The means of finding inspiration are different for everyone. Sometimes you need a change of scenery. Sometimes you need a song, an inspiring piece of artwork, or a good quote to get the creative juices flowing.
As daily content creators, it’s important to channel our creative energy smartly and strategically. Check out our go-to tips for cultivating your creativity and producing your best work.
1. Get out of your comfort zone
They say “struggling artist” for a reason. Sometimes it takes something uncomfortable to spark the passion and drive necessary to start a creative project. Discussing controversial topics on podcasts, being honest with your consumers, or standing for something your company feels passionate about can feel risky and uncomfortable, but often generates the most conversation, engagement, and loyalty amongst audiences.
Being willing to step out of what’s comfortable sets your content apart from what others in your respective industry are doing. As long as it’s authentic and true to who you are as a brand, creative, or company, it’ll be worth it.
2. Take Some Space
Writer’s block is a thing, and it doesn’t just apply to writing! It’s easy to get stuck in a creative rut. When you’ve been staring at the screen, microphone, or notepad for hours, it might mean you need a change of scenery. Taking a few moments for yourself, or for your team, to relocate and clear your head can be exactly what the doctor ordered. Go for a walk, sit in meditation, or move from your desk to your couch (the Let’s Talk Room is our favorite spot at The Yard: Flatiron North!).
If you need a little help meditating, take a look at these go-to steps that are sure to have you in zen-mode in no time!
- Click “save” and close the computer.
- Find a quiet space in your office building (a Let’s Talk Room or conference room at The Yard is perfect!). You want a space that lacks obvious distraction (other meetings occurring near by, etc.), even if you plan on sitting for just 3-5 minutes.
- Find a seat that’s comfortable and sustainable. You don’t need to sit for long, but you want to make sure you pick a chair, couch, or cushion that doesn’t distract your mind further.
- Close your eyes and take a moment to scan the body. Where do you sense tension? Tightness? Move the breath and your awareness to those spots on the body that need attention and try to soften.
- Begin to tune into your breath. Wherever it may be for you – the tip of the nose, the rise and fall of the chest or belly – not trying to change the breath in any way, just noticing it in the body.
- As the mind gets distracted, which it will, constantly come back to the sensation of the breath. Be compassionate and kind to yourself as you do this.
- When you’ve reached the end, after 3, 5, 10, 20 minutes, take a moment to thank yourself for taking some space, knowing that stepping away from the project for a bit is likely just what you needed to keep going and get those creative juices flowing again.
3. Understand Your Audience
Who are you talking to? Who do you want to talk to?
Knowing your audience is key to creating relevant content that is going to resonate with your end users. If you’re having trouble with a project, it may be helpful to think for a moment about your audience – think about who they are, what they want, what they may be doing in this very moment. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will often enable you to tune into what will be useful to others, therefore ensuring your creative project is relevant and, in the end, successful.
Behind the scenes at the Let’s Create room at The Yard
4. Set an Intention, Know Your Objective
It’s easy to get lost in the creative process and lose sight of your original objective. Are you trying to make a point? Provide useful information? Solve a client’s problem? Create a dialogue?
Reflecting on your objective or intention for the project is a helpful way to course correct when things get off track and to guide you or your team towards a more effective creative output.
5. Be Open to Collaborative Feedback
There’s no sense in being precious when it comes to creative projects. If you have a team, a mentor, or a friend to bounce ideas off of, be sure to listen to any and all feedback to see where it may lead. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give into their ideas every time, but being open to new possibilities usually results in collaborative brainstorming, and ultimately, bigger and better creative ideas. Two heads are always better than one!
6. Have Fun With It!
The most important thing is to enjoy what you’re doing. You may not enjoy every moment of it, but from a holistic perspective if you’re not having fun, feeling passionate, or truly loving what you’re doing, it will show in the finished product. Audiences gravitate towards content that has drive behind it, so if you’re not enjoying the project it may be time to redirect or find someone else on your team that would have fun with it.
Creative energy is contagious – sometimes all you need is one person’s excitement to get a project off the ground!
Once you’ve got a vision for your next creation, it’s time to make it happen! Check out The Yard’s brand new production studio, the Let’s Create room. The studio has everything you’ll need, from audio, video, and photo equipment to green screens, product displays, and more. To book, simply submit a request, and we’ll asses your production needs and get you set up to create.
Let’s do this!
This post was written by Alexandra Light, Chief Strategy Officer of Jet Fuel Studio and member of The Yard: Flatiron North. Jet Fuel Studio helps brands accelerate through world class content creation and social media engagement.