Creative inspiration hits us every day, whether or not we realize it. The trick is knowing when to be listening for those ideas.

listen to yourself

Times to Listen to Yourself

While we go through the motions of our day, we should pause every now and then and listen to our subconscious. When are the best times? Here are five examples.

1. In the shower

This might be the most obvious (and cliché), but it’s true. Whether you’re in the shower or bath, something about the sound and feeling of hot running water going down your skin sparks inspiration in us. Take those few minutes each morning to let your imagination run wild. You’d be surprised how productive it can be.

2. When you’re bored

All too often we view boredom as a negative thing, when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. When we’re bored, we usually find some way of distracting ourselves until we’re entertained again. Instead of pulling out your phone to play a few levels of Candy Crush while waiting in line, observe your surroundings. Take deep breaths. Listen. This is the perfect opportunity to think of new ideas.

3. As you’re falling asleep

This is one of my favorite times to be aware of the possibilities running through my mind. Usually when I’m just on the brink of sleep, I’ll try to come up with a new idea or an answer to my writer’s block, and when I wake up, my dreams have inspired something.

4. While you’re walking outside

When I walk my dog, I pay extra special attention to every sound I hear, the feel of the pavement under my feet, the yards of each house around me, the temperature, everything. Sometimes just being in tune with nature is a great way to refresh your creativity.

One of my favorite writing exercises is just staring at a spot outside and trying to picture someone there. It can be anyone and they can be doing anything, but that act alone often causes a brand new character to walk into your life. Don’t be afraid to let them strike up a conversation with you.

5. During a car ride

Long or short, this is another perfect chance to think of something. If it helps, turn on the radio. Sing along, if you feel like it. Watch the trees you pass. Do whatever it takes to help get yourself in tune with your subconscious.

What are the best times for you to get inspired? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

During one of the five times listed above, stop what you’re doing for a bit and just be in the moment. Take deep breaths, clear your mind, and let your subconscious do the talking. How does it help your creativity? Did it work out that problem you’ve been struggling over for days? Did you come up with a brand new idea? Write for fifteen minutes and, if you’d like, share in the comments below. Don’t forget to give your fellow writers a little love, too!