Breaking A Creative Block

So when I said see you in seven, obviously I meant months 😉 I didn’t; actually, just life got in the way.

So what have I been up to during my absence? I’d like to say that I’ve been working hard on my latest book along with some short strips and writing.

I’d like to say that, but I’ve been stuck in a creative rut.

However, thankfully I’m now out the other side of that. I’m back creating art, working on my latest book, updating my blog, posting on Instagram, sending out some tweets and I’ve also joined Pinterest.

I’ve decided to refocus this blog. I’m going to use it as a platform to offer some nuggets of wisdom that I have learnt. I’ll also be discussing some mistakes I’ve made so hopefully, other people can take benefit from what I did wrong so others may not.

On that note, this post is going to be about how to stay motivated as an artist and how to find your mojo if you have lost it.

Being in any creative field can be hard if like me you’re working a full-time job doing a 40-hour working week (55 with commuting).

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You get tired, you can get home, and the last thing you want to do is sit down and work on your latest project. At times like this, it’s easy to find some excuses not to do your art/writing. “I’ll watch this one show” or “I’ll complete this next quest in World of Warcraft” essentially procrastination becomes a friendly little imp that sits on your shoulder feeding you excuses not to do work.

Before you know it, its time for bed. So you tell yourself, “I’ll get back on to that tomorrow”, you don’t get back to doing that task, as tomorrow never comes.

You then start to feel bad that it’s been three weeks and you haven’t created anything, and you start to beat yourself up about this mentally. That cuddly little procrastination imp has become a sluggish monster eating at your self-esteem as a creative. It’s at those moments that dark thoughts can start getting into your head and you start putting yourself down and questioning your abilities.

I think it is a problem for all creative people; you get this little thing going on in your mind saying “I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough” you can start putting yourself down, and you have to fight that and it’s not easy. I’ve been there, and every artist/writer/creative person I’ve spoken to about this has been there.

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You have to fight that, and I think that’s what sorts people out over the long run some people they just can’t resist it. They give up, and they spend the rest of their lives wishing that they’ve been an artist of some description.

I think the secret to it all is having faith in yourself. Faith is a strange word; it’s all about believing in yourself and believing in the choices that you’ve made.

If you want to be an artist you have a calling inside you, it’s the same way with dancers, musicians, actors, writers and all sorts of people. There are a lot of vocations in this world and people who go down that road they feel called to it, they know that that’s what they have to do. I think if you want to be an artist, you know this deep down to your core.

One of the secrets to bringing you out of this funk is not to overthink about the future. If you think about how you want to have a certain level to the work you produce or how prominent you want to be one day, it’s just going to overwhelm and scare you. The thing to do is focus on today. Be present and aware of where you are right now, not yesterday, not last week, not where you will be in six months to a year. Be aware right now at this time, as that’s the only time you have any control over.

Forget about yesterday, that’s gone you can’t change that, it’s gone. When you go to bed in the evening, go over what you’ve done during the day. Find something good that you have done even if the day has been a total disaster. If the day has been a complete disaster, in all likelihood, it’s probably been a better day than you would think as in the long you would have learned an awful lot.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a total disaster day. You need to realize that out of every failure you learn something new. So when you’re laying in bed running through the day, go through what you’ve been doing. Think of something that was good, it may have been a little thing, it may even have been tiny, but it was good. When learning to reflect in a positive way like this, you’ll initially have more things come to mind that you think went wrong. The critical thing to do is to look at those and remember “I learned from it, and that’s good”.

Once you’ve been doing this for a while, and by a while I mean a few days; you’ll be able to look at your day, and you’ll come away with all the great things that you’ve gained out of the day. The bad stuff? That’s finished it it’s all over it’s behind you. You can take the positive things with you to tomorrow and build on them.

The critical thing to do here is to change your perspective. It’s little like in the film “Jacobs Ladder” Tim Robbins has to change his view of reality to find peace.

If you’re afraid of dying, and you’re holdin’ on, you’ll see devils tearin’ your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freein’ you from the world. – Jacobs Ladder (1990)

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