How does the magic happen? – Finding Inspiration

by Ashley Randazzo

Like everyone, I’ve been faced to write or design something that I don’t necessarily have a connection to.  It can be difficult to make the magic happen especially on demand.  For instance, yesterday I needed to write a little something for the Turner Construction website on some recent press we’ve received.  For us creative types, we often need to feel passionate, or connected to the topic in some way to “feel” it. 

Ah, crap.  So what to do, what to do.   Here are some of my ideas of what you can do to literally MAKE your own inspiration…

– Do Your Research

Sometimes learning about the topic can spark some creativity.  When you don’t know anything about a topic, it helps to hit Google for a few minutes.  Recently, I had to learn about some energy equipment like Central Utility Plants and Cogeneration facilities.  (Did you know a Cogeneration facility produces both electricity and heat and can save major dollars for facility costs?)  I even spent some time with our MEP (Mechanical Engineering & Plumbing) guys here at Turner to learn more about it.  It’s definitely worth the time you invest, and you never know when you might need that information again.

– Look For Examples

Again, Google is great for this.  I’m always amazing at the amount of free information there is on the internet.  There’s nothing wrong with taking a peek at other works, as long as you are not duplicating their work.  And if you are, give credit please!  It’s rude and illegal to plagiarize something on the web without giving the proper parties credit for using their ideas.

– Step Away From The Computer!

This is a huge one for me.  Often, I’ve worked on a custom proposal cover, press release or article  for a full day and haven’t been satisfied with my work.  But sure enough, the next morning’s fresh start and with my Starbucks Sugar Free Vanilla Soy Latte in hand, I’m able to create something that’s not only different then the previous version but I’m satisfied with it.  Not to mention, I complete it in a fraction of the time I spent playing with the document the day before.  The best thing for you to do when you’re in a frustrated slump is to take a breather from it.  Go for a walk, visit your pal in the next cubicle, get a cup of coffee.  Do something other than sitting in front of a blank, lit up screen.  Trust me, it works!

– Get Advice / Constructive Criticism

Do you have a mentor or a friend whose judgement you really respect?  Slip your half-finished idea under their nose or talk  to them about it.  Have a list of questions and don’t be afraid to ask them, even if you think they are stupid.  Use this time with your trusted buddy to learn and grow.

I think these 4 items can at least assist you in some way to get those creative juices a-flowin’.  No matter what you do, have fun with it, and learn too!  Stay sweet & creative peeps!

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