Have you ever driven to a place you go all the time, pulled into the parking lot and can't even remember how you got there? We typically say that we “went on autopilot.” Our minds and bodies are so used to the trip that we kinda just zone out and then – BOOM – we're at our destination.
Blogging is like that sometimes. You know that on Tuesday you post a recipe and on Wednesday you post a tip. Half of the time you have great ideas and the words flow. The rest of the time, you just go through the motions. When it's time to get creative, you sit and stare at a blank computer screen.
It's not often that we sit down and say “I'm going to be creative now” and it magically happens. And if you're reading this and already thinking to yourself “I'm just not the creative type,” then you have to stop that mindset right this minute, missy.
Your brain just needs some training, just like an athlete needs physical training. Shock it a bit. Wake it up.
Next time you need a creative jolt of energy, try one of these seven tricks:
1. Sit Somewhere Different
I bet when you're on your computer, you just sit in one or two places within your house. For me, I use my laptop in our office or on the couch.
Instead of sitting in your favorite spots, get up and sit on:
- Your porch or deck
- The floor
- The stairs
- A rarely-used chair
In fact, this trick is how I got the idea for this post. I started walking down our stairs with a form in my hand when I realized I needed to finish filling it out. I plopped down on the stairs and started finishing the form. Then I randomly got an idea for something, which in turn gave me the idea that I should write this post.
If sitting upright doesn't work, hang your head off a chair or bed. Seriously. While you can't exactly write that way (if you can, then you rock), I bet you'll think a little differently. At least until you get a head rush.
2. Leave the House
It may be that anywhere in your house is too blah for a creativity injection. If that's the case, then run away for an hour or two. If you're thinking that you can't because you have kids then do it when they are in preschool. Or school. Or after they go to bed.
Where should you go?
- Coffee house
- Around the block
Don't forget people watching. You'll be amazed what ideas you can get by watching how people interact, react or even what they wear. Just don't look creepy doing it. I actually got the color scheme of my old blog design from a lady's scarf at the grocery store. I knew I wanted pink, red and blue but wasn't sure what shades or what other colors I should add. I saw a lady's scarf and it was EXACTLY the colors I wanted. I had to restrain myself from breaking out my iPhone to take her picture. Don't look creepy, remember?
3. Play a Game
Chess anyone? How about a game of Sudoku? Or perhaps you want to launch some angry birds at smug little pigs? Games deal with creatively solving problems. You focus on the task at hand and your mind gets a workout in the process.
4. Use a Different Medium
You probably do most of your blogging on your computer or phone, right? Well, try this. Grab your kid's markers or crayons and jot down your ideas on a piece of good ole fashioned paper. You'd be surprised what a using a different medium will do for your creativity. We do a more complex version of this in Content Brew.
It may turn out that you have a sudden idea while you're no where near your computer or phone (away from your phone? Crazy, I know). While it kinda irks me that the first example wasn't true, here are 7 (really 6) Brilliant Ideas Scribbled on Cocktail Napkins and Toilet Paper.
5. Try an Unrelated Hobby
I'm a scrapbooker but don't get to it as often as I'd like. When I actually carve out some time to create a layout, I immediately feel more creative. For me, it's something about playing with glue and paper.
Hobbies don't have to be about crafting, though. Perhaps you like to garden. Or shop for antiques. Or build life-size Justin Biebers out of Legos. Whatever odd or highly amusing hobby you have, do that for a while. Then go back to what you're working on.
Oh come on. Don't say “ugh.”
If you're already in decent shape, just thirty minutes of exercise improves your cognitive ability for up to two hours afterwards. If you're new to exercise, start with maybe just a walk around the block. But don't take it from me. Read this article about creativity and exercise.
Read a book. A magazine. The writing of a blogger who always seems to know exactly what to say. The back of your cereal box. Reading stimulates the brain. One simple sentence could trigger a landslide of ideas (that's how I got the idea for the name Blog Clarity). If you're an avid reader and don't feel a lick of creativity, read a different genre or pick up a magazine you wouldn't normally purchase.
How do you get your creative juices flowing? Have any of these ideas worked for you before?
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!