How To Create Cracking Content With Effortless Ease

    create cracking content - pen and book

    We all want the write stuff. The ability to craft wonderful words that inspire, motivate and delight. Words that simply flow freely and naturally from our imagination to the page. Deep stuff. Powerful stuff. Magical stuff. Like a kind of creative Zen state in literary action leading to brilliant blogs, awesome articles or best selling books that make their mark. With us being the veritable master of creating cracking content with effortless ease. Of having a penchant with the pen.

    Wouldn’t that be great?

    But right know that may seem somewhat far fetched. You’ve come to a halt. Nothing new to say it seems. The writing on the wall for your writing career.

    Busy daily lives full of chaotic minds jamming any potential creative spark. Mundane Mondays and weary weekends hardly making you a source of stimulating sentences. You are tired and dispirited. You can’t switch on because you can’t switch off.

    Maybe this is you….?

    • You get writers block on a regular basis
    • New ideas are increasingly hard to find
    • Your are having less drive and energy with your writing
    • You are tempted to do other things
    • Everyone else’s writing seems better than yours

    Don’t fret, it’s a common condition; authors ailment, I call it. Even the great and good have succumbed to it. Everyone loses track. Has energy dips, dry spells and inspirational indifference. I often wonder what the original names were that Shakespeare gave to his plays when he was under its spell. High Season Nights Asleep or A Big Fuss About Not Much At All before he got the titles just right.

    It’s part of being the finished article to create the finished article.

    But don’t put down your pen just yet. Don’t still that quill. You can get your manuscripting mojo back like never before. And connect to a fertile supply of inventive ideas that turns your writing from horrific to prolific.

    The yen for zen can start again and here’s how.

    Outside Influence

    To fan the flames inside you need to get outside. Leave your four walls and go where there are no walls to artistic flair. The open air. Or people watching as it is popularly called. Take a space and simply observe. See people go by. The rich tapestry of life.

    Wait and watch. Don’t take notes initially. Just drink in the scene in front of you from the different people who pass by to their fashions or conversations, even their movements. See what stirs in your imagination. Soon you will notice little nuances. Maybe the sun will come out and change what’s in front of you even more. Perhaps an old couple will totter by holding hands which could trigger memories of your younger love life or the joys of stable marriage or simply the power of holding hands. Let it transport you.

    There is a rich oasis outside and in so many locations. Airports. Town centres. Parks and seasides. Even your own local area backyard if you take a look. The world awaits with a world of possibilities. Get outside.

    Get Moving

    When people are stuck they aren’t moving. And that includes the mind. You are stuck because your head is stuck too. Thinking the same things and doing the same things. Repeatedly. You need a different kind of movement. A complete system type of one.

    Get moving by doing something active that activates adrenaline, boosts endorphin production and gets blood flowing. This ending of stagnation within the body will also touch the mind connected to it. Now it doesn’t have to be too heavy. An hour or so gardening will suffice. A bicycle ride will do. Or better still gentle exercise like swimming. Even Tai Chi works as it balances mind and body. Something that gets the heart working and a new flow started. One that will lead to a feel good factor which stimulates brain activity. That pumps and feeds a fresher outlook into your pysche and your pen.

    Take Laughter Medicine

    When writing begins to falter the grumps can take over. A serious air starts to hang around. You get narky, touchy or frustrated which, in turn, forms a vicious circle of gloomy expectation. Deflation soon becomes depression as dark moods descend. It all seems a waste of time.

    Do the opposite. Seek out an injection of humour and laughter. Spend time with people you find funny or who tell funny stories as there could be great material there. Gather friends and family together for silly nights playing games. Or watch comedy shows and films that help you laugh your troubles aside. This awakens a jovial atmosphere which is far easier to work in, live in and discover inspiration in. It’s a real health giving medicine too!

    Blogger’s Bonus

    Finally, if you are a blogger, here’s a bonus tip for top notch inventiveness.

    Check out other blogs especially those in your niche or similiar sector. Not specifically just to read some excellent posts by other bloggers, but to utilise the comments section. Successful blogs get oodles of comments, normally by other bloggers keen on their subject matter. Being writers themselves they often leave a micro post with cracking insight as a comment.

    Now, if one post has 30 comments and there are 50 posts on that blog,  just imagine what great thoughts could be generated from reading all of them? If that’s your genre they will be talking your language and giving you free input. Minimum time investement, maximum impact!

    Inspiration is everywhere but we need to be in a state to witness and record it. Not a right state but a write state. A calmer and more carefree one. Practice these and you will soon unlock a more relaxed yet potent awareness in which your pen becomes the zen and you the master of the written word.

    About the author

      John Sherry

      John writes his blog on how to live as a real simple person with tips anyone anywhere can use for a carefree, uncomplicated life. At Real Simple People he believes life isn't rocket science, but rocket salad.

    • I think the overarchng point you are making i – get out of your head, whether it be moving, observing or reading things that came out of someone elses head. Right on!

      I also get a ton of ideas when I am reading a book. The turn of a phrase, even one word can be the spark that sends the ideas spilling. All of my reading is done with pen in hand. I’m an A-List Blogging member who had fallen off the blogging wagon. I vowed just yesterday (with a new post)to get back on track. Thanks for the inspiration, John.

      • Off the wagon or off your head Lesley, it’s so easy to do. When we break that mental spell and let new magic in everything seems so much more inspired. Glad you’re back A-Listing and I bet you’ll soon be A-writing real soon so my pleasure to help in any way. Be good to see you there on the Forum so I’ll make sure to say ‘hi’.

    • Hi John,
      Marvelous post! I am lucky to be a writer living in a spectacular environment-the Eastern Sierras of California. As Autumn approaches, my writing seems to come out of heat hibernation. In 30 minutes, I can travel to wonderlands of nature that offer me peace and unbelievable beauty.
      On the 20th of this month, I have planned such a venture to witness the fall color show!
      Thanks for such inspirational words, John-you’ve got the beat!
      Laurel

      • Laurel, that sounds heavenly. You have 4 seasons worth of input from nature to put octane in your optimism and make the words zensational. When the fall comes you go sky high! I wish you mountains of inspiration.

    • Issa says:

      Just as I was searching for a cure to this writer’s block I’m having right now, I come across your blog. I think that many people have this misconception that writing is as easy as 1-2-3. When the creative thought process is at play, it is important to keep oneself motivated in making sure that spark don’t just die out as quickly as it ignited. Thanks for the wonderful tips. I guess, I’ll grab my journal, laptop and head straight to this favorite tea house at the middle of a nice zen park.

      • Issa you got me as that’s one cool idea. I wish I had a tea house in a zen park as it sounds nirvana for nerves and super for the creative spark. Mine’s an Earl Grey with a slice of something nice.

    • Terry C. says:

      Great article. I’ve just found this blog accidentally and it’s just the kind of blog I was looking for!

      • Thanks indeed Terry, keep checking in for more ace posts here on Write To Done tht will help inspire your pen.

    • Adam says:

      Wow… powerful stuff .. from now on I’m going to go outside for fresh air instead of locking myself in my room…

      • There’s a whole new world out there especially when you start to go and meet it. Fresh air is fresh inspiration. Enjoy.

    • Adam says:

      Wow… powerful stuff .. this has given me a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Thanks for this article

      • There could be inspiration in that journey from tunnel to light too Adam! Your experience will haven given you rich fodder to feed your creativity. I wish you increased zen in your pen.

    • Romelle says:

      I’ll keep this “real simple.” Great advice! You’ve just reaffirmed my intentions to keep on running. There is nothing better than a long run to create wonderful stories and generate great ideas in my mind.

      • You go Romelle! I quite agree that the exhilarated feeling from a brisk run can really boost creativity. It’s all about high energy which just has to stimulate iamgination. Real simple running works!!

    • John, I love what you wrote here: “And that includes the mind. You are stuck because your head is stuck too. Thinking the same things and doing the same things. Repeatedly.”

      Our thoughts are SO powerful and learning to steer your thoughts towards getting unstuck is enormously helpful. If anyone’s interested I’m offering a free e-book on this at literaryliving.com: The Power of Deliberate Thinking: 5 Strategies for Staying at the Writing Desk (Despite Your Self-Doubts). I’ve also got a free interview there with Leo Babauta that touches on this topic.

      Hope this is of value!

      • Hi Joan, thoughts can have a life of their own so might as well unlock yourself from your desk, office, jobs etc to give them a whole new life elsewhere. When my head is heavy with them I head for better places that gives my mind more spaces for ideas to drop on in. It sounds like you pretty much do too.

        • Thanks, John – a good walk/run/change of scene can do wonders and I also think it’s important to pay careful and deliberate attention to our thoughts, where they come from, and consider how to change our thoughts deliverately in order to better serve ourselves and our work. Our brains develop those well-worn neural pathways and while a chance of scene and pace is a great way to shake things up in the moment, it won’t necessarily change things over the long haul. Only new pathways will do that.

          All interesting stuff! Thanks!

    • SP Sipal says:

      Great tips. I especially like the get moving. Whenever I’m in a rut, walking almost always gets me out of it. Even pacing works. I think the repetitive, active motion jogs something loose. Thanks!

      • SP, they do say the jogging jogs the mind. So a good run powers up the mental juices to find creativity and, guessing by how many people I see at dawn in the park, it’s a successful practice. Maybe time for me to join in!

    • Rory says:

      Great tips for setting your mind free John, I agree with Paul sleep is a big factor why I’m unproductive when it comes to writing. Often when working on SEO campaigns for clients, I do long hours in the office and at home, not getting the break away from the screen I probably need. Which in turns leads me to write crap copy. MAKE the time to sleep.

      • Rory, very wise to think of the eyes. We are not machines that can run and run, but humans that need refreshing and replenishing and what better than sleep? I have found my optimum and try not to sleep either too much or too little for long periods. Anyway, what use is work, money or success if we’re too frazzled and worn our to enjoy it? Great comments and good luck in crafting super SEO!

    • Paul Novak says:

      Don’t forget sleep! While I already practice much of what you’ve mentioned, I’ve found that when I fail to sleep enough and force myself to write, nothing comes easy, and I end up quitting until I can pass out for several hours.

      • Sensible advice Paul. We all need to replenish our energies and sufficient sleep means our head has been given the neccessary breathing space. I think any regular mind breaks are wise as they allow rest and reflection to take place in our head space. Good thoughts, thank you.

    • Maria says:

      Hey John – What pearls of wisdom! I’m sitting here in my study, the eyes drooping, knowing that I should get off my butt and do some inspirational exercise (unclutters the mind, doesn’t it!) and then I read this!
      So, magpie season or no (they swoop here is spring – pretty aggressive -great mothering skills though)I’m off to see if I can come across some inspiration. So if I ever post another comment on your blog, you’ll know the maggies left me alone, in search of richer blood!

      • I can’t wait Maria. Actually I love the word ‘study’ in the home sense as many people sit in there studying the world around them rather than actually experiencing it. You have now become an experiencer and having a magpie mojo is one fine idea. I hope your ideas will fly and soar as a result. If not, just wing it. Looking forwards to hearing from you!

    • Great insights for start ups and pros alike… looking forward to more posts like these ….

      • Keep checking in because there’s plenty here on Write to Done to get your pen zenning

    • Carolee says:

      LOL- I often read the comments on a blog- you get to meet some great new bloggers that way!

      • Spot on Carolee, and a great bunch of friendly people too.

    • John,
      You’ve finally gotten Internet service! That was a freakishly long stretch-

      I loved your article. You had great tips. I especially love the one about getting outdoors. I always find a good walk in nature stirs things up for me.

      • Angela, the internet saga was turning into a book. But it taught many lessons and helped me live exactly what I wrote in this post. When I got moving the situation did too. And nature proved how it treats us all the same and brings out the best in us as well. It was a good friend during a nightmare few weeks.

    • Diana Baur says:

      Hi, John. Well done post. The muse and motivation can come from so many sources, just like the self doubt and second guessing. Much of your common sense advice sits really well with me. I know sometimes if I do something as simple as changing my writing location, it can completely change the tone of what it is I manage to get down. Fresh air and stretching tired, tight neck muscles helps too. I like this post so much.

      • Thank you Diana. It’s quite freaky that in the modern world common sense seems to be a dying force. I like to use it all the time not just to aid my writing but also to keep sensible and to let go any temptation to over think, study or worry. I leaves me free to be free to enjoy the outside and the inspiration fresh air brings.

    • I think if we live big, healthy adventurous lives we will always have plenty of ideas and creative things to write about…when we get out and live and experience life ideas flow. Oh and I just joined the A-list Blogger Club, I’m excited.

      • The adventurous spirit in us does unlock so much to feed our imagination and spirit Tess, I agree. Truly living and meeting the world and being alive to everything we witness makes for a permanent supply of super stuff. And well done on being an A-Lister, you’ll never look back now!

    • Farnoosh says:

      Great ideas to get the mind going…….I recently wrote about the power of music in my life when I realized truly how much classical music helps me tap into creativity and waves of energy and inspiration that are absent in the silence of the day………

      • Congratulations Farnoosh, you’ve found a rich source of inspiration especially as music has millions of emotions weaved within. You can listen everyday and feel something new every time. Sweet music indeed!

    • harly says:

      you have great writing Skills.Every piece of writing must have a message or thread of meaning running through it, and this theme is the skeleton or framework on which you hang your plot, characters, setting etc.As you write, make sure that every word is related to this theme.It’s tempting to use your short story to show off your talents at characterisation, descriptive writing, dialogue or whatever … But every excess word is a word that dilutes the impact of your story.Thanks for sharing the nice information.

      • Harly, my own take is that every piece of writing DOES have a message in it and the creative writer can express that many ways. The focus in this post was how to receive the input that makes up that message. High inspiration helps craft less heavy stuff as the words flow more easily and effectively.

    • Had a quick thought when I got to the “Outside Influences” part of your post.

      LOVED that idea by the way.

      I too, am fond of people watching to stimulate my mind. One place that triggers all kinds of creativity for me when I’m too lazy to leave the house to do this has been http://www.popurls.com.

      It’s been drummed into me by copywriting/marketing mentors of mine that when we tie our content (posts, emails, salesletters) to the conversation going on in our tribe’s minds, we can influence far easier than if we just try to barge in with what we think they should like.

      popurls is a site that collects all the hottest topics today. The time wasting ones and the not-so time wasting ones. Everything from technology to finance to youtube videos. Sites like delicious, cracked.com, and businessweek just to name a few. You have to see it to appreciate the full scope of content it delivers.

      This is one site I’ve found that allows me to people watch from my mattress and tie pop culture themes, that are top of mind in my audience’s focus, into my content and marketing. And it goes way deeper than Google trends.

      Check it out, see what you think.

      • That’s a good bit of info thank you. I will always give something a try as it could be a doorway to something better or just what I’ve been looking for. Being open minded is a trait I think makes for creative writing. Cheers for sharing

    • LOL…John..I adored this post! So creative with the word flow and the analogies and the little bits of rhyming here and there… so clever! And you’re right, we all have those days, but the methods you mentioned are great ways to soldier past them. I’m especially partial to the get moving one… some days I feel stagnant and STUCK staring at my computer.. so getting up and moving helps me unstick. 🙂

      • I used to stare at my computer too Cori – must be the modern version of looking out the ‘windows’ for inspiration. Now I switch it off and get out there to switch on a whole new stream of concepts. Be it rain or sun there’s always something to be found when we leave our work space and move into another one. Good luck in being unstuck!

        • You know, hadn’t thought of it that way, but it very well could be the modern version! lol But definitely I always feel 10 times better when I push away and just move around change my scenery, and allow my mind to wander. 🙂

    • John, Your amazing headline captured me and the great information kept me glued to every word. “Get Moving” always does it for me. If I can get out on my bike or onto the yoga mat, I know creative words are waiting!

      Thanks for the inspiration. Off to write!

      • Great stuff Courtney, a little bit of movement exercises our inner inspiration muscles and motivates our mind to spring into action. I like being out on two wheels too but yoga always puts me in an awkward position!

    • John,

      I think the idea of going outside and doing something is one of the most powerful things on this list. I’m a surfer, and whenever I know there’s no new ideas in my head or I need an idea to brew, I hit the water. Usually a few hrs in the water will do the trick and I’ll come back with about a dozen new ideas.

      • Srinivas good on you…a bit envious actually. I live in a city but adore the coast. The combination of sounds, colours, things people are doing and smells make it an oasis of inspirational observation. Not to mention relaxing, hypnotic and with fresher air and food. Gosh, I can imagine being there right now……!!

      • JC Deen says:

        I can really relate to the idea of moving more. When I have somewhat of a deadline to get something in, and I just can’t get my thoughts on paper, I head out to the trails with a mini recorder and as the ideas come, I speak them into life. After about thirty minutes to an hour, I’m back to the computer writing effortlessly.

    • Katie everyone needs a holiday so worry not as it probably freshened both you and your creativity up. Now you are back in your zen den you’ll be penning pure poetry in no time. Write?

    • Katie says:

      John, I’m going to practice these “write” now since I haven’t posted in a while and need to get some serious zen in my pen. Great tips for bloggers and all writers. By the way, isn’t Jean supposed to be on holiday and she still beat me here. What’s up with that? Congrats, on being on Write to Done!

    • John, This is great advice. I like to combine the being-outdoors suggestion with the moving suggestion. Ideas come unbidden but very welcome when I’m taking a walk. They’re not limited to ideas for blog posts; they could be about other dilemmas that I’m trying to sort out.

      Yesterday, while walking I saw 6 vultures sitting high in a tree. Any idea what that means?

      • Madeleine my first thoughts are that you live in a really wild place if vultures are in the trees. Maybe it means you should move!!! Seriously, perhaps it’s a clue that the vultures are around you somewhere in your life (6 people somewhere) or something like that. A good walk solves much and is the simplest tool for brilliant writing and pure relaxation. But keep you head down eh?

    • Cristina says:

      Hi John, this is the first post I read today, and it’s a great one! I agree with all you say – I love the Shakespeare bit, by the way 🙂

      Getting outside is great advice, and I always have a notebook with me to jot down ideas, or bits of overheard conversations. Getting moving, too, is vital – and that’s from a lazy girl 🙂
      You’re dead right on laughter too, and on the blogger tips.

      I also find free-writing a great help, especially if I do it the old-fashioned way. Writing on paper, without self-editing, does wonders for me.

      • Hi Cristina, free-writing is a cool idea, just let the pen lead the way. I bet some amazing ideas and text appears from nowhere. Shakespeare is fab but he did have a problem in his day getting banned from everywhere – he was bard! Have fun penning.

    • What a treat to see you on Write to Done, John. I now have Zen in my keyboard I’ve done that bit with the comment section in blogs, and it’s a great tip. There’s no reason to feel at a loss for words when you can riff off from someone’s comment wisdom! So good to have you back online, my friend.

      • Why thank you Jean, it’s mutual! It’s amazing what comments and feedback elsewhere can comment in return to your creative juices and feed your ideas in return. It only takes a minute girl as the song goes!

    • sylvia says:

      Ouch…so many sentence fragments. My inner grammarian is on life support.

      • Sylvia, give your inner grammarian a chance to rest and recuperate. A walk in the park will recover your spark. You’ll soon be back on the write side of life.

    • Hey John,

      This was the 1st post I read this morning, and a great way to kick off the day as it motivated me to try a few new things to inspire my writing this afternoon.

      I couldn’t agree more with your Get Moving advice – sometimes my best ideas come to me on my morning jog. I’d be lost in writer’s blog without it.

      And as for your final comment on tips for bloggers, I also find it helpful to go onto Amazon.com and check out some of the best selling books in my niche. I then read some of the book reviews to find out what people loved and didn’t like about that book, as well as seeing which parts of the book stirred the most opinion and conversation. This could even work for products sold in your niche as well.

      Okay, well, time for me to go do some people watching in the park outside my apartment. May the zen come to my and the other reader’s pens 🙂

      Thanks!
      Lauren

      PS – Loved your comment on Shakespeare 🙂

      • Lauren, what a brilliant tip about Amazon, I think I shall do that myself. Enjoy the park “to be or not to be” zensational when you are there. Hope your day is inspired and gives power to your pen.

    • Hi, John. Your name seems to be popping up in my life a lot recently, and that’s very nice since you write such affirming and intelligent stuff. I appreciate your efforts.

      I think you’re on the right track with this post, too. Nice job.

      Gip

      • Gip, it’s always good to see your face and read your thoughts. Your kind sentiments are much appreciated. See you soon no doubt!!


    • >