Keeping the Engine Clean

Photo Credit: Nathan Bittinger

Are you feeling uninspired? Does an invisible force seem to be hindering your imagination every time you attempt to tap into that part of your brain? Do you have creative block? Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of and you just can’t jump-start that engine. Maybe you’re feeling a quart low on creative juice.

Where Are Those Darn Car Keys?

Sometimes the answers to finding inspiration are hiding in the most basic, simplest of places, like when you misplace the car keys. It’s usually somewhere you go often, but never think to look. I see creative block as a puzzle to be solved – if I can just find the specific key that fits that certain keyhole, then I can unlock my mind.

Last week was a busy one for me. I made it through alive, but by the end of it, I had a brain that was fried and a house that was wrecked. I wanted to just veg out and pretend that the mess wasn’t there. Instead, I dragged my bum off the sofa. My husband and I did one of our characteristic whirlwind cleaning episodes, spending a few hours concentrating our efforts on the worst places. By the end of the evening, my house was back in order and I could breathe a deep sigh of contentment. Not only that, but my mind felt free again.

A Fresh Coat and a Tune-Up

If you’re stuck in a creative rut, try cleaning the house or organizing your office. There’s something about a tidy house that leaves my mind free to roam. When my house is a mess, my brain just feels like a jumble. But when it’s in order, I don’t worry about the things I “should” be doing. Instead, I can create, unhindered.

I’m not saying your house has to be spotless. Or that you should spend hours and hours cleaning. Dusting the baseboards and washing the windows may be overkill. Instead, try focusing your efforts on the areas that will give you the most bang for your buck – like maybe the room where you create, or the place that is constantly messy (like the kitchen). Maybe you haven’t unpacked from moving or vacation, or maybe there’s a pile of stuff somewhere to go through that you’ve been putting off. If you can locate the place that will feel the most meaningful, you may find the key to unlocking your creativity again.

I often tell myself I can’t afford to spend time cleaning when I have projects underway, that every hour is precious. Maybe you’ve said the same thing. But maybe we can’t afford not to.

Thanks for stopping by Inspiration for Creation where I help give your creative vehicle a tune-up, one post at a time. 🙂

What do you think? Put it into practice and let me know if it helps you to feel motivated to create. Does your mind feel clearer with a neat home or office?

5 thoughts on “Keeping the Engine Clean

  • Becca, I’ve been thinking thoughts along these lines lately, too — except my thoughts have centered on moving-related worries. I’m packing boxes, discovering junk I didn’t know I had, creating piles of stuff to sort and pack and throw away…

    So I’ve been wondering what all of this will do to my creativity for the next couple of months! I hope it doesn’t do bad things. I need my creativity for the next couple of months. I kind of have a few projects to work on. ; ) I guess we shall see!

    • I hope it doesn’t, also. You may have to get out to write during the next month. Hopefully the “to-do” list doesn’t take over the creative part of your brain. 🙂

      • Becca, as of today, my to-do list is definitely shorter. The creative part of my brain is still mostly engaged with the moving process…but the stress level has gone down several notches! 😉

  • I am planning on painting my guest bath. I think this simple act of repainting could help inspire creativity too. There will be some clean up involved to get ready to paint and then putting things back after the painting is dry. Changing your environment can be inspiring.

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