I digress. Here are 5 ways that I try and keep the ideas flowing, and make sure that I don’t get 4-5 days in to a dip without anything to write about.
- Write down your ideas – This seems obvious, but you need to do it. Put it in your phone, carry a scrap of paper around, a field notes book in your pocket, whatever. I can’t tell you how many ideas have slipped my mind because I thought about it, and didn’t write it down. We are bombarded with information every day, and your idea probably will not make the cut. Write ’em down.
- Outline your idea in a first draft – When possible, take your idea from where you put it, and make a shitty first draft (click to read, and thank you Anne Lamott). Just get it all out there, and edit later. It may take a hundred words of crap to get to what you want.
- Write multiple posts a day – If you’re in the zone, keep writing. Just like you’ll have days where it’s a struggle, you’ll have some days where everything just flows out naturally, and you’ll feel like you can hardly type fast enough to get everything down. Of course, these days are rare, so take advantage of them!
- Stick to a schedule – Now, you must resist the urge to post multiple times a day (unless you’re a big deal and writing is all you do). Personally, I want to post 3-4 times a week, or every other day. This gives me a solid 15 posts a month, which isn’t too overwhelming for me or the good folks who subscribe. If I fill up their inbox 4 times one day, and then don’t post for a week, that has to be annoying. Be consistent. All of these steps build on each other, and give you content to write about when you’re in a dip.
- Ask for help (guest posts, reader requests) – Finally, be willing to ask for help. I’m sure someone would be willing to guest post for you, or do a poll to discover what topics your readers would like for you to cover. Likely they will ask about something in your sphere of knowledge, or they won’t, and you can expand that sphere. A great part is you’re getting involved with people.
Incidentally, this post followed the rules listed. I thought of it a week ago, wrote it down on my phone, drafted, edited, and waited. As life turns out, the topic actually meshes with yesterday’s post on the dip, and is a nice segue.
I hope these rules help you out with your writing, and I believe they can help in work as well. For instance, keep a running file or word doc of your ideas, and keep throwing a couple out every meeting. Nobody wants to hear all 10 of your ideas at once, and you don’t want to implement 10 ideas starting tomorrow. Just get a couple out there each week, and get ready to make something happen!
What are some of the rules you follow for staying consistent in work, creativity, and life?