What to Consider When Creativity Lags

As a writer for Her Campus at the University of Washington, I have had the opportunity to explore a myriad of stories and writing styles. This is a creative outlet for all of us writers and is unique in that our articles have the potential to have an immediate impact upon publication. Exposure like that is exciting to any emerging writer, and was one of the reasons I applied, but I am starting to realize that I write more now than I ever did before, even though I love what I’m doing. I realized that thinking creatively is sometimes difficult because it opens up channels to emotions that I may not be in the right headspace to feel. 


The friends I spoke to about this all referenced something similar occurring in their own creative pursuits in photography, visual art, and fashion design. Everyone cited different reasons for a lack of motivation to continue. The main culprits here seem to be perfectionism and a fear of failure, but they don’t explain why it is so intimidating to return to something you supposedly love. 


It appears that taking a creative break or procrastinating creativity is common and not something to be very worried about. Sometimes a decreased interest in things that once brought joy is a sign of depression. However, sometimes there are just parts of life where the emotional release provided by creativity does not suit the current period of life. It may not be prudent to mar periods of contentment with the nostalgia of writing or deep observation of painting. Sometimes the best art is created after periods of a struggle, but that doesn’t mean that dragging yourself back into a struggle in good times will make art better.  


Ultimately, sometimes a lack of creativity can mean that things are going well and you just need to figure out how a creative pursuit fits into the happier periods of life. In the future, I am going to prioritize writing and other creative pursuits while concurrently monitoring their effect in my happiness. Hopefully, this method can help myself and others dispel discouraging thoughts and just let our creativity flow.