Inspiration – ‘The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative’
Inspiration plays an important role in my life these days. Various definitions of the word exist, but for me, essentially it’s a feeling, a frisson, a tingle of excitement, an instant connection I experience when I see a particular image, visit an interesting place, or read the words in a book, that make me want to try something new, improve myself or that simply leave me filled with wonder.
I’m inspired by other people too. In this world of so called Instagram influencers, it’s actually those that feel most authentic to me that inspire me the most. Not forgetting too, that we all have the ability to inspire one another. Take my next door neighbour, for example. I might write about him in a future post but for now, I can tell you he’s over eighty years old with a real passion for life and in a happy coincidence for me, a very talented photographer. He’s an inspiration for sure (although he doesn’t know it and would never think of himself in those terms !).
But why does inspiration matter? Well, for me, I’ve found that it’s good for my creativity. When I feel inspired, I feel more driven, more focused and I think I’m more likely to produce better work. It’s good for my wellbeing too, because that creative surge gives my brain a different type of ‘work out’, if you will, and that can only be a good thing. Finally, I think being inspired prompts me to explore, question, experiment… in short, it leads me on a journey that is good for my soul.
Here’s the thing though about inspiration, you can’t force it, you can’t ‘make’ yourself be inspired. But you can seek out and surround yourself with material that will make inspiration more likely. And so, before I rush to set myself goals and lay down plans for the new year ahead, that’s what I’ll be doing – seeking out inspiration in this quiet January time.
And if you are in need of some inspiration, I’ve listed below some websites/books/magazines I always come back too when I’m in need of an inspirational pick me up. Hopefully you might find something helpful here too…
Eva Nemeth is a garden and lifestyle photographer. Put simply, I love her work.
James and Jo Melia produce evocative, soulful photography that I find inspiring.
Erin Boyle is the writer and photographer behind the blog Reading My Tea Leaves. On my own journey towards a simpler way of living, I take inspiration from her words, both on her blog and her book Simple Matters.
Jen Chillingsworth is a freelance writer and photographer based in Leeds who writes about slow, simple and sustainable living. She published her first book Live Green last year which was my starting point in taking my first small steps towards a more eco friendly lifestyle. In my view, she’s one of the most authentic writers on the subject.
Rucksack Magazine is a beautiful, bi-annual publication dedicated to written and visual storytelling. I suggest you make yourself a cup of something hot, sit down on the sofa and snuggle up with a copy for a while, or maybe longer.
Feel free too to share your own sources of inspiration in the comments below.
And, in the meantime, have a lovely Sunday,
(credit – image of Rucksack Magazine taken from their website).