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Don’t Try to Create Daily With a Gun to Your Head

It’s 2018 and you’re not just an artist, you’re an Instagram artist. And, you want to grow (in terms of followers) for whatever xyz reason. I wanted to, too, and I did. Here’s what I learned from that experience.

As a 17-year-old interested in photography & not super inclined to attend college once done with school, the only way I saw it was to grow my Instagram so I could leverage that into getting actual jobs. And when I did get serious about growing on Instagram, I read a lot of articles and watched a lot of videos on what strategies to follow / things to do to achieve the same and, here is a concise list of what came up:

  • Post quality pictures
  • Post daily
  • Target audience
  • Ideal time to post
  • Who you know & interact with
  • Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

While the list varies from blog to blog and video to video, the first two points, post quality pictures and post daily, are constant throughout. And, if you’re up for a good challenge like I was a while back, you’ll decide to accept the challenge. Here is what you have to keep in mind:

1. You have to create daily. No excuses.

When I took on the challenge of posting daily I did not realize what I was getting myself into. I am a full-time student who shoots for fun and I did not keep in mind that I simply don’t have the time to create daily. If you’re going to commit to posting daily, you will have to find out a way you can do so without making other aspects of your life suffer. Which brings me to my second point:

2. You will eventually get a creative block. Period.

If you find a way to create daily without making other aspects of your life suffer, specially things like studying (school or college, either way), you will have to drop certain things you used to do on a daily basis. You will have to prioritize.

And I’m guessing a lot of you, like me, chose to create over consuming. DON’T DO THAT. How you get ideas depends on what you take in. It can be a talk with your best friend, reading a book or simply scroll through your Instagram feed. If you don’t prioritize consumption over creation at some point during this daily Instagram post spree, you will get a creative block. Which brings me to my main point:

What if you do end up getting a creative block?

Let’s say you do end up getting a creative block, you’ll not be able to create good quality content to post and you’ll try to push through and post something. And, let me assure you that whatever you post, you’ll be posting only for the sake of posting and not because it’s a good picture. Without good content, nothing matters. You control what your audience sees and if someone doesn’t follow you, it’s because they didn’t like what they say. You control if someone follows you or not.

Here’s what I do to get over a creative block:

I consume stuff.

That’s the first and the only thing I do. I stop trying to create what in the short-run seems to be “quality” content and started focussing on what actually matters. It┬ástarts by going through my Instagram feed, consuming what others are putting out instead of worrying about what my next picture should look like. I then move on to start reading more and more, blogs or books, either way. And then, I start looking into the news and learning about what’s happening around me.

I think that’s the best way to go about it. By the end of the week, you’ll have a lot of opinions about a lot of things which will then translate into fresh ideas for content. And, for the record, that’s what I did while writing this post too. It’s not just Instagram we’re talking about here, it’s everything where creativity is required.

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