Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How To: Stay Inspired

We've been talking a lot on here on topics for those of you who are new bloggers and ways to start up your blog. But what if you've been in the game for a little while now (or a long while!) where lots of blogging stuff has become old hat? What if blogging has become a chore or a burden, where getting to your posts seems more like a to-do task than a joy? I know I've been there before where my blog suddenly feels like a "have to" instead of a "want to". Where I sit down to write a post, but my mind is blank with absolutely no idea what to say.

I want to talk about ways you can stay inspired to keep creating new content for your blog. It's not an easy task to come up with original, fresh, new content all the time. Even the best bloggers out there will tell you that they hit a rut now and then. Blogs that have teams of people have the advantage of a few minds working on ideas, so they're less likely to hit a wall. But for the majority of us that are a one person team it can be a challenge. I know that I have definitely gotten burnt out on blogging. And I want to tell you - there is no shame in that! None at all. That's just being real about how blogging affects you.

So, how can you stay inspired to keep on creating new content and finding the "want" again in your drive?

1. Take a blog break. This seems counterproductive, but trust me on this on. Decide to just walk away from the computer and not think about blogging for a week. Giving yourself the freedom to just not worry about it anymore can be a great catalyst to let your creative thoughts take over & run free. I have "unplugged" for a week in the past it's been very cleansing and re-energized me with a lot of new ideas for content.

2. Go outside. Go for a walk, go to the park, explore your city, take a bike ride. Do something, anything, that is outdoors. Even if it's cold! Being away from technology and being in the midst of nature can often be incredibly inspiring to us. In the summer I love long walks around my little town and to get a chance to go hiking in the mountains.

3. Create for no one else but you. Instead of thinking about how this project can turn into a tutorial - just make it and enjoy it! Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in creating material for blog posts that it can become overwhelming. Or like a task to complete. Some of my favourite projects have come out of just making something for my own personal want. It's even generated ideas for more projects to use for tutorials.

4. Expose yourself to creative sources other than blogs & Pinterest. Pick up a magazine, read a book, watch a program, go to an art show, take a sculpting class. We can get caught up in the comparison game with other blogs out there, so it's essential to just stop reading them for a little while. This also helps push you to come up with your own content instead of finding yourself mimicking another person's post. Being inspired by other people's work isn't wrong at all - I'm sure lots of us do it. It's just easy to get into the habit of doing it regularly, which isn't new content for you.

5. Spend time with your friends & family. I often find inspiration for blog posts when I hang out with my family. Hearing someone else's thoughts may spark an idea for me, or a suggestion for a new recipe may get me baking that weekend. People are an AMAZING source of inspiration  - take advantage of it! Have coffee with a girlfriend, play with your kids for the rest of the day, have a great chat with your husband (or wife!)

What are some ways that you guys find inspiration to keep blogging or to create new content? We'd love for you to share so everyone can have more ideas!

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