This article has been contributed by Thomas Moore.
Picture the time you wrote your first blog post. You were full of ideas and had an endless flow of imagination. If anyone asked what you were creating, you could easily explain what you wanted to achieve since it was all well-laid in your mind. But what happens along the journey that makes you lose touch with your creativity?
It is possible that even as a great writer, you can still lose touch with creativity at some point in your blogging career. When you continuously write about the same or similar topics, it’s understandable that you may get bored, blocked or unmotivated. It’s not just you.
So, how can you boost your creativity when you run out of ideas for your blog? Let’s delve into it.
1. Create a New Writing Ambience
What does your writing environment look like? Does it inspire thinking and creativity? Sometimes, your working environment can be the greatest undoing of your flow and the reason you can’t come up with creative ideas like you used to.
When your mind gets used to the same environment all year round, it becomes challenging for you to think of new stuff. A little touch-up and redecoration of your workstation or office could work magic.
Choose colors that are appealing to you and include them in your decorating ideas. Ensure your room has enough airflow, and if possible, use air scents that trigger a relaxed and active state of mind.
If your writing space has minimal privacy and you’re frequently disturbed, consider moving to a different room or space. Creativity needs concentration, which is rarely possible if people keep interrupting your thinking and imagination.
Ideally, your writing environment should have the following features.
Since you will be sitting most of the time you’re writing, you need ergonomic furniture to keep you comfortable. You can concentrate better when you’re relaxed and not distracted by the discomfort of your chair, for instance. You can channel all your thoughts to your writing and generation of ideas.
A Stereo System Playing Music on Low Volume
While loud music isn’t advisable when writing, low music has been proven to work wonders on work productivity, and writing is no exception. Tune in to the music of your choice and let it take you to a world of creativity.
Think of things like: How did the songwriter come up with the lyrics of the song you are listening to? Before you know it, you will be swimming in an ocean of ideas.
Some Art Hanging on the Wall
Hanging some visual inspiration on your writing room wall will inspire creativity as well as bring life into your workspace. Abstract paintings can be particularly useful for stimulating your mind and triggering new ideas that you may not otherwise not have thought of.
Top Quality Air
Fresh air helps to improve productivity, so do what you can to ensure your workspace gets fresh air. You may like to get an air purifier for your workspace and change the filter regularly. If practical, you can always work with the windows wide open for maximum air circulation.
2. Implement the Six Thinking Hats
The six thinking hats were introduced by Edward de Bono as decision-making strategies to help people stuck with idea generation come up with new ideas. When you are unable to develop more content creatively, it might be time to seek the help of these six thinking hats.
Here are Edward de Bono’s six thinking hats and how they can help you become more creative with your blogging:
The White Hat
This thinking hat helps you to focus on the data you have available on hand now. De Bono suggests that you analyze past trends and look at what you can learn from it to build on your current content. Check the gaps you have in your information and either fill them or record them to address later.
The Red Hat
If you ‘put on’ the red hat, you possibly will be looking at your problems using your instincts, gut, and emotion rather than factual analysis. When planning for blog content, you should put your audience at the front of your mind and think of how they might react emotionally to different types of content.
The Black Hat
Black hat thinking advises that you look at your decision’s potential negative outcomes. If you are thinking of choosing a given topic, what disadvantages are inherent in writing about that topic? Look at blog topics and subtopics consciously and defensively. When you get to know the potential weak points early, it can help you think of better options to replace them.
The Yellow Hat
With the yellow hat, you are at a positive angle for viewing ideas. You can focus on all the benefits of settling for a given blog idea. This hat gives you the conviction you need to continue with a topic idea even if it initially looks difficult and gloomy.
The Green Hat
‘Wearing’ the green hat means thinking outside the box. Get out of your typical thinking pattern and source new ideas for uncovering new topics to blog about. If you’re used to starting your blog posts with a rhetorical question, you may consider using statistics for your opening sentence. Trying new things will trigger your mind to think differently.
The Blue Hat
The blue hat represents your ability to put into action what you have around you. How well can you balance the application of the other hats for a perfect writing experience? There are sections in your blog where you will need to ‘wear’ the green hat, others the red, and so on. If you can easily understand how to shift between these hats and use them where necessary, then you are ‘wearing’ your blue hat well.
3. Look for New Information
One of the main reasons you are running out of creative ideas may be that you have stopped feeding yourself with new information. The more you learn, the more creative you become in your writing.
Getting new information isn’t always about subscribing to a class or reading books alone. Sometimes you can find an expert to write on a topic you consider challenging then learn from their writing style.
Reading different resources and subscribing to online classes are well-known methods of getting new information. Here’s how each option helps in building your creativity.
Read Different Resources
When you look at top world leaders like Robert Kiyosaki and Steve Jobs, you will realize they have one thing in common – they like reading.
Reading not only helps you keep abreast with the world’s development but also to build on your creative skills. Whenever you feel you are running out of creative skills, you try out a few books and training resources available around you.
Reading a range of resources helps you to connect the existing information in a way that allows you to be more creative with what you already know.
Subscribe for Online Classes
Learning is a continuous process, and the digital era we live in has made this a reality. Today, there are various free and cheap online courses you can take to help you advance your knowledge and skills.
Online classes allow you to explore various topics and learn something new that enables you to create better blog posts for your audience.
4. Research Your Target Audience
Any blog post you write should speak articulately to your target audience. But when you don’t know enough about your audience, you can easily run out of creative ideas to address their needs and wants.
Therefore, anytime you run out of ideas, it could be the time to go deep in finding out more about your audience. Start by doing some audience research to discover what people are searching for. You can use Google’s free Keyword Planner tool to help you find broad ideas on the type of content you need for your blog.
The best way to get reliable results from your audience is to use SEO tools to give you precise data on what people are looking for. These tools also provide you with information on related terms searchers use and much more.
You can also go straight to your audience and ask them what they expect you to give them on your next blog. Use surveys and forms to ask for this kind of feedback to help inspire new topic ideas.
Social media management tools like Buffer Publish help you to schedule and track trending topics, analyze questions, and follow up your audience’s responses around a topic. These types of insights will be invaluable in discovering new topics for your blog that will genuinely resonate with your readers.
5. Try Freewriting
The concept of freewriting works well for many writers and is an ideal option to consider anytime you hit writer’s block. You will need a timer to execute this plan effectively.
Set your timer to around thirty minutes or more, and as soon as it starts running, begin writing your article. Write about any topic you want and let it flow without pausing to edit or do anything else.
Writing in this manner opens your mind, and your mental blocks gradually wear away. When your mind eventually runs out of surface-level ideas, you will need to get more creative to develop content.
Freewriting is also an ideal way of creating original ideas in your mind and helping you create outstanding blog posts. Furthermore, it can help you beat the constant self-editing and self-criticism that may be fighting against your creativity.
6. Switch Your Environment, Come Back Later
When you get tired, it can be very hard – if not impossible – to concentrate on one thing for a long time, let alone think creatively. If you find yourself getting tired, it can be really useful to relax your mind by getting outside and especially spending time in nature.
You can jog down the road or go to the nearest park for a chill-out session. Go to a coffee shop, mall, or market to experience a different theme of events. Interact with people and note how they talk, interact, wear, or react to their environment.
These random interactions with people and your environment may help you grasp new ideas to boost your blog. Even observing the colors of clothes and how people match them might give you an idea of a new theme to use in your blog.
If you have other tasks that are not related to writing or deep-thinking, you can switch to them and come back to writing when you are fresh and ready to continue. Switching up tasks will free you up, get rid of your stress, and make you relax in readiness for getting back to your writing.
7. While on Break, Take a Shower
Relaxing rituals like taking a shower, exercising and listening to music, can also significantly improve our brain function.
The hormone dopamine is found in your brain and helps in transmitting information between nerves. When you take a warm shower, this hormone is released in large amounts into your brain to increase the effectiveness of transmission of information within your brain.
So, when you cannot think creatively anymore, you may be low in dopamine, hence the slow flow of ideas. Once it increases again, you can enjoy a free flow of information for a better working experience.
Bathing also helps your mind to relax, where you can turn your attention inwards and think creatively.
While taking a shower to boost your creativity, you should capture the ideas that come to your mind for later use.
8. Have a Healthy Snack for Your Brain
Your brain needs nutrients to function well. When you are grappling with creative thinking, it could be that your brain is deficient in some of these nutrients.
Being an energy-intensive organ, your brain depletes the nutrients you give it faster. Therefore, it needs frequent refueling to maintain concentration throughout the day.
Luckily, there are some foods you can eat to benefit your brain. Healthy brain foods include peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, coffee, avocados, eggs and berries. Grabbing any of these during your breaks can help you improve your creativity and help shape your blog’s outcome.
9. Take a Day Off
If everything seems unproductive and you are not rushing to meet any deadlines, you should consider taking the day off. Use this day to rejuvenate and rebuild yourself using one or multiple of the above options. You can go out and enjoy nature or go to a sporting event to completely take your mind off your writing stress.
Interact with friends and family, and while at it, try to rejuvenate your creative powers by engaging in creative activities like mind games. Engage in that Ludo game or crossword puzzles. Have maximum fun before you go back to your work.
Final Verdict: Understand What Works Best for You
The various options available for boosting creativity will always have different effects on different people. While some can work in conjunction with others, you should understand what works best for you and make them your go-to creativity boosters.
About the author: Thomas Moore is a part-time teacher who prepares content for students who turn to cheap essay writing service from time to time. His passion is all about breaking down complex concepts while preparing lessons for learners.