Let’s be honest. Everyone feels “stuck” at some point. I’ve experienced it a gazillion times—when I struggle to find writing inspiration—and I’m betting you have too, right?
It doesn’t seem to matter who we are, or where we live, how much money or how many toys we possess—even what we do for work or pleasure—no one’s exempt from feeling drained, uninspired, or in a rut sometimes.
The only thing we know for sure is this: yesterday everything was running smoothly and today… well… nothing seems to be working at all.
Many times, we have a hand in sabotaging our own creative streak. We’re actually good at stalling our success, finding it’s easier to fall into the muck of “I can’t do this,” or “I can’t do this anymore,” than it is to figure out ways to recharge our battery and unleash our imagination once more.
The good news is this: it’s normal. It happens to the best of us. We just need to acknowledge it and move on.
There are many methods to help us get back on track. Let’s talk about a few that’ll help get our mojo up and running.
“Realize you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. You don’t have to be who everyone else is being.” — Unknown
It’s a wise person who embraces, early on, the truth of their own journey. It’s a personal road we travel.
No two writers are exactly the same. No two photographers or architects, painters or teachers, inventors or business owners, athletes or actors were made to follow a cookie-cutter path in life.
You and I aren’t supposed to either—it’s what makes us so unique and interesting.
At the end of the day, we need to stop comparing our success to everyone else’s. It’s great to have mentors—people we can look up to and hope to emulate. But, the path we choose belongs to us. It’s our life. We need to own it. Focusing on the freelance artists we want to be proves it’s not a race against anybody else, but rather who we were yesterday.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. ”– Anne Lamott
How busy are you right now? My desk calendar is marked with looming deadlines, conference calls, photo shoots, travel plans, magazines I want to query, people I need to interview—and that’s before I even think about cleaning my apartment, walking the dogs, grocery shopping, visiting friends, finally getting to that heap of laundry, and maybe catching up on sleep.
You get it, right? Our to-do lists can go on and on.
What do you suppose would happen if we turned off the computer, phone, and TV for just a little while? What if there was no social media on our radar for, say, a day or two?
I know, I know. Sweaty palms and heart palpitations.
But, what if we chose to spend time out in the fresh air instead—enjoying a day with family? What if we chitchatted over a cup of coffee with someone we haven’t seen for awhile, read a book, wrote a long, newsy letter and dropped it off at the post office instead of in an email?
Studies show that becoming unplugged for any length of time works wonders for our mental health—and our mood. It helps us concentrate on relationships that sometime fall by the wayside.
And it can be what centers us again, making us more productive when we make our way back to the worktable. Unplugging reignites our spark of creativity, which, in turn, gets us “unstuck.”
Seek out like-minded people
Being a freelance travel writer, photographer or blogger can be darn lonely sometimes. When we spend our entire workday at the desk, or out in the field, before long it can become all work and no play.
Folks who crave the life of a freelancer are a unique breed. We want to be independent—free from the 9-5 day-in-day-out humdrum. We want to be our own boss.
The downside to that? We have to be very task-oriented. We need to count on ourselves to get the job done… and get it done right. Then we need to rinse and repeat. Talk about the potential for exhaustion and burn-out!
Interaction is exactly what we need at times, especially with colleagues who understand what makes us tick and are willing to suggest ways we can up our game.
Networking is a tool that truly inspires us. Meeting people who share the same passion can be beneficial, planting seeds of creativity and moments of clarity.
All of a sudden, we’re not lonely anymore. Instead, we’re surrounding ourselves with a plethora of great ideas and vision.
Practicing the art of being grateful is one of the most important tools a freelancer has, but is probably one of the least used.
Gratitude can ease negative emotions, help us sleep better, and improve our self-esteem. And, when we feel good about ourselves and the direction we’re heading, we can be happy for others and the direction they’re heading.
Our creative juices start to soar again—allowing us to revel in another great story or another stunning photograph we want to share with the world.
Gratitude for what we have motivates us to keep moving on a positive course in life. We want more “good stuff”—and gratitude attracts it. We treasure our success, as we should. We’re also ready to reinvent things that haven’t worked in our freelance lives.
Being in a state of gratefulness helps us pay attention to our physical health, mental health, and emotional well-being. All of a sudden, gratitude moves our feet away from the muck and mire of being stuck.
Isn’t it grand?