1. Turn social media into your BFF
Social media is a content creator’s best friend. Does social media have the potential of being a huge waste of time? Absolutely! But a proactive approach to social media helps you dive into research. Tailored Twitter lists, hashtags and Google Alerts get those creative juices flowing. And, let’s be honest, it’s fun, too.
Social media is also an invaluable tool because it gets you reading (yes, reading for pleasure still counts). Reading widely sharpens your language skills and, most importantly, keeps you inspired. An inspired writer consistently produces inspiring content, so it’s a win-win.
2. Make a game plan
After you get a sense of the research, you can anticipate the structure of the piece. Do you have enough points for a list of bullet points? How many subheads will you need? Once you know the skeleton of your content, it’s very easy to fill in the body. It’s also helpful to see an outline before the writing begins. You don’t want to interrupt your flowing masterpiece with these mundane details. Get them out of the way ASAP.
3. Switch it up
Desktop computers are important writing tools, but they’re also very limiting. Laptops are supposed to be the solution to greater mobility, but they’re far from perfect. They can be heavy and clunky, overheat and strain the eyes. Consider employing lighter and more mobile devices (e.g. tablets, cell phones, etc.) as additional tools at your disposal.
Good news: many tablets already come preloaded with writing and editing software. Even if you don’t want to write on a tablet, then you can use another device to continue your research. Why switch between multiple tabs if you don’t have to?
4. Shake it up with breaks
If you want to maintain your creative flow, then you have to keep things moving — even if that means taking breaks. Like Paul Jun writes for ProBlogger, exercise is key to warding off the dreaded writer’s block:
“I noticed when I don’t do any exercise, my brain feels clouded, my mood is spontaneously foul, my attitude can change from positive to lackluster at the flick of a switch, and nothing ever feels okay.”
Some of the most demanding universities, including MIT, stress the importance of moving your body and taking effective breaks.
5. Don’t stop the music
The creative process should never be dull. Remember: inspired creators create inspiring content. Science has shown that music actually boosts productivity. But not all melodies are created equal. According to Business Insider, these sweet tunes will help you create content faster:
- nature sounds
- songs that you enjoy
- songs that you don’t exactly care for
- songs sans the lyrics (words are often too distracting)
- songs with a specific tempo
- songs played at a moderate level
It’s all about finding what works for you, and, let’s be honest, this part is fun.
6. Think blue
If you can create near a natural body of water, like an ocean or a river, then do it.
Science also supports that water buoys productivity and creativity. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, reflects on the importance of water in relation to creativity to the Huffington Post:
“We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broke.”
If you don’t have the luxury of being near water, then don’t sweat it. Taking a shower or drinking a glass of water can also help you tap into the limitless creative possibilities of this important element.
May your creativity and productivity always flow like water.