Creating new content is hard, and anyone who says differently is selling something.
Content creation - by which I mean, that new blog post or a series of tweets or an Instagram challenge or the sales copy for your new service - requires a lot from us, as creative businessfolk. It requires focus (knowing where you're going and how your content contributes to that). It also requires consistent production: how are we implementing the direction of our business or creative work?
The process of content creation has its challenges in all seasons of business -- a lack of focus in the beginning, then difficulty with consistency, potential burnout or feeling like you've written about it all, so why bother. The question is, how do we tackle it?
How do we direct the content instead of letting how we feel about the content direct us?
This is where using your tarot and/or oracle deck comes in.
I'm a big believer in using tarot and oracle decks for our businesses. If we trust a tarot or oracle deck to reveal inner truths about ourselves and even our future, why the hell wouldn't we trust it to serve up badass business ideas?
Using this super-simple spread with a tarot or oracle deck (or both!) can help jumpstart your content ideas for the next month. It's great for tackling and mitigating:
- writer's block
- confidence issues (just go with the cards!)
- a time where you have to be planning ahead and need to be thinking three weeks out, because vacation or family visiting
Also, let's be real. Trying to come up with a new blog post idea every week on Sunday night is time consuming and emotionally draining. Why not plan and outline in advance?
I did a Content Calendar reading for myself over the weekend, using the Soul Trees Oracle. Hopefully, my personal reading for my content will help jumpstart your creative juices.
P.S. My phone died this weekend and the wonderful Allyson (creator of the Soul Trees Oracle Deck) gave me permission to use her Instagram photos of the cards in question.
Week One: Risk
The question this oracle card poses is how to take a risk with content: should I post something that feels risky for my business? Or should I post an explicitly off the walls blog post that I really love but that isn't for my audience?
For example, I have an idea for a blog post involving entrepreneurial lessons we can take from 1990s figure skating, from folks like Surya Bonaly and Philippe Candeloro. I love the topic, but it's not really my target audience. The cards may be suggesting I take a risk and post something that seems out of left field -- there could be an unexpected payoff.
Similarly, posting a blog like this one (where I explicitly offer the reading being discussed in my shop) feels risky: self-promotion always does. People who are raised as women in the United States aren't exactly socialized to be strong salespeople or fearless self-promoters. It can be difficult to share our own work with others. It feels risky.
With the Full Moon in Capricorn this week (incidentally, my natal moon), I feel like this card is especially encouraging me to embrace the discomfort in promoting my business. It's a reminder that reward doesn't just request risk - it requires it.
Week Two: Break Free
This is the week to hold up two birds to whatever's been holding you back, and to really take your content in the direction you want it to go. (It's also slated for the last week of July, so breaking free from summer procrastination is totally a thing here.)
Where are my readers struggling to "break free"? Process or content? Is it with the integration of multiple topics, multiple "genres" into one blog? Is it with the process of actually getting a blog written, and this is the week to break free from procrastination, from not being on a schedule, from procrastinating?
For me, this card reads as encouragement to really tackle psychic blocks that hold us back from implementing the structures we need. I have a few topics in the pipeline -- balancing your side hustle and a 9-5, balancing your input and output -- which strongly relate to the general impulse of freedom and learning to cultivate creativity in our own lives.
For content this week, this card encourages me to explore the questions: How can what we do help us feel free? How can we act in a way that encourages those risky leaps of creativity without staring at the ground, at the reality of a living or familial or financial situation?
Week Three: 3rd Chakra, Solar Plexus
The third chakra, at the solar plexus, is all about personal power, self-confidence, self-respect, and intuition. This card begs the question, how much am I trusting my gut? How much do I trust myself? Where are the opportunities for confidence, for growth?
This could totally be a blog topic to address my readers' needs - but given its placement in the spread, I feel like it's a card for me, personally.
One area, professionally, that I am still finding my feet in is astrology. I offered business birth charts for a while, but then pulled from the shop due to feeling that I didn't know enough. (And this is true: there is always more to learn in astrology.) In the time since pulling the readings from the shop, I've done a lot of reading, researching, thinking about why I offer them and how I might offer them in a way that is consistent with my work and true to my expertise.
Incidentally, this card is for the week of August 1, which is when I'm due to post the August Tarotscopes. This card is a reminder that tarotscopes work to empower others -- and that working with astrology is a way to empower myself.
Week Four: Renewal
This card is for the week of August 8, which is the day that Bluestockings -- my other business, a queer-friendly lingerie store -- is set to reopen.
Sometimes, the deck is just too canny.
A case of somewhat extreme burnout led me to close Bluestockings down for the summer, from June 13 to August 8. Closing for almost two full months, as an independent store without external funding, felt risky. It felt impossible. But it was absolutely necessary if I was going to keep the store open; the alternative was for me to run Bluestockings (and myself) into the ground.
Invariably, opening the store will mean talking about what I learned during the break. I've tried to write this blog post already, "3 Things I Learned from Burning Out" or some such, and - quite predictably - failed. I am still in the break, still in the fog of needing space and time and quiet.
This card is a gentle, loving reminder that the time is coming when the store reopens, and that I need to prepare, need to consider how to manage Bluestockings - and myself - better in the future.
Renewal is something that I'll need to allow myself to feel. Refreshed. Rejuvenated. Renewed.
Bringing it all together
The reading covers a lot of ground. There are lessons about self-promotion, about recovering from burnout, about trusting myself to grow in my business, about helping my readers and clients to establish new patterns and structures that will empower them in their business.
If one card summarizes the reading, it would be the 3rd Chakra: Solar Plexus: a card about standing in and owning your own personal power. The more you know, the more you know you don't know: this could be my mantra in business.
The challenge, in growing as a businesswoman, is to trust the unknown. Trust that I will keep learning. Also trust that I'll keep asking questions. That I won't have all the answers, and that this is okay.
@@I can't let the unknown keep me from creating - and doing - what I love.@@
This is my reminder for the month ahead.