Writing isn’t something that always flows for me. It is work. Since I’m a work in progress, it works out. Part of the plan. Sometimes you don’t “feel it” when it comes to writing. You are in good company, I get that, and have had to overcome it on multiple occasions. What is a content publisher to do when inspiration is lacking? There are many responses to that question. Read on to find out mine.
It could be a tough start to the day, an unexpected event that alters your thinking, or just fatigue. Many things can impact the luster of inspirational writing. Whether for an email newsletter, blog post, or a story to kickoff a marketing campaign, here are a few ideas for when inspiration is lacking.
Interesting to see what is a buzz on Twitter. Is there a logical way the trend ties into your market or industry? It may not be a trend that inspires you, search using industry buzzwords and you may find a series of comments that warrant a response beyond 140 characters.
Have Google Proactively Tell You – Alerts
Google alerts allows users to be notified when new content new to Google surfaces for a certain search phrase. Setup is flexible and free.
While at the grocery store, I sometimes strategically go down the magazine isle. By scanning the various niches represented by each magazine (hint, hint), ideas can pop readily. This doesn’t work every time, but when it does, be prepared (more on that in a minute).
Forums that are focused on your market can surface very interesting trends and topics. A friend of mine, Eric Holmlund found a disturbing trend in a popular forum for Internet Marketers, where an individual has been scamming quite a few in the community there. He exposed it in a post that has garnered over 300 comments, which has also propelled the launch of a product.
Trains, Planes, Automobiles, Hotels, all can provide ample opportunity for content inspiration. Here’s an example.
This social bookmarking service provides some great ideas for what is fresh, and what is hot. You can select one of the tabs on the homepage, or use the search functionality. We are here on Delicious.
Planning for Times of Low Inspiration
Preparation is an asset to overcome many things in life and business. Such is the case when there is a void of writing inspiration. Here are some things I’ve discovered.
Subscribing to Inspiration– I use Google Reader. Perhaps there are others that inspire you when it comes to content ideas and writing style, if on a blog subscribe to their RSS feed. One great thing about Google Reader, it’s searchable and shareable, see how here, and here. Also, get on the email list of your respected marketers online, and “star” or place content you like in a special folder in your email program.
Journaling Inspiration– Whether an iPad, Xoom, other tablet, or an old fashioned pen and paper (my chosen medium currently), I like to keep a journal with me at all times. When journaling great ideas for content sometimes surface for me, highlight those, or call them out with a star, and refer to them for inspiration. Read more about journaling in Tip #2 here.
ALERT: Inspiration Comes When You Least Expect It – Rest– It is important to be intentional about content creation, having a publishing calendar is a great start. However, it is equally important to have downtime, aka rest. In those moments some of the greatest inspiration can come. Beware, that type of inspiration can catch you by surprise, like when going down the magazine isle at the grocery store, so be sure to have your journal handy :-).
What inspires you? Has this been helpful? Chime in using the comment boxes below.
Photo credit: USMARINE0311