I’ve hit a wall, the wall has hit me. I can’t go over it. I can’t go under it. Can I get through it?
For the past seven months I have been driving the creative content for Digital 51, me, the business and attempting to inspire a team of five people to increase their content, share their opinions and get the word out there. The impact we’ve had during this time, the change in attitudes and behaviours from all the team, has been amazing. Inspiring even. We have gained thousands of followers across our individual, company and community (Product 51) profiles. We have produced over 50 written articles, 40 external videos, shared tens of articles written by others where we’ve had an opinion, and produced hundreds of LinkedIn posts. All of this against a backdrop of purple, pink, white and with as many engaging graphics and visuals as possible. All created in-house.
I love this aspect of my role. I love writing, I always have. I love consuming content, whether it be reading, a podcast, a visual, or a video, anything and everything is content to me. I love consuming information and this sparking ideas. I love that it can take literally one comment or piece of content to spark a creative chat out of which a great idea comes. Then the fun begins! That idea needs turning into reality. When I have that clarity, when I have that inspiration, I am like a man possessed!
I do all of this off my own back, through my own knowledge and common sense. I am not the most organised, I don’t have the content mapped out weeks, months or even days in advance. I don’t even have a content calendar setup. I know, I am not helping myself. I am however really lucky, I never struggled for ideas and I just find the time to get the work out there. Could I be better? Yes. Could someone do this better than me? Hell yes. I’d love to use automation and I am excited to learn more about this, but I’ve always fell back on my ability to idea generate and then just get the work out.
I never suffer from a lack of ideas. I never suffer to create. I love lastminute.com as they used to say.
Then it happened.
Nothing. No ideas. ZERO. Emptiness.
I noticed something was not right about a week or so ago, but I just shrugged it off.
I noticed I was going through a period of reading less. Ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you I am always reading something, whether it be online or old school ‘real’ papers, I read, cut or snip things constantly. It fuels my creative process.
But this was more than just not reading. I realised I was also not listening to a podcast of note and I did not have an evening book on the go.
OK, so I am consuming less, no biggy right?
But it’s more than that, the consumption is only one part of it. Seriously, what else was going on?
Then I hit the wall, or more to the point, the wall hit me, I realised.
I have lost the ability to come up with an idea.
I’ve stopped being inspired to create. I’ve not had an idea for over a week, or is it actually longer than that?! It is unheard of for me not to be constantly coming up with ideas, they might not all be good, but they are ideas and part of my process.
This is unsettling.
It gets worst. I have lost the ability to create content. I have not written anything of note in over a week. Like nothing. This article has taken me too long to write and I am procrastinating over a simple LinkedIn post.
Does this really matter, is this a big deal? Well, yes it is.
To me creativity is life and inspiration to create either for myself or others is the blood and passion that feeds that life. I do not care if you think that sounds overly dramatic, it’s how I feel. Feelings are important to me. Now however I have a new feeling. I feel powerless.
Putting the Simon dramatics and hysterics to one side. From a practical perspective the creative outreach we have delivered across Digital 51 during the past seven months has driven the success we’ve experienced. I am so proud of this. Plus, I still work a hands on recruitment desk and my ability to creatively reach out to people helps me recruit in the way I do. My ability to do that quickly also allows me to multi-task and in reality, have too much on my plate at all times.
I have lost that power.
I can’t see that anything has changed. Yes, I could exercise more. Historically my brain switches off when I exercise from a traditional way of thinking, that’s when ideas flow. I guess my exercise has dropped. We’ve been really busy and that impacts on my time, but being honest that happens a lot in my world, in everyone’s world. I am however attempting to address this. I am finding time to exercise again, I am even making time in my day to do this and give me a break. If you want me at 4.30pm today, I’ll be in the gym.
What else has changed?
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I just can’t see it.
Come on. What the actual fuck is going on here?!
I am now starting to feel stressed about the situation. Why? See below:
- I have a presentation on Friday, zero content produced and ready for this.
- Traffic to the Digital 51 website has plummeted to levels not seen since the week we trialed the website before formally launching.
- Conversations with new and interesting people are slowing.
Seriously, this shit is getting real.
God, I am frustrated.
I hoped writing this article would kick start something, but to be honest I just now have a headache. this article has taken too long, way too long, and I am now stressed about trying to now finish at 4.30pm to go the gym. Maybe I will skip the gym today?
My brain feels full.
Where has all the space gone?!
My gut tells me to fight against this, shock my initial reaction is denial and the belief I can ‘fight’ through something. I need to fight on though. I need to not give up and to write something every-day, just to keep the muscles working. I must. What else though? BOOKS! I have ordered two new books in the past two days, although picking those books was painful, as I was not sure what I fancied. Again, not like me. Books and exercise, that will help right?
Surely fighting this is the right thing to do?
Or is it?
Maybe I need a break.
Do I need a break? Do we need a break? How long is a break? What if you find someone else you like whilst I am on my break? What if a break lasts for a long time? What if a break turns into a period? What about my love affair with video? Christ, when am I next filming a new video?!
I have some reserves, some things I can share, but that feels like me being a fraud. I am all about the live, I live for live. I live to create.
I have no idea how to even finish this article. Seriously Simon! Get. A. Grip.
Please tell me this has happened to you and there is a magic remedy I can take?
Until next time, or until I actually have something to write about.