This is a weird post to write because I’m the one you all are supposed to be coming to for creative inspiration, ideas, and alllll the colors! But here’s the reality…we all fall in and out of ruts (writer’s block, a relationship funk, creative ruts, whatever it might be). Whether creative or emotional, I sometimes feel completely void of new ideas or inspiration. It’s a feeling I’ve gone through multiple times over the course of my life as a creative person and also as a business person. But it’s frustrating when your work is creative, you get paid to be creative, and you just feel stuck.
This year was a weird one for me. On top of the transition out of/still in Covid that many of us are experiencing, I had some personal things happen that were very emotional for me earlier this year that really put me in a funk. And, my creativity hasn’t been the same since.
On top of all that, the world seems to be on fire. The huge storms this year causing massive damage and devastation all over the world. The continued conflicts and wars raging right now. The human rights and bodily autonomy abuses in Iran and right here at home. And on and on. Everything feels heavy. I want to bring happiness and light and just a small break of joy to people, but I’m not feeling as inspired as usual. I’m just stuck!
But then I remember, that it’s okay to feel multiple things. We can feel upset for what others are going through while also accepting that our own ruts are valid, too. Our problems don’t have to be worse than someone else’s for them to matter. They can all matter and all feel real.
So…what am I doing about this creative rut?
I’m trying to get out and do things. I recently spent a day visiting a museum hanging with a friend. It gave me connection and conversation and new things to look at that day. And while one day at a museum isn’t going to transform my life, it’s a work in progress in discovering what’s in the back of my brain that hasn’t emerged yet. Continuing to surround myself with new or different creative experiences when possible is always good.
I’m moving my body…a lot. I play tennis 3-5 times a week, and it really is an escape for me. It prevents me from thinking about too many other things while trying to stay focused on the game, and it’s been something that I always look forward to. Sometimes doing things that are much different than your job offers inspiration in a different kind of way.
I’m going to see musicals and going to concerts. Musicians and actors are a completely different type of artist than I am. It’s so inspiring to me to see them perform and share their art in such a grand way. It always makes me so emotional in the most joyful way.
I’m back in therapy! I haven’t been in traditional (talk) therapy for over 10 years. I had an amazing life coach for a bit who helped me with some peaks and valleys of my business. Recently, I felt it was time to reconnect with some of the emotional parts of me that needed a little help and found a new therapist I love.
To me, creativity is kind of like a reptile shedding a new layer of skin. You know it’s going to happen, and you know it’s part of the process. But it also doesn’t happen overnight.
I’m trying to sit in the discomfort of a rut because, most of the time, I don’t feel this feeling. Ideas are usually flowing out of me…more ideas that I don’t have time to execute. So it feels weird when they don’t.
Finally, I’m trying to use this current moment as a learning experience…what parts of my work do inspire me? What parts don’t? Are there things I could be doing in my free time that will help ignite something new?
I don’t know! Come along with me, and let’s see where this goes…
Photo by the super talented Max Wanger