We all hit creative ruts. For me my main creative outlets are writing and videography. These are the core building blocks of what I use to create content.
Usually when I write I enter a strange state of calm. I feel as though I can write forever and that what I'm writing is important and useful.
My creative rut hit a day ago when suddenly I was hit by the feeling of impatience when I was writing. I wanted it to be over. I felt like I didn't really care about what I was writing. I felt like it was un-important. The same thing has been happening with my videography for a while.
I have a few videographers and cinematographers that I follow closely. I love their style and I really try to exemplify it whenever I can. But when it actually comes to taking a shot or editing footage that I've taken I'm always struck by how unlike the shot that I imagined in my mind is.
I feel as though I can see the shot I want to take perfectly. Always post production of course and fantastically edited etc. But that ideal never lines up with my actual skills in that area.
And this can be crushing.
I was talking to a fellow creative and he was talking about he also suffers from this issue of imagined content vs not quite right actual content and realised that I wasn't alone in my various ruts and writers blocks.
The videography rut is something that has been happening for a longer more sustained amount of time than the off and on mood swings of my writing ruts, so here are some ways that I deal with it:
- I remind myself that it's all a process.
It's something that you'll read literally everywhere. 'It's a journey.' I'm not the first to say it. But this is something I feel like I need to constantly come back to. My videography skills are not at the beginning of their journey anymore. I can hold a camera, turn it off and on and every now and then I'll capture a shot that really does line up with what I can see in my head. But my skills are also not at the end of their journey. They might never be. I have lots of room for improvement and that's okay.
The great thing about thinking of it like a journey is that you really don't know where in the middle you are. You could be a couple more crappy shots away from figuring out something that will really help you.
- I gently ask myself: If you could do one thing to improve, what would it be? Then if I can, I go do that thing.
I never go over the top. But sometimes there's just that one little thing you can do that would really help. Such as, speaking from personal experience here, watching the freggin user guide video that goes with your camera.
- Lastly, I make sure I'm not obsessing too much with my ideals and idols.
It's great to use other great artists and other beautiful content examples as something you are trying to obtain but it is also good to remember that you're not that person. Your content will never exactly line up with theirs. Nor should it, otherwise if there were two people creating exactly the same content, not only would you decrease the value of theirs but also your own. You want to copy and steal as much as you can from them. But only so you can take it and turn it into something of your own.
All art is plagiarism. Originality is overrated. What really matters is the authenticity of the art.
So don't lose hope if you are in any kind of creative rut. Keep looking for that next tiny little easy thing you can do to get just a little better. And just keep trying.
Thanks for reading...!