Today I had writer’s block. I had a long list of topics that I’ve wanted to write about, but none of them seemed very appealing to me. All of them seemed lackluster and void of inspiration.

Mildly frustrated, I took a walk and listened to a podcast. I often like to do this when I’m feeling cloudy headed and have difficulty putting words down onto the page.

Luckily, within 5 minutes of walking an idea popped into my head and I started recording a voice note for future reference.

This is how my creative process often works…

I call this process “consuming content to create content”. If I don’t have something to write, I’ll read or listen to something instead.

By stimulating myself with engaging content I can generate ideas by reacting to the content I am consuming.

When I read, I’m a very “active” reader. I highlight, take notes, journal, and reflect. I dive deeply into it. I try to notice parallels between the struggles of the characters and the struggles of my own life. And then I’ll write about it.

Same goes for podcasts and ebooks. Whenever I listen to an ebook or Podcast I’ll have my evernote open so I can jot down any noteworthy quotes or capture any reactions I have. I also use “clips” on audible and frequently revisit them.

Whether reading or listening, I document as much as I can, so that I can remember as much as possible.

This same muscle of documenting learnings and takeaways also applies to being a writer and speaker.

If you apply this process of note-taking while reading/listening to content, you develop the ability to shatter through creative blocks of any kind.

Don’t have something to write? Go read an article and write a reaction!

Want to start a new business? Go study other businesses!

Want to write a musical composition? Listen to music!!!

The principle applies no matter what creative endeavor you are pursuing.

Sometimes we need to search for inspiration, and we need a system in place that allows us to do so effectively.

If you go into learning with the intention of documenting, you build the muscles needed to create topics anytime, anywhere.

Inspiration is everywhere if you know where to look.

Like all other things, creativity is a muscle and the more you flex it, the stronger it will get.

The next time you are stuck pick up something that interests you, and manifest the inspiration you need to move ahead 😃

Also published on Medium.

2 thoughts on “Consume Content to Create Content

  1. I totally agree that the more you exercise the creative part of your brain the stronger it will get and I think your active approach to listening/reading is interesting. It is worth recognizing that people get creatively ‘blocked’ for all kinds of reasons.

    1. Yes absolutely, a lot of people struggle with being blocked. However, the purpose of this article was to show that, if you are blocked, these are techniques to get around it. Blocks just mean you need to get out of your head and try something new.

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