As someone who’s spent the majority of the last five years thinking and breathing photography, it’s heartbreaking to admit that I’ve been in a creative slump for months now. And now that I think about it, it’s not really a “creative slump” at all; I still have ideas for projects, but I have absolutely no desire to bring them to life. The process of creating art doesn’t give me a sense of fulfillment or satisfaction. Instead, I come away from a shoot feeling tired, cranky, and frustrated with the results.
I’ve spent so much time investing myself in this hobby, making it my life and my passion, only to have it turn into a chore. I feel like I got dumped by my camera, or maybe I did the dumping. Either way, the “break-up” rocked me. I didn’t realize how much my sense of self-worth depended on my art, and so I’ve spent the last six months wandering aimlessly and feeling like a failure, sinking lower and lower. Photography was the one thing I thought I could really make a significant impact on the world with, but it turns out I’m just a Web geek with a hobby.
Speaking of which, the sudden change in the work situation doesn’t help. If I thought I lacked energy to create art before, eight hours at a computer doing mind-numbing batch Web sites every… single… day… really drives the point home. I’m pooped. All I want at the end of the day are mindless things: Warcraft, television, fluffy books, exercise, good food, and sleep.
I think I’m finally close to getting over it, though. It’s hard to accept the idea that I don’t have to be the prolific visionary, the starving artist… but maybe it’s okay to just have a hobby and not a passion. And maybe, sometimes, it’s okay to do nothing at all.