It’s a slog, sometimes. Content creation can wear out just about anyone. I’d be lying if I told you that I never worry about running out of ideas, because I do.
But do you know what?
I’ve also learned that I don’t need to worry about that at all. I just need to get through the daily slog.
That’s what I learned after 4 years of content creation for a social media marketing agency. See, I used to support myself and my daughter by creating blogs and posts for clients across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like. Most of my clients had packages which got them 2 blogs a month plus daily social media posts.
The social media posts typically meant Googling articles for the week and writing an engaging sentence for each one.
Of course, there were specific standards for the content. Every client had their own strategy. Each article had to be less than 6 months old.
After a while, it felt impossible to ever find more stories. You ran into the same content over and over again.
Some days, I was positive that there was no way I could find more content. Especially for the super industrial clients.
It was similar for the blogs. Writing twenty-four blogs a year for certain clients was a challenge. I was never quite sure what I was going to write about for most clients until I sat down to do it.
My social media gig went a long way in teaching me the power of persistence. I often thought I’d reached my limit and that I possibly couldn’t come up with yet another week of new ideas.
But I had to do it to pay the bills, so I always did.
Everybody knows the proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” For whatever reason, once we start talking about content creation and creativity, people act like it isn’t true.
Many people think that it’s impossible to be consistently creative for work. As if you can’t be creative when your life depends upon it.
I beg to differ.
Part of the problem is that people think “true creativity” requires one big, brilliant idea after another. As if the only ideas worth having are the genius ones.
But that’s a bunch of bullshit.
For one thing, genius ideas are a little bit… complicated. Most people never really know how well their ideas are going to be received until they put them out there and the universe responds.
And nobody really has one brilliant idea after another. The best minds simply keep using up their ideas as they come.
If you want to be truly creative, it’s pretty simple.
You just keep moving one day at a time.
You can’t waste time worrying about the quality of your ideas. The magic is not in the idea itself, but the actual execution.
Too many people get hung up in the notion that they should only pursue their best ideas. But none of us actually knows which of our ideas are our best. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, of course.
And for creatives, that puts us at the mercy of our audience. To an extent, anyway.
Every day, you make a choice to pursue your next idea or labor over the incubation of something supposedly bigger and better.
People can drive themselves crazy wishing, wanting, and begging the universe for new ideas. And do you know what they accomplish? Nothing.
Looking for a shortcut to failure? Sit there twiddling your thumbs day after day. Reject every idea that comes your way because you don’t think it’s good enough.
The truth, of course, is that there are no new ideas under the sun. Not really. Every good idea just piggybacks off of another. But that isn’t a bad thing.
Successful ideas are never really about the ideas at all. What matters is how you execute those ideas. And that whatever you do with them reaches the right people.
So, quit worrying about generating new ideas next week, next month, or next year. And quit worrying about the quality of your ideas. Use your ideas up today.
Tomorrow, just do it again.
Taking it one day at a time is the best way to generate ideas you'll actually use.
And you know what?
Some of those ideas might blow up, and some might just fizzle. But the unknowing is all a part of the fun.