Has anyone ever struggled with postpartum depression but creatively? Not a depression that comes after childbirth but a depression that comes from posting, showcasing, or finishing something you’ve worked on for a while. A depression that comes after birthing something so to speak. Not knowing what’s next. Not knowing if you’ll be able to top what you just created.
Every time I find myself at the crux, pentacle, top of my creative career. I release something I’ve been working on for months, something I’m extremely proud of and pushed myself to create. As soon as I hit share or post, it all comes crashing down. Days, weeks, and even months go by of opening, deleting, and exiting out of programs. I find myself in a cycle of being so happy with what I created in the past that it inhibits me from creating in the future.
I once did a poll on social media to see if anyone else felt the feelings I once had and to my surprise an overwhelming amount of people have. So what do we do? How do we overcome this?
1. Realize that it’s part of the process.
The creative journey is called just that, a journey. And you will have moments of highs and moment of lows but it’s okay. Stefan Kunz posted something really accurate to what I go through and what I’m sure others do as well.
2. Dive deep into community.
Let people in. Don’t do this alone. There have been many times where I’ve metaphorically felt stuck in quick sand and have tried to claw my way out but it wasn’t until I let someone know that I was struggling that I found my way out. Even with projects that I’ve sat on or haven’t felt good about, there are often times where I ask people for help and they make it so much better than I ever could or they bring something to the table that I didn’t even think about. That’s the power of people coming together.
3. Create anyway!
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. I believe creativity to be a muscle. This means you have to work it for it to grow stronger. Regardless of if the world ever sees it, I think it’s vital to just make something daily if you can. Create even if you delete it right after, even if you never share it. This will help you get out of ruts, keep your skills sharp, and help ideas flourish more quickly.
Keep pushing creatives. Your work is valued and you’re not alone. “What you need to do is work. That’s the start of breakthrough.” -Salomon Ligthelm