I am terrible at being bored. Having more free time in the summer makes it the perfect time to lose motivation and/or creative inspiration. This year it got old very quickly.
I’ve tried to combat these feelings of disinterest and lethargy by reading and writing more this summer but despite my best efforts, it can still be easy to fall into a pattern of waking up at noon, settling down to a carton of Ben and Jerry’s and a Sex and the City rerun (another item on the long list of things I enjoy way past their prime).
During the school year, I am constantly surrounded by creative people doing creative things. It is much harder to lose motivation when everyone around you seems to be doing something. Whether it makes my productivity more or less ‘real,’ I’m not sure, but I am easily inspired by the work of others.
In the summer, you have to look a little harder to find the people who continue to do creative and productive things even when the temperature stays above ninety for days on end. Lucky for me, I have friends who actively seek others being creative and sharing their art. They are creating art, playing shows, planning art shows, etc. Having friends like these makes it a little easier to stay inspired, especially to do things other than finishing off another season of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha’s misadventures in New York.
This past June, I was definitely caught in the aforementioned slump of ice cream and binge watching. I was putting off reading the books I had been excited to read and not following the journaling schedule I had set for myself. I hadn’t done anything productive outside of doing the dishes and (if you consider this productive) finishing a season of a tv show. I was bored and without inspiration. Luckily, a few days later my friends and I went to see another friend’s new band play and I finally found what I had been missing.
The sounds of the guitar, bass, drums and the singer’s voice gave me what I had not had for a while — true inspiration. Before seeing this performance, I had never truly understood what it meant to be inspired by another’s work. Watching their band playing and seeing the joy they felt in expressing themselves so creatively gave me the drive to go home and create something myself. I’d had similar reactions to others’ work but not as strongly as I did in this particular moment. I finally found the inspiration and motivation I needed to accomplish the goals I had made this summer. I quickly planned how I was going to use this new energy to actually get things done.
After the concert, I didn’t immediately rush home to my creative endeavors but I did get around to them a few days later. I was so happy to finally have the inspiration and motivation to do what I love after a few lousy weeks of living on my couch. I have found the cure to my personal summertime slump and I know that I can make it until school starts again.