You’re sitting at the computer, eyes blurred, fingers lightly tapping the keys. It’s that time of day to write some more social media posts. But nothing’s coming. As a Social Media Specialist, I’ve been there. Writing engaging and creative content day in and day out is not an easy task. Why is this? Why do the ideas flow on some days while on others creating content feels like the hardest thing in the world? To answer this question we need to take a brief look at the creative process
What is Creativity?
The human brain is complex and I’m nowhere near an expert. However, these two principles are interesting to consider. They come from a book by James Young called A Technique for Producing Ideas.
- An idea is a new combination of old elements.
- The capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends on the ability to see relationships.
According to Young, creativity doesn’t come as a flash of lightning out of nowhere. For writers, it certainly won’t come from staring at a blank page. Instead, it’s more about seeing old information in a new light and making connections that others haven’t noticed before.
If creative ideas are born out of finding relationships between already existing elements, it’s necessary to spend time collecting information. The brain needs something to work with. Minimize your Facebook page and do some more research the topic you want to write on.
Criticize Your Ideas
One of my favorite writers is famous for saying, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings”. In other words, don’t become so attached to something that you are unwilling to revise and make it better. Have someone else read it and take their feedback seriously.
The Good Comes with the Bad
Several studies from top Universities show that people who generate the most amounts of good ideas also create the most amounts of bad ideas. What this means for social media writers is that we shouldn’t be too cautious. Not every post is going to go viral. The best posts may only come after a few weak ones.
Be Willing to Change Things Later
Perhaps one of the most important elements of the creative process is letting the subconscious do the work. Have you ever had a problem that you couldn’t solve only to wake up the next morning to find the answer is completely obvious? This is because when we take our minds off a topic, our subconscious works at finding new relationships. Write a post and come back to it later. You may be surprised at how clear your mistakes are.