How to get started creating content, when you have so much material to share?
“I love the idea of free content. Do you have any suggestions for getting past the block of making my first video? Feel like I have so much material to share that I don’t know where to start. It feels like I need to share the preface to a book that isn’t written yet, so despite intending to do a video for weeks now I still haven’t started…” — a reader.
I can totally relate. This kept me from making content as well.
Eventually, what liberated me was an inner question that wouldn’t let me go:
What if I had only 6 months left to live?
If that were true, I thought, then I have an urgency to say everything I can, no matter if it wasn’t polished, nor whether it was in the right order. After I died, people would sort it out ;-)
Quite a dramatic question, but it’s not too far-fetched. None of us know how long we really have to live. There is a real urgency to sing our song now, to share our wisdom and experiences while we are still around.
Not “the first” but just “one of many”…
Here’s a different idea that may also help:
Instead of thinking “my first” blog post think instead…
This will be *just one of many* blog posts I will write.
Trying to make “the first” of anything is intimidating.
It’s more doable to be making “just one of many.”
You can apply this to other types of content:
- This is not your first video… this will be one of many videos you make.
- This will not be your first online course… this will be one of many you make.
- This will not be your first book chapter... you’ll be writing many, and can re-arrange it later.
Just create content… then re-arrange it later.
You don’t have to create content in the order it is “supposed” to go.
It’s like putting a puzzle together. When you have a bunch of pieces, you just start matching the image segments however you can, and eventually, bigger sections start to form, and then you can arrange the sections to form the complete picture.
Same thing with your content:
Just say whatever you have available to say today.
Do the same tomorrow: “What can I say today?”
Then do it again, and again, and again — saying whatever is available or interesting that day.
Then occasionally (e.g. once a month or once a quarter) you look back at the pieces of content you’ve made, and you put it together into some thematic order or sequence.
For example if you’ve made a bunch of videos, you can then arrange them into a Playlist and then share that more widely.
If you’ve written a bunch of blog posts, you can arrange them into an book. This is how I’ve written 2 books — by just writing a bunch of “random” blog posts first, then re-arranging them later and filling in any gaps.
To assume that you “should” know what the order is, before you’ve created a lot of content, is to assume that your current knowledge will stay static. The truth is that you get smarter as you create content.
Later, as you step back and see all the content that you’ve created, you’ll get a clearer perspective.
Bottom line? You have to just start creating, from wherever you are.
Don’t worry about your audience — they aren’t going to consume your content “in order” anyway.
You might have the fantasy that your audience is going to read your posts in the order that you wrote them, or watch your videos in chronological order.
It doesn’t work that way! I say that as an avid content consumer myself.
Your audience will look at the titles of your posts or videos, and start with whatever interests them the most. That means you need to give them a lot of choices — which means you need to get started, exploring different ways of talking about what you know.
Or, your audience will just happen to be surfing social media one day and catch a random piece of your content, and they’ll start from there.
Give the bigger context later.
You can give them the bigger context later. Once you have created a bunch of content and put them into some kind of order, you can always go back and add to the bottom of your blog posts what is the recommended piece of content to consume next.
Or, you can simply occasionally put together a Book (if you’re writing), or a Video Series (if you make videos) and announce that to your audience, so that they can then enjoy your content in the order it was intended.
It’s like music: you just start with whatever track you heard on the radio / internet, and if you like the band, you then buy their whole album and enjoy it in a particular, curated order.
Let me know if that helps you get going!
Or if you’re experiencing another / different block, feel free to comment below or contact me.