Struggling To Create Content?
If you have seen me, have you noticed the bags under my eyes? I have been up all night watching YouTube videos, scouting websites, and crunching numbers, saving for a camera and editing on my phone with a free trail on some editing app, just counting down to the day that I have to sign up again with a different email. I study what content draws people to my page, what builds people’s faith and consider it all as growth. Writers block is part of the growth process and I have chosen not to allow it to intimidate me. In my opinion: the word “block” and the “I don’t know where to start” are great launching pads for something amazing! Pressing through writers block has become something fun, because on the other side is momentum, and a great post for you, my reader.
I have positioned myself to grow. I have studied other blogs, researched ways of writing, completed webinars, read books, created lists, checked them twice, and I’m STILL trying to check them off. There is a lot that I can absorb that will help me grow as a content creator, but before all of the outside factors can help me grow, I must grow myself first. I have to put my pen to the paper and snap the photo using my iPhone. This is the idea of starting with what I have, and keeping that, then transitioning, or growing into the next phase of “becoming”, which is absorbing and processing what is available to me from the outside, yet not letting the “not me” elements from outside change the outcome of my product.
This transition from realizing “what is inside” to “what is available” to feed my development is a dance. It’s imbalanced. Writers block happens here, research happens, passion and discipline are tested, and a support community is crucial. Many of my “plan B” posts get published, photos terribly edited are used, while I wrestle with this growth. Am I the best at creating content? Um, no. However, I have really loved the journey. So why stop? Especially when it stirs people’s faith and they are encouraged to talk about what good things God has done in their lives? Or, encourages others to just try something new?
Photography, Vlogs, Blogs, Books, Fashion, Animation, Food, Music… there are so many ways we can reach people for the Kingdom of God. Why not?! Especially when it’s something we get to “make up”. Tapping into the creative spirit of God is exciting. Having an idea of something that doesn’t yet exist and getting to contribute and co-labor with the Holy Spirit to draw people closer to Jesus our Lord is a powerful thing. It’s a privilege actually, and it’s not always easy. So why create content? For me, it’s to develop Christian resources, that encourage and equip the body of Christ, as individuals and groups, to understand the bible, understand what a Christian world-view is, and how to live out Christianity as a counter-cultural Faith, without needing a theologian in your back pocket. All you need is the word, the Holy Spirit, a good coffee spot and a good church! But that’s for another post. ;)
Creating takes discipline and passion. Discipline is how you get the job done, but it’s also how you get the job. Passion without discipline is emotion. We were meant to see ourselves achieve the purposes and the plans that God has for our lives. Fulfillment comes when we allow our passion to drive our discipline, and our discipline to carry out our passion.
5 things I strive to accomplish while struggling to create content, and especially when I’ve got nothing…
1. Schedule to create. On my calendar I set appointments to write, take photos, or create some other kind of content.
2. Communicate about creating. Talk about, talk to and collaborate with people who are going in the same direction.
3. Plan to create. This is NOT the same as scheduling to create. Scheduling has to do with your calendar, a date, time and possibly a location. The plan would include other details, like research, interviews, photoshoots, etc. Those things I plan out, so when I get to the execution stage, I know what I am producing ahead of time.
4. Go create! Even if it’s terrible, you know it, and it’s embarrassing. You won’t get good, if you don’t press through. Ignore that people are seeing you start at the bottom. Once you begin, you may find you need to readjust your schedule or your plan. That’s not failure, it’s growth!
5. Choose discipline over passion. Structure and discipline don’t block your creativity, they release it. You have undivided time, uninterrupted appointments and can tap into unlimited ideas for sharing the Gospel story. So let’s get creating!
I’d love to hear how you work through writers block. So often I tell myself, “It’s not a race.” I honestly believe, as projects are completed, they will be released in God’s perfect timing. Even though the journey is working on my patience level, thanks for sticking with me as I develop these creative skills. I have great stuff coming your way this Fall that I am truly excited about. Encourage the creative individual in your life, share the link to this post!