Writing, when you don’t “feel” like it, is a challenge. Most of the time, I feel motivated and inspired to create.
I’m one of those people that wakes up ready to work within a few minutes of opening my eyes. I’m not ready to actually talk to anyone, but I’m prepared to work.
But if I’m not particularly motivated, here’s how I get going.
Write About Your Feelings
I’m a tech writer. I specialize in digital marketing. So writing about feelings makes me feel a bit more vulnerable. Yet, when I do post a “real-deal” blog, as I call them, I find it both cathartic and productive.
Sit down with your fresh brewed coffee, take a deep breath, and feel for a second. Don’t think, just feel.
That feeling might be what you use to write about that day. And even if you aren’t inspired to think of an entire article, write the first sentence on the piece, and let the universe guide you from there.
The blog you are reading is an example of this exercise.
When I sat down, the first feeling I got was “I don’t want to write”, so I decided to write about that today.
Write About Something You Learned
Life Lessons are a popular topic on Medium. The tag: Life Lessons has 498K stories and 148K writers. Every human has a library full of life lesson stories in their memory waiting to be written.
Take a moment to recall a situation where there was some sort of chaos, drama, or suffering. It’s through these situations that we grow and learn. For a moment, recite to yourself what the situation was. Then, ask yourself what you learned from it.
That lesson is likely worth sharing.
Write About What You Want To Learn More About
They say that if you want to learn more about something, you should teach it. The same goes for writing. Yesterday, for example, I published a blog post about creating Topic Clusters to help a website rank higher on Google.
While I already had a lot of experience writing search-engine-optimized content, I wanted to learn more about topic clusters. I wound up writing for hours, learned a lot, and was able to share my findings in a long-form blog post.
Even if I wasn’t motivated to write, the research began to inspire me. That’s why I wrote about it.
Write a Case Study
On Sunday morning, I woke up wondering what I should write that day. While I was inspired to write that morning, I wasn’t inspired to write the same “how-to” style article I usually do.
Instead, I wanted something “meatier”.
It had to be “richer” than the basic listicle. I wanted to go where few people go and do research that few people are willing to do.
So, I decided to create a long-form article evaluating the op 100 Medium blogs that get traffic from Google.
Once I started the case study, I couldn’t stop. One reason I enjoyed the study of finding the correlation between these top 100 blogs, was that I was learning and discovering along the way.
For example, I learned that True Crime style posts were among the top-ranking blogs generating traffic from Google.
And that leads me to the next tip on what to write about when you aren’t inspired.
Write About A Current Event
In my case study about the top 100 Medium Blogs that generate traffic from Google, I found that True Crime and History articles performed well.
A 6-minute read, this article landed in the top 10 of my list.
Bertilla didn’t have to be an experienced journalist or have inside information. Instead, she used her storytelling skills to create a thought-provoking article.
This theme was repeated throughout my study. Surprisingly, she didn’t even need to add pictures outside of the featured blog image, which was an image from Facebook.
While I’m afraid writing about true crime would give me nightmares, others have done it very well, and you might too.
Write About History
The publication Lessons From History appeared in my study several times featuring different writers. The topics included lessons we could learn from a particular event, highlights of a certain time in history, and glimpses into the mind of a great war hero.
Sal Writes wrote about the dark side of Mother Theresa.
I have a passion for genealogy and realized that writing about historic events, lifestyles, and situations pertaining to the people, and places in my history, could help me learn and inspire me to write.
While I may not enjoy writing about history in general, if it’s my history, there’s a connection I can explore.
Write About Success
One of the top pieces of content that a creator can create is an inspiring piece about success. On Medium, I’m noticing a trend where writers write about the success of other writers on Medium. It’s a clever strategy.
Edina Abena Jackson wrote a blog post on Medium about Ashley Masengill, a business coach who made $1,000,000 in 40 minutes.
The story was part of her challenge to write every day. Imagine that. You aren’t inspired to write something personal, but you can choose any other human in the world, current, or past, and write about their success.
In this article, Matthew Enubuje wrote about a guy making $1,000,000 on Only Fans without posting adult content.
Emma Colsey-Nicholls wrote about a woman in a Youtube Video that makes $75,000 per month from blogging.
This style of storytelling is trending, and it’s working.
Write A Letter To Your Future or Past Self
While you may not feel inspired to be so “raw” first thing in the morning, open your editor and write the words “Dear Lori” (insert your name of course).
You could write a letter to the child you were, the teenager you were, the young adult you were, the wife you were, the father you were, the professional you were.
You could thank that person, give them advice, or share a story with them.
If you don’t want to look back, consider writing a letter to your future self. This could be the person you want to be, achieving all of the things you dream about today, and acknowledging what you have accomplished.
If you believe in the power of manifesting and that thoughts become things, this could be a powerful exercise.
Write About Someone Who Impacted Your Life
Recently, my mentor died. When I look back at all of the people that impacted my life, he’s in the top 3. In this article, I shared a story of how my mentor posted his last words on Facebook. The shock that went through our community was palpable.
And while I didn’t think I could get through an article telling the story, I started with the first few words, and the rest flowed from there. I appreciated the opportunity to honor him.
In the article, I shared lessons I learned from Dave and the impact he made as a coach and mentor in the real estate industry.
And while my readers didn’t know Dave, it doesn’t matter. Each of us can relate to losing someone we love, who influenced us greatly
My Mentor’s Last Words Haunt me, and I’m finally ready to talk about it.
Write About Your Favorite Tool
Readers love to learn about ways to enhance their business.
Therefore, if you are writing for a target audience, it would be wise to share a tool that most of them would use.
This could be something you use in the home, or in the workplace.
I started doing this back in 2010, and it turned into a 6-figure per year business. When I started creating content in 2010, it was to gain more real estate referrals.
My focus was on connecting with real estate agents that would have a buyer or seller in Las Vegas to refer to my team. I understand the concept of providing value, so I went to work creating “how-to” articles and videos on Youtube. It worked so well; I’m doing the same thing now with my tutorial videos for Bloggers.
I built a database with contact information and regularly sent emails with these how-to guides and videos. In addition, I created ebook style guides out of my long-form posts.
In these videos, I often featured my favorite digital marketing software from my marketing stack. They were real estate software tools, SEO tools, writing tools, and so forth.
One day, someone invited me to join an affiliate program for the software I was already teaching. This contract meant that I would earn a commission from the brand when one of my students, clients, or followers purchased the software through a special link.
At first, I refused the offer, feeling like it was somehow unethical.
However, over time, I learned that my intent was honest, the training was authentic, and earning a commission was a byproduct of the valuable education being provided.
It didn’t cost my followers anything extra, and in my case, they often received a discount or something “extra”.
A few years later, as I was looking over my business financials, and realized I was earning 6-figures in affiliate income.
It was a game-changing moment.
Talk About a Something You Tried
Stories of success and failure land about the same. People love to consume content that takes a character through a journey of trying something new. In most cases, the readers drawn to this kind of story are considering taking on something new themselves.
Charlotte Ivan wrote an article about how she tried dating two men at the same time, and what happened in her experience.
Shelby Church shared a story of how she tried the $600 smart glasses, and what happened next.
The point is, if you can tell your story in a way that resonates with your reader, they will want to know more.
And by writing about a true story, with honest accounts of what happened, you’ll gain trust and followers.
Make a List
It doesn’t take a lot of inspiration to create a list. Think about the things in your life that you could create a list around. Your list could be a “Best or Worst” list.
- Ways to do something
The listicle-style blog post ideas are endless, and they work. Readers love a numbered list.
When scrolling my Medium home page this morning, I discovered the following listicles.
Karen Banes wrote Eleven Awesome Free Tools for Writers and Bloggers. Eleven Awesome Free Tools for Writers and BloggersYou don’t always have to spend money to make moneymedium.com
Bensu Cangüler wrote 5 Websites That Help Me Write Creative Articles In A Short Time.
In summary, when you aren’t motivated to write, do this.
1. Create a list of topics that you’d like to cover.
2. Find stories from people who have done similar things.
3. Share those stories and let them inspire you.
4. Write about your own experiences and share them honestly.
5. Make sure your posts are well written and easy to read.
6. Don’t forget to add links back to your sources so others can learn from them as well.
7. And lastly, don’t worry too much about getting likes or comments on your posts. Create the content first, and everything else will follow.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.