Creative Burnout or Rebirth?
We’ve talked about being creative, and we’ve talked about the illusion that everything can be okay when it’s not.
What we don’t talk about, even to each other is who can make a change when it’s not something you might want to do. Yes, we all talk about change about being more creative and how we want to be something big. We want to share a whole part of our life, and the passion we have for being creative all in the name of… us.
Yes, us. The one person who claims they want to share what they have with others and what they really want is to share it without too much effort or time or, more importantly, with as little challenge as they have possibly do.
Which brings me to butterflies. I love them. I love the pace they give, the need to be beautiful, and fragile, but really are just another type of “creepy crawler.” I tend to forget that they were caterpillars and these are the very things I curse at when I am outside and seeing the fat wormlike creatures eating yet another leaf. I forget what they have the potential to become. I get angry about my garden- even though I am not one to garden as much as I should.
Which brings me back, when I get to the end product of whatever I am working on, I forget the hard work and the team effort it took to get there. The long nights in front of the computer screen or the countless hours simply writing away and, re-writing away. The challenges, the frustrations, the guilt. I can understand why so many creative people are drawn to colour or to draw or to write, and then get frustrated along the way and stop what they were doing because it was too hard. The fact they didn’t have the experience or the skills or the right people at the right time never comes to mind.
So they go back and be frustrated. They say they are burned out. They want out, they want it to stop for a moment, and they want some “one” any “one” to take away the problems they have. They might not edit something, but they don’t know who can. Maybe it’s not burnout, but it’s a time to sit back and take a moment to reflect. In much the same way, as a caterpillar needs the days, weeks or months to become something far greater.
Creative Ideas and Blog Posts
It’s a bit of a gamble. For the time they are in the shell of their chrysalis, they have to have everything they need to grow. This takes time. It takes change, and it takes- for lack of a better term- a burnout. I look at burning out not as a bad thing (I’m not referring to the very dangerous exhaustion, but rather the burnout of ideas) but rather it’s a time to reflect and recharge and, in a sense, be reborn as a better writer and creative being. It’s not about income, but rather how you can create something which is worth your efforts and worthy of your goals.
I’m sitting here, with a warm cup of tea, and soft sounds of my computer, and I am happy. It took months to get to this point, and to let myself be more creative and to accept the fact that I needed some time to change my outlook on my creative business side of life. I was focused on what I wasn’t strong at, and as a result, I let my creative life suffer. My excuse was I could keep going, and, like a caterpillar, keep eating and not have to worry about change. Change is really going back and cutting away things not needed.
To begin I went through my ever so important “library” and took out the books and the things I had doubles, and hadn’t read in years. I had to let go. Letting go is the first step to a re-birth as a creative being. I suppose one can call it becoming more minimalistic, but I see it as getting rid of the old, to make room for some new things. In the process, I found a more mental aspect I didn’t expect. A sense of peace that I could let go of the things I didn’t need and find that I didn’t miss them.
It’s a process, and now it’s a step closer to feeling like I am reborn as a creative person who happens to run a blog, and happens to write books. I have found to my happiness that many of the “I must have books/ DVDs/CDs/whatever” actually took away from my passion. My partner has been a wonderful support in this, offering advice on why and how this particular item should be kept, or should be tossed or given away. It’s not to say it’s easy, but it’s uplifting.
It also means I have learned to let go of the writing blog in so far that it’s a part of me, but it’s not a frustrating aspect to my life. I can sit back and enjoy what I do and how I produce it because I want to write. I want to be innovative, and even a few blog posts are being deleted not because it’s easy- but because it opens new doors to better creativity.