All the top social media blogs I read tell me where to find ideas for hot blogging content. So off I go browsing Amazon’s top sellers for my niche, check out Drudge, and see what’s trending on Twitter. Next stop: Copyblogger and time suck some more, and then I notice the clock has tick-tocked to dinner hour and I’ve got nothing written.
What is wrong with me? Do I have writer’s block? Am I a procrastinator? Or am I trying too hard and discouraged because I’m such a teensy fish in a multitudinous ocean.
If I don’t come up with a killer headline, or a list of how-to’s and secrets that will change your life – I am DOOMED. You will leave me to read a better scripted blog post by a social media rock star who has the content that delivers what YOU want.
The influencers’ advice isn’t working for me.
Truth? I want to write what I want to write in the way that I write. I know there are at least three people who read my blog and come back faithfully. Thousands would be cool. But three is enough. Instead of being a me-too writer I’m a come-alive writer. And I will write for three.
Where I Find Inspiration for Writing:
- Conversations: I talk to people and listen with the intent to learn. I find out who they are, what they’ve been through, what they like, what their dreams and aspirations are. I ask, “Tell me your story.” That’s the best content you are ever going to find. Real life, real people.
- Museums: I took the above picture at the Rochester MAG one sunday afternoon. That’s my son off to the side listening to the pipe organ concert. It was transcendent, holy. I was moved to reflect and consider the lilies. As I stroll the museum halls I take notes of ideas, my feelings, and memories invoked by a work of art.
- Nature: It is vital to be quiet and escape from the constant connection to the digital world. Whether it be sitting on a hillside, playing in the snow, walking through the woods – some of my best writing comes from being still and listening to the heartbeat of nature.
- Family: Past, present, and future. Aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, pets. I read old letters or journals from those who have passed. I talk to my boys and ask about their day. They are my muse. I’m blown away when they tell me they liked what I wrote. I’m euphoric when I see them write, read their words, and consider maybe I inspired them, just a little?
- Music: I will often listen to an album and either write by hand or type on a blank page unedited, freely, continuously until I’m satisfied I’ve emptied my creative bucket.
- Experience: Crazy things have happened to me. I have cheated death. I have teetered on the edge of cliffs and have had rocks thrown at me. I could fill a thousand journals with knowledge, wisdom, thoughts, fears, truth.
There is inspiration everywhere, we just have to keep the internal critic away and use whatever inspires us.
Here’s a nugget of truth: write what you like, in your voice. Don’t try to fit the mold, break the mold. And in the end, be you. The world wants to hear what you have to say.
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.