Share98 +117 Tweet79 Share30Shares 224Every blog starts with a dream. A dream of expressing yourself and getting your message heard. A dream of gaining recognition. A dream of standing proud. But the sad reality is, most new bloggers fail. Depressing, isn’t it? So many hopes dashed. So much energy wasted. So many important thoughts lost to the world. I must admit, I too, was once close to quitting. But the reason wasn’t one of the many reasons you can read about online. There was one simple reason my blog nearly died: I ran out of ideas. And I think this is the main reason new bloggers fail. You see, after a while, I just couldn’t think of topics to write about. Blogging turned into a grind. Sometimes, I’d spend hours writing a post, and then, halfway through, I would decide against it. Has this happened to you too? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Luckily, there’s a way to fix this. [message_box_yellow] Join the FREE online workshop, 5 Powerful Online Writing Strategies for More Shares, More Subscribers, and More SUCCESS. CLICK HERE [/message_box_yellow] But before I dive into how to fix this problem, let’s take a closer look at how the creative brain works. My inspiration got blocked because I didn’t understand the psychology of creativity. In fact, I was working against my brain instead of with it. How to Overcome Barriers to Inspiration Let’s first take a look at one of the main myths about creativity. Myth: Creativity works best when you are at ease. Here’s a little quiz for you. Imagine two different scenarios and tell me in which circumstance you would be more creative. Scenario 1: You are sitting on the deck of a house above the beach. The tide is coming in. All you can hear is the sound of waves lapping and the cry of seagulls. As the sun comes up, you open your notebook on a fresh page, pen in hand, and look up at the distant mountains… Scenario 2: You’ve just got home from work. Everyone seems to want some attention from you, even the cat. You’ve got less than an hour to get a new post written and published. Next door you hear kids squealing and a door slams. You boot up your laptop and look at the empty page… What’s your answer: scenario 1 or 2? I bet you chose the first scenario! It’s a writer’s dream: peace, space, breathtaking landscape, an empty page… aaaah! Wrong! The correct answer is ‘Scenario 2.’ ‘What?’ I hear you say. ‘My life’s like that all the time and I still can’t think of things to write about!’ Hear me out… When you’re faced with a host of demands and thought-streams, the Medici Effect can kick in. This term was coined by the psychologist Frans Johansson to explain his theory that creative thinking is triggered by the collision of unrelated ideas. In scenario 1, there is no collision of ideas. That’s why an idyllic place is the worst choice for creative endeavors! Whereas in scenario 2, many different thoughts collide and from this chaos arises creativity. The Medici Effect implies that it’s not enough to want to be creative. We need to fuel our creativity. How to Find Fuel for Creativity As I explained in my article, 10 Ways to Refuel Your Creativity, creativity is like a car. Imagine that you want to drive a car, but the tank is empty. How far can you drive? The answer is simple: you can’t drive anywhere. It’s the same with creativity. You need to put in fuel before you take it for a drive. What is fuel in this context? Many different things can act as fuel. Let’s work with one example as a playful exercise for you. This particular fuel is a story in 21 words. The geology professor John All wrote the following message on the Facebook page of the American Climber Science Program: Please call Global Rescue. John broken arm, ribs, internal bleeding. Fell 70 ft crevasse. Climbed out. Himlung camp 2. Please hurry. This is a heart-stopping message, right? Not only did John All send out this message, he even created a terrifying selfie video just after falling in the crevasse. In fact, John managed to survive against all odds. How Does This Fuel Lead to Blog Post Ideas? Remember, the key to using creative fuel is to hold the main topic of your blog, as well as the fuel item in your mind… and then let your imagination hang loose. Here are some examples off the top of my head. Blog about self-development What is the Key to Surviving Against All Odds? Blog about food XYZ In Our Food Is Killing us. Why Doesn’t Our Survival Instinct Kick In? Blog about entrepreneurship How to Use Your Survival Instinct to Rescue a Failing Business Blog about money How Determination Can Lead to Miraculous Results Blog about writing How a 21-Word Story Captured the Attention of the World Blog about videography How A Selfie Video Became Viral News Now it’s your turn! Please share in the comment section the post ideas this creative fuel triggered. Of course, we have to ask WHY this works. Why does connecting two unrelated thoughts trigger new ideas? The Secret of the Medici Effect As I said earlier, the Medici Effect means creative thinking is triggered by the collision of unrelated ideas. To clarify this theory, let’s forget about writing for a moment and think about pearls. Pearls form when an irritant—usually a parasite or a grain of sand—works its way into an oyster, mussel or clam. The mollusk then responds by producing a protective layer, which turns into a pearl. The process of dreaming up a blog post idea is similar. An unrelated thought can act as an ‘irritant’ in the brain. If you let the creative fuel rub up against your blog topic, your brain will start to spit out ideas. In essence, your brain will begin to form pearls of thought. When two bits of information intersect, an idea is formed (that’s the pearl). The idea then triggers radiant thinking. This means that the brain makes countless associations, radiating in all directions. How You Can Use This Creativity Principle Let’s say you’re sitting at your desk, trying to find what to write about. You desperately need fresh ideas for the next blog post. What to do? Here are three steps you need to take. Step 1: Get up from your desk and grab a notebook or your phone in order to record even the wackiest idea. This simple action will prime your creative well. Then let your mind go into free-flow and allow your next humdrum actions to trigger ideas. Step 2: Hold the idea of writing a blog post in your mind while you experience the actions of your day. When you connect two thoughts that are unrelated—such as your experience of the moment and writing for your blog—new ideas will emerge. Here’s are some examples: You make yourself a cup of coffee. Here are possible blog post topics this action can trigger: 10 Nutrition Mistakes that Make Your Immune System go to Sleep. Peaceful Communication: How to Drip-Feed Your Truth. You go to the window and stretch. Are You Giving Your Readers a New Perspective? How to Change Your Point of View Without Losing Face. You have a shower. How to Clean Out Your Love Life. How to Flow Like Water When Faced With Conflict. You play with your dog Why Playfulness Makes You More Creative Why Time-Out Can Boost Productivity These examples are focused on writing and self-development. But you can just as easily find post ideas for your blog niche, using the same process. Step 3: Record your idea. Ideas are fleeting; they fade away within seconds. That’s why it’s important to record immediately the ideas that come to you. The key is to record every idea without judging, even the ones that seem daft or dangerous. When you record your idea, add two or three bullet points. Otherwise, you may later find a cryptic thought in your notes and have no clue how you wanted to develop the idea. Your next task will be to create a storehouse for your blog post ideas. Create Your Personal Storehouse of Ideas You need a storehouse of ideas where you can leaf through them. There are some great apps around, like Evernote and other note-taking apps. Or you can use a dedicated notebook. You may also find it helpful organize your blog ideas according to categories. Whatever you use, make sure you browse through it regularly to trigger new blog post ideas. Conclusion In the example above, I used just one kind of fuel, a news story. However there are many different kinds of fuel such as books, overheard dialog, magazines, movies, Facebook groups, friends, quotes, BuzzSumo.com, mundane experiences of daily life, and many others. Once you’ve come up with a post idea, it’s important to complete the post. Don’t take any notice of the doubts in your mind! Your post doesn’t need to be brilliant; it just needs to be good enough. Good enough means that you have an introduction that leads into your idea, a middle part that delves deeper into your idea, and a conclusion that wraps things up. (Okay, there are some more refinements, but that’s a topic for another day.) It’s much better to publish posts you personally find mediocre, than to stop blogging because you set the bar too high for yourself! Let’s get back to the main idea: why new bloggers fail. Well, bored bloggers fail; frustrated bloggers fail. And bloggers feel bored and frustrated when their creative well dries up. But passionate, creative, lively online writers not only survive – they thrive. The creative process, the act of writing is invigorating. That’s the thrill of blogging. If you train your brain to respond to triggers which fuel your creativity, you’ll not only enjoy blogging, you’ll also gather a rapt audience. As soon as it’s finished, I’ll email you a link to my free Post Inspiration Tip Sheet. Print it out and keep it on your desk. It will prime your creative pump and you’ll never be short of blog post ideas again. [message_box_yellow] Join the FREE online workshop, 5 Powerful Online Writing Strategies for More Shares, More Subscribers, and More SUCCESS. CLICK HERE [/message_box_yellow] Let’s have a conversation. What are your thoughts about generating blog post ideas?