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Are you stuck in a content rut and just can’t get out? Do you like TV and movies? TV and films can be incredible for content inspiration and you may just find yourself able to come up with some great ideas by spending some quality time binge watching your favorite show or having a movie night. So get settled in with a bowl of popcorn and get ready to learn some neat tricks!
Exterminate the Content Myths!
First off, let’s discuss the myths of how detrimental Netflix can be to writers. You have no doubt seen articles that bash streaming services or movies as time wasters and that in order to be productive you have to avoid them at all costs. The reality is, a television show or a movie might just get you out of a content rut or may even give you a T.A.R.D.I.S full of ideas. Writer’s block happens to the best of us and we all need something that will break the horrible wall in our brains.
Here are a few ways TV and film inspire and help your content:
1. Bow Ties and Fezzes … Are Cool. In the age of viral media, you want to be relevant and cool. Watching new television series or films will help keep you up-to-date with what is popular and trending. However, don’t limit yourself to what you think is popular because you may find that there are many older shows or films that are still quite trendy or are rising in popularity again. Take A Clockwork Orange for example – a lot of people in the 70s watched this Kubrick classic, but it became the film of the counterculture. Because of this, it eventually lost mainstream popularity, until now. Now Alex’s signature style and Nadast language is everywhere. People are constantly doing A Clockwork Orange mashups. It is trendy again, and this time it is not just for a small counterculture (though many still argue it is more of a counterculture film and book). The best way to know about classics becoming popular again is to watch Twitter and Facebook to keep up with all the current trends. You’ll be surprised just what all is popular.
2. What Would River Song Do? Do you remember those times in English class where you had to write character comparisons? Wasn’t that fun? When it comes time to write your content you should do just that, compare and contrast things in a way your favorite character would or write it from their point of view. It will provide some unique insight into your product and promote more involvement for yourself and your readers. You’ll find that you have a blast writing content in a different character’s voice; try it the next time you hit a rut.
3. Daleks Are Not Cool (To the Doctor, That Is). If you’re always rolling around with an egg beater for a gun and screaming “Exterminate” readers will leave you faster than the Doctor (9) running away from family dinners. TV and films show that being negative is a sure fire way to lose readers and customers. Sure, you may post a few “do this, not that” posts but try to keep them at least somewhat nice. We write some heavy hitting pieces, but we make sure to put humor throughout to lessen the blow and help make it memorable instead of making readers furious. Also, another uncool move is spoiling things for readers, whether it is your own content or the show you are using as inspiration. Spoilers are a big deal on the Internet right now, and while many have valid arguments on both sides, you don’t want to be responsible for saying who died on that really popular show.
4. Don’t Pull a Moffat. You want to pull on heartstrings occasionally, but it isn’t the best method to make every single piece of content something that will make your readers violent. Stephen Moffat is a prime example of this with both the Doctor Who series and Sherlock. The fandoms are ready to riot after any episode he films, which are usually season finales or other major episodes (Christmas specials and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary). Readers will not appreciate it if you continually try to manipulate emotions via headlines or other content. In fact, people are slowly pulling away from Upworthy titles because they really don’t like feeling manipulated. Keep the emotional posts for occasional use only and you’ll find you have a perfect piece of content – just like Vincent and the Doctor (not directed by Moffat, but a great example of expertly using emotion).
Inspiration Can Be Found Anywhere
“But I am not much of a TV person. How else can I get inspired?” Well, you don’t need just to watch TV or films; you can gain inspiration through video games, reading, magazines, museums, and so many other things, Copyblogger writes. Use history as a framework for your next content piece or do a whole month based on dinosaurs. Anything can be used for inspiration; so don’t let the Daleks get you down.
In The End, The Doctor Likes To Read and Learn
The Doctor has had several adventures that have been pretty fun. Some of these adventures center around authors and, as we find out, the Doctor knows a lot about them. He has read and met Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and Agatha Christie. Sometimes, he just sits around the T.A.R.D.I.S reading about quantum mechanics. This Time Lord loves to learn and his adventures are made so much more interesting because of it.
Take inspiration from the Doctor and read or listen to a wide selection of different authors and on several different subjects. The more you read, the more you learn. Always being willing to learn will help you as you try to write new and exciting content. Learn about science, the English language, history, geography and the world will open up to you. So take some time and sit on your couch to tune into documentaries or the latest trendy show or head on over to your local used bookshop and pick up a few paperbacks on subjects you know nothing about and watch your content soar!