This is something a little bit different, so it deserves a bit of explanation.
Last week my buddy Holly Jahangiri shared a link on Twitter going to an article titled 6 Ways to Get Creative with Writing Your Blog Content. One of the writer’s recommendations was to Spend a Few Moments Coloring, which I thought was a ridiculous idea. Holly issued a challenge where she’s going to write about doing it as a positive thing whereas I’m going to write about it as being… well, hogwash! 🙂
To begin with, I understand the writer’s motivation, at least for a few of the points in the article. The belief is that a disruption in what you’d normally do will help you be a more creative writer because you’re moving outside of your comfort zone. In this case, coloring is one of the ideas; exercising is another idea of something to do beforehand. In other words, doing things that have nothing to do with writing will help you become more creative is what the writer’s saying.
Being someone who’s taken a shot at what I’ll call extreme exercising, along with not actually coloring anything in probably 40 years or so, I’m thinking that there are a lot more ways to find enough ideas to be creative. I mean, once I wrote about changing the colors on one’s blog as a way to shake things up or to stand out from the norm. Have you noticed that the links in my blog post are a different color than what most people have, and when I want to make something bold is shows up in a nice looking dark blue?
If I was going to offer something extraneous that might help you get into a creative mode for writing, I might suggest playing piano. I played for 29 years, but over the course of the last 19 I was always writing something, whether it was music or a lot of stories and books I started and eventually stopped. What would happen is that I’d first get into the music I was playing, and then I’d start improvising, and eventually I’d start getting ideas for either songs, lyrics or stories. This was way before the days of blogging but I believe if I needed it for creativity I’d probably still be playing.
Let’s get back to creativity and ideas for writing blog posts and articles. I’ve written a number of articles on this blog addressing creativity, which started back in 200 with the 2nd step in my book writing series where I talked about outlines and journals. I don’t journal as much anymore but whenever I’m going to write a major piece like when I wrote about 30 mistakes people make with their blogs, I always start with an outline. Think about it; how many of us would be able to sit down and start writing knowing we actually wanted 30 points of anything? 🙂
I’ve talked about the art of storytelling as a way to be creative. I read so many articles that feel like dissertations instead of conversations. I’ve never met a single person who didn’t have a story to tell, whether it was true or not. I’ve written quite a few stories on this blog, true adventures I’ve had, while Holly has shared a lot of fictional stories on her blog showing off her creativity. I even mentioned Holly in a post about concepts of writing (which she probably never saw lol).
In that post, I talked about creativity on things outside of writing. For instance, there’s a video on there which became the first viral wedding video from YouTube that was very creative, that most of you will probably remember.
Creativity doesn’t have to be complicated. You can take something relatively small and turn it into something big… while still making it small. For instance, I’ve written two very short posts on this blog giving 10 writing tips, short enough for most people to need less than 2 minutes to read yet 20 pretty good points if I say so myself.
Let me ask this question; do you think inspiration and creativity are at least similar concepts as it regards writing? If so, check out this link where I mentioned 10 things I was doing that gave me inspiration to write something (one of those talks about walking at the gym; that “might” count as exercise lol).
Do you read other blogs? Books? Magazines or newspapers (offline or on)? Do you watch TV or movies or videos? If so, wouldn’t you agree that a lot of inspiration can be found from sources like that, and that you can figure out different angles on what you’ve read or consumed?
Maybe you’re a niche blogger looking for a creative way to write about your topic. Instead of pulling out a coloring book and figuring out what color you want Donald Duck’s beak to be, why not find inspiration and creativity while trying to learn something, whether you agree with it or not? Some of the most creative things I’ve read are the result of someone taking a counterpoint against the article they read.
I might be tooting my own horn a bit, but it’s not my intention. My intention is to say that I believe that doing things that usually take your mind off what you’re hoping to write about isn’t as conducive to being creative as many of the things I mentioned here might be. Even though I mentioned that in one of my articles I was walking and came up with an idea, truth be told whenever that happens I usually have a nugget of something I want to write about but need time to bring it to fruition in my mind. I’m trying to imagine having a nugget of something in my mind and starting to color, and having it format properly while I’m trying to stay inside the lines. lol
I think that’s enough to support my side in this little debate. This line will change once I have Holly’s link (which I now have: Coloring Creativity into Blogging so you can see what she wrote and then chime in with agreement or disagreement or opinion. We’re having some fun with this particular item in the initial link I shared, but in the end I’m missing the coloring idea… if you agree with it please help me understand. 🙂