Let’s Dive In
Like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Pinterest is yet another social media platform that works wonders if used as a tool to boost your marketing, business, or in this case, creativity and writing flow. Launched in 2010, today Pinterest hosts more than 3 billion boards worldwide that offer more than 75 billion ideas. Now imagine using just 1% of these ideas to create an engaging blog, a resourceful article, short story, poem, or a novel! With so many ideas floating around the social platform, you can create a new plot or outline every single day. Let’s not forget the popular “Writing Prompts” board that has abundance of new ideas.
If you as much lurk on the site or the app, you are likely to get out with an inspirational spark. As of me, like other 70 million regular Pinterest users, I am completely obsessed with the content it has to offer. From the funny comics to imaginative DIYs, from sci-fi short stories to classic poetry, what does the site not have?
But, how do you use it to your individual benefit? Cool boards are okay, clean UI is okay, but what can the app really do when you are stuck with a writer’s block or in the middle of an essay on “Share Market”?
Before we get into what does Pinterest do, let’s explore who does it benefit.
If you are someone who likes sharing their personal photos to be seen, liked, or validated, then the social media platform for you is not Pinterest. Instagram or Facebook, maybe. Pinterest is more about “What values do you have to give to the viewer?”. It can be tips on growing your business, affordable places to shop in London, best venues to eat Berber food in Morocco, or best MAC lipsticks that look good on all complexions.
So, if you are a viewer, rest assured that you are bound to gain something while surfing the site, even if it means finding your favorite childhood comics.
Each social media has a different agenda and Pinterest, unlike Twitter or Facebook, is more about creative boost rather than socializing or politics.
Pinterest’s co-founder and chief product officer, Evan Sharp once stated that the site was created for mainly two purposes – “The first half is to help people discover the things that they love. The second half is to enable people to go out and act on those things, to make them actually part of their life.” The dedication shows even at the headquarters based in San Francisco, where on a side entrance, you will find an orange sign with the phrase that reads “CREATIVITY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER” in bold letters.
You can follow boards that pin your interests like racer bikes, cooking, reading, make-up ideas, shopping, blogging, poetry, gaming, vintage objects or photo compilation, and much more. This approach has made Pinterest a straightforward, no-nonsense creative platform, where you can exchange as many ideas as you like.
Moving on, how to use the platform to get your creative juices flowing?
Follow the Right Boards
Now, I know, this one was a given but let’s start from the very beginning. It is imperative that you are following the right pins and boards, because that is how Pinterest will curate the best possible dashboard for you. The more “blogging ideas” you search and pin, the more they will show up on your page. If you happened to search something for fun, without intending to read more of or about it later, you can simply hide the pin and Pinterest will automatically start removing similar ideas from your dash.
Simple and easy, isn’t it?
Now imagine you are stuck with a white or research paper that requires extensive research and Pinterest shows up with more than half a dozen ideas that are useful. What are you going to do? Click on each idea, open the link in a browser and bookmark it? Tiring! Instead, just create a board named after your project paper and save as many ideas in it as you like. Click on the “pencil” icon of the board and choose to keep your board a secret.
This way you have an organized space where you can keep all your informative sources, without having to share it with a follower (a colleague maybe) who is working on the same project.
On the contrary, you can also choose to share the board with some specific Pinterest users, say, if you are working in groups?
You can also add important statements and relevant tags to the description area when saving a pin, so you always remember what was the pin saved for. Pinterest also lets you create subsections to the boards to help you keep all your notes super-organized.
Adding tags will make finding pins easier if you are going to need a lot of them in a single board. You can also elaborate your views, quick notes, pros and cons in the comment section.
It will work for authors as well. If you are currently writing a novel or short story based in 1880 Paris, Pinterest will offer a wide collection of photographs from that time. These photos will typically include streets, dresses, shoes, household objects, infrastructure, and art from the era. Click on the photographs and you might end up reading a 1000-word article on lifestyle of people in Paris, 1880.
Aim Before You Shoot
You know what that means!
Why are you on Pinterest? What kind of creativity do you wish to boost? Cognitive or emotional? Are you writing an informative E-book or journaling? Are you looking for a spontaneous result? Looks at a painting, gets intensive feels, jots down a poem.
What inspires you? Is it poetry or visual art? Is it photographs or sketches? Is it reading about someone’s real-life incidents or a how-to article?
You get the idea…
Pinterest offers many ways of keeping your thoughts organized, so you can reach out to them whenever and wherever you want. It’s called PINterest for a reason. How you will use those ways is up to you. You can make most of it by personalizing the experience and creating the most relevant boards with easy-to-explore subsections. Think outside the board!