I often find myself in front of a white screen, looking once in a while at my keyboard, at my monitor, with a bunch of data by my side. I have a lot of ideas circling around in my mind, but I don`t seem, in those moments, to be able to put them done on “paper” (or in my case in a Word document).
I would want to take the data that I have gathered for my research and write non-stop until I finish the most wonderful book on global food security that has ever been written or until I come up with an innovative solution to feed 9 billion by 2050. I would like to be able to write non-stop articles on this blog so that my readers have a source of inspiration for their work and life. But sometimes there are moments when I stay for hours and days at a time with a blank sheet in front of me.
How to get over that blank sheet?
When I find myself lacking inspiration, it is usually because I have too many ideas on how to move forward in my work. And I get stuck. I don`t want to give up on one approach and in my mind a battle between all alternatives starts. I want to write about all of them, although I know some might not be so good.
The solution to end this “conflict” is not giving up on an approach, but embracing all as equal. It doesn`t if, for example, two ideas battling in your mind are complete opposites. Write them down as solutions, explain them and let others decide which one is the most feasible. With as many solutions are brought into the debate, the more options can be developed to try to solve a challenge. Don`t imagine that your mind can “flush out” the good and bad ideas. If you put two ideas on the table and you give 10 people the chance to evaluate them, you will see pro and con options for both.
When the inspiration is truly missing, do something else. I always try to keep myself as involved as possible in as many activities as possible, a thing that sometimes overwhelms me. But I find it exhilarating. I work as a researcher, I manage an NGO (YPLD) that I founded while I am on the Steering Committee of another international network (YPARD). I write a blog on food security and social media, while I also work on social media for non profit. At the same time, I try to improve my knowledge in several fields by keeping up to date with what`s new on social media, web administration, food security analysis and many other fields. I give a helping hands to fantastic competitions such as the Thought for Food Challenge and, if friends ask me, I also give them a helping hand.
You can find your inspiration in the most unusual places and people in your life. You don`t even have to search for it. You just have to be there when it comes.