I just sat down to write, thinking I should really take advantage of one of my few free evenings this week to put some words into a blog post, but then it hit me – I had no inspiration! Despite all of my wonderful techniques of logging ideas, of keeping notes in documents that I can access on my iPhone, work computer and home computer, and despite having trained myself in several techniques for increasing your imagination, I just couldn’t find the inspiration to write!
So I sat and watched the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, hoping inspiration would strike once that was done. Nope; still no inspiration. Next, I went out on the balcony for a breath of fresh evening air, hoping the open vistas that were revealed to me would brighten my moods and fill me with the creative juices I was lacking. I even did ten push-ups and a lovely set of back and shoulder mobility stretches, but still no inspiration. I even turned on the latest Imagine Dragons album; that kind of music usually pumps me up enough to get my fingers moving on the keyboard! Alas! – nothing. And I’ve read dozens of books on motivation, inspiration and the creative process! How could this happen to me?!
Maybe I should just watch another episode of The Vampire Diaries and play World of Warcraft, you know? But wait; why don’t I need to be motivated or inspired to do any of those things? What is inherently different about writing a blog post – a post just like this one – that causes me to need some sort of special quality, a special state of mind, just in order to write a post?
All too often, us creative types lament the lack of inspiration as the main cause for our inability to create new content. We get various forms of creative block, where we just can’t create any writing, music, art or poetry. But that’s where the secret trick comes in. That trick that I’m sure we all know on some level but always forget.
It doesn’t matter if your content is any good, and it doesn’t matter if you convey the exact meaning of what it is you want to say. Just write. Even if that means you might take a short break in the middle of writing to do something else, like read an article your ex-girlfriend just got published or go cuddle your dog, just write.
It doesn’t have to be long, either. The standard accepted amount of words of a single page is roughly 250 words, so if you make it to 500 words, you’ve written about two pages worth of text! This blog post is 572 words long, so just over two pages. It doesn’t have to be a revolutionary text that will turn heads and have Danielle Allen from the Pulitzer Prize board calling you and saying you’re a strong candidate for the prize this year. You don’t even need to publish it if you don’t want to, but you need to write.
That’s really the only way to get better at it. That’s really the only way you’ll ever get great content. You need to make content on a regular basis and hope that one of these days you create that epic masterpiece you’re hoping for. Don’t just sit around and wait for motivation to strike, because it doesn’t happen.