Creativity is extremely important when it comes to crafting effective content. And, yes, content should also be useful and valuable to the reader, not an indulgent exercise in self expression.
Still, creativity is key when it comes to content that works, content that engages your audience, content that enriches other people’s lives. While creativity for its own sake is a smart way to strengthen your lateral thinking skills and to align your work with what you love to do, it’s when you create something useful to others that you add value to the world.
Creativity is all about being a consumer
Inspiration from other sources is what creativity is all about. It seems that many people believe creativity involves pulling a completely brand new idea out of thin air. In truth, creativity is an adaptive process that consists of looking at the same existing thing everyone else is and thinking about it differently.
Even Michelangelo believed that “the best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself.” He saw his sculptures within the mass of marble, and simply removed the parts that didn’t belong in order to “free the figures slumbering in the stone.”
Look in unlikely places for connections and angles that can enhance your content. If only one aspect of another subject area meets your needs, roll like Michelangelo and get rid of the parts that don’t belong.
This means watching movies, reading books, listening to music. Eavesdropping on other people’s conversations.
Where do we find inspiration?
Truth be told, inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places.
In other words, what you learn outside of your niche may well be more important than anything else. Read everything you can across diverse topic areas, and live life to the fullest for inspiration at every turn.