Life is usually feast or famine. There will be some seasons as writers where the only thing we do is write. The ideas flow and words become an endless stream. We can’t be sidetracked and it’s wonderful! We astonish ourselves by all the content. Other times, nary a word will flow from our pens.
As writers, our job is to learn to leverage and channel our creativity to keep us writing when things aren’t so inspired. That way our readers still get the best of us, even when the blank page mocks us. Implementing a few tips can make all the difference between delivering new content and disappointing readers.
Create a publishing schedule. Faithful readers deserve consistent content. They come to count on you. If you know you want to write one email newsletter a month, a blog post each week, and share two Instagram photos, you get a better sense of how much content you need to create. Delivering something for publication by 3pm becomes much easier.
Choose a weekly topic, or one for each month, and focus your content around it. Whatever publishing schedule you think you can keep, divide it in half and start with that instead. If you find yourself consistently writing more, keep the content for future use. Only bump up your schedule when you have several solid months of content finished in advance.
When you are inspired, brainstorm, take notes, and outline, outline, outline. If you brainstorm ideas when you are in creative mode, you can put them to good use in dry times. For many, coming up with new ideas can be the hardest part of creating new content. I keep a binder of topic ideas and brainstorm about once a month. I add anything that comes to mind – no matter how bizarre or just-barely-related it might seem.
Instead of trying to finish full pieces during bursts of creativity, take notes. Organize snippets of thought so you can go back later and turn them into completed content. When you run out of ideas, but are still feeling creative, start writing.
Pay attention to the calendar. When life is crazy, back off on your publishing schedule. In busy seasons, we need to give ourselves permission to lower our expectations, while still serving our readers. Don’t feel guilty for slowing content distribution because of the holidays or summertime. Readers get busy during those times as well.
If you normally write three articles a week, scale back to one. If you write a weekly email, try for once a month. Don’t be afraid to periodically recycle archived posts on social media. It gets your work in front of readers who didn’t see it the first time.
Take time to recharge. Frazzled and exhausted creatives aren’t creative. That sounds trite or cliché, but it’s true. Sometimes the most inspiring thing we can do is sit down on the back porch with a sweet tea and a good book. Let someone else feed our souls while we pause from feeding others. After an hour or so, pull out your pen and blank page, and see if something didn’t stir in your heart.
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Taking care to deliver consistent content to our readers is key as writers. Being intentional about how we share our work, so we can continue to grow our readership even when we aren’t dreadfully inspired, will make the difference in our success. A bit of planning can change our reach and readership in ways we never imagined.
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