Find Inspiration Through Overload by Catharine Bramkamp

Find Inspiration Through Overload by Catharine BramkampLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Catharine Bramkamp as she shares with us “Find Inspiration Through Overload.” Enjoy!


All writers and creatives have systems and techniques to recharge and get inspired.

Some people are inspired by nature. (I’m thinking of beaches, Tahoe, or just the backyard). Some are inspired by museums or art. Some even cultivate complete boredom, forcing themselves into creation.

But some of us are actually inspired by chaos, by overload, by feeling just a little bit overwhelmed.

When you’re stuck in a rut, this kind of inspiration may be just the thing you need.

To Find Inspiration, You’ll Just Have to Shake It Up 

After a year of isolation, just buying gas may be overwhelming with all those cars, noises, and other people, so you may not be too eager to rush towards that feeling of being overwhelmed.

But it does have some advantages. Stimulation engenders creativity and creative responses.

I’ve missed overload. I miss the overwhelmingness of a museum walk―all the art crammed into that indoor space, within carved frames, glowing from spotlights.

A concert delivers similar feelings. The more mature I become, the more I’m impressed and awed by the talent and years of devotion necessary to properly play a violin.

Surrounding yourself with good art and excellent music is humbling, which is a good thing.

Find Inspiration Out Among the Chaos

The other overload I miss is the crowd. I love people watching, imagining their lives, eavesdropping on exchanges that, stripped of any context, sound like poetry.

I miss the sheer volume of ideas just parading up and down the sidewalk or through the bar.

The final overload I miss is a busy city—the lights, the traffic, the crowds, and you need to keep your head, wits, and purse about you.

I find that the overwhelmingness of teeming humanity, even freeway traffic, delivers a marvelous feeling of participation. 

How can we not admire the audacity and skills it took to build a freeway or construct a city?

Leave the Rut Behind

If you are feeling a little out of sorts, if your work and your art are languishing, go for a drive. Climb. Go out to dinner. Visit a casino. Shake it up.

A little crazy along with a lot of real-time connection can often move us from blah to brilliant.


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Catharine BramkampCatharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach, Chief Storytelling Officer, former co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast, and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, and The Future Girls series. She holds two degrees in English and is an adjunct university professor. After fracturing her wrist, she has figured out there is very little she is able to do with one hand tied behind her back.

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