• Carlos P. Beltran

How to Get Inspired


It's 2pm. 

As I order a second Stella at a dive bar in Brooklyn, a dozen story ideas swim around in my head. 80s music plays in the background. An old man asks, loudly, for his 4th pint of Guinness (British) and the sound of rain hits me from behind every time someone enters or exits the tiny place. 

I find these little bars hotspots for ideas. There have been hundreds of articles and books written on how to jumpstart creativity, ideas, motivation. I'll tell you what has always worked for me as a 7 year freelancer pitching and producing stories for some of the world's biggest networks: 

1) An afternoon at a new bar.

The tinier the better. 2 or 5 beers at a new place, where locals and regulars meet for afternoon drinks and short stories make for a great people watching session. You'll find yourself wanting to tell stories about the bar (is it pre-prohibition?), the bartender (this 75 year old guy has stories... for sure), the neighborhood, etc. Even if the story does not relate to the little bar I'm in, ideas start flowing. Effortlessly. 

Try it. Leave aside judgements and go to a local bar at 2pm (right after the lunch crowd is back in their cubicles). Ask for your beer (or drink) of choice and just wait. Open you mind and I assure you: productive creativity will hit. Want. Need to tell a story. 

2) The exact opposite. Excercise.

I don't recommend doing this on the same day you excercise option #1 for obvious reasons...

Jog. Just go on a 15, 20 minutes jog around your neighborhood. In my case, I'm lucky to be able to cross the Brooklyn bridge on every run I take, but scenery aside, the sole act of jogging, clearing your mind, and letting time pass by while your body moves, forward, makes ideas flow. 

So clear your mind. Spend 5 minutes jogging thinking about nothing. Then, without meaning to, you'll start thinking about everything: your projects, your partner, your day job, your family, your problems, your commitments, etc. When you realize you're thinking about everything and anything, make yourself think about a project you really care about. A story you want to produce or write. The characters. The music. How you would pitch it. Shoot it. Edit it. I assure you. It works. Your mind is lighter when you jog. Ideas flow. Maybe that's why some people call it the runner's high. 

Now, go drink at 2pm or jog around your neighborhood and let ideas flow. Let me know what your thoughts are and if this helped. 

Go out and tell stories. 


My brother (on the right) and I 

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@2016 - 2020 by Carlos P. Beltran