Dear Inspiration, where are you hiding?
Hello, are you there? Why are you doing this to me? Can we get in touch, please?
I admire all Medium or other writers who post an article every single day. Okay, I’ll be honest, I’m jealous. How on earth can they produce a new idea to write about so often? What the hack! Maybe I lack creativity? Determination? Or am I missing out on something else? I don’t read enough, maybe? What is preventing me from writing my next article?
About focusing on unimportant details
So I gave it a little bit of a thought. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that I was the problem. I spent more time ‘thinking about writing an article’ or looking for an inspiration rather than doing some actual writing.
So, I changed my approach to the whole writing process. First, I stopped looking for ‘big ideas’ to write about.
After browsing through tents of articles I saw that often a simple idea is a great stepping stone for a successful story.
Plus, I had to learn not to get discouraged by unimportant details such as: “Oh, my article isn’t five or six minutes long.” How am I going to write such a long essay!?
People don’t always want to read through never-ending paragraphs. Sometimes, we can say more with fewer words. Don’t you agree? I’ve learnt this recently when I started my new job that requires some knowledge about the UX writing. Boy, do I like to write, but how am I going to keep it short and practical?
When I used to work in marketing, I often felt stuck or even dumb when I couldn’t come up with an innovative messaging or stories for my campaigns. Deadlines were of certainly no help to me either. The fact I had to catch attention of over 40,000 people, get them to read whatever my message was, persuade them to register and eventually attend our shows, wasn’t an easy goal to achieve.
So how I solved the problem of lacking the inspiration to write?
Well, let’s start at the very beginning.
Ground control to Major Tom!
Stop focusing on constant topic search. I know it sounds a bit contradictory to everything you might have heard or read before. Just think about it for a second. Where do you get your daily dose of inspiration? Isn’t it life itself?
Stop walking with your eyes closed and your mind up in the clouds. Ground control to Major Tom!
Your next best article is happening right in front of your eyes.
Do you listen to your writing gut?
You got an idea what to write about, but you aren’t quite sure how to proceed with it. Your thoughts are a mess, and there is no logical order to them. You want to give it a little bit more time. You want to think it through.
No! Don’t wait until you have a perfectly drafted article in your mind!
Start listening to your gut and give your ideas natural flow. Once you have a basic idea in your mind, sit down and write.
Sometimes, I write a thousand words only to find out later, I don’t like what I wrote at all. However, when I read through the text one more time, the right ideas usually start popping up in my mind. What happens next? I rewrite the entire article from scratch or do some smaller edits. Isn’t this what we call creative process?
They’ve already heard it before
Remember not to get discouraged by the fact that hundreds of other writers already wrote a blog post or an article about the topic you’d selected before.
We all have a unique perspective on things. We might live through the exact same experience, but perceive it in a completely different way.
In addition, don’t focus on one topic only. Don’t stop writing just because you haven’t yet figured out what ‘your thing’ is.
My first article was about my first-time travel to Canada. Later, I figured out travel blogging isn’t for me. I should find something I know I’ll stick to. The result? I didn’t post a word for the next six months because I couldn’t decide what to write about, and I was looking for a perfect idea. When I think back, I can’t believe how stupid I was.
Eventually, I started missing writing as such. That’s why I began writing about almost anything that crossed my mind. Once I finished my first article in six months, I was excited to start working on another one. Who cares I won’t stick to the same topic?
I still need to figure out what ‘my thing’ is! But then I am also wondering: ‘Who said you have to write about one thing only?’ It’s nice to keep a little bit of variety, no?
Expect unexpected, your inspiration is everywhere around you
Are you listening to your audience? When looking for new ideas, try reading through comments on your previously published articles. The idea for your next blog post could be hiding right there. Don’t forget to read.
To me, a writer’s brain works on a demand-supply principle.
Whatever ideas you write down, remember to resupply them. Your brain needs some food for thought, too. Read articles related to your hobbies, listen to the latest news, watch a documentary or something else. Whatever you prefer. I use fortune cookies as my source of inspiration from time to time.
One last piece of advice in the end. As already mentioned above, you never know when or where you’ll get inspired. It happened to me with one of my recent blog posts I wrote about our phone addiction while sitting in the airport lounge, looking at people glued to their smartphone screens. Boy, do I sound like a creep? I swear, I’m not.
Therefore, make sure to carry a small notebook and a sharp pencil with you. Alternatively, write down your thoughts into your smartphone. Be ready to write all those amazing ideas down!
Have you already met these two sisters?
One is called Persistence and the other Patience.
It’s great you got inspired. However, you have to sit down and start writing. And do it regularly.
Dreaming about something is nice, however no one else will have to do the work, but you.
This is why I gave myself a goal of writing one article per week. I also try not to get discouraged by a low number of views or claps.
Not every article will become a huge success. But if you keep writing, it will become a success sooner rather than later. As with all other things in our lives, practice makes perfect.
So, what else is left to say? Buckle down and start writing, your audience is anxious to find out what you got for them!