Everybody can imagine.
It seems that kids have the best ability to use imagination. Something happens as we grow old that seems to remove our ability to imagine and be creative.
A recent article in Fast Company featured an interview – A Crash Course in Creative Breakthroughs – about imagination and how adults in the workforce can use their imaginations. There is much that is interesting in the interview so be sure to take five minutes to read it entirely.
The article focuses on creativity and imagination in general, but I thought I would use the article as inspiration and provide some thoughts on how you can be creative and use your imagination for blogging.
How to Foster a Creative Blogging Mindset
Creative thinking is required for blogging. In order to stand out from the millions of other blogs on the Web, it’s necessary to be different, unique, and interesting. In order to do this you have to think about topics differently than others. You have to work to provide different insight and perspective on topics. This will interest readers, but also show them something they didn’t realize before. That’s the key to a successful blog.
Framing The Topic
In the article there is a great example of how people need to frame a topic or a problem. The instructor asks students to make a better suitcase. He then re-frames the topic so there are zero boundries. He puts the idea that the suitcase might not even be needed for travel. It’s a lightbulb moment.
This same concept can work well for blogging. When you are looking at a potential topic or idea – let’s say it’s about how to make cutting the grass a faster proposition – you need to remove the constraints from the thought process. Take down the barriers and let your imagination go wild. Maybe you don’t need to make a faster and more efficient lawn mower. Maybe the solution is a landscape design that doesn’t include any grass at all.
Think about topics in different ways and you should be able to write blog posts that people see as innovative and interesting.
I really liked the note about practice in the article. I think practice is essential to be good at anything. On Twitter this morning I read a great tweet from golf instructor Hank Haney. Someone asked him about what it takes to join the PGA Tour. He responded that the best way was to practice for 10-12 hours a day, every day. Pretty simple right?
Whatever you want to do in life, including blogging, will take practice. The good thing about blogging is you can publish your posts as part of your practice. Think about it as a constant improvement strategy. You’ll be publishing blog posts and constantly improving your ability to creative ideas and put them into a format that people can connect with and comprehend.
The last point in the article is one of my favorites. It’s about accepting failure.
Most people go through their life living as if they’re trying to avoid failure. They’re thinking about things all wrong. Certainly nobody aims to fail. The issues occurs when we let failure get us so down and so scared that we don’t try anything new. This robs so many people of their creative potential. They are worried about how people will view them if they fail. They are worried about how they will view themselves if they fail.
Successful people have the ability to let go of failure. They remember how something didn’t work and they continue to work until they are able to find a solution. Most other people will simply give up.
Back to the golfing example – it takes many hours of practice to become a good player. Not only does it take hours of practice, but it takes hours of hitting bad shots. Many golfers struggle with the failure of hitting bad shot after bad shot with a few good ones mixed in. It’s not fun to hit bad shots all the time, but it’s necessary in order to become good enough to hit more good shots than bad shots.
The same is true for entrepreneurs. I’ll have to paraphrase here but I think the stat is something like 3 or 4 failures for the average entrepreneur before they finally find a business model that works.
I also think about a line from the movie National Treasure. Thomas Gates mentions that Thomas Edison tried thousands of times to come up with a working light bulb.
Failure is part of success.
When you’re looking for blogging ideas and actually writing the posts, you will fail. Some posts will fall flat. Think about it as part of success and accept the failure.
From an early age we learn to not be creative.
Gain some of that creative spirit back and it will improve your blogging.