Yesterday I received an invitation to speak at an upcoming meetup. Which happens from time to time. That sounds very fancy doesn’t it? I’m fancy like that. Or perhaps people are just looking to fill content and my willingness to talk into a computer from far away is suddenly super useful. For once. Or something.
Anyway, this ask, this invitation was a very vague ask from a friend in the WordPress community who, like so many, has a local meetup for which he’s shouldered the never ending task of booking speakers. He was motivated to ask me to speak because he discovered that I had just spoken at a recent meetup. Either that or it’s because we were having a happy hour and there were drinks involved and his judgment wasn’t what it could have been. Either way this led him to ask when I was planning to come speak at his meetup. I told him to let me know when he needs me to speak and he gave me the option of February or March. So yeah. Now I’m giving a talk in February to avoid anything infringing upon my need to take two weeks off for my birthday every year.
After deciding upon the third Thursday in February, we talked super briefly about what he wanted me to cover. I offered up my past talks on things like “saying ‘no,'” “working remotely,” “the importance of good feedback,” “principles of open source,” and…um… other stuff I’ve talked about that I don’t actually remember so it’s a good thing he didn’t take me up on one of those. But what we realized during our brainstorming was that many meetups tend to shy away from something that so many people consider incredibly basic, yet so many more people really struggle with.
That’s right. Just making content. It’s actually what I am doing RIGHT NOW as I type into this little silver box that is my laptop. And I thought and thought and thought (very quickly actually but I swear there were at least three thinks there) about what I could talk about around content creation. And I decided that I would take it back to the very most basic idea of content creation which is how to come up with that content in the first place.
The idea generator.
Now I know that there are all sorts of apps and sites and plugins and things that might help you come up with content. And writing prompts. And creative stimulants. And SEO has very definitely ingrained itself into all of our minds. (Won’t someone PLEASE think of the search engines? How do we optimize for them?!!?)
I should save this little tidbit for the talk, but it dawned on me — first and foremost — that you should optimize for your audience. You should optimize for your followers and your voice and your brand. If you simply do that and you create the content (and maybe remember to use a few keywords that matter to you), you’ll be optimized enough for most people. Or at least most of the people who care.
So what is all this babble? Is this me cheating by just creating content about creating content? No. It could be but… I’ve decided to go another route. This is just me talking out loud to myself and maybe engaging with and inspiring a few of you.
I’ve decided to try practicing what I preach for this talk and so over the next month I am going to revamp my long dead plant blog and *gasp* actually create content for it on a regular basis. That way as I’m speaking about creating content in…. a month or so… I can be telling my current truth instead of just remembering 10 years ago and further back when I was very very much a daily content creator on multiple sites and platforms and topics. And things.
I’m going to dig into my proverbial roots as a blogger while digging into some literal roots with my horde of plants.
So two asks…
- Do you want to join me? I’ll get my site up and running tonight and am committing to daily posts. On weekdays only, we need to strike the balance between productivity/creation and not burning ourselves out. If you find you’ve been lacking in your drive to create content or you feel like you need some sort of community connection to make this work let me know. I would love to have you join me. I feel like I can learn more if YOU are doing this too. Also remember like a decade ago when we would just form these little groups and inspire and share with one another and it was like a big insider club of bloggers…? I do.
- What are your best idea generation tips for daily writing? There’s really no further explanation here. I don’t know why I felt the need to share something after the question but it feels more balanced this way.
So what do you say? You down for one or the other? If you are share with me in the comments where you’re blogging so I can follow along. You can also share your idea generation tips below.
Maybe we need some sort of hashtag for this… hmm how about this… #myfitsandstarts. Sure it’s the name of my plant blog, but also this is a story of fits and starts of writing so let’s go with it? Whatever I’m open to suggestion.