up a lot of times it’s seeing other motivational speakers, do a talk, maybe go listen to a TED talk. But find something that inspires you and then be willing to try some new creative form. You know, maybe you’re a coach, you know, business coach, but maybe you write down an inspirational blog post, you know, or something like that, but just be willing to do something outside of your wheelhouse.
Be willing to tap into your own creativity. And surely it could be going in coloring in a coloring book or it could be going outside and I like to say I take creative detours. So when I go on a walk, what I do is I look I try to be aware of the things I might not have noticed as I walk if I’m listening to a podcast or music, so I’ll turn the music or the podcast off. I will go along my walk in I’ll notice something a beautiful purple flower. So then the rest of the walk, I will look for those lovely, you know, there’s lovely shades of all the shades of purple in it, I’ll be amazed, I might see 15 different shades of purple on my walk. Or I might notice on a tree that the the leaves are shaped like hearts, then you know, I’ll just be enamored with that. And then I will continue to look for the shapes all around me. But this lets me, you know, be creative and see all the creativity that’s actually offered to us in the world. It’s, it’s quite amazing and astounding, I think.
And then the next thing is, I think we have to continue to be open to hear those creative thoughts and then capture them. So either, and most of us probably do this, but keep a notebook with you, or some of us on our phone type into our notes, you know, ideas, we have inspirations that hit us ideas for, you know, content. So just make sure you’re capturing those though. And I think also take time to go back and look at all of your ideas that you’ve written down.
Because sometimes when I’m lacking inspiration, when I don’t feel I have something to create something new to come up with. When I go back and look at the many ideas I’ve written down about so many different topics that will start to let me process it and then come up with the thing I want to talk about or the thing I want to work on. And so for me, it’s so important. And the next thing is, I think we just have to be willing to sometimes change or change or scenery. Many of us work, you know, in the same office.
And for most of us, there’s probably a home office, no, I’ve worked in a home office, for the most part for the last 15 to 18 years. And while there was a stint in there, where I did go into an office about two or three times a month, when I actually wasn’t working for myself when I was working with a company.
Other than that always worked on the box all the time. And so sometimes even that office slipping at the same things can get a little monotonous or it can get a little boring, and most of us have been stuck at home so much. So we’re here even more than before. So the other thing you need to do is change your scenery. If you like the hustle and bustle, go into a coffee shop, or sit outside of coffee shop, comfortable. go the beach and bring your ideas or you know, jotting down things. No one read a book, you know, eh, or go to your favorite place.
I know author Bob Goff, he would have meetings to stay on to little treasure island there. And I think that’s amazing. And I love that your meetings on Treasure Island, not in a stuffy office. Because he’s a lawyer. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a meeting. So change your scenery. And you do change your perspective. And we do this. So if you’re not feeling inspired, do change your scenery. And the last thing I’m gonna leave you with as far as ideas on how to get inspired to create create, again, is something regularly I’ve been talking to with friends and people. And it’s this when you’re feeling uninspired when you’re feeling like you can’t create or you’re even stuck, not sure what the next is how to move forward. You need to follow your joy. You need to slow down instead of trying to push forward you know what it is going to be that you’re going to create. Follow your joy. So what I mean by this is each day, stop watering the main ask yourself, what I really enjoy doing right. And I get sometimes we have schedules that where we can’t do it during that time. I want to there’s time where you could do this. It could be less than the in the evening. It could be early morning. When you take a break. What would I really enjoy doing? It might be going sitting up. I know I do that most acidifier for me. It’s relaxing.
It’s cathartic. And it just lets me clear my mind and just, you know, I just love sitting outside and so for me that’s a way that I can follow my joy and really feel about you know for seeing friends and getting to the beach for me are things that bring me joy. The more we listen to ourselves, and we do the small things for ourselves that we actually want to do instead of saying I have no time I can actually start to get work. 30 becomes worth listening to ourselves. And we can actually do a lot more clearly. So follow your joy. And before I wrap up and just give you the, the different ways in which you can be inspired again and to create, I just wanted to share with you a quick story that’s in the book, that the E is talking to a woman that’s a author, she’s written one book, and she’s working with a publisher, another book, but she’s finding herself not able to.
So I gave talks to her and says, you know, hey, let’s see what’s going on. So they talk through, like what per day looks like. And as they talk through it, you know, he says, oh, so your, your highest priority is your family, to really get ready is your housework and infrastructure. And your third is writing and she says, writing is much higher to me than the housework. When she explained her schedule, for Hallford always came before she ever committed time to writing, what this created what she’d never get time to write into, therefore, the practice wasn’t done. So they talk through, if truly writings, her priority, and what was holding her back from putting that ahead of culture. And they worked through it. And they determined, you know, the reasons, one of the reasons was deep down, she truly was afraid that if she made this, he says big commitment to her creativity, she might fail on a bigger scale.
If she stayed small, she could avoid the possibility of rejection. So sometimes we haven’t prioritize this next project, or this next book, or this next podcast episode or even starting one. Because we’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid of the rejection that might happen. If we show up in a way that even more people see us. What if they don’t like what we produce? What if they don’t, and he also says something in that same book, he says, instead of Ready, Set, Go, they say, ready, go set, because we’re never ready. We’re never ready to take the next step, you know, in our personal lives, in our businesses, with our creative work, called to. So in other words, just get ready and go for it. Just start, take a step, take an action, to paper, voice to video recorder, just get and then set, then key, then go and figure out the strategy, then put it on your schedule, consistent and make it a priority.
So here are here’s the wrap up that you can take with you into your day and try to apply maybe one or two of these in part already do. So the first is ask yourself, are you committed? And are you consistent to make your creative work happen? And the reason why we can find out if this is true, is review your priorities with your schedule. Is that priority of creating this next thing on your schedule regularly? Is it on there daily in a time that you can stay undistracted with the rest of your life? Or is it on there? Have you set a deadline. So start your project and have to be humble share the project in the deadline with someone else.
And on that note, I would just share there are many products, online platforms that have deadlines you can put into them so they can keep you accountable to your writing or podcasting or whatever it might be. Or you could just put up a Google Calendar not only for your times, but what deadlines Do you want to hit in chunks. Next thing I shared about how to be inspired to create is take a break and make more space so that you can hear your own. And you can hear what God wants to share with you as far as how you show up in the world with your creative gifts.
And then third, round creative people fill yourself up with creative, creative visuals or words. Try new creative form, do something different. It can be in your same area if you want it to be, but make it something you aren’t currently doing. Make it simple. There’s no expectation or this has to be something great. This is just to let your mind flow in your hand the creative next area for creative thoughts and inspiration. Another thing that you can do is change your scenery. Get out of your home office or your home wherever you do your work. And then follow your joy. How can you add more things into your day in a week that bring you joy?
Because truly the more joyful we are the more relaxed and joyful we are more creative. We will be. It’s just a fact just how it is. I really like what Eric Maisel says, he says, to create, you must quiet the mind so that ideas will have a chance of connecting. And I think that’s true.
We’ve got to allow ourselves for this peace,and to do things that bring us joy. And I want to leave you with these words by author Bob Goff and his new book undistracted. In case like so many of us you just felt stuck, distracted or having a hard time finishing your creative work. He says, don’t feel bad about all the things that have been grabbing your attention. We all become distracted at some point. It is somehow built into our operating systems. We become distracted from our goals and greater purposes, by or temporary circumstances. We can be distracted by each each other and even away from God and what we really believe to be true. Sadly, the boatload goodness we do the world as being scuttled by the many things that carry so far away from us. We can no longer make leaps to the shore.
We get stuck in the past, worried about the present or the future. We no longer lean into our lives, right where we are. But instead we become individuals. little resemblance to the people God. And friends, I would just say to you, how can you incorporate more things that let you do the creative work that you’ve been called to do and step into, so that you can serve more people with all of the goodness that you have to do? Thanks again for listening. And we would love it if you enjoyed the show if you could subscribe on Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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