You’ve produced an editorial calendar, have your writing tools and research sources. But you have a massive to-do list, including blog posts to write, and for some reason the darn things refuse to write themselves. What if you could get them to do that? I have – many times. I can’t tell you why it happens, but here are some tips that might just help you get your creative flow on.
- Consume content. Not only should you consume a lot of content, you should consume a variety from different channels/ platforms:
- TV Channels + film.
- Internet (print, audio, video).
Consumption of a variety of content is the primary reason that writing usually (but not always) comes easy to me. Just make sure you’re capable of squirreling away facts for later use.
- Change your point of view. This can be a physical change or a conceptual change. Move to another room, or put yourself in the place of a potential reader.
- Take a break. Overtasking your mind, without a break, is the quickest way to squash creativity and become mentally fatigued. Light physical activity gets your blood flowing, which guarantees your brain is getting enough oxygen – something that might be hampered by sitting for long periods. Just getting up and walking around can help.
- Change modes. If writing what you need to write isn’t happening, write something else. Write reviews, check out writing tools, write some email.
- Sleep on it. If all else fails, setting a project aside for a night often gives you clarity. If you’ve done all the research, prep and planning you can, letting your subconscious take over frees up the creative side. Given all the prep, I often wake up with articles already written in my head, and simply have to type them up fast before they fade from memory.
- Try creative exercises. Jason Rekulak’s book Writer’s Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination(non-affiliate), is shaped like a block. And it’s packed full of good ideas. Try scribbling down answers to silly or fun questions, doodling or drawing. Write nonsense words that rhyme. Or not. Just don’t impose any limitations on yourself while you do this. You are not writing/ doodling for publication.
- Eliminate guilt. Don’t think this will affect you? All I can say is believe me, it will. Guilt about something makes you focus on it the matter at hand, not your work. So you’re distracted and cannot think creatively.
- Eliminate stress. Stress also blocks creativity. Take a micro-break by doing a bit of deep breathing, or turn on some familiar or creativity-inducing music that invigorates you and/or reminds you of good times.
- Stop censoring yourself. Write what you want first, and what you need will come of it’s own accord. Not letting out what you want will produce writer’s block.
- Emulate, then diverge. Successful fiction writers start by emulating the writers they enjoy. And over time, they develop their own style, by changing a few elements here and there. This advice applies to other types of writing, including blogging. But if you’re forcing yourself to develop a new style without knowing what it is, good luck finding creativity.
- Utilize your cycles. Creativity is cyclical. As someone who’s been writing nearly 30 years, whether in my journal or professionally, I know this to be true. Utilize your peak times, forgive your lows. During the latter, you can do non-creative work such as research, administrative tasks, communications, commenting on other blogs or forums. Or you can brainstorm or map out ideas.