Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Courtesy of Mati Rose

I was thinking about what happens when you fall into a rut. Sometimes especially if you do non-creative things (for example, I write about very boring stuff sometimes) it can cause you to get a little non-motivated or unhappy with your career. Even the "dream career" you thought you had. Even the one you left that cushy desk job for. The one that you could never tell anyone else isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But hey, that's why this blog exists. All those feelings are okay and it's great to explore them.

And it's possible that you don't have to give up on your creative career just because you fall into a rut. Be aware of falling into a rut or experiencing burnout. I've had both happen and there is a huge difference. A rut is where you aren't really motivated to do anything because everything feels monotonous. Burnout is when you're fried even from doing what you love becuase it's all you've been doing.

Having been through burnout, I'd definitely say the "rut" thing is more of where i am now. Copywriting. Day in, day out. While I like it, the work can get a little bland. Being at home can feel monotonous. It's sooo comfortable sometimes that it's boring, even though I like being at home.

My rut comes from not doing what I really enjoy--which is the book and magazine writing. That stuff was always there when I felt stuck in boring copywriting work. I've got to revive that goodness.

So I want to get out of my rut, and I think the best way to do that is to shift.

Simply change the pace a little.

So I'm going to try to do some other creative things. Beading. Painting. Taking photos. Those are all different things I don't do everyday. Hopefully those things will get me going into working on a concept for Book #3 or finally getting a real magazine article proposal together.

I'll be keeping you posted on my progress.

How do you get out of a rut or break free from burnout?

link | posted by Kristen at 1:54 PM |

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Anonymous indigene commented at 3:37 PM~  

When I'm in a rut, I generally go to the children's section in any bookstore and browse. I look at the new books that have come out, but I also listen to the children running around with their parents, or crying, whining or just doing what children do. It amuses me a lot and then I generally get a snack and go for a little walk. I also go to other artists websites, via google. I might type in Expressionists, etc., and then I visit those sites. When I'm really down and out I'll get a movie about an artist or read an artist's biography. I've often found that traveling kills the heavy burnout or bad creative slumps and the benefits generally stay with me for a year or so.

Thanks for letting me share.


Blogger Swirly commented at 10:27 AM~  

I love seeing Mati's work! I am wearing her necklace right now.

To pull myself out of a rut, I try to shift my brain into experimentation mode. That is what I am feeling right now actually. Not that I am in a rut at this exact moment, but my process for the past few years has been very goal oriented. Work for specific shows, for my book, etc. This is great, but I am feeling an incredible pull to try new experiments and not create for any specific reason other than to try new things.

Anonymous mercurial scribe commented at 2:57 PM~  

To pull out of a rut I need a change in pace and scenery. I'll call up a friend who does something interesting that I've never participated in - belly dancing, poetry slams, dressing up as a pirate to bar hop - and ask them if I can join in the fun. Usually I divulge the fact that I'm in need of shaking things up to get out of a rut creatively and they become more than happy to oblige. Works every time for me!

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