The creative and mysterious spirit of Halloween brings all kinds of new inspiration to writers everywhere, which is beneficial for giving content marketing that extra engaging edge. Although you’re bound to find plenty of inspiration just roaming the streets on Halloween night, you can stimulate your mind right in the comfort of your own home with a classic Halloween film. Classic Halloween films have taught us plenty about life: for example, your skeptical, reasonable friend will most likely lead to your demise and you are ten times more likely to be murdered in the shower than anywhere else. But how do these inspiring messages apply to the world of content marketing? Well…
1. Don’t let inspiration overwhelm your originality (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
One of the most difficult plights of the copywriter is to create a unique spin on a tired, overdone subject. When Jack Skellington got bored with Halloween Town and stumbled into Christmas Town, he transformed the meaning of Christmas itself by “making Christmas” with his own spooky twist—skeleton reindeer, dead animals as gifts, spider leg decorations, you get the gist. Bottom line: don’t be afraid to be unconventional and use what you know to create completely original content.
2. If you’re not sure what to write, consult the experts (The Silence of the Lambs)
Let’s face it—some of the greatest writers of all time are certifiably insane, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know a thing or two about getting the reader’s attention. When Clarice needed information for getting into the mind of a psycho, she went right to the best source available: Hannibal Lecter. When you run out of ideas for creating good content, go to the best source available: the library. It may be intimidating, but at least you don’t run the risk of having bodily fluids thrown on you as you walk through the aisles (I hope).
3. Dead ideas should stay dead (Night of the Living Dead)
Boring and overdone content can come back to haunt you like a zombie with a vengeance. Before perfecting your damsel-in-distress shriek, you’ll want to avoid resurrecting any worn-out, tired ideas yourself by keeping them out of your writing. If it’s easy to write, it’s most likely not exciting to read. Dead ideas are often hard to avoid—especially when they surround your house in droves—but do whatever you have to do to keep dead ideas from feasting on fresh ones.
4. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (The Shining)
When you find yourself dementedly staring at your typewriter (for all those Luddites out there) for hours on end in a dark, musty basement, it may be time to take a break. Good content won’t just magically appear from going through the motions. You have to go out and study other writers, live a little, and discover new inspiration for creating content. If you find yourself conversing with a non-existent bartender, it may be time to crank up the snow plow and head out.
5. Don’t answer the phone (Scream)
Okay, so there probably isn’t a serial killer on the line watching you from the open window, but letting life’s distractions get in the way of your writing can disrupt your creative flow and reflect in your writing. When you commit to finishing a piece of writing, really commit to dedicating all of your time and attention to the piece until it’s finished. This means avoiding phone calls, personal e-mails, screaming children, and so on until the project is complete.
6. Don’t stop believing (It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown)
No, I’m not referring to that Journey song that will probably be stuck in your head for the rest of the day now. I’m talking about believing in your ideas despite what everyone else thinks. Linus believed in the Great Pumpkin no matter how much his friends tried to talk him out of it. Sure, he was referring to a supernatural gourd that only comes out on Halloween night, but the message is clear. Write what you think is best and let inhibitions fall to the wayside.
Natalie R is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.