Jebus, the number of people clicking that "secret sauce" image from the last email is staggering... like STAGGERING.
As Dan would say, "the secret sauce we don't show the YouTubers..."
I got a secret about her I'll tell you a little further down.
🤔 The Creative Process
I've been there, looking at the blank page. That blinking cursor staring at you. In fact, I'm looking at it right now...
Back in the day I usually fell back on what school taught us: "Write an outline, something or other afterward" And for the most part that did START the creative juices, but it's not quite there.
Eventually, I got my rhythm and flow, which required me to do 3 things:
#1. Stop caring about the consequences of what I write (very hard now-a-days)
#2. Go out of my way to piss people off cause haters will spread your name and brand farther than you can AND
#3. Just let loose and have fun
Then I ran across a piece about Ed Sheeran (I've never heard his music but I recognize his face from Game of Thrones) and Neil Gaiman, creator of American Gods.
Apparently, they use the EXACT same process to create their respective art.
When Sheeran visits his old school and is talking to music students there, he makes the analogy of songwriting being like turning on a dirty tap in an old house. "You turn on the tap and it just spits out shit water for the first ten minutes", then you start to get cleaner water with occasionally bits of grit, before the flow is clean water.
When he started in earnest, he tried to write at least two-to-three songs a day, knowing that the first third of them were rubbish, but they were the necessary pathway to the good stuff. "Once all the bad songs have gone, the good songs started [sic] flowing."
Source: Learning from Ed Sheeran
Mr. Ed has put it so eloquently. You have to turn on the faucet and let your ideas flow. Just write - whether it's a song, a story, a help manual on the greatest SEO Tool, or a script for video content.
You are going to produce a lot of crap, but one of those ideas will turn into something that can take off, but you have to be at the plate swinging every single day. There is a reason GaryVee over-floods his audience, besides the fact that most social platforms have reduced the eyeballs to each content piece.
Remember the internet is an ocean that refills itself daily, so if you aren't putting out content daily your brand will be swept away in a matter of days or weeks. You'll be yesterday's news.
Funny enough, from all my content from years past, I've used Taylor Swift gifs so much some people in the SEO and online marketing world associate me with her whenever they see her. I've got a secret, I've never heard a single Taylor Swift song in my life.
In fact, for years I never knew what her voice sounded like until THIS specific commercial:
She sounds a lot like Drake (So I apparently still don't know what her voice sounds like).
Either I'm getting old or I can't understand a single word that was sung.
Neil and Ed know they're not superhuman. They simply respect the reality of human creativity: The brain has a linear pipeline for creativity, and the pipe needs clearing. In every creative session, they allot time for emptying the wastewater.
They're not worrying whether clear water will eventually come.
Source: Creativity Faucet
I remember in Kanye West's Spaceship song:
Y'all don't know my struggle,
Y'all can't match my hustle,
You can't catch my hustle,
You can't fathom my love, dude,
Lock yourself in a room,
Doing five beats a day for three summers,
That's A Different World like Cree Summer's
Source: Spaceship, Kanye West
5 beats a day... it's a lot of refining your skill. There was definitely a lot of bad crap that came through... And then "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" dropped and the rest is history. I doubt anyone would even know about 5 beats a day unless Kanye mentioned it.
For my process, I love jotting down ideas in Notes and this other app called Todoist, especially at night. I had to delete all those social media apps from my phone: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Imgur. That alone started allowing my brain to start solely focusing on my goals.
Then new ideas started coming through fast like gates of a dam opening, especially at night when I used to mindlessly scroll.
Now when ideas start coming in I either jot them down in Notes or Todoist. Most of the time I start writing out the ideas fully, and pretty soon I'm somehow in front of the computer writing out the complete idea if the outline starts blazing - that lasts until 2 or 3 o'clock into the morning.
The current society is trying to suck a ton of your time with distractions. As your brain gets more and more over-stimulated just waking up feels like a chore.
"To save your soul and your future cut off all social media tonight. Cut off all your family and friends tonight. Change your phone number tonight. Don't look back. Then maybe you have a chance." - Dan Peña
It's no secret that after a 2-week vacation you tend to come back to work with a vengeance - with ideas and energy you didn't have before. It's because your brain was allowed to rest.
Think about it, how can you be creative when the world is flooding you constantly with distractions, news, and memes - 24/7, meanwhile, that short-term dopamine hit makes your brain want more and more of it.
What's the perfect solution? I don't know, just delete those apps as a beginning.
If you guys have tips or tactics you use to get more creative drop a comment.