So, how long have you been mindlessly surfing the Internet, looking for some spark of inspiration or a small push to get you back on track with creating content for your website or a client’s blog? A day? A week? A month?
Brain farts happen to everyone. For some people, myself included, our brains tend to be extremely gassy, leading to constant frustration and daily headaches. Five-year-old jokes aside, this sort of creative block can be a serious problem that often takes some active work to overcome. Let’s go ahead and cut to the chase. Here are some of the daily strategies that I use to overcome creative blocks and get regular again with my content creation.
Build Your Notes
No matter the industry or subject, there is always something more that you can learn and it is easy to forget information that might be useful, but might not be relevant at the present. Because of this, I like to keep a constantly updated Evernote account. You can use any service that is similar to this, but I prefer to use Evernote because of the ease with which it allows you to save and organize articles, photos, and links from all over the Internet.
By consistently adding to my online notebook, I have built an invaluable resource that I can access for content ideas whenever my brain just doesn’t seem to be working. More often than not, I find an article or idea that I saved months ago that is just now relevant to the work that I’m doing. On the rare occasion that I don’t find something helpful, I can always take some time to go out and actively build my notebook, which will often lead me to a useful resource that can spark the creative process.
Take a Walk
So you just take off during work and walk around? How do you get work done when you aren’t working? Some people might feel guilty about just taking off and walking around, but this simple activity has led to some of my best ideas. What masterpieces were ever created by an artist that simply just stared at his canvas? If you find that you’re brain simply is not creating solid content ideas, stand-up and go outside. Take a 15 minute break and just walk around. On some walks, I actively think about my problem, while on others I just take a break and give my brain a rest. Either way, I usually come away with some great ideas, feeling reinvigorated after a brief 15 minutes.
Make a Sketch
You’re drawing capabilities might be limited to simple geometric shapes and stick figures, but taking pencil to paper can help to free your mind and your creative faculties. If you are having trouble thinking up fresh content and the feeling of burnout is creeping up on you, sit back, take out a piece of paper and a pencil, and just draw. The point of this exercise is not to create some amazing piece of art, but rather to simply exercise the creative portion of your brain. A quick, 5-minute sketch will probably not look very pretty, but it might help to relax your mind and it can help to get your creative juices flowing.
Learn Something New
Having trouble creating content about something that you already know and have probably talked about for years? Well, it might be time to learn something new. The Internet has made it possible to learn just about anything that you want from the comfort of your own computer, all you need is a bit of will power and time. Since you probably aren’t going to get anything done just staring at your computer screen, try to find a subject that interests you and let the learning begin. The subject doesn’t even have to be directly related to your industry or general subject matter. Find something that interests you and that will be exciting to learn. You will find that an interesting subject will be easier to learn and in almost all cases you will be able to gain insights and ideas that can be applied to your current field and subject.
Write a Book
Most content creators find that writing encompasses most of their time spent at work. There is always something that needs to be written, even if you are creating visual content. So why would you want to write a book when you spend most of your day writing?
The great part about writing a book is that you don’t have to worry at all about what others might think. Also, unlike writing for clients and your own business, you are allowed to express your own creativity and exercise your brain in ways that best coincide with your individual creative process. You might feel like any book you create would be horrible, but that’s beside the point. The process of thinking up a storyline, characters, and dialogue can be one of the best exercises for the creative portion of your mind. Writing your own book will also help to improve your overall writing, while helping to create new ideas for approaching different problems and subjects.
No matter who you are, it is impossible to create a steady stream of content without taking some time to relax your mind and exercise your creative muscles. The ideas that I have provided are some of the things that work for me, but it is important to find activities and practices that can help to free your mind from any sort of clamp that can shut down your creative process. Try a couple of my ideas whenever you find yourself just blankly staring at your computer screen and adapt these activities to fit your own preferences and situation. If you have any other great ideas for overcoming creative blocks leave a comment below!