January = rubbish!

I’ve done too much internetting in January.  Is that a verb?  Internet-browsing perhaps.  Now I hate it.  I also did too much photographing too, and I’m mourning the breakage of my DSLR which is just three months old.  Doh. 

Cutaway is going okay, I’ve got a couple of things happening this week which I should be excited about – lake district walk, charity event and meeting about cutaway submissions.  But, I just recently have felt a bit, I don’t know…useless.  Is it the curse of trying to write/draw/photograph/make something creative – that now and again you completely lose heart? 

(opportunity there for people to say yes Dave, it is the curse of creative types.) 

I keep trying to watch films, and turning them off in the middle, asking myself – what will I gain by watching the rest of this? I can’t stick to any writing.  And this blog post is a few days late, and you were going to be treated to my top five and bottom five films.  I saved you from that.  I haven’t uploaded a picture to 365 for a few days, and I have them (I had another good shoot with Megan and a trip to Southport- before my camera died) but for some reason I just don’t want to post them.  Or I can’t be bothered.

So what I want to know is:

1) Creative burnout – what are its symptoms and how do you get over it?

2) How do you get through January, quite simply, the most dreadful month of the year?

3) Are there any types of blog post you enjoyed in 2011?  Is there anything you’d like to see more of in 2012, maybe even use this opportunity to tell me what I did that was truly bad. 

Answers below please.  My own particular answer to question 1-2 and 3 is food.

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7 thoughts on “January = rubbish!

  1. Yes there is such a thing as creative burnout. That’s when you stop doing what you were doing and do something else. I go through phases…stone carving..wood..crochet..drawing. yawn yawn.
    I go crazy on one thing then move on to the next. Sometimes its by accident. Actually my whole creative life, my whole life is a series of blunders and accidents. If it stops being fun I do something else. We all have to question our notions of progress and achievement. If anything I am steadily going backwards …BUT I am having loads of fun. I don’t take anything seriously , especially myself.

    • Yeah, but I only have art, photo, prose and poetry – you have about a million things. I reckon its probably a bit of burn out and just personal life staleness, probably less of the former and more of the latter. Thanks for your comment Liam!

  2. Forget about the writing for a while. I know there’s the “thou shalt write X words per day” rule, but that’s a load of crap really. Don’t get hung up on not writing. Go out and do something else instead: for a day, a week, a month, a year…

    You’re not burned out, you’re just empty. Get out there and stuff your head full of life. You’ll be daydreaming in a week or a month from now and your brain will burp up a story.

      • I agree with Craig. Inspiration comes from somewhere and fades back to nowhere. Trying to regain it is fruitless and frustrating. Some days are bad, some good but mostly in the middle.

  3. I’ve felt no desire to write in the past while either! Often I want to write but can’t think of anything but this time I just didn’t feel like writing at all. Maybe I feel guilty for caring too much about what people think about my writing.. I don’t know.
    When I was unemployed I couldn’t think of anything to write about except my restlessness or inactivity whereas the moment I was busy I had pictures floating in my head.

    I think the best thing is to remember that there’s no obligation to create anything at all. It’s no measure of anything except a combination of appropriate neurotransmitters dancing in your mind.

    And if you want to be utilitarian about it, the “off” periods act as great fodder for getting going once inspiration strikes. Maybe creativity is scarce because if it were abundant we wouldn’t have the motivating factor of novelty urging us on.

  4. You’ve told me before that you hate January’s. At least it’s nearly over!

    1) Give yourself a break about not writing. We all struggle now and then. For me I struggle the most when I have the most to write about. My best articles are the ones that pop into my head when I’m not trying.

    2) I’m getting through January by being busy in work – Fortunately I’m not as busy as I was before January. That was a nightmare. I also have 7 books on the go at the moment. Seven! It wasn’t intentional but I like to change the pace.

    I’ve got a long book (The Shadow of the Wind), a crime thriller, a comical travel book, a supernatural (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake), a heavy (We need to talk about Kevin), a historical and a scientific. I’m peppering them with short stories you sent me a while ago too. I suppose they’re getting me through January. (I enjoy books the same way I like TV: I might watch a few episodes of a series back to back then switch to Family Guy / Futurama, throw in the occasional sit-com etc).

    Oh, and I’m eating chocolate; Lots and lots of chocolate.

    3) You’ve written lots of great posts but the one that just popped into my head was the one about you killing your housemate’s fish. That was so [unintentionally?] funny! I couldn’t figure out if you were serious or not. At first I honestly thought it was a ‘short story’! As I later learned it was real I shouldn’t have laughed. Oops! It was funny though. :-p I’d like to read more real life sit-com-ish ‘stories’. Not asking much am I?

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