Coming up with compelling content on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis can be difficult. This is especially true if you work in a niche industry where “interesting” topics just don’t tend to jump off the page at you.
If you find yourself struggling to create that perfect email introductory paragraph or complete that witty yet informative blog post that is perhaps buried just a little too deep in your subconscious, my advice is to simply walk away.
When I am struggling to find the right words, I find turning my computer off and going for a short walk (or even a fairly lengthy bike ride) really helps.
I believe this flexible approach to my work helps me considerably in my productivity. The time spent away from the screen reduces the build-up of pressure caused by a lack of ideas and gives me valuable time to think things over (an important process in content creation). This allows me to complete tasks when I am in the best possible frame of mind to work on them.
Note #1: If you employ creative people, I suggest you adopt a similar creative approach to their working day. As long as your working relationship is based on trust (which has to be earned) and the job gets done on time, both parties will be rewarded with a little flexibility.
Note #2: I have rules to ensure procrastination does not destroy my workflow. As a writer one simple rule I have is that I must write at least 500 words (good or bad) every single day before I go to bed.
Writing is difficult because it is a solitary task and the writer is very often his or her own worst critic. Sometimes you are just too close to your text to effectively judge its quality. In these cases it is better to save it to a folder of incomplete works and concentrate on something else.
Great content, whether it is for an email marketing campaign, blog post or press release, cannot be forced. The harder you try to push content (that is going nowhere), the more chances you have of becoming stuck. This can be highly frustrating and may damage any confidence you have in your content creation skills. This frustration will also help you find additional faults in your copy and lead to poor productivity.
I have a folder on my laptop stuffed with half-finished articles waiting for a little extra creative juice to be poured on them. Every so often, I revisit them. There are of course some that will never see the light of day. But every now and then I am presented with something, that when looked over again with a fresh pair of eyes and when stress is not clouding my judgment, and with a little tweak here and there, it all comes together.
How do you maintain your creative flow? Share your suggestions in the comments box below.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.