Creating content is not always as straightforward as some might think. With the amount of competition out there, you can’t afford to create something that is not valuable or of high quality. This means that when you run into a mental block, creating anything will seem nearly impossible.

In times like these, you can’t just sit back and wait for inspiration to hit; you need to go out there and find it.

Here are five ways to come up with content ideas for when you have a mental block:

1. Go ahead and scare yourself

You know that topic that keeps you up at night because you’re too scared to write about it?

Well, it’s time to take that topic out to dinner.

When you challenge yourself, you might end up surprising yourself. Looking at that scary data sheet might just be the key to unlocking your creative juices onto paper. It might feel as if you have just stepped into a horror movie when you throw yourself in the deep end, but you never know what beautiful content you will create.

Challenge yourself with topics that you find hard to write about, as this will allow your to get out of your comfort zone — and that will make the mental block melt faster than ice-cream on a hot summer's day.

2. Do the opposite 

Ever heard about routine killing creativity? Well, it most certainly does. Break your routine and do things the ‘wrong’ way around for once.

Having a ‘9 to 5’ job means that mental block comes knocking on your door quite often, so go ahead and turn things upside down. It might sound scary at first, but just start with something small. 

For example, you could tell your audience what they should not do. So instead of writing about the Three things you should know about being a good journalist, rather focus on the Five things you should not be doing as a journalist.

Seeing a topic that you have been struggling to write about from a different perspective will allow you to approach it in an entirely new way. Your brain will be fooled into thinking that the mental block pertaining to that particular article is over, whereas in reality, you’re still writing the same content but from a different angle.

3. Give some love to that old favourite

There will always be content that you create that will be evergreen, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reuse or update it. So if you’ve written an article that’s receiving a lot of love, and have the analytics to prove it, it might be time to update and re-purpose that content.

For example, if your article, Five things you should not be doing as a journalist, ends up doing really well, you could then think about expanding on that content by taking one of the sections and focusing on that alone for your next article.

Let’s say one of the subheadings (or things you should not be doing) was ‘Forgetting to do a fact-check’. You could then write an entire article about The importance of fact-checking in journalism.

Additionally, you could re-purpose the original article and make it into either a:
  • Video
  • Infographic
  • Quote image
  • Meme
You see where we’re going with this ...

4. Befriend social media

One of the most important questions to ask is ‘how many people have and make use of social media’? According to Statista, 2.82 billion people make use of social media and by 2020, there will be 2.96 billion social media users.

You do know what that means, right? You have billions of people on social media who might be talking about something that will spark an idea in your head!

When you have a mental block, it should be encouraged that you spend a little more time on social media just to get new ideas from different and interesting people online.

Using a brand tracking service allows you to gain powerful insights, data insights, from service providers like Newsclip, allow you to improve your articles and marketing messages. Which will allow you to create great and engaging content.

5. Hit the books

Reading has many benefits; for instance, it enhances your imagination, decreases depression and lowers your stress levels. It is no secret that depression and stress will only contribute to your mental block; therefore, when reading, you can be sure that you’re actually aiding your creative process.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should just read serious content. You can read any book, article, report, etc. in relation to your industry that will assist in stimulating your brain.

Have you ever struggled with a mental block? What are some things you tried to get rid of it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that know how to battle a mental block, find some inspiration in our article, Four lessons in creating evergreen content from The Addams Family.
*Image courtesy of Canva