Wow, that’s the most self-help-y sounding blog title I’ve ever written but try and bare with me, it actually fits the point I’m trying to make.
This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing for a while but couldn’t really figure out an angle that made it more than just about me. As I was going through my Google Reader I came across these two posts, 8 Habits That Can Crush Your Creativity and Stifle Your Success and Jackson Wightman’s follow-up What Copyblogger Missed.
So yes, this post is a follow-up to a follow-up that originated with a post on Copyblogger by Dean Rieck. Both posts are spot on and have a lot of great points. As I was reading them I found it compelling that both of posts, if I applied my original theory to them seemed to have more power and relevance.
I’m the first to admit that I’m not a “morning person”, in fact I secretly dislike most morning people. That being said there have been a few times in my life when I’ve been forced to adopt the morning and briefly walk in the shoes of a morning person, betraying my more natural late night vampire-like habits.
The one thing I’ve consistently noticed is that when I’ve given in to this “morning” thing and allowed myself plenty of sleep the night before and made sure to have plenty of “me” time is that my creative juices really start flowing. It’s as if they’re totally unencumbered by the mundane daily activities that have a tendency to start bottling up and crushing those pure, creative circuits that keep you on track.
Get an early start to the day and give yourself alone time to creative
It has to be up to you how much time you can start off dedicating to your creativity in the beginning but once you figure out how much time you can afford, whether it’s one or two hours in the morning, start waking up that much earlier and give yourself and your thoughts a two-week trial one and see how it works.
- If you have a family, forcing yourself to get up early while everyone else is still soundly asleep allows you to focus on you rather than the usual morning hustle and bustle that starts when everyone gets up and starts getting ready for their day.
- You’ll find that if you start the day off giving yourself time to be creative that you’ll be less likely to second guess yourself and allow doubt to creep in. It’s cliche but each new day really is like a clean slate and you’ll find that many of the self-doubts you usually find creeping in throughout the day are brought on by some sort of exterior stimulus that you are likely to encounter later on in the day.
- Oftentimes you may find that if you wait until mid-afternoon or early evening to try and write an interesting blog post that you mind is already too cluttered by everything you’ve encountered during the day and you may wind up feeling overwhelmed like everything has already been talked about/written about or done.
- Starting early not only keeps you from feeling like “it’s all been done before” but it can also energize you once you realize you’re one of the, if not the, first person to be starting off the day with whatever subject you’re inspired to write about that day. (Not only does this give your creative juices a boost it will also give your SEO a boost! Win/win.) Not to mention you can seriously help lend credence to the idea that, not only are you a thought leader in your area of expertise, but that you’re seriously on top of things too.
- Getting an early start gives people more time throughout the day to read, share and interact with your post. Soon you’ll find yourself with plenty of afternoon and early evening material to be writing about whether it’s a direct follow-up to something you had written that morning or simply because you’re creative juices are still pumping so hard now that you’ve seen the amount of traction and inspiration your early morning posts are beginning to generate.
One more important key to the early morning success tool is to not be afraid to fail. Remember, this is your time. Your slate is clean. Don’t start the day off second-guessing yourself, just write. Write whatever your fresh, uninhibited, uncluttered, peaceful mind comes up with and make sure you get it down. Don’t waste your morning creative time second guessing what you should be writing about. The good thing about giving yourself time to write in the morning when it’s still quiet is that, if you listen, your brain will already have an idea of what direction it wants to go that day. Don’t fight it, follow it.
I’d love to hear from anyone who already uses any of these methods or anyone who plans on giving it a shot. Keep us updated on how you’re progressing once you give your creativity the gift of zen.