What inspires me…

As a creative dude who writes words and takes photos for a living, it seems natural enough to say that inspiration is my lifeblood.

But actually defining inspiration is a lot harder than I would have imagined. The experience of ‘being inspired’ is such a personal, subjective thing; it’s really not that easy to pin down.

One thing I know is that inspiration can’t be packaged, yet every day I’m subjected to a social media blitzkrieg of inspirational quotes and motivational posters that induce little more than mild psychic fatigue.

Here’s an example of what’s in my Facebook feed right now:

Drop in the ocean

We’re overdosing on pseudo-philosophy and faux-intellectualism, and I’m not the first person to find it all a bit irritating…

In Jonathan Anker’s recent post – 7 habits of highly annoying people on Facebook – posting an inspirational quote comes in at number 4.

Well said mate!

If I had to define what inspiration means to me, I’d say it’s the fuel that ignites new ideas, it’s the moment of realisation that there’s something more out there or something neglected within yourself that you want to explore. It’s the desire to experiment without really understanding where the process will take you.

So that’s inspiration defined, kind of. But what actually inspires me? Again, that’s not an easy question to answer, but I’ve picked out a few of my own photos that each represent some of the things that inspire me.









 Awesome Views (Without Clichéd Quotes Pasted on Top)


Remembering How Lucky I Am


BIO: Joel Stein works for a digital marketing agency in Manchester. He never leaves the house without his Nikon D90 and has a relaxed attitude to trespass laws.

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  1. beautiful post and well said! Social Media inundates us with inspirational quotes that people share, but the one special time or thing that I do that truly inspires me is taking the time to experience as many sunsets as I can every day. For some reason, watching the sunset reminds me that the day is the past and tomorrow is the future.

  2. Belle – ‘watching the sunset reminds me that the day is the past and tomorrow is the future’ is a beautiful saying and SO true! 🙂 Keep experiencing those sunsets and filling your soul with their beauty 🙂

  3. Thanks for the comment Belle, and glad you enjoyed the post!