Creativity is a lot like a burning candle. The flame is the passion and the wax is motivation. As time passes, the flame and the wax both become smaller. When the wick of the candle and all the wax is melted, the flame disappears. There won’t be anymore candlelight until the next candle is lit.
My wax has melted all the way down to the bottom of the glass cup that housed the candle and the wick is completely gone, with only the metal plate that held it in place left to see.
I have been creatively burnt out.
How I Became Creatively Burnt Out
Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty common for me to become burnt out. I’m sure a lot of other creative people out there also experience a burnt out. It’s kind of like you’re just lying on your bed, thinking of getting up and moving, but just as fast as the thought comes, it leaves. Like, nah, you’re just gonna stay lying there and not think about anything. It doesn’t matter how much you want to move, you’re just not going to because of the lack of power your body has TO move.
I actually haven’t really been too creative as of late. I kind of put a pause on most of the activities that required it because of a previous burn out. However, that feeling changed when I started reading a whole bunch of manga. I became inspired and for the first time in a while, I actually sat down and drew things. Quite a lot of things, actually. It felt liberating!
Shortly after drawing once again, I reopened my art commissions (insanely hoping I would get some awesome money money honey for a certain trip). I received quite a good amount, which is great! I aim to get them all done within a month, but I’m expecting if I work on them every few days or so, I’ll be able to get them done within two.
During receiving my art commissions, I decided I HAD to continue with my website. Through some careful consideration (and some freaking out), I took my whole “making-my-blog-layout” off the stove for another time, and just went with a pre-made one that I slightly tweaked. Totally worth it, since it sparked myself to start working on the rest of my website!
I started working on my website, non-stop, like a snowball rolling down a hill. I finished the “Social Network” page of mine. I created the full layouts for my Creative Works page, my Site Map page, and my Site page.
Rolling snowballs have to stop at some point and it just so happened to be shortly after finishing “Social Network” that my candle finished burning. Okay, sure, there’s still some wax laying around, but I can’t burn the candle again (for those of you who don’t get it: I still have some ideas I want to do, but I don’t feel as motivated as before).
Working on my website, as well as commissions, plus thinking about the few artworks I have that I want to do, as well as some other things, just has left me burnt. Working on my website in particular has burnt me out because I kept going and going!
I wouldn’t stop doing the snowballing work though, as I personally just LOVE that flow and I am at my happiest.
Getting a New Creative Candle
I’m not talking about an actual candle. I’m talking about getting my motivation back!
I could do a few different things to help me retrieve my motivation. All of them follow the same line of thinking though: relaxing!
I need to do something relaxing. And I can’t just do it for a day. Or a night. For myself, it has to be a minimum of 4 days, for the most part.
So what are my favourite choices to relax?
1.) Playing a Video Game – I LOVE playing video games to relax…as long as the video game is good and doesn’t make me want to chuck the controller. The Assassin’s Creed series is a particular favourite of mine. I haven’t found a series more liberating than that one so far.
2.) Reading – I don’t care if it’s a novel or a graphic novel, reading helps me relax. Particularly when it’s fiction. I get to be taken away.
3.) Dancing – I get a bit relaxed with dancing, especially when I feel a bunch of anxiety or boredom within me. My choice is obviously the silly Japanese dance of parapara, but sometimes I like to freestyle terribly.
With any of these (or a combination of), I generally start to feel my motivation come back. Once that motivation comes back, I do possibly the most important thing to do ever when you have to get back to something: I force myself to do it.
Sometimes I force myself to do whatever task I have to do to simply get STARTED. It is, often times, what makes me snowball and it is AWESOME.
Questions for You
So, Creative People, how do you handle a burn out? How about you non-creative people (although, everyone is creative in their own way)?
How do all of you relax?
I wanna know!