new work meet the maker

A Creative Slump (and How I Un-Slumped Myself)

Maybe you noticed my bloggy absence, maybe you didn’t. But the fact of the matter is, in the past year I have been a total blog slacker, and I have no reasonable explanation. I just…left my mojo somewhere and forgot where it was.

I distanced myself from the blog partly because I was having trouble managing my time, partly because I was suffering from an utter lack of words, and partly because things were beginning to feel old and boring to me. I was disinterested, and not just where the blog is concerned. Everything felt dull and flat. The house, the grind, the dinners I cooked, my appearance–even my garden–were all wearing thin on me.

I was totally uninspired. I stopped composing posts in my head when I had an interesting thought or story (though admittedly, those thoughts and stories were popping up less and less). I hadn’t done much making, other than my jewelry orders. I couldn’t remember when the last time the girls and I sketched together. The only thing I canned this Fall was grape jelly, and when it came to cooking for my family, I grossly wore out the usual menu rotation. I was out if ideas.

It’s safe to say I was officially in a creative slump. And you know, it’s true what Dr. Seuss says:

creative slump

Indeed. I yearned for new. And not the kind of new that can be remedied with a trip to the mall. I needed re energization, and not the kind you get from a smoothie.

So what did I do? Well, it started with getting bangs. (No seriously, never underestimate the power of a new ‘do. The haircut is what began the un-slumping process.) From there I hauled out 6 bags of clutter from my home (full disclosure: those bags now reside in my front porch. Baby steps?). I managed through a demanding-but-profitable holiday work season, which gave me a little boost. I went back and revisited posts and videos from some sources that motivated me once upon a time, like Blacksburg Belle and Mayi Carles. I listened to Blogcast FM podcasts. I redesigned the website home page (with a blog redesign in the near future), wrote a new about page, and renovated the tutorials page, too. I cracked open my dusty art history books. I tried taking a different perspective than the usual. I spent quality time with creative friends, and had long and candid business conversations with the resident carpenter.

I was reminded of the importance of doing what you say you are going to do.

And quite simply, I finally started doing. The more I did, the more I wanted to do. This concept is nothing new. It’s a well known fact that you need to exercise your creative muscle, and stay “in shape” so to speak. I knew that all along. It’s just that doing the work–or getting back to the work–is the hard part. Once I started, momentum took over.

print by The Motivated Type

The time away from blogging made room for more books, more hanging out with my baby girls, more space in my head. It was necessary, in order to stay real. Had I forced post after post, I probably would have bored both you and me to death. But now? I feel refreshed. I actually have ideas! I have something say, things to show you, and opinions to ask of you. I have tutorials planned. I have my creativity back, and it feels good.

As a curious aside, at the same time my general creativity was hiding in a muddy ditch, I was taking my jewelry in a completely new direction. That was totally exciting and fulfilling in it’s own way, but for some reason my work creativity seemed compartmentalized. I kept it separate from living creatively. That probably sounds crazy, and it just might be. Anyway, I’ll tell you more about the new work soon. Promise.

Oh, And! I’m celebrating my un-slumpification with a tutorial in the Spring edition of Rhythm of the Home, coming tomorrow.

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12 responses to “A Creative Slump (and How I Un-Slumped Myself)”

  1. Kate England

    What an energising post! I’m so glad you’re feeling creative!

    I can totally relate, sometimes it’s really hard to be all bright and breezy about daily life! Woooohooo – a potato, and would you believe it an Excel spreadsheet… 😀 That’s how I can feel sometimes… and that makes blogging about daily life kind of tricky…

    Anyways, thank you for this inspiring post!

  2. Kate England

    Oh, I meant to say that I love the fresh new look! very springlike, light and minimalist!

  3. Mousy Brown

    Maybe it’s the four year slump? Feeling much the same over here…add a degree course alongside the potato and the excel spreadsheet and some laundry on the side and you pretty much have me summed up! Glad you are feeling renewed by your break…it gives me hope! Very excited about seeing your new makes…Big hugs Em x

    Ps Did the corn fritters make it to your food list?

  4. Ella @ Lifeologia

    You go girl on the un-slumping!
    I need to join that party!!
    I feel slumped right this very minute. I have too much to do and what comes out of it – Nothing!
    I feel like I’m getting nothing done as my head is trying to move in too many directions at the same time…
    I know that decluttering would do the trick. Bangs too, but those I already have 😉 Maybe a trim though? 😉

    I’m now secretly wishing I had a front porch so maybe I would feel more comfortable doing 50% of the decluttering. It’s something that is ruining my life for sure now… ;0

    I am so happy to see you un-slumping! You are inspiring me right now.
    I loved seeing a sneak peek of your *new* creations – I can’t wait to see more 😉
    And I can’t wait to see you with bangs ~ I know you look AWESOME! ;))

    Great post Miss Amy!
    Sending big hugs! xoxo
    Ella

  5. erin

    I just love your vignette tutorial. This is a perfect together craft that I can do with Cami, my little nature lover who also loves to sew.

    I felt the same way, even with blogging this year… or sometimes I just have so many thoughts in my mind that it just wouldn’t make sense! That’s why I started recording photoshop actions. To make myself at least post once a week and also take pictures of my kids with my big camera.

    I haven’t drawn in forever either, and its funny you wrote that, because I just bought myself my OWN sketchbook the other day and thought I should draw all my random thoughts that don’t make sense instead….

    I can’t wait to hear more about your work, I’m the biggest fan!
    Hugs!!

  6. Nicola

    Oh! You took all the words right out of my mouth! (I have been in a slump, too, and didn’t even contribute to ROTH this time! Not sure how I got dropped from the email blast list, but thanks for the head’s up on the new issue!)
    Thank you for the reminder to just DO.
    You have been on my mind, my friend. Let’s see your new ‘do now please. (And so funny you mention…I have grown my hair long for the first time in several years and I just hit the “I want to chop it now” point!)
    Hugs,
    Nicola

  7. right now.

    […] – Thinking my friend Danielle’s work gets cuter all the time! – Excited to hear more about the direction Amy is taking her designs. – Knitting these bunny nuggets for the kiddos’ Easter baskets. – Unsure of the next couple […]

  8. Dana Barbieri

    Totally been there and will be there again. Good for you for getting bangs. I cut my own about 6 months ago in the spur of the moment. Do things like that really help. Glad you are un-slumped. xo

  9. kendra

    yeah. who has the time? my therapist actually suggested it might be good for me to do even though i don’t want to. like occupational therapy? anyhow. i am with you, and happy to read this, and LOVING your instagram photos. just post that! ; )

  10. Heather

    Oh I hear you on the blog slump friend, I feel that I have been in that place since Landon came along. It really did take me getting out of the slump in my actual life, to begin to find inspiration to write again. So glad that you have returned, even if just in small doses.

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