AS a professional blogger one of the things I often find the most challenging is coming up with new ideas for posts.
On a good day, I can come up with at least half a dozen belting ideas but every so often, just like anyone else, I have days when I am stuck in an idea fog.
What can I say? It happens to the best of us.
Thankfully a background in journalism and over four years of freelancing have helped me get to grips with my creativity, understand how I work best and get me out of many a fog zone.
Magic always comes from creativity so if you’re not feeling the idea pizazz at the moment, check out my five top tips.
Here’s how I harness my ideas and get work done.
When a brilliant idea comes to mind, jot it down.
You know when you have one of those incredible ‘light bulb’ moments and you come up with a great idea? The ones that make your heart beat a little faster with excitement?
Take my advice and write that slippery monkey down, as soon as you can. Scribble down your thoughts on paper, write them in lipstick on a mirror or send an email to yourself, but just GET IT DOWN.
Ideas are slippery. Just when you think you’ve got a beauty, it’ll slip through your fingers before you can yell eureka!
I’ve lost so many amazing ideas over the years all because I’ve forgotten to make a note of them and presumed they’d come back to me again. (They didn’t.)
Let me learn that lesson for your folks. Kicking yourself because you can’t remember that incredible idea you had ages ago, will haunt you so always make a note of ’em, even the most ludicrous of ones.
Figure out YOUR best creative time
Not a particularly easy one this but figuring out when your brain works at it’s most imaginative best is one of the greatest and most efficient ways to work.
So for me for example…I’ve figured out that my brain will conjure up all manner of ideas when I’m stood in the shower, putting Elsie to bed or just before I fall to sleep. That is when 99 % of my ideas are born and why I’m always waking up my husband with the light on my phone at daft o’clock or writing things on my bathroom mirror.
Time wise, I also know that I do my best work early in the morning. Late night writing doesn’t work so well for me however that is when most of my ideas are born. It’s when my brain likes to work imaginatively.
For most of us, it’s the times when we let go of ‘thinking’ for a little while, that our brains suddenly come to life. So pay attention, find out when your optimum creative times are and when possible work with -not against – them.
Spend more time ‘living’
As a freelancer and blogger I spend most of my time sat at my dining room table tapping away on my laptop. I adore writing – it’s as important to me as breathing – but even I can get ‘word fatigue’ if I don’t take some time out.
If you want to be more creative, if you want to do better work, you need to give yourself a break. Get outside, go for a walk, visit an art gallery or go and meet some friends for lunch.
Also, if you work for yourself, change your scene of work from time to time! I personally love taking my laptop to a nice cafe to do some work (I’m actually sat writing this in a cafe today!). It gets me out of the house, I get to enjoy a bit of people watching (one of my favourite past times) and I sometimes even treat myself to a mahoosive hunka chunk of cake.
Live more, shake things up a bit and your creativity will love you for it.
Seek inspiration everywhere
Dig out some old letters, watch a beautiful film, pick up a different magazine or browse a few blogs you’ve never visited before.
If you’re a writer, I’m a firm believer that you need to read as much as possible. Not only does it help you to identify what kind of writing resonates with you, but it also helps to make YOU a better writer! It really does.
Inspiration can be found everywhere. In images, in nature and most of all, in people. If you’ve lost your creative mojo, the best thing you can do is stop worrying and pay more attention. Especially when it comes to observing and understanding others.
We’re so often consumed by our inner thoughts or the to do list that weighs heavy on our shoulders, that we forget to pay attention and learn. So look around you, appreciate and be inspired. (And don’t forget to make notes or take photos!)
Give your work some ‘soul’
If all else fails, just trust your instinct and put your heart into it.
I’m always harping on about this, but to me it is the key to success, not just in work but in life.
When you care about something, when you put your ‘soul’ into something, it shows and everyone, EVERYONE, responds better to it.
My most popular blog posts have been the ones that I’ve been terrified about publishing but knew I had to share. My best copywriting work for clients comes when I ignore any fear or doubt and trust my instinct in regards to the copy that I’ve created. I’m a much better mum when I put more of my soul into what I’m doing when I’m with Elsie.
Whatever you do with your life, just go with your gut and let your heart lead you. If something feels right, you may feel excited, nervous, calm or giddy, but you will always have belief and conviction. And if something feels wrong, trust your feelings and don’t go with it.
Listen to your body and what it tells you. More times than not, it’s the very best indicator any of us will ever have and the greatest creative tool that money cannot buy.