Erika Veurink

Five Ways to Cultivate Inspiration

Erika Veurink
Five Ways to Cultivate Inspiration

Being back in New York has been so many things. I'm home and I'm happy, but sometimes all the stimulation can feel like a lot. It was only in conversation with Ashley that I realized my problem wasn't lack of inspiration, it was surplus. Of course, it seems like a lovely issue to have, but for the times when creativity comes with less force, here are some ways to cultivate it. 

Involve someone else: Demand an emergency coffee meeting, call your mom, or plop onto your best friend's sofa until things make sense. As an introvert, it feels more natural to seek inspiration alone. And usually it's more successful! But there are times when hearing from and confiding in someone who loves you is key.

Go for a walk: Not the kind where you half text, half trip to the mailbox, but a sneakers on, hair up, shoulders back walk. Being in New York makes this even more magical, as you can feel the neighborhoods shift as you stroll. But trust me, suburbian walks can prove just as effective with the right soundtrack. 

Listen to vinyl: Listening to albums start to finish is a practice I've only been intentional about for the past few years (thanks Ruby) Nothing makes this easier than a good old LP. While owning a turntable feels a bit trendy, I love the emphasis it puts on the enjoyment of the music. Some of my favorites to enjoy with a glass of Pinot are Blue by Joni Mitchell, Traveller by Chris Stapleton, and Take Care by Drake. 

Read 50 pages: Unsurprisingly, a good book is my go to source of inspiration. My rule is one of fifty pages. If I can take the time to turn off my phone, get comfortable, and read for this length, I'm usually engaged enough to finish or motivated to do something else. If this feels like a lot, consider reading a magazine like Gentlewoman or a newspaper like the NYT. With a constant stream of information, it can feel inspiring and refreshing to read something less instant and more thoughtful.

See a film: Best case scenario, at a theater with popcorn and peanut m&ms, but at home works too. Going to the theater is important to me, so combining a walk to and from makes for the ideal evening of inspiration. The important factor is being sure to put away your phone and really invest in the movie. It can feel a little uncomfortable at first, but the payoff is seeing the work the way it was meant to be seen plus some much needed screen free time.