Typically when a person starts a blog they have a vision or at least some loose thoughts about what they want to write about. People write to inform, to complain, to entertain, to debate, the list goes on. What happens when someone has a desperate desire to write but they don’t have a single decent idea? What about when an entire decade goes by with this desire and still nothing? Should this person assume that they simply don’t have a talent for writing?
I imagine this is how most people handle situations where they find themselves at a creative block, unable to produce content in their respective art. It’s easier to move on and find a new hobby than to push forward and find the inspiration. We live in a world where our access to creative content is so vast that we assume every topic has already been written about, every image has already been photographed, every song already sung. Yet everyday we wake up to countless bits of new content online that we read, observe and listen to.
I have wanted to be a writer since I was a child. Somewhere around the age of 15 I tried my hand at a novel about World War II and failed miserably. A few years later I made my second attempt with a science fiction novel and made it through two chapters before hitting a wall. Since then my goal has changed from novelist to journalist to photojournalist to feeling like it’s never going to happen. I’ve spent most of that time with an “everything has been done already” attitude and this mindset has even carried over into my personal life. There are times during casual conversation with friends and family when I stay quiet because I think that any commentary I could give is something they have heard many times before.
The desire to entertain is so strong that it dilutes our potential. Most of us are told at some point to make art for ourselves, not for other people, and I believe that the artists who live by that motto are the most successful. If writing is something you enjoy then write about other things you enjoy, or things you hate, or things that you just have a strong opinion about, without any regard to what is trending or what you think people want to hear. Some of the best content out there came from nothing more than passion. When an artist is genuinely passionate about their work they have the potential to see deeper than others may have in the past. Once the pressure of following trends is gone you have the time to focus on the things you care about and create content from the heart.
People love passion. Although I want readers of this post to leave behind the idea of writing to please others, it is worth noting that people tend to appreciate articles, novels, blogs, etc. when they can feel the passion. People will read about subjects they have no interest in if the writer is able to show them something they’ve never seen or noticed before. A lot of people also prefer to consume content made from passion versus content that feels like it was made to sell.
Don’t assume that you lack talent because you lack creative ideas. Inspiration does not have to be something exciting or beautiful or exotic, it can truly be anything. Find something small that triggers an emotion and write about it, photograph it, paint it, use it to motivate you. Even if your inspiration is your lack of inspiration, like me.