Updated: Jun 17
Whatever our creative endeavors, we all hit our personal walls. It's just an unavoidable feature of being human beings. Some of these valleys last a long time. The common term is you have a "block", like a "writers block".
Music and photography, I've been dancing with them for many, many years, actually since I was a kid. Throughout my entire professional life in I.T. there were things that held a sacred place sustaining my sanity in that insanely stressful career; that is, faith, family, and creative endeavors. I usually cannot sustain creativity in all things simultaneously for long. This is particularly true of the arts and music. When one passion begins to ebb, I feel the upward pressure of the other. Lately, I question whether the pressure is real or just a muscle spasm after being at them for so long or from not being hydrated.
The interesting thing for me is these restful periods, quiet epochs perhaps, have usually lasted about ten years at a time. At my age I just don't have the luxury of decades. There's the constant, gnawing irritation that I do not have that many epochs of any kind remaining. People think they have time. Nope.
The question becomes, "How do I quickly recover creative energy?" "Quickly recover" is relative, but true for each person.
Sometimes exercising a muscle is enough to get the juices flowing again. If you are an artist, maybe trying a different medium will be the key. Listen to different music. Read poetry. Go sit on a rock. Pray! Be transformed by renewing your mind. Re - new: Restore, regenerate, recreate. Why is that controversial?
I've always liked to draw. I never thought I was any good at it, except when I was five or six, and I would draw pictures of elaborate battlefields, with planes and tanks and soldiers which my mom would marvel over, as any mother would for her son who displayed such aggression in such a visual manner, at such a young age - I'm a product of the Cold War. So perhaps the drawings were therapy then. I'm quite peace loving to be so Irish.
It takes courage to leave one's comfort at home and go for a walk carrying nothing but a writing stick and the possibility of failure. However, if we think about it for just a moment, isn't that how we all begin, by stretching muscles we don't know how to use until we use them the first time?
As soon as I can I shall take one of the many sketchbooks I have purchased over the years, the ones I promised myself that I would fill with drawings, and one of the many sharpened HB lead pencils I have in coffee mugs on my desk, and I'll go out and endanger my known world with graphite scratches on paper. Or maybe I'll just sit on a rock and pray; probably a more profitable use of my time.
Just a thought.