Over the past few months, I've tried to pen this post more than once. After having conversations with other musicians and creatives alike, I've realised that there is a lot more to consider when trying to drag yourself out of a creative rut. I hope that by offering some personal insights, it might help someone reinvigorate their creative interests.
Creative ruts are a constant source of frustration for all musicians and part of the main reason we struggle to stay motivated consistently.
Perhaps now more than ever, the repercussions of the pandemic have taken their toll on creatives. For some, the inability to continue performance and teaching work has meant the destruction of their livelihood. For others, whether in the form of playing with friends or seeing live music; they've ceased to have an outlet for their creativity. Whether you happen to be a professional musician or not, the state of the world has had a profound effect on all creatives' attitudes towards their craft.
On a personal level, 2020 challenged all aspects of my musical identity. I often went through long spells of not practicing my instrument or listening to music for pleasure. I also experienced times where I was incredibly productive and found myself digging into concepts or compositions for hours a day. But ultimately, there was no consistency or balance in my approach as I quickly felt burnt out and realised that I was back at square one. I spoke to other musical friends and like-minded creatives who expressed similar sentiments about staying motivated and interested. It all culminated in an idea that I've been sitting on for a while now. I won't go as far as to say that it's the 'elixir' to reinvigorating your creativity but, it is practical and will hopefully put you on the right path.
It might be best to start by painting a metaphor.
Everyone has heard the teambuilding hypothetical, "You're on a desert island. What 3 things would you take to do?". While used as an icebreaker and not meant to be taken to the nth degree, it is interesting to think about the imaginary scenario that it creates. In fact, the craziest aspect of the desert island dilemma is not the experience of being on a desert island in the first place. The most absurd part is the idea that the desert islan