3 creative ideas for content creators in lockdown
Forget upskilling and making goals for a sec - but wait, Han aren't fulfilling goals and dreams what you're all about?!
Yes, I am. But we seem to be in a collective slump of the lockdown at the moment where we've been so overloaded and overwhelmed with content on 'what we should be doing' and we feel mentally burned out. The collective uncertainty of the situation, how long this will last for and the lack of simply not knowing how to truly steer clear of it, is exhausting. I understand.
When I published my virus-related post, we were very fresh into this situation. So the market did what it always does and preach productivity, upskilling and 'being a better you' kind of stuff, forgetting there are people behind these screens and devices. So came another wave: individuals and companies telling us that it is ok not to be productive and binge watch Netflix and newly released Disney +.
Both valid points and both work for each side and as is human nature, whether politics, veganism or was the dress white and gold or black and blue, the pendulum always swings heavily one way or the other before comfortably sitting somewhere back in the middle again.
And the thing about content creation is that it's creative. Some will argue that business is at the core, but in order to produce content: you have to be creative to some extent. So put down the self help book, press pause on the industry podcasts (guilty) and have a think about what you could do to get back to your creative happy place. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
1. Recycle old content. I had a sift through some old photos and was so incredibly surprised by the bank of content I was sat on, either because my Instagram feed moved to quickly or because I was not happy with the results at the time. I've found images from a trip to Milan during Fashion Week, New York last year and even some decent stuff from trips I've already posted extensively on already such as Bali and Stockholm last year.
Why not use the time now to post the photos, or write up new posts on the destinations? In travel specifically at the moment, it's a really nice opportunity to talk about more mindful things and bring the country to your audience at home. Do you have books or recipes that you could share with your readers to inspire them to daydream about Brazil? Or Italy?
Think laterally and mindfully about your work.
2. Recreate old content. This doesn't mean plugging your Melbourne itinerary or your top things to do in Singapore - we can't physically travel there at the moment so what's the point in reading or watching that? But, how could you recreate your content? Could you make a paella like you had in Spain? Or a smoothie bowl from Bali?
Looking back through that hard drive this weekend was also very cathartic. Remembering my process (or lack thereof) three, four and five years ago versus now. Editing the content how I sort of saw it back then and knowing how to manipulate it with the knowledge I now have. It's a good chance to reflect. Are you happy with where you're at now? Is there anything from your content before that you miss or would like to bring back into your content? Could you do a shoot from home comparing your content style then versus now for Instagram or a post? It's definitely something I'd love to give a go soon...
My recommendation is also to only recreate what you've experienced because you're much more likely to be able to convey that story to your audience. Your audience, they can tell!
3. Think ahead. I get it, we can't put anything super concrete in right now. But what about thinking about tone and direction for your mini brand? What about putting a mindful wishlist of things you want to do once we're out of lockdown? Or just a general list of "first things I'll do once lockdown is over" - things like driving my car somewhere and grabbing a Pret coffee are first on mine...
When I was 17, I had a conversation with Mumma T about where I see myself in ten years. I could see myself sat in a mountain range in Canada, watching the sunset. Until the first week of lockdown I was feeling very ready to honour that in September this year.
However, literally not being able to travel has put many things in perspective. Especially how I approached travel. Not that I was particularly irresponsible, but rethinking which cultures and countries actually matter to me. And Canada just isn't particularly one of those for me right now. Returning to New York or Brazil or travelling to a new Spanish-speaking country, is important to me right now. It's more fulfilling, for me. So as and when restrictions are lifted, I'll go by that much more mindful list
How is this creative, you may ask? By spending some time reading, or watching vlogs or scrolling through Pinterest, it allows our brains a proactive break to get creatively lost. Borrowing ideas and getting inspired for the next step. (And hopefully getting a little more excited).
How do I do this last bit?
The first coffee of the morning is a meditative space for me. I make it and go back to bed or sit on the sofa with the dog and I will read. I'll scroll Pinterest for designs, particular destination fashion or cats and dogs napping in beautiful homes. Or I'll pick up a book - some favourites of mine during this time have been How To Travel Without Seeing, InstaTravel and Pretty City New York.
Then I'll tap into Twitter (checking the trending hashtags), Instagram (take five on the Explore page) and LinkedIn for a few minutes to catch up on the latest coming out of my business circle. Normally I'll tap through to an interesting sounding article from one of those three, or anything of importance that comes through my inbox. (Leave a comment/DM me if you'd like a post on the newsletters I subscribe to for industry insights).
So hopefully this has given you a little to think about? The idea behind this post is not so you feel pressure to create or "up your game". Sometimes it's just that little play with creativity that can kickstart us back into a productive place - if that is your aim anyway.
Go forth and play!