Writing is Hard

Or … I can’t bring myself to work on the serious topic I’ve been working on ANY LONGER so here you go …

I’m working on a post about life, the future, what it all means – you know, light stuff like that. It’s taking me a while and right now what’s done can best be summed up like so: yuck, not readable, needs edits.

But I made a promise to you, oh blog, oh home of my words, that I’d feed and water you like the peanut plant my sister so lovingly nurtured in her youth, only to have our cat eat it whilst we were at church one sunny Sunday. (I hope my cat doesn’t eat you, blog.)

Since I kinda sorta have writer’s block, I thought I’d turn today’s post into some tips about how to spark creative inspiration. Ready? Here we go:


1.     Exercise – I did that just now (half-heartedly). Exercise can clear the mind, get your heart pounding and give you a burst of energy. I like to bliss out on the treadmill by listening to inspirational movie scores or 1990s one-hit wonders. While I run, I daydream about all the awesome jokes I would tell Brad Pitt and George Clooney if we ever met. They’d think I was hilarious. Then we’d go to a BBQ at Matthew McConaughey's LA home. We’d become buds. We’d be the antithesis of Leo DiCaprio’s crew. Sometimes we’d drop by Robert Downey Jr’s house, but not that often because we do like to have cocktails and we don’t want to tempt him down the road to ruin – he’s too awesome to mess with.

2.     Sleep – oh sweet sleep, how you inspire me. Give me eight hours or give me death … or … you know … six or seven hours. Sleep makes me feel good, like I’m ready to work. It’s also inspirational. I have some CRAZY DREAMS. Last night I dreamt I was on a submarine in Costa Rica on which was toiling a creative agency. I joined them for a brainstorm and we worked out some really great ideas for a client. Then there were a lot of waves and I was buying property on a deserted island from Christopher Plummer.

3.     Have healthy snacks – lately I’ve been walking around the office carrying a sandwich bag of grapes in one hand and a sandwich bag of raw veggies in the other. When I see chocolate just hanging out, waiting there to be eaten, dropped off by kind coworkers, I shove a grape or a baby carrot in my mouth. Too much junk makes me feel like the KING OF THE WORLD for 10 minutes and then I get a headache and I need a nap. Know what happens when I nap? Not writing, that’s for sure.

4.     Read and listen to things that have nothing to do with what you do – I work in the digital strategy world. Sure, I get some good ideas by reading the tech blogs, but my best ones generally come from blogs that have nothing to do with anything I do. I listen to NPR’s This American Life and feel inspired by the small moments in people’s lives. How could we tell those stories digitally? How can they drive meaning for others online? I read fiction, good fiction (and bad). The more I read, the more I absorb about what makes for an interesting intro, a perfect sentence, a compelling cliff-hanger. If you’re in digital strategy, like me, do yourself a favour and read NOTHING about that topic for one week. Read a book, listen to NPR, go for a walk while you’re listening to some shoe-gazer Indie. Just get different perspectives.

5.     Just do something – inactivity is paralyzing. I was sitting, frozen over my keyboard, at a loss for how to work on that serious thing I was telling you about. So I stopped agonizing and thinking and just started doing. Voila, this very mediocre blog.