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How to keep yourself inspired most of the time
Strike while the iron is hot.
Hi, and welcome to the 51st edition of The Plot! More than a hundred new readers joined us in the past ten days, and I’m thrilled to have you here 🤩 If you’ve been around for a while, you may have noticed that I didn’t publish a newsletter last week.
I’ve been writing The Plot for a year and a half now. Most of the time, I get inspired by an idea and develop it into a newsletter. One edition, one idea, one message. Most of the time, I have plenty of topics dancing in the back of my head. Every once in a while though, especially when work gets (too) busy, the inspiration dries up.
Which is what happened last week. So instead of forcing it, I decided to skip a week.
Such are rare occasions, but if they happen to you too, here are my best tips to keep you inspired most of the time.
Keep an eye on the field.
I regularly browse through recent data design and storytelling pieces. This helps me keep up to date with recent developments and get inspiration for projects I’m working on. Some of my favourite means to do so are:
Browsing through the links in the Quantum of Sollazzo newsletter;
Reading Datawrapper’s weekly dispatch;
Often, what I stumble upon won’t be directly related to my projects of the day. But more often than not they plant a seed that germinates when I need it in the future.
But delve into other worlds, too.
There’s so much to be explored in the world of data, design, and storytelling. It’s impossible to go through it all. And you shouldn’t try. To have a unique and innovative approach to your work, it can sometimes be more beneficial to dive deeper into seemingly unrelated topics. Here are two podcast which have inspired my approach to data storytelling in unexpected ways:
What are yours?
When in doubt, step away from the screen.
If you’ve been reading The Plot for a while, you already know that I’m a book nerd. I’ve got so many dataviz and design books that soon they’ll need a room of their own in my house. The reason I love design books so much is that they allow me to browse for inspiration outside of the screen. Although the internet is a true treasure trove for real-world use cases, sometimes it just doesn’t tickle my brain in the same way as turning physical pages does.
If looking at printed designs still doesn’t get your creative juices flowing, there’s nothing better than going for a walk to think. 🚶🏻♂️
I hope these will help you keep the inspiration coming! Sometimes, when you’re really not inspired at all, just take a break. Do something else, perhaps completely unrelated. Then come back to the task with fresh eyes.
With that thought, I’m heading to the gym 🏋🏻
See you next week,
Data storytelling bootcamp: new cohort
Want to learn how to turn data insights into actionable stories? Join the next cohort of my data storytelling course. It will be an insightful, fun, and interactive experience—check out the testimonials from previous participants who have rated the course at 4.8/5 ⭐️. As a reader of The Plot, you get 10% off with the code THEPLOT10. See you there!