That’s no joke. Jane, a business consultant, had a deadline to develop a new blog post for her business. She had zero ideas…and it was time to write the proposal.
This wasn’t Jane’s usual method of operating.
“I usually don’t have trouble coming up with ideas,” she said.”But this time I totally came up empty. It felt like the fire’s gone out.”
Feeling uncreative can initiate a vicious spiral.
When you feel you’re at a creative low point, your followers often sense your vibes. They pull back and you find yourself withdrawing further, creating a downward spiral.
Having been in Jane’s position several times, I’ve worked out a series of things to do when the low point hits.
(1) Attend live and virtual events with people who work in different fields from yours. I attend a monthly meeting of business owners who work with large companies on projects in the millions of dollars. I always come away with at least one new idea and a new perspective. It’s like being piloting a Cessna single-engine plane and spending time with the folks who fly 747s around the world.
(2) Offer other people’s products to your list as an affiliate. Offer a wide variety of products (shake things up a little!) and use a link cloaking system that lets you track the click-throughs. Where do your followers click the most? You’ll get an idea of what they’re *really* looking for, which may be quite different from what you expected. For instance, they may be eager for “newbie” how-tos even if they’re fairly advanced in their businesses.
(3) Make a list of your clients’ specific needs. For instance, a relationship coach might have services for people who want to start dating. These clients might need advice on choosing an online dating service, how to fine-tune a wardrobe for today’s dating scene, and creating a magnetic online profile to attract ideal partners. Compare this list with the services you currently offer. You might get ideas for a new program or product.
Bonus Tip: When you do something creative outside your business, you will usually be surprised at the impact within your business. Your creative outlet will depend on your interests, talents and local opportunities; examples include painting, pottery, creative writing, comedy, and music. Some people get inspired by visiting an art museum or attending a concert; others want to get hands-on involvement.
Personally I don’t get inspired by any kind of writing, because it’s too similar to what I do all day and I’ve been writing my whole life. But some news writers and tech writers enjoy writing novels or film scripts.
So … what do you think? How do you deal with creativity slumps (or avoid them entirely)? Write a comment below.
Thanks so much, Jasper – I’m going to check out that book!
And I agree that creativity is a muscle. Every time I say I “don’t have time” for being creative, my work suffers.
Thanks for the comment – glad you stopped by.
Jasper Oldersom says
I believe that creativity is a muscle that should be exercised regularly or it’ll become lazy. I learned that from James Altucher. Reading his blog occassionally really helps to boost my creativity.
He recently wrote one called “The Magic of Idea Math” (http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2015/07/the-magic-of-idea-math/) which is excellent.
I do love to attend events and i also love to watch Mixergy a couple of times each week. It’s “relaxation” time for me – but it helps a lot to feed my brain with interesting info. I also read A LOT and consume plenty of podcasts. I love it, so it’s more of a lifestyle thing i guess.
But i definitely think your bonus tip is awesome because when we do unrelated things we relax and stimulate our brains as well, and this helps to get the creative ideas flowing.
#3 is also really good because you just know you’re going to write content with a clear focus.
Thanks a lot Cathy!