Do you know what it feels like to slowly and painfully lose your mojo? To stand helplessly by as your all consuming passion slips away from your grasp?
Boy, do I know how that feels. It happened to me over a number of years. I can’t even pinpoint exactly when it started happening. All I know is that I felt helpless and hopeless. I wondered what was wrong with me.
It’s now a few years since I stopped painting. It’s not to say that I stopped being creative in that time – actually (and you might go ‘wha?’ when you hear this), I suddenly got the urge to cook; not just cook, but take photos of what I cooked and blog about it (if you’d like to take a peek, click here). Talk about a complete 180! I’d virtually never baked in my life and suddenly it became my obsession. I learned how to use a DSLR, cook and bake, and blog. Pretty creative, if you ask me!
But, still… there was always a sense of ‘what the hell happened?’. How could my life-long love of painting desert me so easily? Well, it took a while to figure it out, but I think I have… Want to know why?
Well… in hindsight, I reckon it was because of my need to please; to gain approval. I’d actually done pretty well in the art field – I had various galleries representing my work, I had lots of exhibitions, and I was making a nice income from sales. Life was good.
But, somewhere along the way, I allowed myself to have my art and my practice reframed. Whether it was direction from well-meaning tutors or requests from galleries, I started losing the inbuilt connection I had to my art. The ‘soul’ went out of it for me and, with it, my passion.
It’s only now… years later… that I recognise what I allowed to happen. And, consequently, what I must do to resurrect my passion. Yes, I believe it can come back. But, it requires gentle coaxing as if it were a child. And, I need to give myself permission to start afresh; to connect with my creativity from within rather than being led by others’ expectations. Doable? You betcha!
I hope you’ll join me as I embark on this journey.
PS: If you have experienced burnout, or a good dose of creative block, I’d love to hear about your experience.