How to Stay Inspired in Your Late 20’s
Inspiration is a youthful process. Remember when you first picked up your instrument? Every note was new and exciting! Everyone you showed was in awe of you fumbling through “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
But now that you’re older the shiny new paint on your instrument has faded. FM has switched to AM. The canvas stays blank for months at a time. You find yourself relishing in the past. Inspiration is as distant as the joy you felt slipping on those new shoes the morning of the first day of school.
But there’s hope. Your inspiration receptors are still there. Dormant maybe, but there nonetheless.
Here are 2 realizations I’d like to share with you:
Realization 1: Inspiration is a youthful process
I wrote some of my best work in college. And it makes sense. When you’re in college you experience a new sense of freedom, new people, new love, new music, new ideas. The keyword here is “new.” You’re surrounded by vibrant and interesting people who are finding out who they are going to be for the rest of their lives. Oh, and let’s not forget the parties.
Fast forward to your late 20’s. You’re probably working a day job. You wake up, go to work, come home and are usually too tired to do anything but eat and fall asleep, rightfully so after a 40-hour workweek. You see the same people, for better or worse, 5 days a week. When you do pick up your guitar or your paintbrush you’re void of that glorious swell of creative energy. The keyword here is “energy.”
Realization 2: Inspiration takes a lot of energy
It’s easy to write when you’re constantly experiencing new things (ergo; college) but there’s an advantage to being older. That advantage is wisdom. The beauty of age is the knowledge you’ve acquired. The ideas are definitely not as frequent as in college or high school but they are absolutely more meaningful. These rich ideas take energy in order to properly digest and display in a way other people can understand. And if you don’t have energy you don’t have a chance. Not to mention a lot of people have given up their artistic pursuit by this time. Which puts you in a good spot of being experienced AND inspired.
“But how do I get more energy, Bill?” you might ask.
My name’s not Bill but I’ll tell you about the energy.
As you get older energy conservation has to become a conscious effort. You have to cut the junk food, cut the soda, cut the alcohol, and get some sleep. Try cutting some of the vices and getting another hour or two of sleep a night and you’ll feel the difference.
Another way we waste energy is by stress. Find whatever belief you need to enforce it but you should be reminding yourself several times throughout the day to relax and go with the flow. Artists tend to be in their heads a lot and a little reminder that art will always be there is enough to get you through another 8 hours.
My last bit of advice is to read. Reading is a profoundly stimulating experience. It also affords you the quiet time one needs to receive answers to questions that are often on all of our minds.
Stay inspired, my friends.