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In Search of Inspiration | Books, Podcasts, People, & Places

Favorite Books, Podcasts, and Places for Inspiration

As a business-inclined creative type, I find that seeking constant inspiration is an essential part of my daily routine.

Blogging full-time is a business. There are e-mails to answer, proposals to accept/reject/counter, taxes to be done, legal shit to take care of, technical problems to fix, invoices to create, money to manage, etc. You catch my drift.

It isn’t all fun, photos, clothing & coffee. There is A LOT of draining, time-consuming work on the back end that oftentimes makes me want to claw my eyes out ( not to be dramatic, LOL ). The art of making things look effortless is just that: an ART.

On top of all of that, I rely on myself to come up with ideas that can stand out in the overly-saturated blogging/influencing world of today. On the creative side, it’s important to remove yourself from nagging tasks and really THINK about what inspires you & what could inspire others.

I find that separating daily to-do’s from important, reflective conversations with myself to be incredibly difficult. If I’m in work-mode, it’s challenging to switch to a more creative, personal, and inspired headspace. Ja feel?

How to Stay Inspired with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

Real inspiration, to me, is something that changes my perception of the world around me, either by tweaking it or turning it completely on its head. You know those “AHA!” moments where you’re like HOW did I NEVER see that/think of that before?? I live for those moments ( these mostly occur around 2-3 AM for me, when I’m held up in my room manically reading poetry. mad scientist vibes. )

Some nights, I find myself naturally in an inspired flow where I’m reading, writing, & thinking freely, without worrying about what’s on my to-do list tomorrow. This state is RARE, so occasionally, I induce creativity where I can through MASS amounts of inspiration. The goal is to get myself thinking differently.

Generally, I like to cultivate an atmosphere of constant inspiration, as I feel this benefits my mental health, and in-turn, my work.

I do this through reading books/poetry/interviews, writing, listening to podcasts, having conversations with people who inspire me, & visiting locations that I find special. Let’s break this down:

tricks & tools to induce inspiration

Pinterest, I Love You.
It is part of my NIGHTLY routine to hop on Pinterest for quotes, photo ideas, branding & graphic inspo, & the occasional healthy recipe. Skimming through my feed, searching through ‘similar pins’ & stalking the boards of cool people I discover is something I try to do daily. It’s like shopping for inspiration.

Another fun fact: I spent the first year of my ~blog lyfe~ scouring pinterest for blogging tips, ideas, & advice. It’s an incredible tool for more than just creative inspiration. I still use it today.

Don’t sleep on Pinterest, y’all. You can view my profile here ( more specifically, my quote board here ).

A quote I’m living off of this week is:

“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”

My favorite books, podcasts, and tricks to stay inspired // Hustle + Halcyon

Reading, duh.
This one is slightly obvious, but I, personally, am guilty of not doing enough reading on a daily basis. My go-to is non-fiction, informative books based on success in business and in life, because these are books you can always get something out of.

Right now, as many of you know, I’m obsessed with Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss ( also a big fan of his podcast! ). I also highly recommend Relentless by Tim Grover and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

BUT, I always forget about my long-lost love for modern American literature, a genre I fell in love with in late high school. These types of novels are more difficult to read on your own, because they’re less straightforward and obvious in their lessons. AKA: literature is about reading, perceiving, and then discussing those perceptions with others.

If you have someone to read/discuss with, I highly recommend mixing in some lit-style fiction into your life, because literature is ART. The topics and themes in these novels can be deep/dark, but I enjoy that kind of depth in contrast to more helpful daily tips I pick up from books about success and such.

My favorite novels of ALL TIME are: Slaughterhouse V by Kurt Vonnegut, Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahnuik, & Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

My Favorite Podcasts, Books, & Tips/Tricks to Stay Inspired // Hustle + Halcyon

Listening to Podcasts
Living in LA, I spend A LOT of time sitting in traffic, which is truly the bane of my existence. As a person who must remain productive at all times to avoid crippling anxiety ( *nervous laughter* ), I like to use this time to learn something, to be entertained, or to become, you guessed it, inspired.

I also listen to podcasts while I’m taking care of mindless to-dos. They’re mentally stimulating for times when you might be otherwise bored out of your goddamned mind.

I listen to a number of different podcasts depending on my mood, but my favorites right now are:

My Favorite Murder, for a 1-2 hour-long LAUGH. It’s a podcast about true crime that is both respectful AND funny, and everyone needs it in their lives.

The Tim Ferriss Show, for career advice, life hacks, and general inspo.

Sex with Emily, for sex-life & relationship tips and advice. There’s something about listening to a sex podcast that makes me feel very adult.


outfit details

I partnered with River Island, as per usual, to bring y’all this super-simple, work-inspired outfit. When I’m running around town ( especially at this time of year ), I dig a sweater and jeans combo that requires NO BRA. It’s all about comfort, ya know?

I’ve been a fan of River Island for awhile, & I highly recommend browsing the site!


Surrounding Myself with Badass People
At this point, in LA, MOST of my friends are bloggers/influencers. I love to surround myself with people that work in the same world that I do, because they just get it.

Being friends with so many women who run their own businesses, it’s difficult NOT to get inspired by them. We excitedly discuss the ways in which we can work together to maximize each others’ strengths, plan work trips, etc.

Genuine friendships that better my life AND my work are absolutely key in keeping me engaged in my creative life every single day.

Podcasts, Books, & Tips to Stay Inspired with Hustle and Halcyon

Put Yourself in an Inspiring PLACE.
Since I was 12, it was very obvious to me that Los Angeles was a place that spoke to me on a personal level. I knew I HAD to live here at some point in my life.

I dig the energy, the diversity, and the hard-working people that use this city to their absolute advantage.

I think that placing yourself in a location that inspires you is absolutely key in your daily happiness, your work productivity, the success of your relationships, etc. It affects everything.

I love & miss my family and friends back home in Texas, and that will always be my home and the place I feel most comfortable. BUT– I ventured out to find a place that makes me a little uncomfortable ( though I do consider myself very settled here in LA ), that challenges me, and that keeps me constantly entertained.

If you know you’re meant to exist somewhere, go there. Your work and your life becomes immediately better.


So those are my top staying-inspired tips! Like I said, I have to search for daily inspiration to keep me on my toes and to keep the content on H+H fressssshh as fuck.

What do y’all do to stay inspired??? Gimme the low-down.

Talk soon, xx

How to Stay Inspired with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

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3 Responses
  • Ewa Macherowska
    02 . 24 . 2018

    Perfect casual look 😉

    http://www.evdaily.blogspot.com

  • Sorelle
    02 . 24 . 2018

    LOVED this post!! So helpful to read as a fellow blogger!

  • Bethany Durst
    03 . 04 . 2018

    Payton this was so helpful! I’ve been in such a rut lately and been feeling so misunderstood by people who don’t get Blogging. This reminded me that I have the power over who I associate myself with and what inspiration I choose/dont choose to surround myself with. Thank you!! <3