Clearly, I’ve hit a slump in my writing.
Unless you’re someone who follows along with my somewhat acceptable blogging (hi mom), you won’t know that my goal was to write a blog post every day. Needless to say, I’ve failed at that.
There are a couple of strategies I’m going to use from here on out that I’ve unintentionally picked up through my regular inspiration channels, and I’m going to share them here in order to:
- Use this list as a blog post in and of itself (two birds, one stone).
- Have it here for me to refer to when I’m feeling particularly uninspired or unmotivated.
- Give someone who may be reading this some good resources and introduce them to new influencers or brilliant minds.
Come To Terms With Your Own Crappy Content
I read Medium a lot. There are lots of good articles that cover literally everything you might be interested in, written by a wide variety of people who love to write just for fun. Just like me.
One of the best articles I’ve come across is about how to keep yourself creating. It acknowledges that people are scared to start doing something that other people will judge or hate. It keeps us in a state of paralyzing analyzation and has us sitting for too long on ideas that are just going to a) come out anyway b) have the potential to be great but just waste away in their lack of materialization.
Everyone is a beginner, so we have to come to terms with the fact that in the first stages of doing something new, we’re probably going to be really bad at it. The only way to get better is to keep doing it over and over. You can’t evolve something if you’re not moving forward with it.
Once you wrap your head around the idea that writing crappy words is an unavoidable part of the process, you’ll write more.
Ayodeji Awosika, on Medium
You’re supposed to suck as a beginner, and everyone starts as one.
Do it every day.
This is always the advice people who talk about creativity and inspiration give, but for good reason.
I watch a popular travel photographer and self-proclaimed “Advanced Selfie Queen”, Sorelle Amour. This girl is crazy. Crazy inspiring, crazy creative, crazy weird. It’s awesome.
She recently made a video where she tried living like Casey Neistat for a week. He has a famously strict schedule that includes a shitload of running, extremely early mornings, and a highly efficient work schedule. I must admit I had fun watching her struggle and was proud when she completed a 10k run every morning (Casey actually runs 30 miles which is NUTS), but the big thing I took away from it? She was forced to make a video every day just like Casey.
I legitimately thought I was struggling creating two videos a week, and now I was forced to do seven. But I’m so re-inspired and I’m loving it and I’m capable of creating so much, which I never thought I was going to be able to do. The amount of videos that [I was] sitting on, the amount of ideas that I had to create these videos, but I was always coming up with some sort of excuse; maybe people wouldn’t like it, maybe it’s not the right topic, this is kind of boring, no one wants to watch it… but when you’re so busy and you have a scedule, you just have to do it. You don’t have time to overthink so you just create.
And that’s what the goal should be, right? To just create.
Take someone else’s idea, and put your own twist on it.
Did you really enjoy that inspirational article you read? Did you enjoy the vibe of the short story someone posted? The style of a video? The look of a painting?
Use that inclination towards things you like to make it your own. You’re going to feel more motivated if you’re producing something you already know you like, and it’s going to go faster and be more enjoyable if you already have an idea of what the end result will look like.
BUT, don’t replicate! Besides the fact that this can lead to plagiarism (biiiig no no), you won’t ever be someone else other than yourself, and nor should you want to be. In order to produce something in the same realm as the product or the person that inspired you, you’ll need to challenge your skills and evolve your creativity to make it your own. That’s where the magic happens, baby.
When in doubt, write poetry.
This is definitely more geared towards myself, but I find it much easier to produce writing if I don’t force myself to put out 800 words or find a topic that I can talk at length about.
My poetry is always short and vague. It helps me when I’m feeling a certain way or want to convey a feeling but only have words that allude to a situation or a vibe. It makes me look at different types of words different ways and forces me to think about metaphors and similes and adjectives in a whole new light. Words can mean so much and when you use them sparingly, you are forced to choose the right ones.
Show up for someone, most of all yourself.
In the same article I read about coming to terms with sucking at something, Ayodeji Awosika mentions that he focuses on other people. And while I feel this can be a powerful motivator, I think it’s more important to stick with something for yourself first.
You should only be doing something if it makes you feel good to produce it. While it might not always feel good to force yourself to do it, as long as it consistently makes you feel good to create it, you know you’re on the right track.