When you have so much material to share, how to get started creating content?

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

​“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…” — a reader.

For a long time, 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, then I have an urgency to say everything I can, no matter if wasn’t polished, and whether or not it was not in the right order. After I died, people would sort it all out! ;-)

Quite a dramatic question… but the truth is that none of us know how long we have left. 

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”…

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 better to be making “just one of many.”

This is not your first video… this will be one of many videos you make.
This will not be your first course… this will be one of many you’ll teach.
This will not be your first book chapter... you’ll be writing many, and can re-arrange them later.

Also, your first one is almost certainly not going to be your best! Over time, with practice, you will definitely get more skillful in communicating and more confident. You will eventually create better videos and articles over time. Get started so you can get on that journey of practice as soon as possible.

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 any image 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 each day: “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) 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 a book. This is how I’ve written my 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 knowledge will stay static. As you create content, you will understand more, and see even more of the big picture.

Occasionally as you step back and see all the content that you’ve created, you’ll get a clearer perspective.

Can’t stand making small pieces of content?

Some of my clients don’t enjoy making small, standalone pieces of content. They’re more inspired to make videos series, or to write a book, because they see the interconnections of ideas, and can’t fit that vision into single blog posts or videos.

If that’s true for you, go ahead and make those big content projects! For example, create that online course, then excerpt specific segments to share on social media. Or write that book, and while you’re writing, excerpt a chapter or section of the book to share on your blog.

Personally I prefer to go from small to big, but going from big to small is just as fine.

Bottom line? You have to start creating, from wherever you are.

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 lots 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.

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 specific, curated order.

Let me know if this helps you get going!

If you’re experiencing another / different block, feel free to comment below.

​All of George's Kao's free content is in and for the Creative Commons. Share or use in any way.