5 Unexpected Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Next Blog Post

Have you hit a creative wall? In today’s content-obsessed world, it’s near impossible to keep up with the constant demand for new stories and viral headlines. Here are 5 surprising ways to get out of your comfort zone and get inspired.

Listen to a podcast.

Sometimes it’s a lot more satisfying to listen to someone else’s musings about their life or other peoples lives than to read about them. It also requires a lot less effort. An added bonus is that most podcasts actually try to teach you something. Check out 99% Invisible or Gretchen Rubin’s Happier to get started. If you’re not in the mood to focus on learning, there’s plenty of podcasts that are purely meant to entertain, like Gimlet’s Mystery Show or Comedy Bang Bang.

Dare to look up.

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your newsfeed for the umpteenth time, because it feels too damn uncomfortable to look up. Popular places for this activity are elevators, in line at a coffee shop, or on your Uber ride home. While it’s comforting to have an activity to focus on, you could be missing out on your next creative spark. Trust us, you’re much more likely to find inspiration in your surroundings than in pictures of your friend’s lunch.

Pursue a side hustle.

Even if you’ve managed to make a living doing what you love, chances are you still have some other tricks up your sleeve. Have you perfected the formula for share worthy Instragrams, for example, or have a knack for crafting unforgettable cocktails? Why not explore these neglected talents and try your luck on one of the latest platforms catering to the on-demand workforce. Sign up for GigSalad and offer your services as an event photographer, a bartender, or a party planner. If you can’t think of a particular talent, there are even platforms that will pay you for simply sharing your thoughts.

Give yourself permission to ramble.

At this point, you’ve probably learned that putting pressure on yourself to be creative more often than not has the adverse effect. What if you relieved yourself from this pressure? Try lighting a candle and take 10 minutes to scribble down any thoughts or musings that come to mind — no self-editing allowed. Don’t stop until the 10 minutes are up and make sure you’re writing on pen and paper (not a laptop). Then take those pieces of paper and burn them. Do this at least 3 times a week for a month to see results.

Piggy back on other peoples’ social lives.

Good news: even if you’re not doing anything particularly interesting tonight, there is bound to be someone else who is. Check out local Eventbrite listings and sign up for a Meetup after work. If nothing else, you’ll meet some new people and if you’re lucky, even snag some free appetizers.

Originally published at purposegeneration.com on August 19, 2015.