Real Talk: Dealing with Creative Burnout
It’s time to get real for a sec. If you’re a creative person – or even if you’re not, really – you’ve probably felt “in a funk” sometimes when you can’t concentrate or come up with new ideas to be excited about. Well, when you have a creative job, feeling burnt out like that impacts more than just your emotions. It affects your job and how much money you can potentially bring in for your business. Blogging looks great from the outside, and sometimes it is really, really great, but when creative burnout hits, it takes its toll on both your emotions and your income. What do you do to get yourself out of a rut?
I know many of you are fellow creatives, fellow business owners or bloggers. Everyone deals with burnout in some way or another. Dealing with creative burnout is rough, and if you can’t get yourself out of that rut, you risk losing a lot. For me, that means losing business. Because I’m a full time freelancer, I earn an income from guest blogging opportunities and post sponsorships, so without unique ideas coming in, I simply can’t keep the content coming. Not only does that impact my own business but it impacts the businesses I work with because they may be left with gaps in their calendars due to my own lack of creativity that month.
Do you ever feel the pressure to constantly be coming up with new ideas?
The fact of the matter is I’ve found myself in the wonderful, amazing, exciting industry of blogging and content creation. This is my dream job, but coming up with continually unique content in such a fast-paced world is exhausting. Eventually, I truly run out of ideas or can’t get myself excited about a new project. With SO MUCH content out there, it’s more and more challenging to be original. When I spend hours brainstorming new ideas only to discover they’ve already been done, it’s defeating, but I have no choice but to keep going because that’s just how the biz works. Creating unique content is important because duplicating (or “stealing”) ideas is frowned upon in this business, and it can cost you relationships, but you can’t completely control it. Some days the burnout just feels too overwhelming to get anything done.
I deal with creative burnout a variety of ways, but the best thing I’ve found is to get out of my comfort zone. I work from home primarily by myself, and this isolating kind of work makes it way too easy to become a hermit inside my home. I’ll sit on the couch for a 30-minute episode of Sex and the City when I’m feeling overwhelmed and suddenly three hours have passed. (oops!) When I’m feeling uninspired, I try to find time to escape to a new place, take a weekend trip or visit a new local spot. There’s always something new to explore, and sometimes stepping away from my computer is necessary to get those creative juices flowing again.
Lately, I’ve been feeling creatively stunted and lacking new ideas, but luckily I’ve been at Alt Summit in Palm Springs this week. The conference came at the perfect time for me, and now I feel like I can come back to work inspired. Being around so many other creatives and talking to people in my industry definitely reignited by productivity, so I’m actually excited to get back to work now! Even though I went into the week feeling drained and uninspired, I’m coming out of it with a lot of new ideas thanks to just getting out of my element. Whenever you can (even if you’re an introvert like me!), I find that getting away from the work is the best way to deal with creative burnout.
Tell me, what do you do when you feel uninspired or burnt out?!
This really hit home Holly. I’ve become so “burned out” with my Brazilian embroidery that I haven’t even been able to finish something I’ve been working on for a beloved grandson who will soon be graduating from law school. What to do? It used to be that every morning I would eagerly check my work to see how much I had finished the day before, but no more. Now it is just kind of gathering dust. Thank you for your wonderful projects and inspiring me.
Holly WadeSandra Montez
I know how hard it can be to lose momentum on projects. You just need to find something to inspire you again, and maybe that means getting excited about a new project. Can’t wait to see what you make!