Where Have I Been? (Thinking About Creativity)

Life has been interesting lately. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but overwhelming seems like a good place to start. As you can see, the last time I wrote a blog post was on February 14th–getting close to almost a month ago! The year has been flying by, and my creative energy just hasn’t caught up. Now that I am back from my travels, adventures, and explorations it often feels like I don’t have anything to write about. What might have been an interesting topic before doesn’t carry the same creative energy as it used to, which has put me in a cycle of delaying posts and reflections for weeks.

In many ways I feel stuck in a rut. I got so used to a lack of routine and to spontaneity for much of 2017, that the routine of classes, work, homework, and other tasks has put a damper on my creativity. My social media activity has declined (especially on Instagram), as many of the photos I have recently taken are of logistical reminders instead of interesting content-worthy snapshots. In my spare time I find myself listening to songs that bring me back to certain memories of traveling (I am actually taking a class right now about the indexical qualities of music and life too), and scrolling through saved Snapchat memories and photos on my camera roll. Instead of creating new content, I am reliving content from the past few months with no sense of how to start again. I’ve been watching Netflix and Hulu in place of writing–feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of where to go with my creative content.

Above all I feel stuck. Not unhappy per se (I am enjoying my classes and thinking about the future after graduation) but definitely not creative. Where once my mind was racing with creative ideas sparked by one view or moment, my mind runs blank. In other words, when thinking about what to write, post, or create next my mind often responds with this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. As is expected, my blog stats and readership have gradually declined as well, mirroring my lack of content and engagement.

So where to go from here? I’ve been thinking a lot about that, especially as more days pass by since my last post. I thought I would start with writing about where I’m at, and use that as a way to move forward. To acknowledge and embrace my lack of creativity, instead of focusing on the guilt and releasing this guilt through less creative means (Netflix, Hulu, watching YouTube, etc.). To start thinking about the changes that have been made this year as I’ve returned from travel, and how to reframe them as something that shifts the type of content I can produce instead of raining on my creativity parade.

I’ve learned that creativity needs a certain type of energy, and life changes can make this energy scarce or abundant. The state of this energy can always be changed, but it takes a shift in the frame of mind to make it happen. I plan to journal more about this transition, stay focused on my wellness (something that ebbs and flows with my schedule, which I’m sure we all can relate to), and trust that my creative energy will return when I start to think about this time in my life in a new way. What experiences can others learn from? What were the most notable aspects of my day, and what did they bring to my life?

I wanted to be honest about where I’ve been and my lack of creative energy this year, and to start on a journey of rethinking creativity. I have received so much support from you all in my brief posts about this experience, and I am so grateful for that. I hope to be back to creating regular content that I feel inspired to post, and to head in a new direction with my creativity. 🙂

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