I’ve sat down to write this three or four times. Nothing came to me. Creative block is an awful feeling. I strive to provide value in everything I create whether it’s writing, photography or design. Lately, I’ve been feeling like there’s not more to express for fear of redundancy. Logically, I know this is a myth, but I can’t shake being stuck and uninspired.
Visits from the muse are spontaneous. In my previous experience inspiration had never been constant. There was always an ebb and flow. Creative ideas came to me in the Iowan evenings when it was quiet. In the summer I was lulled to sleep by the crickets, and in the winter the snow blanketed the earth making the silence piercing and so very still. From that nothingness came some of my greatest inspiration. I would write and play guitar late into the night. I would photograph and collage, and most of all, I would dream. My best ideas came to me intermittently.
I stand by the belief that one should create when they feel inspired, when they are really moved by something in life, and should not be expected to do so ceaselessly. Constant creation just for the sake of publishing content has little value.
When I was in college studying photography, I had multiple assignments each week. It was challenging to deliver something unique that I was passionate about for each of these projects. In school I learned to push out piece after piece like a machine.
I understand that for a job, or a client, you just have to deliver. A career path such as blogging requires scheduled creation, and social media even more so. There are deadlines to be met and we all have to make a living.
In a way, what I learned in college was good preparation for the “real world,” but I traded the essence of my imagination. Demanding classes helped me to perform while stressed and sleep deprived, but molded me in undesired ways and stifled true expression. Too often, that rushed process of creation doesn’t allow for examining concepts that will make a positive impact on the world. People are said to work best under pressure, but I need time to refine.
What did you do as a child that created timelessness, that made you forget time? There lies the myth to live by.” — Joseph Campbell
If you’re constantly creating you’re often lacking wisdom that comes from life experience. Experience makes artwork profoundly relatable. If you’re feeling unfulfilled it’s best to pause and be an active participant in life. Disregard the incessant pressure that today’s society puts on artists. Find the time. I do this so that I feel proud of what I am putting out into the world.
For me, “just okay” isn’t good enough in any aspect of life, especially art. Hold onto that inspired, rebellious, youth. It can still be found here.