Its the middle of the week, which is the middle of a rough week at work. But its only been rough in terms of the volume of work, and that ain’t all bad. So I’m sitting here at the laptop, enjoying a glass of Rattlesnake IPA from the Big Texan Steakhouse, listening to 80s rock on the headphones, and trying to figure out what to tap on the keyboard for tonight’s post.
I run into moments like this, where the well seemingly runs dry. I’m not completely sure what type. The blog is about how I approach my Druidry on a daily basis, and here I am – drawing a blank. I could write about the American political scene (boooring!), or about the state of baseball with the new trading deadline rules that went into effect for this season (even more booooring!), or I could fall back into talking about SQL code which I find fun, but I don’t think many people would care about.
Well, since I’m in a dry period of material – let’s talk about that for a bit, shall we? I am sure everyone has gone through these particular moments, where the Awen just does not want to flow, and you feel cut off from everything you enjoy from the creative perspective. For me, its a particularly difficult part of dealing with life. You just don’t feel inspired in what you’re doing. Rituals feel stale and rote. Everything creative just feels two-dimensional and uninspired. What in the Nine Hells can you do?
Well, there’s always board games. A good game of solo monopoly can show you a level of monotony that you never dreamed could be had. Or you could play a solo game of the board game Risk. If you ever thought that the game went on forever, you ain’t tried this yet. Or you could drag out a manual on how to repair and maintain the upkeep on your vehicle’s engine. Absolutely stimulating reading. Seriously, you will sink to depths you never previously realized.
The reality that I have found, is to just wait it out. Take a walk through the neighborhood, or if you are lucky enough to be near a nicely wooded park – go there. If you area runner, do that instead. If you ride a bike, try that. Just pedal and steer. No thought (aside from being a safe rider out on the roads) is necessary. Just do. If you read, pick up a book, curl up on the couch with your pet (or pets, if you have more than one furry child at home) or if you prefer your significant other. Let the words drag you into an alternate reality in your mind (unless you are choosing to read some technical manual). Just relax. Try not to fall into binge-watching tv or binge-eating. Too much food is unhealthy, and too much sitting is even more unhealthy. Get the blood flowing, and just turn off the mind for a short bit. Once you have finished all of that, take a shower and go to bed. Get more sleep than you did the night before. When you get up, see if you can recharge that dilithium crystal chamber of your mind and get the starship back up to warp speed.
I believe that the point of all of that is to break up the routine that you have developed. I have find continually routines to be killers for me in the creative aspect. If I can change the routine, find something different to set the focus on or even turn the focus completely off, I have found that it helps resettle the brain-meats and restart the idea of creativity.
I do a lot of trouble-shooting of code in my job. Sometimes, I get so focused on one thing that I miss the little stuff. When that happens, I find I need to take a break to resettle my thought processes and climb out of the routine I have set in troubleshooting. Part of the entire process of finding errors in logical, technical structures is to see things from a different viewpoint. Being too focused in one paradigm can allow pattern-fixation to set in – where you only look for certain keywords or structures. When you are fixated on one style, you miss out on the little details that usually matter. That, I have found, is a mode destroyer in trying to find logic and syntax errors in code. In looking at how to approach my everyday Druidry, I have found this to be an excellent way to help reset the way I see connectivity in the world around me when I have hit pattern-fixation.
Maybe some of this will work for you and kick you out of the creative rut you can find yourself in. Maybe it doesn’t. Perhaps, the creative rut is something a little deeper, a little more complex – such as depressive state. I’m no expert on depression, but I do have my own bouts with this entire thought-pattern. It is a hard one to break through. And even when you manage to break through, you can find yourself right back in it shortly afterwards. For this, I can’t really provide anything beyond my own personal experiences. Sometimes, finding my way out of this paradigm is as easy as a cup of tea and some music. Sometimes, nothing I try works and I find myself breaking down to tears and an inability to make myself move. The only advice I have is to continue trying to fight your way through it.
I can; however, recommend a particular book that has helped me in the past. Cat Treadwell‘s book Facing the Darkness has a lot of helpful scenarios and methodologies to try. None are a guarantee of success, but each helps develop a personal toolkit to at least try when you find yourself trying to break through to your own personal light in the darkness.
Whatever methodology you decide to use to assist you in getting things back into normal motion; whether you are fighting a dry creative time frame, a barren period of feeling connected to the world around or trying to make your way through a personal period of darkness, remember that your friends are there. You know who you can talk to about what is happening without getting any kind of judgment. Treasure those people, for they are important – even when all they can do is listen. Listening without judgment is sometimes the very best medicine you can find. Even when all you have is a block on your creativity. No one makes it through this journey of Life alone. We all make it to together.