top of page

The Power of Being Still: Finding Inspiration in Quiet Moments

Are your communications strategies hampered by a creativity rut? In this blog, I share personal insights and five simple steps to help you capture your most creative thinking.

How many times have you fidgeted in your chair anxiously waiting for the magical moment when brilliant words and ideas will spring to mind, trickle down to your fingertips, and spread themselves across a blank page - but nothing happens?

What if I told you that the key to overcoming this creativity rut lies not in forcing your focus, but in finding inspiration when your mind is at rest?

Get The Greatest Return on Your Creativity By Doing The Least

Nobody has the luxury of navigating their day challenge-free. We’re overscheduled and stretched thin, left to worry about one thing or another, focused on putting out fires here and there, or anticipating how to avoid the next one. When our minds are heavily taxed and constantly ticking, it’s hard to find the time and space we need to be creative.

Throughout my journey as a communications strategist, some of my most inspiring words and thoughts have often come when I’m not focused on the problem. I’ll think of creative partnership opportunities in the shower. Entire message frameworks will reveal themselves to me while I sleep. I’ll piece together how to best leverage industry opportunities to help a client achieve its goals as I roll up the boxing hand wraps my husband carries to the gym.

It took a while to recognize this pattern and resource myself to leverage it. I’ve left many great ideas in slumberland or let them evaporate away in the minutes following a shower. It’s why I now keep an ideas journal at my bedside where I can quickly jot down my midnight musings or housework-inspired intentions.

Tips to Break Free When Stuck in a Creative Rut

If your creativity well has run dry, consider this:

1. Schedule Time to Be Quiet

Set aside time every day to press the pause button. Taking 60, 30, or even 5 minutes daily to take a walk or just sit quietly will help open your mind to new ideas. It’s important not to task yourself during this time. There should be nothing to accomplish other than to be still.

2. Be an Observer of Your Day

Moving through the day on autopilot is easy, but for one week take time at the end of or throughout each day to reflect on when you felt most challenged and when you felt most inspired. What were the circumstances of those moments? Where were you physically? Can you thoughtfully recreate those moments in the future to serve you creatively?

3. Be Ready to Go When You Hit Your Flow

Once you recognize, and are able to recreate, the moments when your creative juices are flowing, make sure you’ve got the tools you need to collect them. It could be a paper journal or sketchbook, a voice note app on your phone, or a whiteboard in your office. In the past I would capture ideas on sticky notes. I don’t recommend this. While sticky notes might be quick and convenient to grab, they’re also easy to lose.

4. Create Time for Connection

Besides my bedroom and bathroom, creative ideas will often roll off my tongue when in conversation with friends, family and colleagues. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize our own genius when we’re speaking freely, comfortably and not trying so hard. As a best practice in 2023, I started to reserve 60 minutes every week to connect virtually or in-person with someone who inspires me, motivates me or who can laugh with me through shared struggles.

5. Get Comfortable with a Dirty Draft

When you set aside time to develop your draft - do it and keep going until it’s done. If you don’t yet have the right words, drop a comment in the margins or leave a highlighted note to yourself within the text that provides direction for what you hope to include.

In summary, creativity feels most elusive when our brains are bogged down. To quote a beloved 90’s classic, create time to “free your mind, and the rest will follow.”

Did you find this post helpful? Will you try any of the approaches above or have you tried something different that has been effective? Let me know in the comments below. And if there’s another writer or communications strategist in your network who could benefit from this message, I hope you’ll consider passing it along.



bottom of page