Inspiration strikes randomly. Can you plan to to be inspired? Probably not, but you can certainly plant the seeds for it by getting out and experiencing life. Going to lectures, museums, nature walks, whatever gets your mind into that state of pensive equilibrium that you can later draw on. The key is to expose yourself to new ideas, places, things, and gain new perspectives. Bring your camera and take images that you can later pull up and use as inspiration, or bring your writer's notebook (you know, one of those 20 notebooks you have lying around words, phrases, story ideas, and even to-do lists in them). Here are five ways to plant the seeds of inspiration for your future creative productivity:
1. Buy a spoken word series at UCLA Live:
Buy a spoken word series for the upcoming UCLA Live Series and see:
- David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Naked)
- Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking, Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics), We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction (Everyman's Library), Play It As It Lays: A Novel)
- Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
- The Moth (The Moth: Audience Favorites Volume 1, Eleven Stories, The Best Love Hurts Stories From the Moth, Other available at The Moth Store)
2. Plan to go on an art walk.
- Long Beach Art Walk
- Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk
- LA Gang Tour
- San Pedro Art Walk
- Brewery Art Walk (only 2x per year)
- Venice Art Walk
3. Sign up for a walking tour of downtown Los Angeles with the L.A. Conservancy.
The LA Conservancy conducts some really fascinating tours of the historic buildings and sites in downtown Los Angeles. You'll come away from these informative walks just a little more in love with your city and full of Los Angeles-based setting descriptions. Don't forget to bring your camera.
4. Plan to visit a neighborhood you haven't been to for a while (or ever):
- South Redondo Beach, Riviera Village - From the moment you pass the Redondo Beach Pier, air passes through you that makes you feel like you're suddenly on vacation. By the looks of this little town, you'd never know you were still in Los Angeles. This charming little beach side community is rife with comfy-couchy coffee shops, as well as bars, restaurants, and shopping, and is an easy two-block walk from the shore.
- Agua Dulce - Home to Vasquez Rocks, the place where The Flintstones Movies were filmed, this teeny-tiny western-themed town is one of the best kept secrets within driving distance of Los Angeles, and even has it's own winery. You'll find more nature than art here, but it's worth checking out, visiting the local parks, and dining with the local cowboys.
- Ojai - A totally doable day trip from anywhere in Los Angeles. Cute arty little town and if you take the back roads there (via the 150) it's a gorgeous drive, too. If you're a motorcyclist, then you'll love the drive even more and there are some biker enthusiast stops along the way where you'll see 50 - 100 bikes all lined up while the weary come in for a bite to eat.
5. Sign up for some upcoming lectures:
- WritersBloc - Conversations with writers
- The Griffith Observatory - Many free astronomical lectures
- LACMA - Free and ultra-low cost lectures and films
- The J. Paul Getty Museum - Many free lectures and workshops
- Jet Propulsion Laboratories - Lectures, open houses, tours
- AloudLA - Free lectures from the LA County Library Association, usually takes place at the Los Angeles Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium in Downtown LA and is subway close.
- Zocalo Pulic Square - A bounty of free and often LA/California-based talks and lectures but be prepared to pay for parking.