We’ve been talking a lot this month about content planning and time management. But what happens when you can’t even get to square one? The inspiration step. That all important before-you-even-plan-what-to-write step.
My work flow sometimes looks like this:
-Open new blog draft.
-Stare at screen.
-Get a snack.
-Come back and hope the writing fairy wrote something.
-Be very disappointed.
Yeah, that’s no way to get shit done. Or started.
I recently wrote a post called “Break the Imposter Chain” on my other blog, Gardening In High Heels. A lot of the techniques I explored to bust through that imposter rut also apply to finding things to write about.
Back when I was part of Emily Cassel’s Freedom is Sexy Sister Circle, she introduced me to Goddess Cards. They’re oracle cards that give you a boost or insight you can use to guide your day.
Well, I kept drawing Cordelia. She advises you to “Go Outside.” It’s the best way to reconnect to Source Energy and to keep yourself grounded. It also provides a jump-start for your brain so you can think clearly and refocus on the task at hand.
Plus, walking has been found to increase creativity by 60% (and it’s good for your body, too).
People watching can be a mindless activity. Or you can put on your creative pants and use it to help your writing.
Take a look at what someone is doing. Then write a story around it. It’s better with friends.
For example, before a Pens game, myself and my boyfriend stopped for dinner. There was a couple at the end of the bar who barely said two words to each other the entire time we were there. He suggested that maybe they had a fight on the way over. So I started to think about the scenarios that would lead to a fight between a middle-aged couple before a hockey game.
The longer it goes on, the sillier it gets, and the more you have to stretch your creativity to come up with ideas.
Read Another Genre
Do you ever look at Pinterest and think, “Everyone and their dog has written about Instagram. Why should I even bother???” I don’t know about you, but I do that all the time.
We sometimes get so sucked into our niche, learning everything we can about it and exploring it from all angles that it’s hard to come up with something original to say.
When that happens, I pick up a fiction or read something funny on BuzzFeed. Anything to change gears a bit and get myself out of the black-niche-hole I’ve fallen into.
Bake. Craft. Paint.
Think about what you liked to do as a kid. Did you always play in your mom’s makeup? Finger paint? Color? Bake? Basically pick something that gave you hours of entertainment as a kid. Chances are good it still will. And it’ll probably spark something in you that’ll act as a pick-me-up.
Just do anything, even something kinda mindless to you that you enjoy. It’ll reset your brain.
There are a bunch of lists on Pinterest like, “500 things to write about when you don’t know what to write about.” Find one of those. Pick a topic. Start writing.
So now that you’re armed with some places to look, get it going!