You want to be a true original. All bloggers do.
But you feel everything has been written about already. At least once or twice, and by people who are a lot more knowledgeable, better writers, and more charismatic than you are.
Every topic worth writing about has been written about from every angle, every perspective imaginable, and by authority figures in your niche.
Nothing feels right.
Is this creative bankruptcy? Is this a mental wall you’re never going to climb?
What the hell do you blog about?
You mutter a few bad words. You want to delete your blog and forget you ever tried to share meaningful ideas and thoughts no one else ever thought to write into existence.
Well, what if I were to tell you that you don’t have to write original to write phenomenal articles? What if I were to tell you that you can, and should, write like someone else?
The Creative Box
Think of all the ideas ever create as a box. Everything everyone’s ever blogged about.
Writing a blog is not about picking original ideas. It’s not about writing about something no one else ever thought to write about.
Quite the contrary, I’m afraid.
In order to write an article, you’ve got to go into the box. If you do not, you won’t come up with any ideas worth writing about.
It’s as simple as that.
The Truth Will Set You Free
The best way to write an article is to let yourself be inspired by other people’s articles.
It’s that simple, and it’s that overlooked, misunderstood, and ignored by the vast majority of bloggers.
In other words, we’re talking about research.
Imitation is the name of the game. We learn everything by imitating those who can do it. You watch. You copy. You watch. You copy. Over and over again.
You get it wrong in all sorts of ways, and you write like a bunch of other people until you figure out how to write like yourself.
Centuries ago, apprentices would spend years and years copying the work of masters in order to learn their techniques.
It is by being fearless and unapologetic about this, about letting yourself be inspired, that you can write, at least once in a while, a truly remarkable article.
That’s what you’re looking for.
You are going through all these articles, rummaging through the box, until you find an idea you agree and disagree with at the same time.
- Maybe you know from first-hand experience that there’s more to it
- Maybe you read an opposite point of view
- Maybe you can articulate the same idea better
- Maybe you figure out a way to connect the dots
- Maybe you have a eureka moment and come up with a new way of doing things
Great Artists of Blogging Steal
I’m just going to be extremely honest: the novice wants to be original and brilliant so bad that he often fails to realize that…
Good artists copy, great artists steal.Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso, one of the most innovative and original artists of the past century, was a big of fan of venturing into the creative box and find a bit of inspiration and ideas from old works of art.
Let me ask you this question: isn’t it true that comparison is necessary in order to improve?
In order to become a better blogger, isn’t it true that we need to:
- Figure out why certain types of headlines are wildly successful
- Analyze the way other bloggers open their blog posts, or how they manage to get us intrigued with a short analogy.
- Understand what are the topics people are most interested in, and we can only get a sense of the conversation that goes on in the world of blogging. How can you write the right words if you’re not even part of the conversation?
- Be able to feel the emotional undertone of an article, get a sense of what are its main goals, and what kind of value does it add to the average reader.
This is the exercise.
Collect. Copy. Adapt. Improvise. Make it yours.
But, first, you’ve got to collect.
You have to write down ideas, sentences, intriguing notions, articles, research papers, interviews, podcasts, and vlogs.
Write them down with the intention to steal. Emphasis on the word intention.
Yes, you read that right.
Sit at your desk and start copying other people’s words and try to make them yours.
Two, three paragraphs through, however, you will find out that your own words are demanding to be set free.
This is the magic of venturing into the box.
No excuses. No pretending that no one else does this, because they all do. Especially the masters.
When you find an idea you like, ask yourself: “How can I make this mine?”
Then sit down to copy that idea, word for word, and then wait for a bit to see how your own words will begin to appear on your screen.
It sounds simple, and it is, and it only requires a subtle mindset shift:
- Do not fear the box.
- All great artists of blogging steal.
- Let your subconscious mind do the work and change the ideas you steal into something that belongs to you.
Let me give you an example.
In 1687, sir Isaac Newton compiled a list of three laws of motion. Newton used them to explain the motion of many physical objects and systems, and I used them to explain a few simple ideas about being a productive blogger.
This is what I encourage you to do.
The artist of blogging steals and connects the dots. Steals and asks, “How can I make this mine?”
All you need to become a better blogger is to study others in your niche and steal the best parts from the bloggers you admire most.
And then let your subconscious mind do its magic.
The only way to think outside the box is to first dive right into it and rummage among its plethora of ideas.