Speaking with other photographers it seems like no matter who you are or what we do, we all run into the same problem every now and then... Creative burnout! This certainly puts a damper on things as creatives because even when we are working on things we love, we can feel a lack of motivation to continue. You can try to push through, but then it feels like a chore and a lack of passion can mean a lack of creativity and passion for what we want to love. So how do you get over the creative burnout? This is something I am in the process of learning myself. I have felt unmotivated and/or felt my ideas are not good enough to produce through photography. Imposter syndrome kicks in and I'm back in my creative rut. I get lost in the social media scrolling frenzy and see all the great works everyone is producing only reassuring myself with doubt. If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone!
One thing is for certain, with other great works out on the internet it doesn't mean yours isn't less great! I recommend taking a step back from social media, getting extra rest, and spending time giving yourself self-care. We can feel overstimulated with all our ideas that we literally don't have the energy to produce what we want. This can go on for days, weeks, months, and even over a year. Do not let this discourage you, take the time that you need to recharge and don't think you are any less creative for it, let go of the shame!
Go with the Flow
Feel a need to work on other creative outlets? Absolutely take the time to work on them! Just because you like to focus on your main creative outlet doesn't mean you can't take a break to experiment or enjoy other creative outlets. This is a great way to come up with other ideas!
Feel tired and can't focus? Take the break you need to recharge. I feel we forget we're human and need breaks once in a while, we are not machines!
Connect with Others
I often forget that there are other people in the community that I can speak to about this. Although you can feel very alone in situations like this, reaching out to others and speaking about your struggles can help. You will find that connecting with other creatives with similar struggles can help create a support system.
Learning new skills from others. My go-to nowadays is Youtube and Twitch! There are so many people who are willing to show you new tips and tricks. New skills can spark a new love in what you do.
Having a cup of coffee with a friend. Yup sounds kind of cheesy! But sometimes we just need to have some personal connections to sort out other parts of our life. Vent the stress away!
Starting from scratch can seem so scary. Take the time to relearn the basics and see if a new way of doing things would be a better fit going forward. Maybe what used to work is not going to cut it in the future.
Write things down. If having ideas flying around makes you overwhelmed, write them out. Having ideas written down prevents lost ideas and also puts things in order for you to follow and reference for later. There is no rush to get things completed at the time you thought of them.
I know as someone trying to run a small business, having fun can be difficult. We focus so much on what clients need we forget that sometimes we need to have our skills for ourselves. Make sure to have projects you want to do involved with your creative outlets.
Take some time to have self-care, relax, and enjoy other things in your life that make you happy! I can't stress this step enough because it truly is important. What fuels our hearts, helps us produce passion in our skills.
While burnout is a huge thorn in my side, it is not the end-all, be-all! It can truly feel like your world is coming to an end. Just take the time needed, refresh, reconnect and put yourself out there. You will get back in the game in no time!