As a photographer do you ever lose your creative mojo?
Mine varies so much that sometimes I feel like I’ve lost it. Some people call this hitting the wall. It can happen to all sorts of creatives. Yes, as a photographer I like to call myself a creative. I also blog and do pencil sketches. Again, I regard this as creative.
But what happens when the creative light dims to a candle instead of being as bright as a floodlight?
First of all, we must look at why we feel less creative. We probably have creative stress or anxiety. Much like any other anxiety the more we think about it the more we get drawn into a downward spiral. We end up worrying so much about why we aren’t creative but don’t feel like we can do it any more.
There could be several valid reasons for this, the chances being that something is going on in our lives elsewhere. This is diverting our creative juices and thus we feel dried up. As a parent and a carer, I have plenty of these ‘life diversions’. Anyone in a similar situation will testify to that. I am by no means unique. My children are grown up now. The youngest will be 21 this year. But we never stop worrying about them. Or doing things for them.
If you don’t have any of these distractions in life you are very fortunate. The rest of us have to divert at least some energy to getting the mojo back and that can be difficult. Once the troublesome things are dealt with or at least you have a handle on them, it’s time to crack on.
When I have a photographic lull, I force myself to go out and take photos. But you’re not feeling creative – you just said so. No, I’m not. But by going out and taking photos, it makes me think about what I’m missing. Sure, there are going to be some duff ones. Quite a few I expect, but getting out of a rut requires a bit of effort. If there is something I half like in that pile of ‘duffers’ it will spur me on to try again.
I do a similar thing with this blog. When I have a block, I force myself to write something. Anything. It doesn’t always get published but at least I’ve written something. I might write 3, 4, 5 articles. I might delete 2, 3 or 4 articles. But I tried.
Now this advice may not work for everyone. I’m not saying it’s easy forcing yourself to do something. In fact, it’s more like taking that horrible tasting medicine that you know will make you feel better. If you can swallow it.
Perhaps part of being creative is overcoming a block every so often.
However you manage your writing or photography dry spell think of it as one more challenge to overcome. Something that is pushing your boundaries.
Where would the fun be if it was easy all the time?