It was late summer of 2016 and I’d just hit ‘live’ on what would become my most important creation yet.
After years following other people’s methods (and too much time pushing away my own ideas), it was time to go for it.
To do things MY way and see what happened 🙂
I wanted to explore a fresh way to craft powerful copy – away from the hacks, the tricks, and the templates.
- I wanted to explore the power of the individual voice
- I wanted to explore the impact passion could make to a message
- I wanted to see what happened when you craft a message from the inside out
Inner Journey, Outer Expression was born – AND IT WAS AWESOME!
This process helped people get clearer about who they were – so they could better share their message. My clients used this method to leverage their personalities, their stories, and their insights – to create copy and content that felt authentic and made an impact.
It was a process designed to help establish your personal brand and unlock the doors to a flood of content ideas that flowed with effortless ease.
But for some reason, I stopped.
Looking back, I’m not even sure why I hit the mute button and stopped sharing my ideas.
I feel frustrated now. Super frustrated! Just think of how much more impact I could have made if I’d kept going. If only I’d kept sharing. If only I’d kept exploring my ideas and evolving my message.
But you can’t cry over spilt milk! You can only start again – with a new determination and drive.
You can only learn from the mistakes of the past – and take steps to ensure they NEVER happen again.
And that’s why I’ve written this post – to ensure that when the inspiration dries up or the doubt kicks in, you don’t hit the mute button (like I did back then) and silence your voice.
So if you have a message to share, but you’re struggling to be consistent and persistent, THIS IS FOR YOU 🙂
Keep reading and you’ll discover 15 simple yet effective strategies that will help you kick past creative blocks, move beyond doubt and resistance, and build momentum behind the message you were born to share.
Let’s do this…
1. Write when you get an insight
Message making is a creative process. You never know when inspiration will strike! Sometimes it’s there in spades, other times it’s like a desert. So don’t take creativity for granted. Don’t make those genius ideas wait – they may just disappear.
Instead, write when you get an insight.
Capture your thoughts, get started, and see where they lead.
Get in the habit of acting on inspiration, and it may just show up a little more often.[This strategy got this blog post got written. I had a flash of an idea about sharing ways to keep ideas flowing even when you don’t feel like it – and this blog post was the result. Somewho, creativity rewards action.
2. Create content buckets
Content buckets is a cool idea I got from Stay Grounded podcast host Raj Jana – and it’s a brilliant one.
The key to a message that feels coherent and connected is that it all ties back into one big idea. It all ties back to the core.
Keep writing about the things you want to be known for, and you make your message tight. Spend too much time running off on tangents and unrelated subjects and your message gets diluted and confused.
Content buckets not only keep you focused but they also provide inspiration every time those sparks run dry.
Simply make a list of the core topics you want to write about that relate back to your core message, and you’ll never be stuck for ideas again.
Here’s an example of some of mine:
- Showing up
- Message making
- Fearless visibility
What about yours?
3. Bounce off quotes
When you’re in a drought, read or listen to material that’s inline with your message. It’s like a reboot of the system and instantly sparks your own ideas and insights, which then gives you something to run with.
One of the easiest ways to do this is with quotes.
Don’t know what to say?
Grab a quote you love (that aligns with your Core Message) and write a response to it:
- Why does it inspire you?
- How does it add to your message?
- How could your audience benefit from the quote’s wisdom?
This mug is my constant source of inspiration right now (filled with a cup of tea of course)!
With a prompt to kick-start your thinking, trust me the ideas will flow.
4. Get yourself a muse
While my own personal brand has a tendency to go embarrassingly silent from time to time, I’m very busy helping my awesome private clients get their ideas out there.
And one of my favourite ways to work is through conversations.
When we’re exploring the message you were born to share, things get pretty deep. It’s the nature of the topics that need to get discussed. You need to explore your backstory. You get to join up the dots looking backwards. You get clearer about who you are, WHY you’re passionate about the work you do, and the impact you want to make.
As you can imagine, some of the ideas and insights my clients share are really personal.
They wear their heart on their sleeves. They open up in raw, vulnerable ways – but that’s where the magic happens. That’s when you get at the truth and the insights that would normally remain hidden.
I love being one-to-one in a Mine Your Mind call. I ask questions, listen, and reflect back what I hear. It sounds so simple, but the space I create for my clients gives them the freedom to express freely.
I can’t begin to tell you some of the gems that have bubbled up in those calls. Talk about discovering genius. So if you’re struggling to open your heart in words, work with a muse who’ll help you do that.
When I’m wallowing in doubt and having a downer, my desk becomes a prison. Instead of turning ideas into content, I stare at my computer screen – or worse still I turn to Facebook and quickly feel worse about my situation!
One of the best remedies for moments of apathy and ‘I-can’t-be-bothered’ is to go for a walk. It always works for me. I guess it’s the movement. It becomes almost meditative. When my body is flowing, the ideas follow.
In fact, I recently took my phone so I could record audio files of any thoughts and ideas that decided to show themselves.
What came out of my mouth shocked and surprised me.
I talked about things I love in a way I rarely see when writing words on a computer. It’s given me an insight into another part of my creative being that I’m currently exploring and cracking open.
What is the equivalent ‘move’ for you?
6. Stock up
Sometimes you’re on it. The ideas just won’t stop flowing! Take today; because I’ve made the decision to show up, my subconscious brain is supplying me with plenty of content to share.
In fact, I have too many ideas to post on Facebook today (my favourite place to publish). It’s why I’m writing this extended blog post (my first in a while) and it’s also why I’m creating some other posts which I can share another time.
So if you’ve got a content rush, harness that. Stockpile some posts and articles for a later date.
If you’ve got content ready to go, a creative blip need never catch you out again.
7. Grab a prompt
Have you noticed that sometimes a simple idea can unlock an avalanche of content?
Just one idea turns it all on and suddenly your head fills up with a content piece that you can’t wait to capture and share.
So if you’ve hit a block and need some inspiration to wake up your creativity, here are 99 writing prompts that will inspire you to write some impactful, personality-rich content to inspire your audience.
There – no excuses for having nothing to write about ever again 🙂
8. Call out the doubt
Building a brand and sharing yourself is scary.
No more hiding behind templates, formulas, and other peoples methods. No more hiding behind jargon, buzzwords, and methods those other experts swear work.
Nope – we’re talking about heart on sleeve territory.
We’re talking fearless visibility, showing up as you, and leveraging your stories, your insights, and your personality to ‘sell’ your ideas and your philosophy.
So if you have any slips in confidence. If your self-esteem takes a back seat. If that negative voice overshadows the positive vibes, then it’s no wonder your creative spirit dries up suddenly!
HIDING FEELS SAFE because if you don’t say anything, then no one can judge you.
The only problem with that is no one can buy from you either!
Self-doubt is something I’ve battled with for years, but here’s the truth of the matter.
The doubting voice isn’t real. It’s just one version of a story I’ve chosen to tell myself. I have the power to change that dialogue whenever I want – as do you.
Change the story, and everything else follows. Choose to have faith and confidence in your message and you’ll feel better hitting ‘publish’.
So when the doubt slips in, call it out.
Shine the light on it.
Get real with what you (and the world) lose each time you hit that mute button. Radio silence may get you off the hook in the short-term, but long-term, it’s a choice that will leave you angry, frustrated, and unhappy for all the opportunities you squandered because you didn’t speak your mind.
9. Remove the pressure
The thing with inside-out messaging is it’s as much for you as it is for your audience.
Remember, you’re not here to share a copy-and-pasted message. Your message isn’t generic or templated. Instead, it’s YOUR message – born of your unique experiences and life lessons.
It comes from you.
IT IS YOU 🙂
And the more you play with your message – the more you can explore it, stretch it, and shape it. Give it the TLC it deserves and the sharper and clearer your voice will become.
In short, play in private and in public. You don’t have to share everything you create. Instead, give yourself space to write just for you. Reflect on events. Allow yourself to screw up. Start journaling. Answer deep-dive questions. (I’ve got 30 for you here.)
When you know the only eyes on your work are yours, you may find something new you didn’t see before. It could add an entirely new dimension to your work and your message that you share with the wider world.
So give yourself that free, safe, creative space and allow that practice to enhance your message further.
10. Push through the crap.
No one ever writes a perfect first draft.
OK, so there may be some people out there who get a shot of inspiration and everything flows beautifully, perfectly, and amazingly.
But that’s not usually the case.
In fact, your first draft will more often than not be a little bit shit. That’s often the case for me.
Professional writer’s secret revealed… great writing is the result of editing, nurturing, and tweaking. The words you are reading right now were NOT the words I wrote during my first run at this article.
Sure, a lot of the core ideas and themes were there, but the polish and the sharpness started to show up on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th run through. The ‘finesse’ is the result of changing words, deleting sections, switching up the order.
Sometimes, I’ll even rewrite a section altogether.
An embarrassing first draft can stare back at you – tantalizingly – daring you to give up and never attempt to write again.
But when you know this is simply resistance raring its ugly head and trying to hold you back, you can laugh in its face and let those words take form.
11. Just 20 minutes
Sometimes great ideas need to be gently forced.
Sometimes your best work will emerge when you apply the pressure of time. So if writer’s block holds you firm, try this super simple tip from my friend and co-founder at BestSelf.Co. Cathryn Lavery.
She says you can do anything for 20 minutes.
And she’s right 🙂
That 2,000-word blog may feel insurmountable. That script for your next video may feel like too big an ask. Even crafting a Facebook post may feel too hard if you’ve lost your mojo.
You know it’s going to take you ages to crack it – and that expectation lays so heavy on your shoulders that you don’t even start.
Unless you apply Cathryn’s tip that is. Here’s how…
Grab a timer and set it for 20 minutes. Then commit to write for that amount of time. Afterwards, you’re off the hook and you can walk away, but instead of giving up altogether, at least you’d have broken the back of the work and turned a blank sheet into a start point.
Some words are better than no words (remember tip 10).
And here’s the really cool thing… once you get going into that 20 minutes, don’t be surprised if momentum doesn’t carry you through. Try it and see.
12. Make lists
If you feel creatively blocked, the thought of turning your ideas into perfect prose can feel far too taxing.
But I bet you can collect a pile of ideas in the form of a list, some bullet points, or even scribbles on a sheet of paper.
Remember, creativity starts with collecting then shaping raw ideas.
It starts by collecting your thoughts, choosing an angle, and formulating an idea. You can do that in a rough and ready form.
Again, it’s a simple way to break the back of the pressure to write AND gives you a foundation from which you can springboard.
This tip also leverages the idea that movement creates momentum – get the ideas to flow and there’s a good chance they won’t stop. Yippee!
13. Carry a notebook
Somehow inspiration responds to expectations.
Every time I’ve decided to write more stuff and be more active with my message, I get a ton of ideas. Then when I’ve stopped for a while and try to get going again, I can’t think of anything!
- It’s one of the reasons I carry a notebook and pencil.
- It’s one of the reasons I have a pencil to hand when I’m reading a book.
- It’s one of the reasons I have an obsession with stationery (especially Paperchase)!
A writer and message maker needs their tools after all. And with pen and paper to hand, you need never lose an idea again – because it can all get captured even if it pops into your head at the most inconvenient time.
True, you may not use it.
BUT (and it’s an important but), the act of writing down makes ideas more permanent because it converts the intangible into something tangible.
With insights lodged in your subconscious to draw upon at a later date, you can’t know how those hurriedly scribbled notes will shape your message in the future.
14. PATIENCE 🙂
To be clear, you don’t have permission to use this next tip as an excuse to stay trapped in a creative block!
But you can use patience as a reason to take your time and allow your thoughts and ideas to incubate.
The message you were born to share isn’t going to pour out complete and finished at your first sitting. It just isn’t. That’s because your message is an outward expression of you.
And it takes time to figure out the nuances you want to share. It takes time to get the clarity you need to own your voice 100%.
What’s more, because you’re constantly growing (as a result of the experiences you have), it follows that your message will also continue to grow and evolve as you get more insight.
So don’t feel you’ve got to rush out a 10k report tomorrow.
Don’t feel you must write your book next week.
A rushed message won’t be the best message. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t share what you’ve got, just done be in a hurry to tick it all off as done.
15. Know who you are
OK, so I’ve saved my best tip until last 🙂
This is without question my best tip for building message momentum when you’re tongue-tied, in a creative drought, and doubting your voice.
- You’ve got to know yourself.
- You’ve got to know your core message.
- You’ve got to get clear on the message you were born to share.
When you have this clarity, you have focus. And when you know you’re sharing something that you care about and believe in, you can harness your passion too.
Take this approach and your message becomes your compass.
It’s an ever-present reminder of what you set out to say in the first place. It keeps you on track, gives you a start point, and provides the foundation for everything you publish as a result.
If you don’t know who you are, you can’t leverage the benefits of a truly authentic message.
Fortunately, I am here to help 🙂
YOUR VOICE MATTERS
Your message is important.
There are people out there – right now – who need what you have to say. Sure there will be other ‘experts’ who share similar ideas and knowledge, but because they are not you.
I repeat… THEY ARE NOT YOU 🙂
This means they will not have the same vibe as you, they will not speak in the same tone as you, they will not offer the same context for their ideas as you.
It’s why when you walk your own path, you have no competition 🙂
So remember this as you go about your message creation…
There are people who YOU are best placed to serve.
There are people who need your message to make things happen in their own life. It’s why radio silence is detrimental – not just for you, but for your audience too.
So get that message out there.
And know that creativity will ALWAYS face resistance.
But with the help of these 15 tips, you can make the radio silence temporary – or even not happen at all.
So next time you find yourself lost for words apply one or more of the ideas I’ve shared in this article and allow the momentum they give you to keep your message moving.
And let me know how you get on 🙂