Even the best bloggers occasionally struggle with writer’s block. Being successful demands that you not only generate a constant stream of ideas, but differentiate those ideas from the millions of articles that have come before (and millions of new posts each day). Creativity and inspiration are the driving forces behind visionary bloggers, but you can’t exactly force these qualities into existence—so most writers, after hitting a wall, just end up frustrated and stagnant.

You can’t always prevent writer’s block, and you can’t always move past it easily, but with the right approach, you can create an environment for yourself that’s more conducive to generating original, creative ideas.

Strategies for More Creative Ideas

Employ these strategies as short-term measures of relief, or as long-term parts of your routine to facilitate more creative inspiration, and come up with better blog topics:

Read other blogs. One of the easiest steps you can take is reading other blogs, similar to yours. See what kinds of topics they’re covering, and how their audiences react to those posts. Obviously, you shouldn’t steal one of their ideas outright, but you can use their coverage as a kind of springboard to fuel your own creative efforts. Is there a counterargument you could pose, or could you take a similar approach on a different subject?

Expose yourself to art. It’s hard not to be inspired when you view someone else’s artwork. Art, in any medium, helps you use your brain in different ways, and might provide an abstract idea that serves as a basis for your next project. Hang paintings on the walls, or go to your local art museum. Even playing artistic music could help stimulate those creative muscles.

Visit exotic locations. Break from your routine by visiting somewhere you’ve never been before. The sights and sounds might inspire different lines of thought in you, and interactions with people from another culture could help you get a new perspective on your core subject matter. Some locations may even help you discover something new about yourself, leading to a kind of enlightenment that can help you produce better work.

Talk to other people. Go out of your way to talk to other people as much as possible. You’ll learn new things, get exposed to new dialects and vocabulary, and you’ll be forced to articulate your core subject matter in ways that appeal or make sense to different demographics. Almost any conversation can be one that develops your writing skills and boosts your creative potential.

Give yourself time. Giving yourself extra time to come up with an idea or complete a task is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When your mind has a chance to decompress and wander, it’s more likely to stumble upon a solution on its own; that’s why so many great ideas arise out of boredom, such as when you’re in the shower or in the middle of a long commute. If you find yourself struggle to come up with an idea, stop focusing so hard on it, find something else to do, and come back to the task later. You’ll be amazed what you come up with in the meantime.

Try a new medium. If you want to experiment with thinking in new ways, consider adopting a new medium—at least temporarily. If you’re used to writing blog posts, for example, consider writing the script for a podcast or video, or try your hand at making an infographic or illustration.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation is associated with so many positive mental and physical benefits, there’s no reason not to try it. Taking a moment to practice mindfulness in the middle of a stressful day can help you decompress, and start blogging with a refreshed perspective. It may also be the critical “boredom” time you need to happen upon a new idea.

Don’t Force It

There’s one key caveat to all these strategies; you have to use them to invite creativity, not to force it to manifest. If you start any of these strategies hell-bent on coming up with a great idea, you’re only going to become distracted or frustrated, ultimately bringing your stream of thought to a halt. Instead, try to center yourself and allow your mind to wander; be okay with the fact that you might not come up with an idea immediately, and let your brain find what it will.

Original post: How to Generate More Original Topics (and Write More Creatively)