7 Ideas to Make Blogging Your Creative Habit
Content is the best part of blogging — good material provides a platform for action and even a few bonus insights to the reader. For the writer, the height comes from the pleasure of turning a great concept, composing a good sentence, sometimes earning something in addition to reputation. Trading hard earned knowledge to have it.
How do you face that empty screen, the blank digital canvas that stares back at you? Day in, day out looking to come up with post ideas. You power up the computer, open your program, look at the white space and what do you see? I would like to suggest that what you see is possibility. Make creativity a habit. Choreographer Twyla Tharp has made a career of it. You can, too.
Forget your “but’s”, “maybe’s”, and all the other defeatist thoughts — it doesn’t take extraordinary talent to be creative. It takes discipline. Set daily routines for yourself, and transform what you thought was just a stroke of genius, the spark of a rare moment into a habit — your creative habit.
It takes work, and it takes commitment. When you decide to blog for money it takes healthier doses of both — do a reality check with Darren Rowse and ProBlogger. The good news is that it is possible for you, too. If you are willing to loosen up a little.
To be creative, you need to know how to prepare to be creative. It’s about much more than quality of presentation, it’s about being able to bridge between what you see in your mind and what you present to the world — skill is how you build that bridge. And you build your skill with practice.
– Immerse yourself completely in what you are doing. No multitasking, no background music, no distractions from what is in your mind. All of those activities are mere crutches that delay your moment of truth — when you start typing and the words flow onto the page. Listen to what your mind is saying.
– Discover what is the one tool that feeds your creativity. Then find a way to make it portable. For a writer it may be a pen and a pad of paper to be able to jot notes. I type my posts, but I like to jot down notes anywhere I am to capture moments of inspiration.
– Reveal yourself. In other words, learn to understand your patterns, sources of inspiration, what makes your writing work. The real secret of creativity is to go back and remember. Use your memories to rediscover new ways to talk about topics.
– Start a creative box with your notes, images, and all the sensory information you need to store your ideas for when you’re ready to retrieve them to tell a story. We tend to do that in rapid fire format, it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes a topic becomes much better with the passing of time. The box is your preparation.
– Improvise and see what happens. I wrote some of my best posts on the spur of the moment. Let your inhibitions go and just write. Want to know my secret? When I start feeling the tingling in my belly, the thought of being a little scared, I am certain I’m on to something. Trust your gut, it’s an excellent guide. If you never dare write it, you’ll never know.
– Build a bridge to the next day. Never completely finish everything you have on your plate. You may notice that your moment of peak energy is just after you have written a killer post. Start another one, begin outlining the idea before you leave it for the next day. You will be glad you did, as it will be provide a launching pad for generating more material when you start working the following day. it’s a jump start. I try to work at least two days ahead of myself so I have time to edit, tighten, research, insert that inspiring phrase.
– Find your very own validation squad. This is a group of people that does not have an agenda and you know will be candid with you. Seek their counsel, test drive ideas with them. Sometimes all we need is for our idea to be heard to tackle it.
Confidence is a trait that can be earned and needs to be refreshed constantly. Make blogging your creative habit and your will uncover limitless opportunities to generate content and have fun with it.
With New World attitude and Italian style, Fast Company expert blogger and Conversation Agent Valeria Maltoni demonstrates her unique talent for synthesizing marketing, public relations, and communications. See how customer relationships are always conversations, and why this knowledge is essential to doing business in the Information Age. Valeria also blogs at the Marketing Profs Daily Fix and Marketing 2.0.
This is a great article and a concept that I have been struggling with lately. I have been working on a personal blog but I have some ideas for other web projects. But will anyone but me be interested? Should I write for money or altruistically? Probably a bit of both.
So the question becomes do you jump in with both feet and give it your best, improving as you go, or do you sit on the sidelines afraid that your work won’t be good enough or that it will be ignored entirely?
Go for it, Sheila. Ideas get better when they have air to breathe and context to develop. I know creative types especially need a lot of feedback — the sensibility that makes you good at being that way is also what makes you vulnerable.
That’s why you find a validation squad. It’s more than a mentor, it’s a sounding board. You need to hear your idea out loud to think it through.
Of course I had to get your name wrong, Shane :D
I find that on some days I am full of great ideas and others it is like you describe – A big blank white screen. I am with you on writing spur of the moment…some of my best post have been just a thought popping into my head and then writing. In Real Estate it seems that there are many bloggers that just pop out a post as fast as they can with no thought to the content. I know I could do that as well but can’t bring myself to doing it.
Thanks for the feedback and encouragement. So funny that this caught my attention on the same day as Chris G wrote “Just Jump In!” – maybe it’s the universe telling me something? Onward an upward – from a personal blog to who knows where!
@Bill — it happens to everyone, even famous choreographers. I think the secret is learning how to manage yourself and set energy aside for those rainy days. I’m like you with content, I need to deliver according to my value proposition.
@Shane — so you are moving to Japan! That is very exciting news. It’s one of the places I’d like to visit one day. Glad you’re tuned in to where you’d like to go next, that’s important.
You are spot on with your advice. I am always struggling to write good blogging articles. You are absolutely right about creativity becoming a habit or discipline. When I force myself to sit down and write, the creative juices start flowing after awhile and I can come up with many topics. Next term I am going to take a magazine writing article class at the local community college and see if that helps.
This is such a good article! I especially appreciate how you focus on positive tricks of discipline and creativity.
I started a blog in February. I wrote only 4 posts and told no one about it. I had the same doubts and questions that Shane S mentions above. Like Shane S, I too have lots of ideas for other projects.