With everything that is happening around us, I don't feel like my creative self. Every work post on social media feels forced. Sort of like a lack of inspiration. I shouldn't blame myself, right? We're inside 4 walls, for days, since last year! Just when we thought things were falling in place, we were hit with a second wave. A TSUNAMI! It leaves me anxious, most of the time.
Usually when i find myself in this situation, I drown myself in art. It can be photography, dancing, painting , anything! But what does one do when you have a creative block that leads me to be anxious? Well, now isn't that a neatly tied bow! When I posted about this recently on my Instagram page (@snehanair_photog), I thought it might not be the best thing. But I'm glad I did. As days passed, I realised it wasn't just me. A lot of people felt the same! Honestly, it was like a BIG HUG. I know now, I'm not alone. I thought I'll make this a blog post to jot down things I've been doing in a hope it might be of some help to someone out there!
STOP. It is okay to STOP whatever it is you're doing, if it starts to feel forced/uninspired. While I understand how hard this first step can be, it gives you the time to BREATHE through your block and acknowledging it. You need to stop feeling like this(whatever creative work) is something you absolutely need to do! Yes, this is our profession and we got to push ourselves. But I've learnt that the more I push myself to do it, the more detached I feel from my work. WOW! I was never able to put that in words.
Give yourself a break. There are always things we want to do, like watch a Big list of movies( yes, this is mine), or cook something great to just sit and eat it at leisure, and we never do it because we always are occupied. Now might be the time to just give yourself a break. Do whatever it is that you wanted to do and never really found the time before .. anything that can be done with you sitting in your house. LEARN A LANGUAGE! Do a course online, it can be anything.. and it can be a free resource !! Give yourself some time!
Digital Detox I have honestly been super overwhelmed by social media. To a point where you start looking down on yourself. How many times a day do you take your phone and go down some rabbit hole? I found myself doing it SO OFTEN! I didn't use social media to socialise, if you know what i mean. I was just there scrolling away till i closed the app only to open it 5 minutes later and repeat! I still spend a lot of time on social media (I'm no saint!), but I've started finding the need to be away from it and that little away time is super engaging. Not asking you leave, just asking you to take small breaks. Here's what i do. I turn off notifications on these apps. That way i don't feel too tempted to open the app unnecessarily. This itself has been a huge help. You can start here and you can decide what else works for you.
Play & Experiment : Go with the flow
Basically, GET DISTRACTED. It can be in the field of your art or not. I take a few photographs everyday. I don't do anything with them, i just take them! I try to paint and sometimes i fail terribly. But the whole time, i have my fun. Letting go of "the fear of failure", is very important. Start something and just do it, doesn't matter what the outcome is. Cook something. It could be terrible, but you'll love doing it!
Find New Inspiration I was looking for inspiration in the same place over and over again, till i decided to try new places. Inspiration can come from people, you experimenting and having fun, stopping what you usually do to try something new? Anything. Now don't do or search for things because you're looking for inspiration. Do it because you just want to. Does that make sense? I don't know. I'm new at this too..
Talk Yes, I'm asking you to be social here (if you can!). Talk to people in your creative field, Talk to people from other fields, talk to your friends, family, or just TALK TO YOUR DOG! It helps break things into smaller chunks. It lets you learn from one another. You know what else you realise? YOU'RE NOT ALONE ! We are living in testing times. Overwhelmed by everything around us. It is scary. You feel lost. And while you feel lost, you feel guilty for feeling like this. Like what you feel is nothing in comparison to what is happening outside. Yes, I am there too. But during one of my therapy sessions, i was told something that i try and tell myself everyday.. "Your feelings are REAL. Your guilt is real. While you give importance to one, don't ever dismiss the other!"."You can feel both sad and guilty for being sad". With that, I am giving each one of you readers a BIG HUG!! Now go, Be distracted.