Sunday evening and I am sitting at my desk, wondering what to blog about in the month of June. To be a successful blogger you have to blog regularly and about topics that are interesting and add value to people’s lives. There are so many topics that I’d like to research and discuss in my blogs, but somehow I always find that I never have the time, or that the timing isn’t right or even worse, that I am not in the right ‘state of mind’ to put together a genuinely interesting blog for you all to read.
So this blog is going to be a little different from my other blogs and the topics I usually like to write about. The aim of it is to give you an insight into how I actually find inspiration to write and hopefully it will be a little helpful for you too.
Writing, blogging or generally creating content can be quite hard, but blogging especially has become very popular and actually quite competitive. Those that blog ‘part-time’ or have a full-time job that takes up the majority of their week, know that it can be a challenge to do the research and create blogs that people actually want to read. The trick is to avoid looking at your writing as a chore or as a responsibility that you have towards your readers. Writing should be an activity that you thoroughly enjoy doing and should never be seen as something that you ‘have to do’. So if you find yourself worrying that you won’t be able to produce articles or blogs as regularly as you would like or if you have been finding this to be a stressful activity so far, then keep reading.
The following tips are all ones that I have tried, practiced for over a year now and that I can guarantee, actually work!
1 . Spend 10 minutes ‘free-writing’ daily.
Some of you may be the type to sit in a chair and write for 2-3 hours straight without moving, until you have produced and finalised a well-written article that is ready to go live on your blog or website on the same day! The truth is though that the majority of us bloggers need time to come up with a blog topic, spend some time writing it up, and then even more time reviewing it before we feel confident about it being published. Sounds familiar? This is totally how I work, and I must confess sometimes it can take me weeks before I finalize my blogs and feel happy for them to go on my website.
One thing that I do though to make my life just a little easier, is keep track of my thoughts and emotions on a regular basis. Even if it is just a rough idea that I type as a draft in my phone notes or an idea that I scribble into my diary or on a scrap piece of paper, I find that it really helps me when I’m finally ready to sit down and brainstorm. If you are worried about losing control of all the notes you have made, you can even create a little notepad or board, in order to have everything in one place and use when you are ready to bring everything together.
2 . Create an inspiring writing space.
It has been said that beautiful surroundings make us happier, more creative and more productive. Whatever they may be, find the things that motivate you to write and put them right next to you, when you are about to start typing away. This could be a pile of your favourite books or magazines that you enjoy reading, a pretty pot with a plant in it, a photograph of a happy memory, or even some freshly brewed tea. Some people may find it easier to work when there is nothing at all on their desk as it helps them maintain a clear mind without any visible distractions. Others may even prefer to abandon their desk or their home all together and go to their favourite café with their laptop, where they can people-watch (if they are visual people) or listen to music (if there are acoustic people). Wherever the working space that boosts your mood and gives you those creative atvibes is, make sure you make it your ‘go to’ happy place!
3 . Dip into a journal of literature or quotes that you love.
This is one of my favourite things to do when I am struggling with my writing. On the occasions when I have run out of ideas, or I feel like the inspiration is just not there, I reach out to my favourite books and writers. On some occasions I even watch an inspiring movie that I haven’t watched in years, just to get my mind in a place that will give me the drive to write. A favourite writer of mine is Alexandra Elle, an author, wellness consultant, and creative who began her writing journey in her pre-teen years, where she found it to be a form of therapy and healing. I also really enjoy reading the Breathe Magazine which is all about wellbeing, mindfulness, creativeness and escaping. Each issue includes beautiful illustrations, craft projects, and inspiring features such as how to achieve relief from stress, increase resilience and find greater happiness – so definitely check it out.
For those who are interested in business, get your inspiration from the Dialogue Magazine, which is an original, practical and world-class journal, which focuses on key issues and challenges encountered by business leaders and managers across the globe. If this magazine doesn’t inspire you to want to write, then I don’t know what will.
Just remember, even if you don’t write/blog, there is nothing better than spending a few hours of your day blocking out the world and losing yourself in the magical words of other creatives. As J. K. Rowling once said ‘Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic’.
4 . Set small attainable writing goals (or no goals at all).
Sometimes having a specific goal in mind can be rather stressful and the pressure of having to reach that goal may even be leading you towards the wrong direction. The secret about writing is to let yourself say what you want to say and stop worrying about what you think you should be saying. What makes truly interesting blogs are those that mirror the true personality and writing style of the author. There is no point trying to be someone you’re not by creating unnecessary restrictions when it comes to your inspiration. Avoid saying things like ‘I’m going to write 1000 words tonight, or my blog has to be read by at least 200 people’. You shouldn’t be worrying about the end result, you should be concerned about making sure your writing is original, interesting, unique and innovative.
5 . Have a specific person or incident in mind.
There are various kinds of bloggers out there, who blog about different subjects, but all of them have one thing in common: They all rely on other sources of inspiration! Inspiration can fire up unexpectedly from our life experiences, events or incidents that take place at a specific time and can be the motivation for us to write. Other ‘influencers’ can also empower us and give us something to write about, being other writers, poets, musicians, scientists, politicians or even the people that surround us such as our friends and family. It’s quite useful to make a list of everything that you find interesting to read about and make a point of actively looking-out for topics you are passionate about. Simple things like meeting a new person or realising you really admire a person can give you a fresh insight and can change your whole writing style.
6 . Read over what you have written out so far nice and loudly.
A simple but highly recommendable technique, otherwise known as proof reading! Make sure you’ve checked that you haven’t missed any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Listen to yourself read and evaluate whether everything you wrote makes sense and would maintain the interest of the reader. If you still feel unsure about the final version, you can always get a copywriter to do the work for you.
7 . Get constructive feedback.
So finally, you’ve finished the writing and now it’s time to pass your baby on, in order to get some feedback and find out if it’s any good. Allow me to say ‘Congratulations’ here, as finishing/half-finishing a draft of ‘something’ is a little miracle and I really feel the exhaustion you have probably experienced by this point! So just before you head to bed, don’t forget to email it to a friend or a family member and mention in the body of the email that they need to give it a read though. If you really want the feedback to be constructive, try to send it to some cold-hearted, brutally honest friend who you know will criticize it, rip it apart and tell you to start all over again.