Are you in a bit of a creative slump?
Can you even remember what your mojo feels like? Do you have zero motivation and struggle to get your camera out? Don't worry. Everyone at some stage or another goes through a creative slump. I have read lots about this topic online recently, almost all of it by professionals in the photographic world (Professional photographers, bloggers, YouTubers and the like). Now while what they say is interesting, their solutions do not fit those of us who use photography as a side business or a hobby.
One of the biggest complaints for losing motivation is a lack of time. Then as more time passes, what was a mild annoyance becomes an obsession, almost a state of panic. Which in turn causes us to lose more time and so forth. What most of these photographers advocate is changing your priorities, reorganising your life by setting yourself new goals. Taking what little time we have in our busy schedules to take photographs. And by doing this, you will rekindle your passion and find your mojo once again. Easier said than done, especially when your live is governed by schedules.
Breaking the creative slump
As someone who works full-time, lives alone and is a part-time single parent, my time is pretty full with professional and domestic chores. In addition, where I live doesn't provide me with the type of subject matter that I enjoy photographing. This means I have to travel at least 20-30 minutes to change location. So, when someone says to take that spare half an hour or hour to just get out there with your camera and walk around your neighbourhood, that doesn't work for me. All these are not complaints, they are facts. Therefore, I accept that sacrifices have to be made, that you and I need to take some steps to get out of the rut.
Banish your inner ostrich and accept that the situation is not your fault. Getting angry with yourself only stresses you out more and drains you of energy.
Don't suffer alone:
Speak to your loved ones and friends. Find other photographers who are going through the same situation, or who have gone through it. Facebook groups, blogs, even local photography clubs are full of people like you. Reach out to them and they will be supportive and helpful.
Take your time:
Things aren't going to change overnight. This is a bit like going on a diet. You stick to it for a couple of weeks, lose a few pounds, and then you give up and put the weight back on again. Make little changes like taking your camera with you everywhere you go, the supermarket, the gym, to work. You might not take any photographs but at least you have it with you. Give yourself a few minutes extra to go from one place to the next so you don't have to rush, and take a photo or two. Ease into the process so it doesn't become a radical change.
This is one of the things I'm guilty of: trawling the Internet in search of inspiration. All those people you follow on social media, all those YouTuber tutorials you watch are bad news. Before you know it, you are living vicariously through them. At first, you they make you feel good, but sooner or later you'll start to compare yourself to them and you'll feel inadequate. This lack of self-esteem will only deepen your creative slump. Cut the amount of time you spend online in half and go outside with your camera. You are as good as those people you follow, believe it and prove it to yourself.
There is no stigma attached to losing your mojo. It will come back but you need to be pro-active. You don't, and you shouldn't, have to make sweeping changes to your life, just little tweaks here and there. Let me know in the comments how you overcame your creative slump, it will help those out there who are going through it now.
All images by Pexels on Pixabay.com