Answering the Question, "How do I come back from a creative slump?"

I heard a question posed recently that struck a chord. The question was, "How do I come back from a creative slump?" I have an answer and thought I would share a bit of advice here:
1. Don't wait to be inspired. The word inspiration is tricky. I think it refers to the feeling of clarity and excitement that guides you to a given path. Inspiration doesn't happen every day BUT you know what does happen every day? Action and intention. Those two things can happen every day which leads to my second piece of advice.
2. Develop a habit. If you want to run across inspiration more often, you need to decide to show up to recieve it. What that has meant to me is that I wake up really early every morning to paint. I am not inspired every morning BUT I do always show up. I do always move forward.
3. Make bad art (or music or written word or, or, or...). For the love of every creative instinct you may have -- MAKE BAD ART. For goodness sake. I can't stress this enough. Do not be afraid to let something flow out of you that you do not love OR maybe you love it at first but are horrifed years from now when your skills have refined and your voice has solidified. I believe that bad art is part of the process and please, please, please know that you must embrace it.
4. Share your work. If you are an artist, call yourself an artist. Share your work. I believe this is an important part of accountability and it reinforces your identity with the people around you. This matters.
5. Start. At the end of the day, you have to just get going. You have to decide that you will not go another day without moving forward. What that looks like for me is a 4:30 AM wake-up call. I challenge you to set your alarm for 4:30 AM tomorrow. If you string together two weeks of early mornings I PROMISE that your craft will improve and that you may even meet the elusive inspiration that you seek.
I hope that gives you an idea of how you might move forward towards inspiration!

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