Some days, we sit down and stare at our computer or notebook at a blank page. We take a deep breath and we say to ourselves that we are going to fill that black page. However, it feels like something is holding us back, we seem unable to think something good enough for that horrible blank page. Creativity is an essential part of our lives as humans, but as students, we are constantly in need of finding inspiration for new projects, essays or other personal projects. So how can we find inspiration when we need it, instead of just waiting for it to arrive? I was inspired (see the irony) by this problem, so I created a guide to help you find inspiration.

1. Follow your curiosity.

We could say curiosity is a source of creativity. It drives you to learn new things and discover new ideas. There are multiple ways of using your natural curiosity at your benefit to spark your creativity. Start by doing random research about something that sounds interesting to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s not related to what you want to create; just grab a book and open it on any page or write something random in Google. You can also try something that you have never done before. It could be something easy like drawing with a certain technique or a new sport. The point is to go out of your comfort zone and discover new activities. Make an effort to do some of those things every day. Even if it’s just learning a new quote or word daily can spark your creative mind.

2. Play.

Do things that you love because being happy will make you feel more inspired. Play board games, video games or solve puzzles. They are a great way to have the ingenuity push you need because they can be challenging, but also fun. You can also try those “30-day challenges” that gives you prompts to draw or write. If you don’t like any of them, create one for yourself! Finally, write. I know this doesn't sound exactly playful, but it's actually fun to let yourself go and write whatever is on your mind.

3. Search and discover.

Go out. Challenge yourself to notice little details on places and things. Your own surroundings can be a source of inspiration, you only have to see it from new perspectives. Even people can inspire you! Have a small talk with a stranger if you’re comfortable, or have a deep one with an old friend. Also, try to discover new music, art or movies— anything that relates to the topic of your work. Besides, you can search for images of people you admire and their work, or even search for the old work you are proud of! Something you already did can be a source for new ideas.

So, we took a break to do the previous activities and found the perfect idea to fill that blank page. We are excited and rush to begin, but time passes and the work starts getting harder. We stop feeling as motivated as we were from the start. Now what? Here are some things you can do to keep yourself motivated.

4. Think about your goals.

Remembering why you’re doing it is very important to maintain motivation. Write a list of your main goals to keep them in mind. Then, divide them into smaller goals and into small activities. According to psychologist Scott Geller's TED Talk “The psychology of self-motivation,” when we feel frustrated, we must break it down. This means it’s easier for us to achieve smaller tasks and see continuous progress in ourselves. Another tip is to create a reward system for yourself. After you completed one of those tasks, you give yourself a treat like a sweet or a few minutes of break.

5. Set a routine.

Create a routine that puts you in the correct mood to continue with your work. Mindset is very important, so try to figure out which activities make you feel more energized and motivated, and make them a routine. For example, if getting up and going for a run or taking a bath makes you feel better through the day, try to do them daily.

6. Be proud of what you have done so far.

Even when it sounds cheesy, it is very important. Stop for a moment and see how much work you have accomplished. Be proud of what you are doing! Be grateful for everything that has helped you to get there. Gratitude is a powerful feeling. So tell your family and friends that helped you in any way that you appreciate it a lot.

Inspiration and motivation are two fundamental parts to start and finish any project we are facing. So I hope this little guide can help you with both. After reading all of these, I realize they are mostly about the attitude you have, so relax and enjoy every step of the roadway.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash