Art block: Everybody gets it. If you have ever in your life, tried to be creative and make something, you’d know what art block is and how frustrating it can be. It is the same with podcasts creative block, when you have trouble thinking of good podcast ideas to talk about.
You may have a theme, but you can’t think of a working topic that fits with you theme. Or maybe, you simply can’t think of anything at all. You remember your deadlines, the upload schedule that you promised, and the fans you have to satisfy. You start to panic, forcing something- anything- to surface from your mind; and before you know it, you’re burned out and too exhausted to keep going.
What is podcast art block and why does it happen?
Art block, also known as creative block, happens when an artist is unable to access their creativity to create a new piece of work. For those who draw, they may feel as if they have run out of things to draw, and this happens to podcasters too. Podcast creative block happens when you feel like you’ve run out of things to talk about, or can’t generate a good idea for your new episode.
Creative block most commonly happens due to mental and physical fatigue, stress, a busy schedule, pressure, and anxiety, among other things. Other times, it may be due to a damaged self-esteem when comparing your work with others’.
Effects on your physical and mental health
Given that creative block stems from mental or physical exhaustion, pushing yourself too hard would lead to even more exhaustion. This can be extremely detrimental to your health when not taken care of. Podcasting can turn from something you love and enjoy to something you despise or fear.
We don’t want you to experience this, so we’ve listed out some things you can do to overcome your creative block and come up with great podcast ideas:
10 Ways to Come Up with Great Podcast Ideas
1. Take a rest and relax- either with yourself or others
Take a rest, walk, and gather inspiration. If you’re an introvert, you may find it more relaxing to take some me time off. Go to your favorite cafe, bookshop, or take a stroll in the park. Take a breather and enjoy the moment when you get to take your mind off your podcast.
If relaxation for you is spending time with your family and friends, go for that. Go out with them, play some games, watch movies, do fun stuff together. It is through these relaxed states of mind when you can think clearly, and you may come up with a random brilliant podcast idea to share in your next episode.
2. See what people are searching & asking
If you have the habit of searching for keywords when making your podcast, you may also receive some other keyword suggestions on the side. Use them to your advantage.
You can also get podcast ideas from search insights such as answerthepublic.com where you can gain insights on what people are searching about. You also get to look into the why, how, which, are, etc. questions that people are asking about on the internet.
3. Continue or build on a previous episode
You can always create a part 2 of your previous episode. You may talk about additional realizations, changes, new insights and findings about an older episode that you have published. This is good not only for creating new episode, but also for driving traffic to your back catalog.
4. Talk about your listeners, and include all the hate
If you’ve been running your podcast for quite some time, for sure, you’ve received some comments, reactions, and feedback through your podcast website’s comment section, podcast voice messages, social media, or through friends and family. You can talk about that.
You can choose to either read interesting feedbacks and sharing, answer your listeners’ questions, respond to their suggestions, or you can even include all the hate mail you get to spice up the episode.
5. Think of a problem you'd like to solve
Whether personal of professional, think of a problem you’d like to solve and look for ways to solve it. This may potentially help you gain inspiration, especially if your podcast is related to your career. For example, your podcast is about good parenting and you’ve recently thought about a bullying issue that has been going on in your local neighborhood. This can potentially be a good topic to talk about on your next episode.
6. Try something new for your podcast
Whether it is a new tool, a new platform, feature, or podcasting equipment, try them out. There are a lot of podcast production, editing, hosting, promotion, and marketing software out there for you to try for free. Give them a go and you might find something interesting or something that might be fun for your listeners too!
7. Look at what others are doing
If you really have nothing in mind, you may want to consider looking into what others are doing. Listen to others’ podcasts, especially those from the same theme and category. Do you agree or disagree? Do you have different thoughts and points of view? Turn that into a podcast.
Watch YouTube videos, read materials, and talk to people about the podcast theme or category. Apart from gaining insights and forming your own opinion on the matter, this can also give you several other ideas for multiple episodes.
8. Just talk to yourself
Talk to yourself and keep your phone on record in the background. You can have a little introspection, talk about your day, how you feel, and what you hope for. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you’ve reached something that might be a working topic for your podcast. Don’t be overly conscious about the fact that your phone recorder is in the background. Remember that YOU are the only one who gets to listen to that recording and that it’s not your final podcast recording. You are in a safe space, so release all your inner thoughts and feelings. Don’t hold back.
9. Talk about art block and keep it real
If all fails, you know, you can always have an episode about podcast creative block. Inform and educate your audience about what art block is and how this applies to podcasts. Let them know about the physical and mental implications of art block, and how important it is to keep that in check.
Most importantly, keep it real, honest, and sincere.
You’re allowed to skip episodes; you don’t have to 100% stick to your upload schedule.
Consistency is important, but your overall wellbeing is even more important. You’re also allowed to change your upload schedule and let your listeners know of this change. You might disappoint some, but they will understand and continue to support you.
What you should NOT do:
When you’re experiencing creative block for your podcast, you might find yourself panicking as your deadlines press nearer. Here’s what you should not do:
- You should NOT overwork yourself and experience burnout
- You should NOT think negatively about yourself and put yourself down
- You should NOT compare yourself with others in an unhealthy way
- You should NOT come to the immediate conclusion that podcasting is not for you
- You should NOT quit without trying
A podcast hosting that cares for you
Firstory cares for your physical and mental wellbeing above everything else. Podcasting shouldn’t be a difficult, painful obligation; it should be fun and exciting. If you’re experiencing creative block, take a step back, breathe, and let it come naturally to you.
When it does, go ahead and record your awesome episode!