We have a saying around the office:
“Inspiration often comes from imitation”
We’re not sure if it’s original, or whether we’ve nicked it from someone else, but we do like the idea of it.
No, we’re not taking about plagiarism. We’re talking about looking at other people’s work and identifying the best bits.
Its funny – by spending just a few minutes away from your problem and looking at how others solved a similar one, all kinds of new strategies & ideas come to the fore.
We cannot find out who said this, but we saw someone’s very similar thoughts on an Amazon discussion board recently.
“If I can’t write… I read.
If I can’t cook… I go out to eat.
If I can’t draw… I go to an art museum.
The intent is not to copy what you see, but immersing yourself in that activity can get your brain focused on the right area. When I read, for example, a single sentence may catch my attention. By the time I’ve worked it over, fit it into my life, and daydreamed through it, the idea will probably have no relation to what I read, but seeing the words get my words started. I may even flat-out disagree with what I’ve seen or heard, but that’s a starting point, too!”
So if you are in a rut, why not try spending some time with peers (either actual or virtual) and immerse yourself in their work. You might be surprised what you come up with.