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Have you ever sat and stared at a blank screen waiting for something to pop into your mind that inspires you to write your next post? How about tossing and turning in bed as your blog is speaking to you from beyond the next room saying, “Where have you been lately?”
This week I’ve talked to quite a few people bemoaning, “Ugh, the blog. I don’t know what to write about”. Our minds can convince us of many untruths. I’m about to let you in on a simple secret that promises you’ll never utter those words again.
I’ve been blogging now for over 2 years on automotive Social Media and online reputation/customer service advocacy. I come from a creative family so as long as I can remember, I’ve paid attention to those voices inside that nudge me to create (not to be confused with the voices in my head that try to convince me it’s all a sham). Inspiration comes when you least expect it and I’ve learned over the years to always be ready to channel it. It takes focus, it takes commitment.
We all get very busy with our lives. Taking time out of our day to “be inspired” is not an easy task. You can’t switch it on. In auto retail, your time is governed by your customer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven home at night wondering where my day went! It’s not like you can just take a few minutes out of the day to create (those who’ve tried this know it’s futile). So, what CAN you do if you want to blog regularly in spite of all the chaos?
An interviewer once asked Stephen King, “You’re an iconic writer. What’s your secret?”, to which Stephen replied “I read a lot. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
As you sit there wondering what to post, ask yourself how much awesome content you’ve consumed this week. Social Media and Blogging is literally ONE BIG conversation. As you read others’ opinions, your own are born. The need to express those opinions is what inspires all of us to act.
Pick any subject. There is someone, somewhere who’s written something about it. They started the conversation. You take that in, ponder it, and send it back out into the world with your stamp on it. It comes down to exposing yourself to the best things humans have done. Shamelessly steal an idea and carry it forward into new territory.
On my own path, I continue to be inspired by thought leaders like Pam Moore, Dino Dogan, Mark Schaefer, Shelly Kramer, Marcus Sheridan, Mitch Joel and Sonia Simone (just to name a few). In automotive, I’m always inspired by cool cats like Tom White Jr, Jared Hamilton, Chris Costner, Bryan Armstrong, Jim Bell, and Renee Stuart. My clients, and those “rank and file” awesome folk I talk to every day, always say things that inspire me and require further expression (this post included).
I was reading a post from Lifehack yesterday on why we’re unable to get things done: it’s all about the ritual. They call it the “Get Things Done” (GTD) mindset. They advocate identifying your “Horizons of Focus”. To always have something to blog about, you must consume content. Consuming content takes time, a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Put your focus on that time and make it part of your daily ritual.
Every post you read, every video you view, every podcast you listen to, becomes inspiration fodder. It just does. Make deliberate choices about the content you consume. Is it necessary to consume the “news” every day? What would happen if you went on a news fast for a week and instead, filled your pipeline full of interesting, provocative, inspiring information? You know, the kind of stuff that makes you think and act in accordance with how you want to be known in the world.
No matter what, stay motivated to voice your opinion. The conversation is happening right now. Make consuming content a daily ritual and witness how your blog posts materialize.
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