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Screw Creativity – Perseverance is the Key

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Screw Creativity - Perseverance is the KeyWhile writing “1000+ Online Content Ideas for Your Business” , I have noticed an ongoing trend: it’s getting easier and easier to sit down and write every day.

This is not to say that I didn’t like writing in the first place, far from it – I love creating content whether it’s text, videos, audio or images!

It’s hard to be “creative on demand”.
However, the act of sitting down to create can be intimidating. Why? Because it’s hard to be “creative on demand” and many folks find that to be the biggest obstacle to success with content marketing.

“Writers Write”

In a fiction writing class that I took in 4 BK (before kids), I heard the saying, “Writer’s write”.

At the time I was like, “Well duh Captain Obvious, of course they do – that’s why we call them writers.”

Writers sit down to write when it’s time to write.

But I was young and naive and, as my dreams of being a fiction writer faded into the background of everyday life, I realized just what that phrase meant:

  • Writers sit down to write when it’s time to write.

It doesn’t matter if they are in the mood. It doesn’t matter if they “feel creative” – the fact is that successful writers put their butt in the chair and grind out word after word.

Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not, but the job gets done.

And, like me, they find it easier to just sit down and get started as time goes on, no matter what their mood or what else if going on in their life.

Creating Online Content is Exactly the Same

My friend Marcus Sheridan over at The Sales Lion explains the phenomenon like this:

And speaking of “serving garbage on a plate,” just look at the first blog articles on my swimming pool site—River Pools. Without question, I served up garbage almost 3 times a week for the first few months of blogging.

I was a bad writer. I was a bad blogger. I was a poor communicator. And nothing was “epic.”

But somehow, some way, the “little website that could” is now the most trafficked website in the world for inground swimming pool construction.

The Sales Lion is no different. I cringe when I go back and read those initial posts on this blog. It’s almost like they were written by a different person.

But at the same time, each post was a victory. Each post was a learning experience. And each post was a small rung on the ladder that got me to where I am today (wherever that may be).

He didn’t let his lack of experience stop him – he sat down and gave himself experience.

Marcus didn’t let his lack of experience stop him – he sat down and gave himself experience.

He’s also the first person who would tell you that he’s not a “creative” person, but he now turns out post-after-post of great content. That’s because he worked hard, took notes and learned from every lesson that came his way, good or bad.

He sat his butt in the chair and wrote.

What Are You Waiting For?

Writer’s write. Videographers make videos. Photographers and graphic artists make images and infographics. Radio folks and public speakers create audio.

You can do all of those things. You can create online content that appeals to your target markets.

Even if you’re not a “creative person”.

If you want to master the art of creating online content, you just need to sit your butt in the chair and create some.

This is not to say that you have to create your own online content – there are capable creators out there (including myself) who can help you.

But if you want to be the voice of your business, if you want to master the art of creating online content, you just need to sit your butt in the chair and create some.

Again and again and again.

It gets easier, I promise.

Happy creating!

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Comments

  1. Matt– This post really resonated with me. My husband calls me a production writer because I can do just that: sit down and write. It’s not something everyone can do, but I think more people can do it that just don’t believe they can (I remember in college classmates not feeling “inspired” to write an essay).

    If you wait for the perfect idea or words to flow, they never will. Better to start writing and get better at it, the way Marcus did.

    Susan

    • Hey Susan – thanks for stopping by!

      I love the term “production writer” because, art or not, a writer is not a writer unless they produce writing. :)

      I believe that many people have the potential to be production writers – if of course that’s a skill they want to hone.

      For the rest, there are writers like us.

      -Matt

  2. Matt,
    I can totally relate as six months ago I went from full time attorney to full time writer. I realized that the only way to get better was to just do it. I am writing everyday now and getting better.
    There are some days I sit down and don’t know what to write but they are becoming fewer and further between. What was unexpected about it was the rush I got from it. I had forgotten how much fun thinking, writing, creating could be.
    Thanks for the article.
    Charlie

    • Charlie,

      You’re welcome! How cool is it that you were able to make the transition to something that gives you such pleasure!

      For me, writing is also a lot of fun however, there are still plenty of times when I don’t know what the heck I’m going to write about when I sit down. What I have learned though is that I DO need to sit down and just get started.

      Sometimes I write randomly for a few minutes until an ideas strikes. Often, I change the course of a post mid-stream because I believe that something I was researching/writing about was more interesting than what I was currently writing about.

      Writing is often an adventure for which you do not know the end – even if you’re writing non-fiction! :) That’s one of the things I like about it most and is also one of the things I would never have known if I was not sitting at my desk writing when I need to be.

      -Matt

  3. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the inspiring post. When I read it I thought of the phrase “The secret to success is perseverance”. There is no secret formula or “special method” to get successful. Perseverance makes you do the job regularly and with dedication. It also has the added benefit that you get in a mindset where you continuously think about the job at hand and play into the Law of Attraction (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction).
    Did you read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield? He talks about overcoming the infamous writers block and how to make “sitting down and just write” easier.

    Good luck on your journeys.

    Bert

    • Bert,

      You’re welcome – thanks for coming by to read!

      I liked your comment, “Perseverance makes you do the job regularly and with dedication”. Of course, a good editorial calendar will go far as well. :)

      I’ve never read “The War of Art” (will need to check it out). My favorite book on writing has always been, “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg. If you have not yet seen that one, give it a look.

      -Matt

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Screw Creativity – Perseverance is the Answer…

    When it comes to online content creation, screw creativity – it’s perseverance that’s the key to great digital content creation….

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