Uncreative Moments Are Okay

“You must also accept that one has ‘uncreative’ moments. The more honestly one can accept that, the quicker these moments will pass. One must have the courage to call a halt, to feel empty and discouraged.” – Etty Hillesum

Exhaustion. Pure exhaustion. You know the feeling.

These last few weeks (I’m lying. I really mean months) have had me stressed and overwhelmed. For me, my source of stress is work. I’m a teacher and a tired one. It seemsalone-benches-blue-jeans-1134204 no matter how many days and hours I put into my classroom, put into my reports, put into my students — it’s never enough time. The demands never stop. The phone calls and e-mails never stop. The meetings never stop. My spinning brain never stops.

When I become overwhelmed like this, I feel drained. I’m not just talking about my energy. I mean my creative juices stop flowing. I love creating — creating blog posts, stories, videos, photos, a clean house and more. Creating makes me feel alive. It makes me feel passion and it gives me purpose.

I believe that a part of our purpose in life is to create. But when we get bogged down by stress, be it from work, family, friends, finances, etc, it puts a plug in that creative flow. Then we feel small, uninspired and insignificant. When we are not creating, when we are not expressing what is within us, we get down on ourselves. When we’re already down in the dumps, this doesn’t help us.

Perhaps, we should be a little kinder to ourselves.

“Uncreative” moments are okay. Take it as a sign to yourself that you need to slow down and make some time for yourself. When you get home from work, order a pizza for the kids, turn your phone off, tell your significant other you have something important to do and will catch up with them later. Then get changed into your comfy clothes and lock yourself in your room, your apartment, your car, the bathroom or wherever you can be alone. Take a deep breathe. Take another one. You’re alone. You’re free. Now grab that book you’ve been wanting to read and dig in. Listen to some music on Spotify. Watch a funny video on Youtube.

However, one thing that I’ve learned in life is that when we are not creating outwardly we are still creating inwardly. We are still creating ourselves. We are a work in progress. If you’re Artisttired, stressed, depressed or anxious it means your painting needs a little touch up. That’s okay. You are a poem unfinished. You are a dance still being choreographed. You are a song that will never finish. You are a movie always in production.

You are a magnificent creator but no one can paint from an empty palette.