It's a new year — time for a fresh start. Welcome to our 15-day series on how to fall (back) in love with your blog. The series is all about stepping back, re-evaluating things and making sure you're still connecting with your blog. Here's what you won't find in this series: articles on analytics, plug-ins, sponsored content, ad networks and the like. What you will find is tips and strategies to stay inspired, motivated and pushing your own boundaries, all while loving what you do.
Once you've found your inspiration, got your creative mojo on, or filled the well, it's time to start channeling it into something productive. But what? And how?
So many times we get the inspiration flowing and are excited to create but then ... we freeze. What should we do next? Where do we start??
First of all, relax. Seriously. Take a deep breath.
Just as burnout or being in a rut can be so frustrating and even overwhelming, having a blank canvas and so many options lying in front of you can be equally, if not more, overwhelming!
It's Not A Straight Line
Understand that creativity is not a straight line that goes from A to Z. It's more like A to J to E to X to C to Z. That's the beauty of it. It's an evolutionary process. You start out doing one thing and as you move through the process it turns into something else.
It can be frustrating at times, but one of the best things you can do is go where you're being pulled — even if that's not where you originally planned to go. Oftentimes, the end result will be unexpected, but pretty cool.
The trick is to start. Do one step, then do the next. Just don't be surprised if the next step is an unexpected one — but keep on making steps!
Keep A Notebook
Get yourself a notebook. We found this cute notebook photo on Shutterstock!
When you find yourself being swayed in different directions one of the best things to do is write down all those ideas popping into your brain. Use an old fashioned notebook and pen or an app on your phone or a google doc — whatever works best for you.
I'm a notebook and pen kinda person and I have notebooks that go everywhere with me, but it doesn't matter what you choose, as long as it works. Getting all those ideas out of your head is very freeing. You've got them, you won't forget them and they're there for you when you're ready to move on to a new project. And now you can focus on the task at hand without all those ideas swirling in your brain.
The best part is, idea journals or notebooks are great to flip through when you hit one of those creative lows and you need some inspiration. You'll find all those great little nuggets you'd thought of and you can start something new that catches your eye.
Limit Your Palette
One of the most terrifying things a creative can hear from a client is "you have free rein — do whatever you like." It sounds like a dream come true, right? But in actual fact, it rarely is!
It may sound counter-intuitive but creativity often flows best when it's borne out of limitation.
Think about it: we create when we need something. We don't like the options available to us so we create something that fits our needs.
If you've ever been to the improv, you know that they will call out to the audience for things like a place, a type of food, a party prop or something else random. What results is usually something terrifically funny and creative!
Try the same with your work. Limit yourself to an ingredient: what can you come up with that features garlic, or lemons? One of my best dishes came out of a virtually empty pantry and fridge and a -27C snowstorm that meant I wasn't going to the grocery store!
You can do the same thing with a type of dish — pies for instance — or a certain food photography prop, or a colour — dishes that all feature red! Or perhaps a time limit — a recipe that's ready in 15 minutes from start to finish.
Put a limit in place and you'll find your brain has a place to focus and get busy. You'll be amazed at what you can come up with.
What are some of your tips for channeling creativity and getting projects started (and completed!)?
15 days to fall (back) in love with your blog!
- Day 1 — Getting Started
- Day 2 — Stop Comparing
- Day 3 — Working Through Fear
- Day 4 — Managing Disappointment and Criticism
- Day 5 — Dealing with Blogger Stressors
- Day 6 —Don’t Be Afraid of Change or Personal Growth
- Day 7 — Finding Time
- Day 8 — Find a New Workspace
- Day 9 — Talking With Your Audience
- Day 10 - Finding Inspiration