I’ve previously covered that machines can’t write better than humans, and many copywriters I regard tend to agree. That’s likely of no use to you if you can’t find the words, have a business to run and grow, and are DIY-ing your content. Business growth takes longer and may not take the corner smoothly without marketing, which means creating useful content and putting ourselves out there into the public realm. How do we do this when we believe we aren’t creative?

Recreating ourselves

Productivity and creativity hacks are hot news in the entrepreneur world. In his book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asserts creative people tend to have these completely choice-driven and learnable constitutions:

  • Intelligence: the perfect dance partner for creativity. The Handbook of Creativity, written by Csikszentmihalyi with Getzels (1972), purports that creativity and intelligence may represent different processes, and intelligence may be required in varying degrees in different fields of creative endeavour. Alongside mental acuity and knowledge, which many of you are in your field, cracking the creativity safe means being open to new possibilities and pathways.
  • Energy: Creativity requires physical and mental energy in partnership with adequate time to think quietly and reflect. Part of the reason we sit in resistance to creating our unique content is that we don’t nurture our creative mind. 
  • Discipline: Commit to practising every day with the same intention you had when you first began learning your profession to become knowledgeable and accomplished. Creativity doesn’t knock on the doors of those who kick back and wait.

“It’s like opening a door that’s floating in the middle of nowhere and all you have to do is go and turn the handle and open it and let yourself sink into it. You can’t particularly force yourself through it. You just have to float. If there’s any gravitational pull, it’s from the outside world trying to keep you back from the door.”
— Susan Perry and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1999), Writing in the Flow State 

Making time for it

If you need a reason to simply start right now, Csikszentmihalyi says that, in terms of mastery, it typically takes someone ten years of acquiring technical knowledge by immersing themselves in a discipline before they create anything significant. We get better every time we regularly have a go at something. It took me seven years to gracefully ease in and out of a headstand, hold it for 20 seconds, and not experience whiplash symptoms after. Set yourself up to concentrate, avoid interruptions and hone by practice, practice, practice.

Taking care of ourselves first

I sincerely appreciate Scott Oldford’s ways, particularly his ROI approach, and his social media has quite a different feel to his other content. He’s carved out a sweet life for himself through entrepreneurial pursuits and walks every day in beautiful nearby bushland, claiming it’s a wellspring for of inspiration, mindset, productivity and overall energy.

Walks outside, yoga, power naps, baking, weightlifting, martial arts, meal preparation, meditation, and Emotional Freedom Techniques. Find whatever it is that you can fit into your schedule that is another form of creativity, activity, exercise or rest that keeps you feeling good in your body and sustains you. The only one that is truly a must for every one of us, every day if possible, is an outdoor walk.

Releasing content we don’t exactly love

Or more to the point, moving past that wretched inner critic that tells us our creation is sub-par. It’s fear, imposter syndrome, all the things. I took my original website down in 2021. I’d moved interstate back home to be with family at the end of 2020, and I was in below-average mental strength for obvious reasons we all endured, some of us with greater dignity than others. 

When I pulled myself together and was working in copywriting and marketing again which came about from word of mouth and a substantive part-time role I landed, I decided to relaunch a site, and start creating my own content again with growth as my aim. My old site had had it’s day, and I’m a completely different person to 2017, so I sought a web developer to rebuild one for me. 

I didn’t have much of my own content on the original. Writing for others for work makes it’s harder to craft time to write and release what I want to say. When cruising through Google drive folders from my first site for reflection and maybe some inspiration, I found half a dozen, mostly finished blog posts I didn’t complete and publish. 

Because I didn’t think they were good enough.
Because I was new to copywriting and freelancing and thought I had no authority.
Because I cared too much about what people thought.

Keeping a notebook for productivity and creativity

Different to journaling and stream-of-consciousness writing, I keep a notebook in the same vein as Joan Didion describes in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. “At no point have I ever been able to successfully keep a diary; my approach to daily life ranges from the grossly negligent to the merely absent, and on those few occasions I have tried to record a day’s events, boredom has so overcome me that the results are mysterious at best”.

“So the point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have been doing or thinking”. 

Whether digital or physical, it doesn’t have to be neat, sensical or pretty. Note-taking is just for you to promote productivity and creativity.

“…for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable ‘I’”. 

Creativity is all of life. It not only makes content creation easier, it catalyses happiness.

Want to write like this?

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