Where does inspiration come from?

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Finding inspiration to write from week to week has proven to be a bigger challenge than the actual task of writing. It’s hard to find a balance between finding something that both interests the author and [hopefully] the potential reader.

You can try everything,

but somehow, still manage to draw blanks.

When you finally give up on finding something inspirational, inspiration hits you —like the idea of writing about inspiration itself.

Let’s define inspiration:

Inspiration is a motivational state that compels individuals to bring ideas into fruition.“(Oleynick, Thrash, LeFew, Moldovan, & Kieffaber, 2014)

Neurologically, it’s hard to define where inspiration comes from [and the paper cited above explains why]. However, if we think of inspiration as part of the creative process, inspiration can be the motivational link between creativity and the products of creativity.

Maybe I can try to [succinctly] map this process:

  1. Our experiences and observations in the world often elicit emotional responses, activating our Limbic System (the emotion centre of our brain).
  2. Emotional triggers activate our Nucleus Accumbens and stimulate Dopamine production, which work together to produce motivational, pleasure-seeking cognition and behaviour.
  3. The emotional motivation stimulates our creativity, and neuroplasticity allows us to rewire neuronal connections between concepts so that we can think about these concepts in new, creative ways.
  4. The pleasure-seeking nature of motivation inspires use to our creativity to create products that will ultimately be rewarding and pleasurable to us.

I’m not claiming to be an expert on inspiration, nor am I claiming to have written the most creative product of the treasure trove that is the internet. However, after wracking my brain, exploring inspiration has inspired me to write this post and [thankfully] a number of others to come.

Three-hundred and sixty-two words later, I’m pleased to report that inspiration has done its job.




Oleynick, V. C., Thrash, T. M., LeFew, M. C., Moldovan, E. G., & Kieffaber, P. D. (2014). The scientific study of inspiration in the creative process: challenges and opportunities. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Baas, M., Roskes, M., Sligte, D., Nijstad, B. A., & De Dreu, C. K. (2013). Personality and creativity: The dual pathway to creativity model and a research agenda. Social and Personality Psychlogy Compass, 732-748

All GIFs were sourced from www.giphy.com, and do not belong to MultiMension.

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