Helloooooo agaaaiinn! Long time no see! So much has happened since I last graced this blog with much needed TLC, but I’m back! However, I think it’s my moral obligation (or an obligation to myself) to give you a sense as to why and how I came back after many months. I mean really, can I even say I’m blogging if I went on a 6 month hiatus? Answer: YES! I stopped writing for the past several months and if I’m honest with myself, I just lost my mojo. The ability to have a bank of bloggable ideas to choose and tweak from suddenly went blank. Only recently did I start to feel like I had something worth writing (I’ll dive deeper into variables that contributed to my long absence in later posts). Regardless of what creative medium you cater to, I know for a FACT you’ve hit a creative roadblock at some point. Granted it may not have taken you 6 months to get back in the game (*cough cough, me AF), but the sentiment is still there. I did a lot of back and forth on how I could list out what I did to find the will to blog again, but I think the best way is really to just go through it the way I did, chronologically.
Step 1: Leave Your Project
Let’s skip the frustration you feel when you’ve hit a creative wall and go straight to accepting you’re there. Yes, you need to accept you are creatively stonewalled. Your brain, inspiration, whatever you want to call it, has closed the books on you. The feeling of not being able to put a decent piece of artwork together can and is the most frustrating thing, but letting go of the anger and flat out accepting you’ve reached a wall is completely OKAY! When your creative juices have run dry, you need to step away and reevaluate your current priorities. For me, it came down to prioritizing making content I was proud of or making content that would just fill a post. As much as I wanted to write, every idea I came up with fell flat on its face when it came to putting it into words, so I did what I thought was best for me, and I put my blog away and said “when I’m ready, I’ll come back to it.” Coming back to your creative mindset when you’re ready is almost a complete reset, in a good way. You’ll feel refreshed with bright ideas, just like how you felt when you first started.
Step 2: Brainstorm at Your Pace
At this point I felt like a car with a weak battery. Sometimes you’d see a spark of life, but ultimately I’d go quiet. I used the short bursts of inspiration I got within the past several months to the best of my abilities and brainstormed the HELL out of ideas. Some were good, most were bad, but I essentially was trying to create building blocks to eventually get myself writing again. A lot of it started with a paragraph and ended there, but it gave me a glimpse into the potential that was lost. Don’t knock going through phases of small yet effective inspirational moments. Those little moments add up in the end and could be the catalyst to get you over those creative blocks. Archive, record, save, etc. every piece of creativity you find. Going back to it has been my lifeline to breathe life back into my blog and it could do the same for you.
Step 3: Acknowledge Your Goals
Acknowledging where you want your creative projects to take you is key to finding the bit of determination needed to start up again. You could easily scrap your idea and no one would be the wiser, and that is completely valid so long as it’s what you want to do. Know the value of your projects and decide if it’s worth continuing. It’s okay to keep things “to be determined,” but you need to be honest with whether things are ACTUALLY going to be determined at some point. The worst thing you can do for yourself is constantly feel like you have a thousand loose ended ideas or projects but never having any intention of actually seeing one to the end. When I stopped writing I took up other projects to fill my time and you know how many I actually finished, NONE. The reason why is because I didn’t see the value in those projects…but my blog was something I was not ready to give up on, and those are the types of feelings to keep in mind of when you’re toying with either continuing or discarding a project you put on hold.
Step 4: Go Back to the Start
Just as powerful as it is to know when to stop, it’s also as important to know when to start. It can feel a little odd picking up exactly where you left off, but rather come back to it, then give up on it when you’re not ready to let go. Opening up my blog after so many months felt semi foreign. I went over past and drafted posts and felt a twinge of excitement because it reminded me of why I started this in the first place. With the new ideas I brainstormed over the past months it felt like I had it again, the bank of ideas ready to be polished and posted! This is what I mean about going back to where it started. Use the ideas you came up with during your hiatus to your advantage and gain further inspiration by looking at the work you’ve done in the past. Reading my old stuff I saw pieces I could use in future posts with the ideas I had already curated. Suddenly,the cogs were moving and bing! A light bulb went off and I finally had a complete vision for my next blog post. I didn’t want to lose the momentum so I started quickly drafting. Next thing I knew, I was in my 2nd, 3rd, 4th paragraph and I realized, “I’m creating again!” I don’t think I would’ve reached a point where I felt proud of my writing had I not taken the above steps.
Overall, does this mean you need to go through what I went through in order to start creating things again? Not at all. This is what I went through and all I can do is share my experience and hope it helps someone down the line. We need to remember at the end of the day, we’re not machines and we can’t continuously crank out content without stuttering along the way. If you’re in a rut, you’re not alone. Take whatever necessary steps that are right for you to get yourself out, even if that means stepping away for a prolonged period of time. You may find a creative hiatus may just be the best thing for you and your well being.