I want to take a quick break for a second to talk about something creators go through but often don’t talk about. It is hard to see it coming and even harder still to lift yourself out of once you are there. This post is about addressing creative burnout.
Many of you use webcomics as a way to let out some creative steam; a way to get your ideas down on paper with the added encouragement that comes from an active and supportive community. You are enthusiastic, excited and the thought of continuing the project gets you out of bed in the morning. Then maybe further down the line, you have a bad day or even a bad week. You miss an update. No biggie though. You’ll get back into that groove next week!
But you don’t. It becomes harder to come up with ideas and life is at your ankles tugging you away, draining your energy and then comments and views have suddenly dropped off. You’re finding it harder to put time into your work because who cares right? No one is reading it. No one cares as much as you do and why would they? It was a bad idea to begin with.
You post a message saying you’re on a definite hiatus or worse, you let your story fade away.
As a creative, you often feel that you cannot be honest that your project is taxing you. When putting your best self forward is held to be the key to any appearance online it is hard being honest with those you interact with let alone yourself. But as with any recovery process, the first step is realising that it is a reality and that it is happening to you. If you feel you need to talk, you can post here on the forums, or talk to fellow creatives about it. You might be surprised how many have experienced the same thing.
Another point to consider is that creativity is often considered an elusive gift. It is there one day and then gone the next. Well, that is not exactly true. In her blog post on the subject, Natalie Sejean explains that creativity is a muscle and burnout is the injury.
Treat yourself with kindness. Rest, meditate, try and eat healthily (as hard as that is) and most important of all, give yourself time from your project. Give yourself a mental holiday to refresh your brain. This might mean giving yourself the time to sort out those pressing life issues or merely playing that video game you’ve been meaning to finish.
The next step is to introduce fluidity and variety into your creative process. In the age of information, where every piece of content must have meaning, it often adds that layer of burden to your process. You can’t make mistakes. You can’t experiment. You can’t do something for the hell of it. You know what?
Yes you fucking can.
Don’t feel that you have to only expose yourself to webcomics. Oversaturation can lead to a burnout as you are not exercising your mind muscle. Do other projects for a bit and learn new skills along the way. Try different mediums, expose yourself to different topics of interest. Be curious. Often, this gives you inspiration and motivation to go back and continue your work.
Being creative is double-edged sword but it is one none of us would want to relinquish. And remember we are here for you.
Next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program.
Till next time lovelies!
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, March 16, 2018
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