It feels like everywhere I look I see artists who are crushing it: always inspired, always creating, always exploring. No matter what medium they choose (photography, music, design, fashion, culinary arts, etc.), and then I look at my life. I’m a couch-potato in the making, who loves movies and has a hard enough time working up the motivation to create let alone the emotional energy to actually create. I love the feeling of performing a good show, or making a dish from scratch, or making some doodles that aren’t half bad. But MAN, it feels like pulling teeth! It’s slowing and painful and messy and frustrating. The constant tug of the socials to always be doing something that makes you interesting. Let me tell you, that’s exhausting.
I’m in the weirdest season of my life that I’ve ever been in. I’m done school, I teach piano roughly 8 hours a week, I’m a stay at home wife essentially because my husband can provide for us both (thank you, God). I have church on Sundays and Young Adults on Mondays. Other than that I have no accountability in regards to any of my creative outlets. So what’s my default? Netflix. TV. Dinner Prep. And I end up feeling miserable from all the screen time and artistic procrastination.
When I back myself in a corner of no excuses, I end up being a joy-sucker to those around me. I notice an increase in my already very critical eyes and ears, and I give in way too easily to judgment and cynicism. I see these things now. And I apologies to those who has been under my silent and unsolicited critiques. (I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way sometimes. Most of us, we want to be encouraging and excited by others successes. Yet our own pitied vision of our gifts and dreams causes us to be inadvertent bullies, putting people down in our minds to try and make ourselves feel better. Lord, have mercy on us.)
I often say in these times that it’s a creative dry season, but if I’m not looking for water then I’m lazily saying that I’m content with my drought. I think that’s what I’m trying to boil down here. Sometimes there are genuine dry seasons where creativity is hard to conjure and inspiration is hard to find. But “hard to find” doesn’t mean impossible. So artists, in the dry seasons, as exhausting as it may be, keep looking. Keep trudging forward, looking for the oasis or the downpour, praying for the floodgates. Don’t sit and grumble in the sand as I so often do. When we see people who have found water, let us rejoice alongside them. When we see people wailing in their desert, offer to walk together. Send them encouragement and share with them something that’s inspired you to give them a taste of what they could accomplish. Am I being dramatic? Probably. But that’s how this feels sometimes. If this is you, know you’re not alone. I’m there too. I am so thankful for my family and my friends who get it, and who love me despite my sometimes crusty exterior. Find people you can trust to gently nudge you, to hold your hand or who will even carry you when the desert seems to have no end. Remember your accomplishments. Remember the process. Fight the laziness. Search for water.