I've just returned from a long weekend in New Hampshire which involved camping and canoeing and lake houses and restaurants and a huge hotel complex with an indoor-outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs. Plus I met more of my boyfriend's extended family. All of that in less than 4 days, with the temperatures climbing into the 90s. It was lovely to get away and unplug for a little while, partially on purpose and partially by accident, because I left my computer halfway packed in its case, sitting on my desk chair. My subconscious must have been telling me to separate from the laptop for a few days, and I obeyed without much objection. Actually, I loved it. But in the end, I knew that I had writing to do when I got home, no matter how sleepy and overheated I'd be feeling by then.
It's all good, though. Because quality content doesn't only come from moments of tranquility and flow (sometimes it does, and that feeling totally rocks and I wish it for all of you). Instead, there are plenty of times when we can bang out great writing under less-than-ideal conditions. Truth be told, that's probably going to be the case for a good deal of your content creation.
Let's flip the script on what constitutes an ideal time to write. Because excuses will always be there; it's busting through them that will take you places. So...
Write when you've had a revelation
Write when you need to chew on an idea
Write when everything feels crystal clear
Write when you're looking for clarity
Write when life is flowing
Write when you feel stuck
Write when you've learned something new
Write when you need to learn from others
Write when you have a terrifyingly tight deadline
Write when you have an unexpected free hour
Write when you have exciting news
Write when you want to remind everyone you're still out there
Write when it's so hot that all you can do is sit still and move your hands across a keyboard
Write when it's so cold that all you can do is burrow under a blanket and distract yourself from the chill
Write when you're overflowing with inspiration
Write when you're worried that nothing's going to come out
Write when something makes you laugh
Write when you need to remember funnier times
Write when you can provide guidance
Write when you want to receive guidance
Write when you have achieved a milestone
Write when you're striving for your goals
Write when everything's falling into place
Write when everything feels lopsided
Write when people keep asking you the same questions over and over -- create your FAQs
Write when you want to ask a question of others
Write when you've never felt healthier
Write when you're sick in bed and bored out of your skull
Write when you're drinking your morning coffee and thinking about the day ahead
Write when you're sipping your sleepytime tea and thinking about the day that's ending
Write when your cat is curled up at your side and you don't want to disturb her by getting up
Write when you're walking your dog (probably best accomplished in your head until you get back home, or bring a little notepad or your phone)
Write when you feel grateful
Write when you need a reminder of what there is to be grateful for
Write when you have an answer
Write when you need an answer
I could go on, but you get it. Even negative feelings, low moods, and inconvenient circumstances can become great jumping off points for content creation. So the next time you're feeling creatively clogged or you're staring a deadline in the face and the temptation to procrastinate is starting to win, ask yourself, "If I looked at this from a different angle, how could I see opportunity instead of angst?"
Now I'd love to hear from you: How can you reframe one of your content creation sticking points? Where can you seen an opportunity to create where lately you've been putting it off?
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