Finding That Spark of Inspiration | Social Joey
Whether you consider yourself a creative person or simply need to create content every now and again, we all have days where finding our creative mojo is like pulling teeth!
If you’re only an occasional content creator, find solace in the fact that this phenomenon happens even to those of us who spend most days elbow-deep in this work. It’s like an advanced form of writer’s block.
But even when you simply aren’t feeling it, the work still has to be done. The good news is: When that’s the case, there are steps you can take to get your creativity rolling. Read on for a few secrets.
You Can Create That Spark
While we often think of creativity as something that you simply have or you don’t, it’s actually something you can cultivate. You can build habits into your normal routines that help foster creativity, and you can also have a list of go-to’s when you need a spark to finish (or start) a project.
Let’s start with what to do if you can’t seem to find your mojo.
Start With the Mechanics
This is a tip that most journalists learn in college. When you’re struggling to put words on the page, jumpstart your work by filling in the basics.
Consider it the adult version of “busy work.” Start typing and fill in the page with items you know belong there.
This can include placeholder text for your headline or an actual headline, basic subheadings to give your content a loose shape or outline, the call to action at the bottom of the content, and the components of meta information for the page. If you’ve conducted an interview for the project you’re creating, drop those quotations on the page and get them formatted correctly.
By the time you’ve finished typing in these items, you’ll likely find you can continue typing because the words have begun to flow! And hey, you’ve got words on the page.
Surf the Web
Yes, we’re giving you permission to stop what you were doing and play on the internet. Open up your web browser and head for your favorite news or magazine website. Or turn on a favorite podcast or even TV show.
You don’t even need to be looking at content related to the work you’re procrastinating on. Your sole purpose is to read through or listen to something that came from someone else’s creative well.
Once you’ve surfed for a bit, then target your energy some. Start looking for content that’s in the sphere of whatever piece of content you’ll be creating. Inspiration can—and does—spark from all types of sources.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over
Been staring at a blank or nearly blank screen for what seems like hours? You may benefit from hitting the reset button on your topic.
When inspiration isn’t sparking about the project you’re working on, try coming at it from a different angle. You can stick with your original topic and simply revisit it—flip it over, so to speak. This might mean turning your blog about sparking productivity into a blog about sparking creativity; we promise, that’s not a personal example.
Or it may be more beneficial to stow away your current project and start over with a new blog, white paper or podcast episode about a topic that seems more workable for now. Rebooting may ultimately save you some time spent gritting your teeth!
This isn’t always a solution, particularly when your timeline is tight. But there are simply some days when you can’t get it done.
If you can’t get the mojo flowing in the first place or you get halfway through your project and stall, save your work and move away. You can work on something different or simply sign off at the end of the day, then start over tomorrow. Take a break.
In most cases, if you get to this point and pause, you’ll find you’re more able to tackle the project when you return to it.
Creating a Culture of Creativity
Now you know what to do if you get “stuck” when creating content. But you can also take steps in your daily routine to cultivate creativity in the first place.
Try out these habits to see if they boost your creative spark:
Implement a “Starting” Ritual
This is about setting internal expectations for your mind and body that it’s time to start your work. Create a ritual or two that you do when you first sit down at your desk for the day.
This can be something basic like creating a to-do list, something stimulating like reading a devotional, or something calming like meditating.
Create Every Day
Your everyday routine may not always involve a project that requires you to be creative. But if you challenge yourself to create something—anything—most days, that’s positive momentum!
You don’t need to create for hours on end or take on something incredibly challenging. Simply devoting 15 minutes or so will be fine.
Identify Your Triggers
When your creativity is missing in action, think through what you’ve been doing. Did something in your day distract you?
Are you off task because another topic or concern seems more urgent? Or is there a habit in your routine that poses a challenge fairly often? Identify what blocks you, then work on mitigating that blockage in the future.
Change Your Routine
Yes, we told you above to create a starting ritual. Familiarity can breed creativity.
But sometimes changing something in your routine can help boost your creativity, too. Doing something new or out of the ordinary can be the spark you need.
Search for Inspiration
Spend time every day doing things of interest to you. Read books, either in print or digitally; page through magazines; watch TV programs or stream documentaries; listen to podcasts.
Think outside the box, too. Even a walk outside can be a source of inspiration as you listen to the birds chirping and see the sun shining above in a blue sky.
When your creative mojo seems to be broken, we can help! Get in touch today to learn more about our services and how we can put them to work for your business or franchise.