I've mentioned this a few times on Instagram, but I am experiencing a creative drought at the moment. I haven't been feeling creatively fulfilled at all, and it has been going on for a couple of months. The lull that I originally attributed to moving and traveling and being busy has now settled into a full-on drought.
I am so aware that creative work is definitely work and that I can't just sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. I am still making things. I feel like my problem is more that I'm not having any new ideas and every time I sit down at a blank sheet of paper I have no idea what to do and I just end up doing the same old thing and am not really happy with any of it. I'm missing that spark.
It is honestly pretty terrifying, because for the years that I've been making art I haven't ever felt like this for this long. There has always been something new that I want to try or an idea that I've been excited about and the longest I've gone without that feeling has been a few weeks. But now I've gone several months without getting back into my normal creative rhythm and it feels so unlike me.
Being an artist and a creative person has become a huge part of my identity. My friends and family and internet friends know me as a creative person, and a way that I think of myself. So my lack of creative output is causing a lot of identity and self-worth issues. Who am I if I'm not making art? Am I wasting my time? Am I just not talented? Do I just not have any ideas that are worthwhile?
When I write about anything, especially in a public way (like on a blog), my impulse is to put a positive spin on it, but I don't really have one right now. It sucks to feel this way and it sucks to have no idea when it will end. I'm just stuck.
I know that this won't last forever. Deep down, I know that I am still a creative person and that I won't lose that. I know that a few months is not so long in the scheme of a whole creative life. I know that no one can be productive at all times and that these dry spells are just part of the creative cycle. But that doesn't mean it doesn't suck right now.
If you are going through a creative drought of your own, know that you're not alone. It is happening to someone else too! And hopefully the next time this kind of thing rolls around for me, I can look back on this post and see that I've been here before, that it felt pretty hopeless, but know that I bounced back (because I'm sure I will bounce back).
Like I said, I don't really have an idea of how to get through it. My plan for now is to just keep chipping away and showing up to the page even when it feels like pulling teeth to make anything. Hopefully through some combination of that work and the passage of time whatever non-inspired cloud I'm under will lift.
In the meantime, here are some things that I'm planning on doing that might make me feel better. I've also written a post about busting creative blocks that might help you if you're going through a small creative dry spell.
1. Reading Adam J. Kurtz's new book, Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives. Adam is wonderful and honest and this book looks beautiful.
2. Going to art events in my area for inspiration and to get out of my sad bubble. Right now I have my eye on the Takashi Murakami exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Art Book Fair.
On that note, thank you for caring about my work (or lack of) and my state of mind. Hopefully this post was somewhat comforting or helpful or interesting for you and hopefully I will be back with lots of creative content soon.