Three things I do when I am not feeling inspired | Guest Post by Elise Blaha Cripe

As I take a mini maternity leave after having my baby boy on September 18th, I have a series of talented friends/guest posters who agreed to fill in here throughout the rest of the month (and into October). I will try to pop in with random posts here and there, but we are just trying to squeeze out every bit of goodness of family time right now. Enjoy!

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EJBCphoto1Something I have learned over the years is that there are days and weeks (and even months!) when I lack inspiration for accomplishing anything above and beyond everyday activities. This is always frustrating because a big part of my job is coming up with new ideas for projects so I have something interesting to share on my blog or something to sell in my shop. The most important part of dealing with lack of inspiration is acknowledging it. I used to really panic - "oh no! All of my ideas are gone!" But now I understand that the ebb and flow of inspiration is part of creativity. It's normal and the ideas will surely return.

But when I am in a rut and want out, these are a few things that help me feel motivated and creative again. EJBCphoto21. I clean my crafting workspace. I'm not talking about clearing a surface to make something new, I'm talking about doing a detailed cleaning of every nook and cranie. I go through every drawer, every box and every pile. The goal is to see what I have, sort through it all and purge what I don't need. It's awesome. When I am feeling uninspired is the perfect time to do it too because there is nothing else to work on and it's incredibly productive. Inevitably, I end up with less stuff and usually a few ideas, just from re-seeing everything I have.

2. I go through my Pinterest pins. Like many other folks, I love pinterest. I have pinned over 4000 images in the past few years. Almost everyday I log on and see what's new and pin to my various boards. This is more of a habit than anything else. I have noticed though, that when I am lacking ideas, going back through things I have already pinned can be super inspiring. I don't look through what is new, I look through what is old. Often, seeing images I have liked in the past sparks something in the present and I get motivated to tackle a new project or experiment with a different color scheme. It can be more fun (and less overwhelming) sometimes to go back through my own boards than look through other peoples. This same method has worked in the past too. I used to go through old magazine tearsheets or browse my favorite photos on flickr.

3. I think ahead. Let's say it's May and I am at a complete loss for what sorts of things I can blog about this month. Sometimes, pulling out a sheet of paper and making lists of autumn projects or holiday projects can help. As I write down things that are not "to-do list" items for right now, just pure inspiration and daydreams, it sometimes spurns ideas of what I can work on or write about in the present. I suppose this can seem counter-intuitive, but really, it works by taking the pressure off. And again, worst case, you have a ton of ideas for the next season to help avoid encounter inspiration burnout in the future. :)

About Elise : Elise Blaha Cripe is a blogger and crafter who lives in San Diego with her husband, Paul and baby girl, Ellerie. She sells rubber stamps, teaches craft workshops and loves homemade pizza.

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