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Do you find yourself waking up every day only to reinvent the wheel creatively?
Or you do you begin your work with an idea in mind? Do you have a structure for your work and tools that help you get it done more efficiently?
Starting with a blank page is ineffective, and it affects your productivity negatively.
And it’s not just writers that end up facing the blank page. All creatives do.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a songwriter, poet, or photographer. If you keep publishing, at some point, spontaneous inspiration will seem to fade. And you will also begin to feel like you’re repeating yourself.
Repeating yourself isn’t necessarily bad. Films, TV shows, and even church services all follow a structure. Familiarity breeds comfort. And comfort keeps the audience coming back because they know they can count on you to deliver something familiar.
It may not be new or innovative. It may not even be good. But it’s familiar, and therefore comfortable.
As creatives and creators, we’re quick to throw out what’s comfortable. It feels kind of icky.
Yet, comfortable works like gangbusters, especially when it comes to earning an independent income.
When talking about systems, Author Dan Kennedy’s favorite example is Disney.
Disney doesn’t make anything new. When you examine it closely, The Lion King follows the stories of Joseph and Moses from the Bible, as well as William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
The Lion King, however, was a blockbuster. And it wasn’t new or innovative. Just an old story told with animals instead of humans.
Disney doesn’t make anything that isn’t familiar.
The question isn’t who you will copy or model. The question is:
What will you do to ensure you’re not starting with a blank page?
As a writer, I take advantage of tools like:
- A commonplace book
- A LifeSheet where I store all my post ideas
- Swipe files
- Collections of quotes
And I have no doubt I’m just scratching the surface. Because in my staff writing duties, there are certain post types I find myself writing over and over, and I could see myself creating templates for them.
I could also see myself organizing more of my notes (especially from my commonplace book) within my LifeSheet.
What could you do to make your work more efficient?
There are many ways to get the job done. But one thing’s for certain – you’re not as effective as you could be if you find yourself starting with a blank page every time you start a new project.
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