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5 Habits Holding You Back From Creating Great Content

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/02/2016 Danielle Sabrina

2016-02-29-1456774058-9833503-5HabitsHoldingYouBackFromCreatingGreatContent.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-29-1456774058-9833503-5HabitsHoldingYouBackFromCreatingGreatContent.png Lack of planning:
When we don't plan in advance the topics or at least the themes we want to write about, we lose the ability to gather helpful information along the way. Not to mention without planning, you're left to when you have some "free-time" which we all know doesn't magically happen on its own either. Mapping out your editorial calendar with topics or themes for the coming months will allow time for your ideas to percolate and your wheels will already be turning for different angles or ideas on how to present the topics.
Waiting for inspiration:
I will agree that inspired writing is liquid gold when it comes to getting our words on paper. However, only writing when one feels inspired is a quick way to produce little to no content. If we waited to exercise only when we felt inspired we likely wouldn't be getting much movement. When something isn't habit those feelings of inspiration start coming further and further in between. Inspiration takes energy, and the more our subconscious mind feels like a task is going to take an enormous amount of physical or thought energy we tend to procrastinate or not act on the more subtle nudges of inspiration.
It's not routine.
This leads me to the next point, I've found it incredibly helpful to make writing a routine. I don't sit down with the intention of creating an article that goes viral or some savvy sales page. I sit down and force myself to get my thoughts out on paper or in my laptop. If we choose the same time everyday our physiology is automatically going to start getting prepared to allow thoughts to flow to paper. After awhile of doing this you might even find that your ideas start coming to you shortly before you're scheduled writing time. I've found myself skipping my morning tea because I had such great ideas/thoughts and wanted to quickly get them out of my head and onto paper.
Starting from scratch
Not having a "bank" of content to draw from. I have a notepad on my laptop and in my phone that I call my 'content bank' it houses my random thoughts, ideas for content and possible headlines that pop into my head through out the day. Using a tip I learned from Andy Crestodina CEO of Orbit Media and author The Content Chemist, I started to keep track of particular topics or questions I was asked frequently. By tracking this, I found there were several topics I had previously brushed off because for me the answer to the questions were so second nature I didn't pay it much attention.
Revising or editing before finishing:
This is the very reason for the dozens of half finished articles I have floating around on my hard drive. I stop half way through an article and start critiquing what I wrote, editing it to make it sound more polished. Before I realize it, I have completely lost my train of thought and have forgotten the conclusion I was trying to get to in the first place. This is probably the hardest habit to break because it involves letting go. It requires us to trust that if we keep going we'll end up with a great piece of content we can feel proud about.
However, if you can get in a habit of not revising even one sentence until the end, you'll find that when you do go into make edits you do so feeling confident that you've made progress, versus feeling frustrated or disappointed that you still have so much more to go. If you really want to up your content creation game, hire an editor. Find someone whose editing compliments your writing style, eventually that person will get to know your voice and help you polish your work in way that remains authentic to you.
Content creation in any form whether it be writing or creating a presentation, doesn't have to be as daunting as it has seemed in the past. By transforming the habits above into ones that are productive and conducive to allowing your own unique creative process to flow you will be on your way to consistently producing great content that both matches your business goals and the goals of your reader.

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