I have been pretty absent to this blog, because of the reason I am blogging about today, actually. I have been lacking in the inspiration. This is probably the most common problem for creatives, no one is constantly inspired. We all get in those ruts, but the most important thing is to get out of it as soon as you can.
This winter has been a dark time for me. I have struggled with unexpected bouts of anxiety and depression. I was very anxious growing up, and I guess the mild depression has always been there. Creative outlets help me thrive through these times, but when I don't have an outlet and every little thing goes wrong in everyday life, it's easy for me to slip back into that vegetable state.
I knew my number one priority was getting in a positive mindset. Do whatever it took to ease my mind and hold on to any ambition and nurture it.
Some of the steps I took were very basic.
Partake in a hobby. I'm the worst about centering my life around my growing business. Sometimes I actually feel guilty if I'm not trying to be productive, and sometimes you don't have anything to do, and that's okay. Because of that, when I pour myself into work and when it's not always paying off, it takes a toll on my mental state. I get in a rut where I just look at other's photography all day and wish it were my own. It's not so inspiring after too long. It's so important to completely separate yourself from work and enjoy other activities.
Nurture relationships. It's easy to become self centered when you only fixate on your work. I have caught myself countless times complaining about the same old things that may not mean anything to the people I am venting to. Priorities must be set, and the important people in your life should come before your career. My goal is to put my interests aside and try harder to join more loved ones in their favorite pastimes.
Learn new things about your art. Because of the uninspired rut I fell in, and our poor internet connection in bad weather, I purchased the current CreativeLive course, taught by instructor Susan Stripling on wedding photography. I watched the introduction to see if I wanted to purchase it, and at first impression I didn't plan to. We had different styles, different visions, and different opinions on certain aspects. I wasn't even going to give it a chance, just because she wasn't like me. Sounds ridiculous, right? But it's second nature to give people with like opinions and visions the benefit of the doubt before others. I gave it a second chance, and the more I watched, the more I was sold. It wasn't the usual longing I had to create her portfolio, but an inspiration to build my own in my own style. We didn't always share the same opinions, but I loved her for voicing hers so openly, without doubt. Sometimes I get to caught up in sticking so close to styles near mine, but what I have realized is we're all unique ( Unless you're just plain recreating other's work.) and that is the beauty of our art. We don't have to all see eye to eye and can still be completely inspired and love each others work. The course is just what I needed to give me that shot if ambition I needed and inspiration to be true to my work.
A lot of times, it's the real moments in life that inspire us. Instead of looking to others and masterpieces we wished we had made, it's much more beneficial to live, gain our own inspiration, and make masterpieces of our own.