Pushing Through Creative Burnout * TonboMai

Pushing Through Creative Burnout

Posted By tonbomai on May 1, 2014


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I liken my discovery of photography to a beautiful whirlwind romance. Our courtship (reading everything photography

related possible), our engagement (deciding to start the business, making the website, making it official) and

finally our Honeymoon (I have the greatest job in the world! I am an artist! I create!). I, like many creatives, thought that

photography and I were the perfect union and certainly believed that our honeymoon would never end.

…………….and then it happened one day….I missed my morning photo walk and my camera just sat there…day1…day 2….

I began to question if photography for me was meant to be a lifetime career or just a passionate affair destined to fade into fond

memory. The honeymoon was over….I had hit a creative wall. There was nothing new . I ran out of juice.

As creative people, we all run the risk of creative burnout; but there are things that we can do to lessen our chances of burnout or

to escape the burnout if its cruel hand has already crept into our art.

1. Forget about it for a while

Sometimes doing the same thing day after day can get-well…. repetitive, boring. This is when you must take time away from this thing that you love so much. After all, absence does make the heart grow fonder and maybe, just maybe you will remember the reasons you developed this passion to begin with.

2. Cheat on your job

Maybe you need to ‘hit’ a different part of your brain for a while and give this one a rest so don’t be afraid to cheat. Find another creative outlet. Do some writing, drawing, painting- even if you feel terrible at it- as long as you get out of that comfort zone!

3. Go where you are needed for a while

Throw yourself head first into a volunteer project that you are passionate about….and this doesn’t have to be photography/work related—think soup kitchen, shelter, something bigger than yourself. I know this often helps me forget my petty problems and helps put everything into a real perspective.

4. Challenge Yourself

If taking a break is not for you and you just must do something photography related, why not come up with a photography project challenge just for yourself. Don’t overthink this. Something random is best…abandoned house project, fall flower project…nothing fancy. Remember the challenge is from yourself and for yourself. You do not have to share this project unless you want to!

5. Find an inspiring person

Even artists can benefit by the work of other artists who are different from them. Sometimes seeing work from another creative eye is just what you need to get your imagination soaring. Check out their photos. Read their blog. See what inspires them and you just might find yourself inspired.

6. Find yourself

Losing yourself completely in the identity of your work persona is not good for work or for you. There are aspects of you that drew you to this field and you need to find them once again and recharge yourself. Make time to be alone and
think and not think! Staying up all night editing and wearing yourself thin only serves to allow a worn down you to face the day. Take care of you so that you can better do your job.

7. Relax!

Stop taking everything so seriously! Remember you got into this because of a desire…a passion. And I am pretty sure at some point you were actually having fun. Take your time getting to know yourself again and before you know it you will fall in love with your field all over again!

 

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