Inspiration is a tricky thing. It comes and goes but even if you get inspired on a regular basis, translating that inspiration into actual results can be difficult.
I’m passionate about the gaming niche I work in. I have a lot of experience and knowledge so I rarely get writer’s block. In fact, I have a list of blog post topic ideas that spans multiple pages. I jot down these ideas whenever I get a flash of inspiration, which happens often as I read other blogs.
Here’s the problem though. The vast majority of my ideas never become blog posts. What usually happens is I look at my list but don’t get the jolt of inspiration that I had before. The ideas have gotten stale.
Inspiration Can Rot
I’ve written before that inspiration can rot like milk going bad. You can lose inspiration for something that you were pumped up about if you don’t take action over time. That’s what was happenning to the ideas on my list.
I didn’t have an effective process for turning my ideas into actual blog posts. However, I’ve learned from my mistake and figured out a way to leverage inspiration to achieve actual results.
Less is More
I realized I was spending way too much time trying to capture every passing idea that seemed like a good post topic. Most of my ideas would get stale by the time I reviewed them. So what was the point in writing them down?
I’ve started focusing on execution and implementation instead of inspiration. Here’s my theory:
Ideas are plentiful, but taking action is rare. Execution and implementation is where you can gain a competitive advantage, because most people don’t take action on their ideas.
I started a new list of post ideas. However, this list is much different from my old bloated list. My new list is capped at just three ideas.
I won’t write down any new ideas until I’ve turned one of the three ideas into a blog post. This new habit has helped me become more productive since the lag time between inspiration and action has been lessened. I’m sticking to a few ideas and working on them to completion before adding something new to my plate.
It’s ironic but the key to leveraging inspiration is to somewhat minimize it so that you have time and focus to implement your existing inspiration.
To help with this new habit, I stopped using an RSS reader because of the information and inspiration overload. I realized that most of my inspiration was coming from only five sites, so if I need inspiration, I just visit them.
I talked about action triggers in my last post and that technique also works well for leveraging inspiration.
My advice is to write down the times and places where you will work on your blog post ideas. For example:
On Tuesday, I will work on [idea #1] at my home office after I pick up the kids from soccer practice.
On Friday, I will work on [idea #2] during my lunch break at work.
Overcoming Analysis Paralysis
Also, with a smaller list, you’ll be more likely to take action. Numerous psychological studies have shown that if you give someone a lot of choices, they will be much more likely to not take action. You may have heard the phrase “analysis paralysis”, which describes this phenomenon.
One of the best ways to cure overanalyzing is to cut down the number of choices.
Over to You
Half the battle in blogging (and life in general) is just showing up and hopefully my tips can help you make your ideas a reality.
What tips do you have for leveraging inspiration?
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