As a freelance web content writer, creativity defines my game. From topic selection to offering solutions to reader problems. Word choice to finding an unexpected angle. Mixing media options to identifying new ways to reach people.
My mantra becomes, “Creative juices don’t fail me now!”
Actually, I would say getting creative is the drive and motivation behind my work. I love to brainstorm, inspire ideas and watch them unfold over time. Often, I find it pure therapy.
It excites me just talking with you about it!
On the reverse, it can be the bane of my existence. This elusive beast seems difficult to tame or disappears altogether at times when I need it most.
Have you been there?
On some occasions, wild ideas fill my head with no rhyme, reason or cohesion. Focusing them becomes overwhelming and themes mesh and intermix in unproductive ways.
At other times, the creative well runs dry. Sources of inspiration hide in the shadows. And, frustration mounts.
So, the logical question arises: How do I, how do you, re-ignite the creative spark?
You Are Creative
You may be thinking these words fail to apply to you. After all, as a CEO, finance guru or IT specialist, you put away the paintbrush and watercolors for more tangible skills long ago.
However, I argue that we are all creative. This quality is not for the artsy alone. It is universal.
If you flourish among the problem-solvers, relational peacemakers and those thinking outside the box for business ventures and solutions, you express yourself creatively. Words, numbers, code and paint prove to be the mediums through which we create, not our muse.
As it turns out, this quality responds to cultivation and practice. In other words, gone are the excuses of not being born or gifted with this seemingly artistic skill. And, each of us does well to develop this side of our thinking. I strongly suggest that the impact and success of our work depend on it.
Even if you feel as if you never picked up the paintbrush or always sported two left feet, hope lies in finding and igniting the spark within you. So, if these concepts prove true, what can you do to grow this valuable characteristic?
Ways to Spark Creativity
Whether you fully embrace your creative side or struggle to recognize its existence, the same principles apply in developing it. Starting from scratch, attempting to reignite it or fanning the flame brighter offer valuable return on investment in any profession. And, the benefits show up in your company and personal content.
For me, my livelihood and clients demand my creativity. The tug of my heart cries out for it. Dry spells not allowed.
So, I discovered a few ways to spark creativity along my journey. The voices of friends, colleagues and experts helped shape these ideas. To them, I am grateful.
Check it out:
My creative juices tend to come alive under a deadline. And, these efforts are rewarded. But, time and space amid the busyness cause innovation to ripen and flourish. Juliet Funt, CEO of WhiteSpace reminds us, “Innovation and creativity are withering under the false god of busyness.” I have experienced this as well.
Imagination is found in the discipline of uninterrupted, distraction-free time. Cultivating a daily habit of silence and solitude opens space for your mind to engage in the creative process. Setting phone, tablet, children and other distractions aside frees your mind to wander. And, if you are an introvert, the need rises.
Furthermore, making space to garden, read, stroll or swing in the backyard hammock plays a powerful role in triggering breakthroughs when stuck. And, for those of us with the passion for a deadline, pushing work into time constraints to make room for this valuable space aids the creative process.
- Reserve time daily for the purpose of silence.
- Eliminate one daily activity to ease your busyness.
- Plan an annual sabbatical to hone your creativity.
With few too hours to get your list accomplished, adding sleep hours is not a popular idea. But, stick with me. While sleep may seem the antithesis of creativity, it is actually one of your greatest allies in developing it. Yes, resting your mind supports the production of novel ideas, and here’s why.
One. while your body rests, the mind remains active. Some of you may be all too aware of this fact. Dreams and restlessness at times hinder our ability to snooze. What is the brain doing? Storing information to memory. making sense of the day, sorting and discarding the meaningless information from the day, ordering thoughts and more.
Two, nightly times of rest, even naps, restore and re-energize creative processes. Research reveals that different types of creatives report differing sleep patterns. And, guess what? Verbal creatives (ahem, a freelance web content writer) sleep more hours while also heading to bed and rising later.
Even with support as to its value, rest remains taboo among the successful. Isn’t it just laziness? No. Sleep makes us more creative.
- Use a sleep app to stabilize sleep cycles.
- Take a power nap midday.
- Start on creative work in the morning, right after a night’s sleep.
Physical activity reaps benefits for nearly every area of the body. and the mind is no exception. Sweating it out lowers stress, improves mood and awakens bodily systems, including creativity.
Research across age ranges prove this to be true. Unfortunately, the commonality of desk jobs for writers, marketers, business people and others tethered to a screen albeit wireless leaves physical exercise and creativity waning.
Want to reap the greatest return on investment? Research finds that walking, in particular, improves creativity. In a park, on a treadmill, inside, outside or upside down strolling daily offers benefits. Whatever it takes, just move to improve creative output!
- Schedule mini-breaks throughout the day to take a walk.
- Regularly complete a set of deskercises.
- Incorporate consistent workout times into your week.
With all the pouring out of creative ideas, words and projects, pouring in becomes vital. Yet, this necessary activity is vastly underestimated among freelance writers and the like. After all, the demand for content leaves most hours filled with weaving words.
Similar to making space for silence, you need to create space for your brain to engage in other activities. Read, watch movies, listen to classical music, explore the world. Incorporating both extended times to engage in these activities and quick shots throughout the day reset the mind.
A particularly powerful source of input proves to be taking in views of nature. Even photos and screensavers of natural scenes result in cognitive benefits. In fact, people who take time to enjoy the view feel restored, experience increased attention span and perform better on tasks, even at quick 40-second intervals. Check out the proof.
Whatever it takes, get out of your normal routine both in your niche and outside it. Creativity follows.
- Grab a book by your favorite author and escape.
- Take micro-breaks during the day to enjoy the scenery inside or out.
- Tinker with hobbies and side projects, no guilt.
We do not live in a vacuum. Ideas do not spontaneously birth in our minds or fall from the heavens. In fact, my husband often reminds me there is no such thing as an original idea. Yes, all ideas come from somewhere, some source of inspiration.
Consider the images which leave you in awe. Think of the quotes which impact you deeply. What textures and colors bring joy and invigorate you? Who mentors you by written or verbal word?
In times of silence or seeking creative input, jotting thoughts and gathering ideas that catch your eye build a treasury of surefire inspiration. Furthermore, viewing these collections of inspiration periodically, especially when stuck, revs the creative juices once again.
Be sure to notice these moments throughout the day for shots of creativity-boosting power.
- Create a Pinterest board for collecting inspiration.
- Gather found treasures on a nature walk.
- Use a photo album, box or corkboard for easy idea viewing.
One of my favorite activities is the collaborative banter and exchange of ideas. Yes, brainstorming. While you individually contribute creative projects, working together births a level of creativity not achievable by one mind.
First, explaining ideas forces you to bring them into greater clearer. And further, it reveals those concepts lacking validity. After all, saying things out loud brings them into a new light and causes you to think about them differently.
Second, we are not created to go it alone. Nothing proves this statement more powerfully than the boosted creativity and improved end product when you work collaboratively. So, grab your freelance web content writer or another colleague, speak your ideas, fill gaps in each other’s thinking and spur greater ideas.
- Write 10 things daily you want to create to forge the habit of birthing ideas.
- Set a date with one person to brainstorm this week.
- Identify your ideal team size for boosting creativity.
Peter Pan and all lost boys unite! Play proves essential to creativity. Yet, we tend to ignore its power and value.
In the rush to grow up and find success, play gets relegated to a frivolous activity. And, to be honest, many of us do not believe it is worthy of our time. Let me propose that you cannot afford to forego cutting loose.
Remember, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Pure fun fuels imaginations and problem-solving skills. This unstructured time leaves the work and goals behind to rejuvenate and reset your mind for greater productivity and creativity.
- Joke (appropriately) with co-workers during breaks.
- Invite friends over for a game night.
- Wrestle with your children.
In summary, each of the above suggestions leads to taking a step back, orienting our thinking to the positive and empowering us to see problems from a new angle. Think of solving a puzzle with your face an inch from the table. Now a foot or two. See how different the perspective is?
And, if you struggle getting started, simply imagine you are creative. It works to boost creative juices as well.
So, what results from these practices?
Creative Content Ideas
Input, the foundation of brainstorming, inspiration, call it what you will. Let’s start a list of specific ways to cget creative with your content.
Harness the Inner Wordsmith
- Be funny (appropriately and true to yourself).
- Re-invent old content in innovative, modern ways.
- Employ email newsletters to share again your great content and company life.
- Create gated content such as an ebook to dig deeper into topics and draw reader downloads.
- Practice the skill of penning captivating headlines.
- Incorporate storytelling into content and marketing campaigns at large.
Think Beyond Written Content
- Use tools such as Visage and Canva to create compelling, customized infographics.
- Harness the power of embedded videos.
- Publish podcasts featuring conversations on thought-provoking topics and trends.
- Host webinars to reach your audience through deeper discussions.
- Shoot videos, post to YouTube and let the viewing, sharing and embedding begin.
- Work with drones to give videos a unique perspective.
Get Social With It
- Channel Instagram or SnapChat to showcase client stories and testimonials.
- Utilize Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat stories to give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at your work.
- Tackle subscription brand posts to share tips and tricks complementary to your products.
- Allow customers to hijack your social media account for a day.
- Capitalize on Facebook and other platforms to create a personal classroom for consumers.
- Start social conversations with video and intriguing questions.
- Practice creativity sparking habits.
- Make your motivation intrinsic, not reliant on external praise and reward.
- Aspire to do better and more in terms of content.
- Develop empathy for your readers.
- Ask the pertinent questions: “Am I living my content or just creating it? Am I talking to customers or just my teammates?”
A Freelance Web Content Writer Boosts Creativity
Are you inspired to get your creative vibe back? Excited for it to be spilled into your content? Eager to see it impact your work?
No matter your job description, you are creative. You have a vital, imaginative role to play. But, maybe your creativity is needed in company pursuits other than content. Or, perhaps you still struggle to label yourself a creative.
A freelance web content writer partners with you to boost creativity in your content and get you the results you want. Though imagination can be practiced and developed, it turns out that creative content marketers may just be a rare breed.
And, this benefits you.
Contact us today to hear more about these perks in your free consultation.