What happens when you're stuck

It happens to most if not all artists at some point in our lives. We create, expressing ourselves with our preferred medium of art, sharing our work with the world. Whether it's a small group of friends and family, or with the hundreds, or thousands of social media fans, or no one at all, we're busy churning content out week after week, trying to keep up with all the ideas in our mind. Then the ideas stop coming. Or the the work we're producing isn't all that great. We start to second guess ourselves. Did we use up all of our creativity? Were we ever really that good? Or was it luck and now it's run out?

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I've been struggling with being stuck. At first it didn't bother me. After all, losing my friend so suddenly and unexpectedly then bringing her dog home to live with us understandably set my life into a tailspin. Shortly after, my husband's uncle and partner passed away just 2 months apart of each other. Next, we said goodbye to our foster dog, Alex, after he was diagnosed with a tumor behind his heart. I've cried with pet sitting clients who've lost their pets or learned of a poor diagnosis their fur kids are now facing. That's a lot of tears to shed in just a few short months. And I know it's had a huge impact on me. 

Something within me has shifted. I don't see things, events and people the same way. Stuff that used to bother me, no longer does. When I close my eyes before falling asleep, I say a prayer of gratitude. Not for the mundane things in life - like the chocolate donut I had for breakfast. But for things like the body my spirit inhabits so I can live this life here on earth. For the gift I have to write and photograph the world as I see it. I've never considered myself a religious person, but I do believe in a higher being and that I am a spiritual being. I've felt more connected to myself and others including this higher being these past few months than I have at any other time in my life. 

I don't know where this road will lead me. I haven't felt like picking up my camera much lately, but when I do, my work is better than it was before. Writing was something I used to struggle with, but these days, words come more easily to me. I've studied a lot this year, taking a photography workshop, an online photoshop class and preparing to take my written certified professional photography exam (which I passed). It's been a lot to absorb and all of it has made me a better artist as well. 

Maybe you've heard the phrase two steps forward and one step back? I kind of feel like this is what I'm going through and the reason for being blocked. Often there is much growth following times of mis-steps and failures as though we can't figure out how to work our legs when they suddenly grew 2 inches in just a few days. I can't force myself to feel and be creative, so I'll just go along on this ride. Somehow, I think there's going to be a big reward at the end of the road - whenever and where ever that is. So for now, that means less shooting and less work to share. But look for big things to come! 

yellow lab playing in water fountain