It’s happened to all of us, hasn’t it? The dreaded creative drought. That time when you just don’t feel inspired, can’t think of what to create, don’t even want to try.
After several months of just such a drought, the most profound I’ve ever experienced, I’m beginning to climb out of the dark hole. It’s true that there are many valid reasons for why this happened to me but I won’t enumerate them here. Except for my holiday mug series in December, my camera has been mostly idle, my brain in neutral, my search for the light non-existent since last November.
What to do?
The new year came and went. January crawled along. February followed. All this while, my new Project Life album sat on the work table. Empty. There were no sparks to get me started. Even though I can’t stand to fall behind in a project, I was inert. And so it sat. I did, too.
Then finally, a couple of weeks ago, as I lay in bed just before getting up, I had a firm talk with myself. I told myself that if I didn’t pick up the camera and start shooting today, I might never do so again. It didn’t matter if the photos were good, it didn’t matter if the light was stunning, it didn’t matter what I shot. I just had to shoot. I had to point my camera at something and compose a photo and click the shutter button.
So I did. It did help that we were having a wee bit of false spring weather and the yard was bursting with yellow goodness and brave crocus after a very grey, dreary January. Still I felt really rusty. I was rusty! Nevertheless, I pushed the shutter a few times that day. And the next. And most every day after that.
When I uploaded to Lightroom, I rejected a lot of my photos. That’s okay. The whole purpose was just to get back into the habit of doing this again, of re-training my eye to see things, to look for details, to find the wonder in the world around me. It was always there, I was just ignoring it.
A week ago today, on March 13, I finally started assembling my Project Life album for 2017. Because of the late start, I’m doing a new format this year, monthly instead of weekly. January and February were lean (and challenging) months. I saw no reason to emphasize that. I just briefly told the story and moved along. March is still a work in progress but it is lighter, brighter and happier than January and February.
In other words - just do it.