Laura Spaventa is Social Media Manager for HARO.
I recently found myself staring at my blank computer. I had been assigned to write my first blog post for Vocus and I was stumped. And I was supposed to be an ‘expert’ in creating content.
Luckily, my creative fairy godmother showed up and bestowed the inspiration for the blog upon me in the form of a sidebar in Forbes, which discussed the various ways people can find their creative sparks.
Claire Dederer, a journalist and author, said, “Check into an expensive hotel. Bring whatever you need to get hopped up: candy, bourbon, coffee, nicotine patches. Also, pants with an elastic waist. Give the remote to the front desk. Now, write 10,000 words. If you feel blocked, just think about all the money you are wasting.”
I do not know about you, but I do not have a piggy bank of spare change laying around . So, how can ‘normal’ people break through slumps in order to generate unique content on a daily or weekly basis?
Here are five easy and effective tips you can implement to rediscover your creative content mojo:
1. Find Your Secret Weapon
“We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own and other people’s models, learn to be ourselves and allow our natural channel to open.”- Shakti Gawain
I started to pay attention to how I broke down my creative barriers and I noticed I had a secret weapon to get through my funks: stilettos.
You are probably thinking, “Who is this girl?”, but hear me out. The days I came into the office in heels, I created some of my best work and came up with some of my best content.
I do not know why heels seem to be the little trick up my creative sleeve, but I know they work for me. Obviously, many of you would experience the opposite effect if you slipped your feet into a great pair of shoes. Think about something that makes you feel good and could possibly spark your creative side: your favorite pen, your favorite picture, a great tie, etc.
Your secret weapon does not even have to be a physical item. Find whatever works for you.
2. Step Away From the Desk
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” -JFK
I view my desk as a dead end for creative ideas. How am I supposed to come up with imaginative content sitting at a slab of wood? Some of my best ideas have come to me while going for a walk outside or exercising.
Even if you just want to get away from your desk and not think, a workout is a great way to clear your head and gain energy to tackle crafting ingenious content.
3. Always Be Prepared
“I am my most creative between three and five a.m. That’s the way it has always been.” –Marilyn Manson
Alright readers, it is time to think like a scout: Be prepared. You never know when your next great creative insight will hit you, so always have a piece of paper and pen or your smart phone on you.
Start to become aware of the times of day you do the majority of your thinking and the activities that allow these ideas to come forward. Awareness of these creative times and activities will help tremendously, but do not limit yourselves. You should still have a recording tool available at all times. For instance, an idea may dawn on you while driving to work and Siri is a great tool to safely record said idea.
I have lost so many potential great ideas for content because they popped up randomly and I did not have a way to record them. Do not let your great ideas go off into Never, Never, Land. Be prepared.
4. What Inspires You?
“Most people have a passive relationship with music and clothes, with culture. But music was my first contact with anything creative. Music is it, as far as I am concerned.” –Martin Freeman
Sometimes creativity comes from viewing the products of others’ imagination. Stop for a minute and think about what inspires you. Is it art? What about music? Does nature spark the creative flow?
Carve time out to immerse yourself in the activities, surroundings, etc, which inspire you. Try to shake things up and incorporate several different outlets to stimulate your creative genius.
5. Alleviate the Pressure
“Most artists have experienced the creative block. We get stuck in our work. We beat our head against the wall: nothing. Sometimes, it is because we are trying something at the wrong time.” –Lukas Foss
Obviously we all have deadlines and most of the time pressure goes hand in hand with the project(s) you are working on. However, sometimes you may just be stuck and cannot break down the barrier looming in your creative path. If possible, take the pressure off your shoulders.
You know my first blog assignment I mentioned at the beginning of this post? You’re reading it. I called it quits early on the day I hit my creative wall, so that I could regroup and rethink. The next morning, I came in refreshed and tackled this post.
How do you find your creative zest? Please share below!
Image: Eraphernalia Vintage (Creative Commons)