Any writer will tell you the same thing: there are days when coming up with solid material is seeming less possible than sneezing with your eyes open. As someone who writes anywhere from one to five blogs a week, I’ve gotten very familiar with the struggle of trying to stimulate inspiration in order to deliver high caliber material and be able to meet my deadlines.
There is definitely a process when it comes to creating quality content, and everyone develops their own technique. But sometimes, getting the process even started seems like an impossible task. Nevertheless, with deadlines to meet and more work accumulating every second, one of the most valuable skills I’ve learned to develop is the ability to get my creative process started even in the hardest of times.
I’d like to share a little on what I’ve figured out works for me:
First, I always leave the title for last. I’ve found that titling my work before it’s written can really but a damper on my flow and restrict me from thinking outside the box to write unique content. The title should reflect the content – not the other way around, so I always let my work title itself once it’s written.
That being said, I always identify my keywords and SEO before beginning to write. Unlike the title, I’ve found that keywords can actually trigger inspiration and get my brain juices flowing because I know that I have to use the terms at some point. Sometimes I do this weird thing where I begin writing my blogs backwards – by that I mean I write the last paragraph first. The last paragraph is a really great place to sneak in hard-to-use keywords without sounding like a robot, so I try to use up as many keywords as possible and whatever is left over helps me structure the good stuff.
As someone who studied literature and writing, I’ve written my fair share of essays. We all know, sometimes writing on a topic you know nothing about can be extremely challenging – but the process they taught you in school is actually legitimate (who would've thought, right?). Use all the silly-sounding idea-sparking methods you may have thought would never work when it came to real world application. Draw mind maps, create a venn diagram or a vision board, research your topic on YouTube or watch a documentary, listen to podcasts, try anything that might trigger some inspiration and get your ideas and thoughts flowing.
Once you’re rolling along in the creative process, just let it go. Write. I try not to re-read what I’ve just written because I suffer from what I’ve heard is called the grammar-nazi syndrome. If I go back to read the last paragraph, all I want to do is begin editing and I tend to lose my flow. I know I have all the time to go back and edit after my piece is written, and do my absolute best to ignore all the red, green, and blue squiggles under words in my peripheral vision.
If I follow this process and remember to be patient with myself, before I know it I’ve usually created a good piece out of thin air and all before the deadline! Everyone has their own technique, but I think that good key points are to remember to have patience, structure your content around keywords, and although it may seem totally absurd, try to have some fun with it!
Sarah Rose Birge is a Content Editor and Community Manager with Mijo! Brands, a leading creative digital marketing agency with offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, visit us at www.mijobrands.com or contact us.