1. Stop Trying To Force It
There are some days when inspiration just isn’t going to appear. For me, I know on a morning as soon as I start writing whether it’s going to flow or not and some days it’s just not going to happen – on the other hand there are some days when I’m on fire! I have hundreds of ideas and writing feels easy and effortless. On days like that, I really make the most of it. I postpone everything else and make the most of my creative burst and blog until I run out of time. I have learned that there’s no point trying to force it because when you force it, you’re going against the grain. It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to take you longer. And, disappointingly, the end result will probably be pretty rubbish. Your body knows; trust your body when it’s telling you to have a rest or to go somewhere else, which leads on to point number 2.
2. Go Somewhere Else
Take yourself somewhere different. A different room. Outside. Go and have a cup of tea or something. Or walk the dog. The times when I get my best inspiration, are the times when I’m utterly powerless to do anything about it, like when I’m driving, in the shower or the bath. I get great ideas when I’m lying down with my little girl, because she wants a cuddle before she goes to sleep. It’s those times when I can’t actually do anything about it that I get some of my best ideas (I just have to try really hard not to forget them in the meantime – I usually turn them into a song!)
3. Do something Boring
Watch daytime TV, do something that is completely alien to you. Have a rest, do something that doesn’t involve taxing your brain because it’s times like that when your mind tends to wonder. I very rarely watch daytime TV, but if I do I don’t really watch it, my brain ticks over and I come up with some great ideas when I’m doing something boring.
4. Read something totally unrelated
So if you’re trying to come up with ideas for blog posts or podcasts or newsletters, then go and dig out a book from your shelf or get onto your kindle or read something online. Something not business related, not related to what you do. Go and just read a website that’s completely different, in a different sphere and just see what they do. Quite often when I was stuck, I would go and look at crafting websites, just because I like looking at crafting websites. Often I’ll see something that sparks an idea inside of me and I love that because it’s very different to anything else that anyone is doing in my industry. It really talks to me because I love crafting anyway, so I will go somewhere completely unrelated and just have a look around and 9 times out of 10 I’ll come up with a really good idea as a result.
5. Look back through old stuff
I keep all of my notebooks, I must have about twenty on my bookshelf and when I’m lacking in inspiration and I’m thinking what can I blog about this week, I just look through my old notebooks and I always find something. In fact I’m spoilt for choice because I’ve kept all of them and I’ve just got books and books and books full of ideas, so if you don’t already do that, you don’t already keep your notebooks, start keeping them. If you have old notebooks, look back. They are like a treasure trove of ideas.
6. Ask questions on social media
If I’m trying to come up with an idea in a particular area, then I might go onto my Facebook page or my Twitter account and ask a question to get some feedback e.g. what’s your best bit of business advice? That might be one that I might do, or where in the world are you? If I’m trying to figure out where the ladies are from to write something about the diversity of my audience. If I go onto my Facebook page and I ask a question, I always, always get some really good answers on there. The other thing that I do is run a business clinic every Thursday, so again that fuels ideas for things like this podcast. I’ll go into my business clinic thread, and I’ll look through and come up with some really good ideas to podcast about.
7. Listen to podcasts
There are so many brilliant podcasts out there on all sorts of topics, and if you’re stuck, just take some time and listen to one or two podcasts. Some are very short and short like mine; some of them are interviews with really inspirational people. Some of them are lessons. Just have a dig through. If you’re listening to this one, then you’ve found podcasts already so just have a look through and see what else is out there.
There’s never really any reason for you to be totally stuck. You might start off the day feeling that way, so my advice is always first of all is stop trying to force it and then either:- • Go somewhere that you can’t do anything about it, • Do something boring, • Read something totally unrelated, • Look back through old stuff, • Ask questions on social media and • Listen to podcasts. I guarantee you will have an idea even by the time you’ve done just one of those things. Love, Claire xx