How often do you finish a blog post in one go?
Often have a plethora of ideas bouncing around in my head, I hardly can. My mind is pulled in dozens of directions at once: it keeps switching from an idea to the next. One minute I come up with the list of Ukulele masters; the next minute, my mind might be wandering somewhere around the right fingering for a certain piece of guitar. Other time, I tangle myself in question of “Does “I Won’t back down” of Tom Petty and “Stay with me” of Sam Smith bear that much resemblance?”
While it’s easy to keep the outside world from interfering you, but how about the inner shakes of ideas that stir you up inside? Finding a quiet place to write is easy. But quieting the swirl of noise and confusion in your mind is far more complicated.
Blame it on the bagful of ideas, especially when you have to finish what you have started. You desperately need things done to finally hit “Publish”, don’t you? Instead of surrendering to the Idea Junkie that is screaming out for attention, use Content Curation process to systemize your writing and say goodbye to panicked flutter.
(In case you wonder what Content Curation is, Bufferapp gets it real short: Content curation is sorting through a large amount of web content to find the best, most meaningful bits and presenting these in an organized, valuable way.
Truth is, there may be more sources than just websites, you might be also looking at magazines, books and movies.)
Whenever I come up with new ideas, I start writing with no restraint, put everything in my Evernote, and never give a second thought about classifying it. I’m not obsessed about completing an idea with full details. Just let it out of my head.
Later on, when I’m lazier and not in the mood of writing, I can refer to my folder “Content Curation” to organize everything in topics, start some editing or paraphrasing work. I roughly estimate the amount of willpower required and the potential profitability or pragmatism of each subject.
What I love about curation process is that it saves me from the debilitating moment of starring out at the screen, burning out too quickly while other times my muse leaves me dry. Ideas need to be constantly renewed, refined, refreshed, revisited but first they need to be stored. As people say: “Save it for a rainy day”, Content Curation makes sure you’ll never be at a shortage of material to work with.
Drop your expectations of crossing out everything off your Content Curation list
Looking at my list, I still have dozens of ideas lined up. But understanding that ideas aren’t all supposed to be finished, I release my burden of “having to follow up it all”. Not everything will survive. Following my previous notes, I can quickly make the decision to disqualify/dismiss or dive into an idea, guilt-free.
Unless you’re a news writer who needs to jump right into what’s thrown at you, be it the latest events, the hottest news, the trendiest dress (I still don’t get why the world is crazy about a dress?). Otherwise, there is always way space for a content curation list that stands apart from the busy news timeline. You can always decide later on how to mix and match the topics you have listed. So at the end of the week, I’ll open my Content Curation blog list, to review my progress in each topic, and actually get things done.
Utilize the content curation tools
Luckily, speaking about Music, I’m always clear of where to get the information I need and what forums I should be taking a look at. Some sub-topics in my niche are often not readily available in the form of news stories.
However, if you’re on with a broader topic, I suggest going for Medium (most convenient for well crafted writing) or Upworthy (best use for Environment, Democracy, Science and Technology topic). If you’re looking for tweets, images, videos and links, Storify may be a good fit. Or, if you need an outlet for topics of your choices and share the content via social media, try Scoop.it. Though it may seem convenient to find all information in one platform, keep an eye on what’s going on within your industry. Sometimes, your expertise can produce greater curation results than any automated tools.
If you want a one-stop shop for ideas brainstorming, you might be interested in Creately for free flow charts, storyboards, online mind maps. You can import or export the files, share it, or add characters for your Infographics.
If you’re not quite find what you’re looking for, try this for more recommendations.
However, I try to narrow down my options and keep things simple. It created the comfortable environment for my laziest self and stopped me from countless hours of randomly sorting and getting absorbed by the ideas avalanche.
Photo credit: Freepik