November 20, 2018
Working for yourself has it’s ups and downs, and the change into hibernation season can suck away a lot of creativity. When you work freelance in the creative world, it often feels a lot more serious than just a lull.
Right now, I feel like my work isn’t up to scratch, like the things I create are all wrong, all badly done. It’s hard to get out of the circle of hating my work, then myself and being unable to find inspiration, so looking back at old work and… the circle starts again. My creativity feels very low, the lack of good natural light means I simply give up trying to shoot. I feel like I’ve lost any talent I once possessed.
But this happens every year, I remind myself. This is a lull in creativity after the high of the summer, of travelling and creating for five months non stop, in a way it’s only natural to catch my breath when winter is around the corner. And yet I still take it personally. Think that I will never be creative again and when it’s linked to my job I get genuinely fearful that maybe this is it. This is how I will feel forever.
So how to remedy this? First of all, I try to accept it. If I don’t feel like creating I don’t have to. And if I do try – so what if it’s not my best work? My best work is only the best because there’s been worse work.
It’s also getting to hibernation season – the weather is getting colder and it’s a natural thing for us to want to do less for everyone else and more for ourselves. To literally stay inside more. To snuggle up and read, lie in, have baths. I remind myself that this is the way the seasons work and that (for the moment anyway) we’re lucky to have them to slow us down from time to time. It’s so easy to feel guilty in a big city like London where everyone is always ‘busy’, that actually, today I just took a day for myself, to ground myself and to not berate ourselves for that.
I’ve also booked a short trip away – being in a new place with a new landscape often gets creative my juices flowing.
I also find that doing little creative things for myself, like painting or shooting on my film camera just for me – rather than for work – slowly but surely makes me feel confident enough again, without the pressure of sharing what I create.
And if all that fails. Take a break. Sign off for a few days – or a week! Sometimes it’s taking yourself away from something that ultimately drives you back to it.