When Creativity Dries Up

I’ve been feeling uninspired lately, and this morning as I was rinsing the breakfast dishes, I finally realized why: That quiet voice of discontent has been sneaking in.

It’s a pattern I’ve noticed dozens of times. Before I had this blog, it was evident in my journals. I’d stop writing for a week or two or three, unconsciously wallowing in my problems until I was finally ready to tackle them by writing it out. Only thing is—this is the first time this has happened to me since I started this little blog in January, and unfortunately, my creativity dries up when I’m wallowing. 🙂 This is not exactly good for blogging!

Right now I’m stewing over my living and job situation, which, since I’m the manager of our complex, are intricately intertwined. For four years, I’ve pretended to care about things like cigarette butts at one end of the property or a door that’s not locking properly on the other. I’ve tolerated 10pm knocks and fruitless complaints and, to be honest, a lot of very blunt old ladies! I’m losing my ability to take it all gracefully. I’m a loose canon, people! And it feels weird!

So that’s that. No solution. No plan of action. I’m going to keep stewing until it comes to me. 🙂

Does this happen to you? Do you lose your creativity when problems flare up? Or maybe you use creativity to escape the problems! (I should try that!) 

  • Alana @ Domestic Bliss Diaries
    August 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Ah, yes! Discontentment will definitely kill creativity! At least you recognize what the problem is. Now, you can recognize discontent thoughts and combat them with gratitude. I don’t say this as someone who has it all figured out. I say it as someone who battles discontentment, too. Do I always combat those negative thoughts with gratitude? No. But, I do notice a change in my heart and attitude when I do.

    As for the job, I can understand feeling like you want to explode. People can be so rude sometimes. I pray you’re able to find another living/working situation or that you’ll have the strength to show grace. 😉

    • Erica {let why lead}
      August 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

      I love that, Alana – finding the strength to show grace! I think that’s what I’m going to work on for now, since I’m not quite ready to leave here (and start paying nearly $3000 a month for rent—it’s crazy here!).

  • Leigh W.
    August 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I’ve been feeling bad about the condo situation for you. People can be very rude, and it is uncalled-for. You’re doing a good job here, though I would understand if you felt you needed to move on. We would certainly miss you, though.

    • Erica {let why lead}
      August 3, 2012 at 12:27 am

      I thought about you when I was writing this, knowing that I gripe too much to you about it! It’s not your fault our neighbors are crazy, and you know this better than anyone else! 🙂 Love ya!

  • Sarah
    August 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Living in a “temporary rental situation” myself and having had that job that does nothing for your heart & soul…I know what utter discontentment can feel like. If it is only affecting your creativity, you are one lucky gal! About two years ago, at one particularly stressful crossroads (work and living situation) in my life, my mother-in-law gave me a book to read: “It’s Your Time” by Joel Osteen. It’s highly empowering. And it changed my life. More recently, this past week we found out our rental home is going up for sale & I had a very unexpected negative reaction to a post I had done on my blog – all on the same day. Talk about discontentment! I can’t say that I handled both pieces of news with grace that first day, but I was able to look at the situations in a totally different perspective once the sting wore off. Sometimes our feelings are simply “Hi’s” from God, trying to point us in different directions, particularly toward contentment! You’ll find your wonderful niche again. I promise!

  • Bridget
    August 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Discontentment can slip in under any circumstances, and it tends to wreak havoc on everything, creativity included. You’re definitely not alone in this.

    When you think about it, life is filled with stuff that we don’t actually care too much about. What gets us past it is remembering that we’re living for a higher purpose. I’m sure you already know this, since you believe in “letting why lead.” We all have to keep reconnecting with the reason we exist, the reason we do anything, knowing that our circumstances aren’t random, but that we were created for this particular time and place.

    I lose my creative drive when I get too busy. I find that I need space in my brain, some down time, to be creative.

    Hang in there!

  • Shelley @ Calypso in the Country
    August 4, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Absolutely! Sometimes I get so caught up in things I have to do or things I “should” do and by the time I finish them, I have nothing left! Then out of nowhere – like when I am in the shower or in line at the supermarket, I start thinking of something creative. So basically the creativity happens for me when I have to slow down. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Just allow yourself some time and you will start to feel better.
    Take care – Shelley

  • Becky K
    August 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I lose my motivation when I’m grumpy, for sure. You will come through this with stories to tell. And I will look forward to reading them… in good time. Sometimes I think the pressure to produce only deepens the slump. Blessings to you, Erica!

  • Evanthia of merelymothers
    August 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    That’s so funny! I tend to find discontent is often the source of my creativity! It’s not until I get thoroughly worked up about something that I find a creative outlet. I always figured this was the norm since so many writers/artists/creative types were so miserable 🙂

    Good luck getting your living situation worked out. Sounds like it must be tough, especially with two little ones!

  • Paula
    August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

    It is very hard to feel creative when you’re worried about something or not feeling happy with a certain area in your life. Keeping your cool when people constantly fuss and aren’t so nice about it must be really tough.

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