Is the feeling of having to ‘create content’ killing your creativity?

25 November

Is the feeling of having to ‘create content’ for your business stressing you out? Does it feel like a chore? I know that this is a real issue for many business owners. And yet you have valuable ideas to share. Today, I’m suggesting a technique to help you inject some fun into this important area of your business. It starts with taking a content creation sabbatical.

Creating content

Here’s the thing – Much of what we read online is not new to us.
Some of it bores us. Or it’s interesting but there’s too much throat clearing. Think of an article that you did enjoy reading – I bet that the person brought the idea to life because they looked at it in a new way.

Content creation sabbatical

The purpose of this post is to plant a new seed in your head! Creating exciting content involves practising your creativity muscle. Treat yourself to a two week writing sabbatical and try something different –

Scribble
, type or record some ideas that interest you. Carry a notebook in your pocket. Question what excites you. Stand on your head or look down from a height. What other ways can you interpret this idea? Forget about the general viewpoint. Feck Perfunction. Maybe it’s time to take yourself less seriously?

Dominic Wilcox

Variations on normal

Dominic Wilcox is an illustrator and inventor who looks at his everyday world in hilarious ways. This video called ‘Variations on normal’ encouraged me to question how I view the world. It made me question what I believe to be true. I think that this is essential skill for innovative content creators.

My tips

Question your beliefs. See new possibilities. Laugh more. Now, share your ideas and get some feedback. You’re not writing for validation; you’re writing because you believe you have something worth sharing.

This is a topic I write about frequently – these posts might give you some more ideas:

  • How much thought do you give to your personal brand?
    In this post I ask you to consider what you would like to be known for? Every piece of content that you share online says something about you. Only talk and write about things that genuinely interest you. This is particularly true for blogging. Value your time and ideas!

  • How to set yourself sane, humane and reasonable goals.
    This one idea from Alexandra Franzen had a huge impact on how I work. Let’s start by being kinder to ourselves.

  • Why blogging is not about finding your voice
    It’s about discovering that voice.

  • Sometimes we need to unplug
    Finally, it is perfectly OK to disengage from the web sometimes Give yourself a break, give your ideas space to grow and develop. Chill out. You’ll come back full of ideas!

    Writers block or writers weariness strikes me too, but I got some great advice from a colleague recently; value and own your ideas and put them out there into the world. In addition I’d suggest looking at the world like Dominic Wilcox sometimes!
    I offer a range of writing classes – let me know if you’d like some help.

     

  • Real people talking honestly about stuff versus SEO

    6 June

    why-i-love-medium-articles

    I’m standing barefoot on my high horse today. Friday is the day to share my thoughts on two things; my love of (the writing platform) Medium and my exhaustion with the world of keywords, algorithms and search engine optimisation. What does it mean to connect with humans on the web these days? Should all conversations start by researching the words that people are most likely to click on? Or should we start with ideas that make us jump up and down?

    Have you noticed that a lot of people are regurgitating the same content? People are afraid of standing out or speaking their opinions out loud. This is what draws me to the magic of Medium – a shared writing platform for a community of writers. It’s a blog style site that was set up by two founders of Twitter – they wanted to give us more than 140 characters to tell our stories!

    Getting real means presenting a less ‘perfect’ picture of ourselves some of the time. Can we get comfortable with that? I know it takes a bit of practice! Maybe it’s time to take a break from looking at your own industry. When I blogged about the wedding industry, I stopped reading other bridal blogs because it was too tempting to write in a similar way. How about looking at how a butcher tells their story?

    It’s so easy for me to sum up the magic of Medium below – I recommend you check it out. It’ll inspire you to write with honesty and purpose. What’s the point otherwise?

    1. It’s got a clean simple layout with a large font size – yes, that makes me feel relaxed already!

    This is one of the most important elements of your blog or website. Make it a calm place where people want to spend time. Get a good interior designer to help you out!

    2. People choose titles and sub-headers that make your brain whir with anticipation – how about Basil, Babcock Peaches and Salt Air?

    When I scroll through the article titles, my brain gets a work-out! Keywords are replaced with exciting words that make me want to find out more. Check these out:
    “The Sky’s the limit” is bullshit. Think small. That’s the answer.
    Basil, Babcock Peaches and Salt Air.

    3.Articles are curated into collections so you can explore writing of a similar theme.

    Here are some collections to explore:
    On writing; The messy, imperfect, wonderfully strange world of being a writer. And many of the other thoughts that happen to occupy the mind.
    What I learned today; Reflect on your day by sharing one thing that you learned. Mistakes are welcome.
    Human parts; Human Parts explores the patchwork of the human condition through personal writing.

    4. Most writers are opinionated and offer me the chance to question my beliefs!

    Such as Starting your own business will not make you happy

    5. By signing up to their newsletter, you’ll receive a small number of recommended articles to read… a sweet pond compared to the ocean of distractions that bombard us daily!

    Finally I’ll leave you with a thought-provoking article titled “20 things I should have known at 20” by Juien Smith. You’ll find more of his great articles on this site.

    What do you think about the heavy emphasis on analytics and keyword searches? I’d love to hear your thoughts publicly below or over a coffee or something stronger!