When You Lose Hope

“Beware of false knowledge: it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

~ George Bernard Shaw (Instagram pic quote by @lulureeve )

I could just as easily begin a generic article by saying, ‘Oh don’t lose hope. Everything will be fine. Everything will work out.’ Psshhh. Humbug.

I’m not being a Negative Nancy. I just don’t like cop outs. Even the term “cop out” doesn’t bring me any means of comfort.

Truth be told, my beloved artists and creatives, we’re all going through some real things. Economically, socially, politically, mentally, emotionally, physically, and all the like–we have our personal and collective weights to carry. I myself have recently observed some things that made me want to close up shop, pack my bags, hit the road, and seek out greener pastures. In other words, I thought about making life-altering plans BIG TIME.

But I can’t take that detour. Such a survivalist mentality would keep my body alive, but it would kill my soul, the beating heart of the creator inside of me. As I thought on all the negative, self-limiting emotions I have been dealing with I soon realized that I was living out of a fear-driven state of consciousness. Fear is enough to deal with by itself and so the last thing I would have wanted–and I still don’t want–to hear is yet another cop out phrase like ‘fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real’. Give me a break! We get scared, people, and that’s it. Period.

Shoot, I began to knock myself for feeling fearful of the future in lieu of all the life-altering events that have been going on. You know what else? It really paralyzed me. I highly doubt that I am the only one who has suffered from this kind of paralysis; and, on that note, I have some thoughts about why my creative brothers and sisters have been or are currently in a creative rut also:

Sickness

This was not something I wanted to highlight from my experience in Costa Rica (September – November 2012), but I almost died out there. It has taken me about a full year to heal and begin regaining my physical equilibrium. In the meantime, I didn’t feel like “myself.” I put projects on the back burner while I recuperated in a constant fetal position.

Criticism

Constructive criticism and criticism are not to be confused. I have been criticized (a.k.a. nagged) for things I could not change: the way I breathed, my mannerisms, my speech. My basic formula for differentiating criticism from constructive criticism is this: 1) Upon receiving the feedback, take note of how you feel. 2) Are those emotions debilitating or motivating? 3) Can you take the feedback and transmute it for the betterment of the criticized work? 4) If you can, then proceed. If you cannot, and if the feedback rides the fence of a personal judgement or attack, well, it’s time for someone to go fly a kite.

Obligations 

I bet a million dollars that each and every one of you would drop everything and spend every possible moment doing what you love the most. For me, that’s writing, creating, blogging, and social media networking (but of course there are subsets of that list). Life is life, though, and it’s real. It comes with many responsibilities that can’t be shirked. Passion, for good reasons, gets sacrificed for practicality.

Limited Resources

Then again, sometimes you just don’t have what you need. It’s a camera, a phone, the capital, the craft supplies, the manpower, the what-have-you that you need to make it work.

Fear

Hello again, Fear. This is the worst of the worst because it can make all of the aforementioned creative blocks an even bigger block. Fearing sickness, criticism, obligations, limited resources, or even just fear itself…where does it end?

If there is one cop out I do like, it’s that ‘life is too damn short,’ you guys. Even if a massive solar storm hit earth right after I myself hit the ‘Publish’ button on my blog dashboard…well, I can’t lie and say that I will not feel any negative emotions, but at the very least I will have relished in the fact that I spent a portion of my life doing the work that made my soul alive…with electricity or not.

It’s now or never, folks. Today and every day that you awake is a new chance to create, to be your authentic artist self, to live your purpose, to make money doing what you love and at the very least die trying with joy, knowing that you tried your best.

That, my creative loved ones, is what you can do when you lose your hope and inspiration.

Here’s to hoping for your creative happiness and success,

Signature

P.S. What do you do when you’re in a creative rut? Better yet, how do you avoid it? Tell me in the comments or tweet it – I’d love to know.

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