The Idea

I read a piece yesterday that was interesting to me. It said that the toughest part of a comic writer’s job is not doing the actual illustrations and layout but rather just coming up with different ideas and jokes on a daily basis. The column characterized it as “plain labor-intensive.” The piece also chronicled a similar issue with stand-up comedians. For many people who induce laughs for a living, the difficult part isn’t rehearsing or developing a stage presence; rather, it is coming up with fresh material. The comedian referenced in the column says he spends almost every waking hour on the lookout for inspiration to create new jokes.

I can relate. At least to a degree. I have authored a blog for almost 11 years and written nearly 2,150 posts. For the most part, each of those posts was based on an idea. Although I like to think that my bandwidth for brainstorming creative ideas is limitless, I sometimes find myself in a rut figuring out what to write about, especially since I have already written about so much in the past.

Let’s face it, coming up with ideas can be hard.

You see, I usually don’t have an issue pounding out a blog post—just as long as I have an idea. Although some of my posts take a lot of concentration to draft, the toughest part for me as a blogger isn’t the actual writing but rather the identification of the idea. I can empathize with comic writers and comedians.

But because of my day job, I think I do have a leg up when it comes to overcoming blogger brain drain. As a marketer and social media strategist, a big part of my success centers on content generation. It is imperative that I have a bank full of ideas, pitches, and angles ready to offer and deploy so that our platforms are fresh and our audiences engaged. The constant replenishment of this content war chest is a mind power exercise that can be applied not just to my professional career but my personal blogging aspirations as well.

Thankfully, new blogging content doesn’t solely depend on a finite reservoir of past experiences and ideas stored in my noggin. Life happens 24/7. Much of what I write about centers on current events, trends, and personal episodes. In short, what I write about next week will likely be influenced by what happens this week.

Even with timely writing, however, you must frame it in a way that is interesting and engaging. That takes idea development and brain power too.

For those of us who are content creators—comedians, bloggers, vloggers, designers, etc.—we aren’t worried about our talent shining through. For the most part, we are confident in our ability to tell jokes, write, make video, design graphics, or whatever. The tough part is the most fundamental aspect of it all—the idea. It is easier said than done. Don’t Blink.

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