Chances are, if you have a blog it serves as a content marketing medium for something else, whether it’s your startup, SaaS company, your online course or product, or your business. Most bloggers aren’t just in it for sharing ideas (though the best bloggers enjoy doing just that). On top of writing and promoting articles, you’ve got a business to run.
During your busy day, you’ve almost certainly run into the problem of sitting down to write and being unable to muster any creativity whatsoever. This is because most of the tasks you do throughout the day probably tend to be more analytical, more left-brain type tasks. Meanwhile, coming up with a great blog post is more creative and right-brain focused.
Actually, ‘creative’ is probably not the best word here since lots of those analytical activities take immense amounts of creative thinking. Anyone who writes code rightfully scoffs at any suggestion that their job is not creative. Maybe artistic is a better word to use (though we’ve all met that guy that thinks he’s the da Vinci of development).
Either way, switching quickly between right and left brain tasks is difficult for most people. Here are some creative writing tips that you can implement to propel your creativity.
Reading is by far the best way to get yourself into a writing frame of mind. Over everything else on this list, reading is the most likely way to get your right brain working. It has the added bonus of being one of the best ways to inspire new blog post topics, while at the same time keeping you up-to-date on developments in your field.
While it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends within your industry by reading publications, try to expand your horizons into different, unrelated genres. It’s always a good idea to occasionally remove yourself from your work. Not only will this give you the opportunity to come back to your own writing with a fresh perspective, but you might also learn something applicable to your career from a completely unexpected resource.
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts work for inspiring the creative process in the same way as reading. If you listen to podcasts that relate to your business, you’ll likely find topic inspiration there. Listening to podcasts isre more passive than reading, so the effect may not be as strong, but they also let you multitask a bit more by doing something that doesn’t take too much mental strain.
If you can catch a podcast, clean your desk, and bang out a blog post, you’ve had a nice little run of productivity. As a bonus, they tend to be spoken in a blog writing style so they can get your mind thinking this way as well.
Furthermore, podcasts are a great way to be introduced to different forms of storytelling. Many popular podcasts have vastly different narrative styles, which is ideal when looking for additional inspiration to cover certain topics within your own blogs.
Bundle Creative Tasks
If your workweek has any other artistic-type tasks, try to do your blogging at the same time as these (well, obviously not at the same time, but either right before or after). These could be more obviously creative things like reviewing or creating design work, but they can be less obvious as well.
Your day-to-day brief emailing probably doesn’t get the creative juices flowing too much, but a longer email you write to an important client, investor, media outlet, or anywhere else you really try to write well, could do the trick. If you have the time after finishing one of these, try getting a blog post written while your mind is on that track.
Time it Right
You may have other parts of your life outside of work that touch on the creative side as well. If you can do your blogging, or at least brainstorm some ideas and scribble down notes at these times, it could be just what you need to stimulate your creative mind. If you are an amateur painter or photographer, perfect! But yoga or meditation can work, as can cooking, listening to music, and watching movies.
It’s also important to be mindful of what times you’re most likely to get into the creative flow and double-down on those chunks of time. Some writers find themselves most creative early in the morning whilst others find it easier to write late at night. There is no textbook definition of a correct time to do your writing, so find what time of day works best for you, and schedule your writing accordingly.
Jam Out to Some Music
Sometimes all it takes to get ready to blog is a little music. Even if you’re coming right out of a business meeting, listening to some tunes can activate the right brain and get you in a creative mindset. For a lot of people, it can be difficult to write while listening to a song with lyrics. As a result, some writers prefer instrumental music, such as classical and electronic, while others find music in a foreign language to be less of a distraction.
Studies have shown that listening to baroque music such as Vivaldi is likely to increase divergent and creative thinking. So, the next time you hit a wall with your writing, try listening to Spring by Vivaldi to see if it kick starts your creative juices.
There are times when the only thing keeping you from writing are the nagging tasks at the back of your mind. Usually, it’s a million little things, like those unwashed dishes, the stack of half-folded laundry, or those thank you notes you meant to send out.
If these are really keeping you from writing, it’s worth setting aside the time to get them done, then coming back to blogging. Sometimes the productivity burst you get from taking care of a few small tasks is all you need to launch straight into writing. Plus, they’re often fairly low-hanging fruit and, despite the dread of doing them, turn out to be fairly easy.
Declutter Your Workspace
If you’re like most people, your desk or wherever you work tends to fill up with bits and bobs. These are things you may hardly notice while doing your other work but can be an impediment to switching into a creative state of mind for blogging. Taking a few minutes to put away, file, or just tidy up these things can go a long way toward turning on the creative tap.
Take a Walk
Staring at a blank text document or piece of paper can be antagonizing for many writers. Rather than beating yourself up for being unable to get any words on paper, take a walk outside and enjoy the scenery. It’s common knowledge that writers find their inspiration everywhere, so by disconnecting yourself for a few moments you might encounter something that sparks that elusive creative flame.
Start With a Template
That empty document can be overwhelming to jump into. Using a template can be a great way to get your thoughts flowing. If you have a format you typically follow, you can develop your own template too.
Along the same lines, outlining your content by subtopics before writing out the nitty gritty details can help get you over the barrier of starting. Many writers are so worried about being perfect that they can’t get anything out. The key is to start somewhere, and make it great by the finished product.
The final tip we have is to just write. The ideas above can all be helpful. In the end, you simply just have to write. Even if you can’t think of a single thing to say, write that. Literally, write “I can’t think of what to say. I’m supposed to be writing about X, but I can’t think of what to say about it. I know that X is important because…”
After a few sentences of this, you’ll probably find yourself writing the post. Even if what comes out isn’t usable in the end, it should still spark your writing and your creativity. Writing nonsense is still better than staring at the screen, writing nothing at all.
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