By Mary Jaksch
Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.
— Masaru Ibuka
Do you struggle to come up with post ideas?
Without a flow of ideas for articles, blogging can turn into a grind, don’t you agree?
That’s why creativity is the life-blood of bloggers and writers.
This post will show you three new ways to get inspired so that you can come up with unlimited blog post ideas.
It’s a practical overview of how to kickstart the creative mind.
Here’s something you may find hard to believe:
*You* have amazing creative capacity!
But your creative mind may have become suppressed.
The process of becoming more creative is about reconnecting with the part of yourself that’s gone underground.
How to reconnect with your innate creativity
The good news is that you can relearn how to be creative.
For you were creative as a child. We all were.
We knew exactly how to be creative when we were little.
We were all masters of divergent thinking, the ability to come up with many responses to a question.
Just ask children, ‘How many different ways could you use a brick?’ and they would come up with endless answers.
But at school, divergent thinking wasn’t what teachers wanted, was it? They wanted us to use convergent thinking, the ability to come up with the correct answer to problems that have only one answer.
And because our brain are trained to use convergent thinking, we need to retrain – and prime – the brain to be creative.
Let’s take a look at the process of creativity.
What happens in the brain when we are creative?
There is a lot of research on how creativity comes about – much of which doesn’t help us to be more creative.
So let’s focus on a practical aspect of creativity:
When two bits of disparate information intersect, a new idea is formed in the brain.
As Dave Stewart, a member of the Eurythmics, says:
To me, creativity has always been about making a connection between two things that normally don’t go together, the joining of seemingly unconnected dots. ~ Dave Stewart, Eurythmics
The new idea – which appears when two unrelated bits of information collide – triggers radiant thinking. This means that the brain makes countless associations, radiating in all directions.
You can see in the next section exactly how this works.
1. Let ordinary life kickstart your creativity
The most important thing is to carry a small notebook around with you wherever you go (or focus on writing notes on your mobile device). This simple action primes your creative well.
The next thing is to hold the idea of writing a blog post in your mind while you go through your day. When you connect two thoughts that are unrelated – such as your experience of the moment, and writing for your blog – new ideas emerge.
Let’s imagine you’re back at your desk with no idea of what to write about. You desperately need fresh ideas for the next blog post. What do do?
First thing: get up from your desk and grab a notebook in order to record even the wackiest ideas! Then let your mind go into free-flow and allow your next actions to trigger ideas.
Here’s a list of what you might do next and the post themes this could trigger.
- Make yourself a cup of coffee.
As you smell the aroma, listen to the drips of the percolator and feel the heat of your cup, think of writing a blog post. Here’s what you might come up with:
Too Hot to Handle? 3 Smart Ways to Keep Your Mother-in-Law at Bay
Warning: Are You at Risk of a Dangerous Social Media Addiction?
Peaceful Communication: How to Drip-Feed Your Truth.
- Go to the window, have a stretch and look out.
Here is what you might come up with:
How to Relax in the Middle of a Busy Day
10 Ways to Gain a New Perspective
5 Surprising Ways to Come up with Creative Ideas
How to Refresh and Revitalize Your Love Life
Fluid Writing: How to Improve Your Speed by 100% in One Week
Flow Like Water: 10 Ways to Assert Yourself in a Peaceful Way
You can see how each post idea is triggered by the activity in everyday life. Of course, the examples above are focused on writing and self-development. But you can easily use the same process to find creative ideas for your particular niche.
The most important thing is to write down your ideas immediately. Creative ideas are ephemeral and disappear quickly if you don’t record them.
There is one thing you need to do if you want your creativity to flow:
Lock your inner critique into a cupboard when you collect ideas!
It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive.
-Henry David Thoreau
Stay true to your inspiration and faithfully write down whatever comes to you – even if it seems bizarre. This is a fun way to come up with unlimited blog post ideas.
2. Keep a journal to loosen the ligaments
British writer Virginia Woolf said:
The habit of writing for my eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. – Virginia Woolf.
Do you keep a journal? I do. I call it my ‘Everything Book’. It’s amazing how writing privately in a journal can shake loose your inspiration!
As you can read in the article, How to Journal, it can be a repository for all of the things that interest and inspire you. It also provides a safe environment to experiment and grow creatively. Here is what to include in your journal:
- Reactions to personal situations and world events
- Thoughts and feelings of the day
- Pieces of writing
- Goals you’re working toward
- Inspiring quotes
- Poetry that moves you
- Pictures from magazines or photos you love
- Books you want to read
- Music you’ve heard that you may want to purchase (or reference in a story)
- Websites to explore
- Cooking recipes
- Grocery lists
- To do lists
In other words, include whatever is important or interesting to you.
When you write in your journal, let your writing flow freely, without correcting or crossing out what you’ve written.
Even just five minutes of writing in your journal will loosen your creative ligaments.
3. Use mindfulness to help your ideas flow
Mindfulness is the state of complete presence.
The truth is that we’re hardly ever present. The scattered mind reaches into the past to rummage around in memories, or projects hopes, dreams, and fears onto the future.
The mind flits around.
One moment you’re thinking about a new blog post, next you think about what you have to buy from the grocery store, or remember the bill you should have paid yesterday.
Being preoccupied kills creativity.
If you want to be creative, you need to let your mind rest in the present moment. The following exercise which will lead you to be present:
- Feel the soles of your feet on the ground
- Take one slow, deep breath and follow each one right through its complete cycle, in and out.
I’ve created a two-minute podcast for you to lead you through this mini-meditation.
To download this short podcast, right-click here.
Each time you do this short mindfulness meditation, your mind will become calm, free of preoccupation, and ready for inspiration.
Practicing this short meditation daily will make you a more creative blogger; and it may also transform your life in a new and fulfilling way.
If you want to boost your creativity, take action and follow the steps below.
- Let ordinary life kickstart your creativity for thirty minutes and record at least five different blog post ideas.
- Keep a daily journal for a week and see how this cranks up your creativity.
- Do the mindfulness exercise before you start your next piece of writing and see how it settles you.
You may also like to read some more about creativity. Click here for an excellent article.
What is your experience with creativity? Please share in the comments
About the Author: Mary Jaksch has helped thousands of students successfully create outstanding and profitable blogs. Grab her FREE report, How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary is Editor-in-Chief of WritetoDone.com and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN. She is also an authorised Zen Master.