It is real.
The feeling of emptiness that faces you when you stare at your screen or your notebook to write. That inability to put out any other thing as a content idea.
It is familiar to every writer and content creator.
There are therefore two writers that will find this essay useful;
• Content creators currently facing a block
• Writers that think that their inability to start is because they lack ideas.
I believe that creativity is honed as is almost every skill on earth. It is nurtured, and it is doesn’t happen by chance.
We are all capable of so many great and awesome ideas though there are persons who display this rather explosively.
Creativity is a process not a moment’s story.
There is therefore a need to be intentional about producing ideas and being creative with your work as a writer.
The struggle to create content faces poets, professional writers, fiction writers and just about anyone creating content for the consumption of an audience -either to build a brand or to make profit.
How can I not run out of content ideas?
Burnout is inevitable.
If you are constantly putting out content, and actively involved in the process of building, there is a possibility of getting burnt out at some point.
The need to stay consistent does not invalidate or remove the possibility that you are genuinely exhausted.
Ignoring sings of burnout and mental exhaustion will only lead to more consequences and the lingering inability to really produce.
There are several things a writer can do to prevent or handle burnout;
• Change of a new environment.
Lack of sleep has been linked to poor focus, lack of concentration, irritability and inability to perform tasks. Sometimes creators go days with shortened sleep hours, it affects our creativity.
Creating time to sleep boosts your strength and creativity.
Exercise improves convergent thinking in those who exercise three or more times per week.
So a hack to creativity is regular exercise
Push those legs and run!
Be an expert at small tasks
Finding a system that works for you is the gateway to productivity as a writer.
The demanding work of creating can get overwhelming so writers need to learn to be ahead of themselves.
As a writer, I did not always practice the hack of small tasks, but when I did, it changed my writing.
The inability to produce or create new ideas most times stems from the need to finish everything at once. This feeling either paralyzes you or makes you give up.
No one can a write novel at once, but sometimes writers want to produce great tons at once.
Small tasks gives you the strength and hope that your work will be done.
It is building blocks consistently.
Small tasks consist of;
• Writing an outline
• Jotting down best ideas
• Writing the first draft
• Lazy reading
An outline is a writing map that leads you to your work.
An outline is like a train of your thoughts on your topic. It can be an organized display of the ideas you intend to explore, it gives you a good starting point and it is a lot easier to start your essay with a map.
Jotting down the best ideas from thought leaders of the niche you are writing on helps you with clarity. It elevates your thinking to a point that is beyond average.
Writing your best draft as ugly as it is relieves you of a burden. The worst seems to be over and now you are deliberately making room for other ideas to take their flight.
Small tasks help the writer make progress and it eliminates the feeling of accomplishing everything at once.
It reduces the burden of writing and inadvertently makes it easier.
Train your creative muscle
Creativity is trained.
It is nurtured.
Creativity is backed up radically by intention.
Writers that expect to rely on inspiration alone find out eventually that they will produce very little and will never attain their best.
There are of course times that inspiration meets you at your doorsteps. There are times that the muse comes and you find yourself writing without effort.
While there are days like this, there is no guarantee that they are consistent or steady.
Just like the muscles of the human body, creativity should be nurtured and groomed, till it grows and becomes steady. Just like exercise, it should be repeated to achieve results.
Creativity is learned over time and fed.
You cannot rely on something you don’t invest in.
A way to achieve this is that writers should test their capabilities by trying other genres of writings they haven’t attempted before. The stretch unlocks your creativity and shapes you to a better scholar.
Read widely –journals, speeches, poetry and fiction.
Look at photographs.
Dwell on things that inspire and spark your creativity.
Follow the thought leaders of the niches that you are interested.
How else can you train your creativity?
Don’t think so much of yourself…
I leant from a writer to have bank of ideas. You can’t always trust that you will always know what to write.
You can have a folder of your ideas and prompts.
Instead of cracking your head and coming up with something to write, you can open your folder and feel inspired all over again.
Recycle old content
Recycle your old content and say the same things differently.
Retell the stories of other writers and write about it.
Summarize blog topics that you find interesting.
Erase the idea that you must be original to be good.
What makes you an effective writer is the ability to lean on the words and works of other writers to find your voice.
Don’t be like those who worry so much about originality that they end up writing garbage. Instead, disciple yourself to great writers. Read Mann, García Márquez, Coetzee, Joyce, and learn at their feet.
Your originality will mean nothing unless you can understand the originality of others.
Observe and imitate
A lot of ideas can be gotten when you observe the content produced by the creators around you.
Read from people that you want to be like and imitate their content.
Observe the points they make in their essays.
Take notes and amplify through research.
Ask questions and listen to answers.
Asking your audience questions helps amplify your ear for new information.
You can ask them of the topic they want to write about, listen to their difficulties and work on them.
What is their need?
How can you offer this help?
Staying consistent is fueled by ideas. You cannot expect to run on nothing as a writer or creator.
However, sometimes a break is necessary. Your life doesn’t revolve around creating something. If there is need to stop creating, you can.
Take a break, listen, read, pay attention to your body then resume writing as much as you can.