I’ve had trouble finding motivation or inspiration to create much of anything this past week or so. And if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I’ve been fairly quiet there as well. I’ve fallen into a nihilistic mood that is often hard for me to shake. Being halfway through February, I am only a handful of weeks away from my busiest time of year, when my work schedule encroaches on my free time, and it becomes increasingly difficult to make progress on any of my personal projects. This is a very disheartening time for me, and I question the worth of working on any major projects as I know I’ll end up interrupted during critical stages by a variety of obligations.
Although I don’t consider myself much of a Christian anymore (god and I have issues), I have found that observing the upcoming season of Lent helps me to combat my procrastinating, nihilistic tendencies during this time of year. While most people who observe the season give up something during this time period, usually a favorite food or other treat, I have instead decided to take up the challenge of working on something creative everyday. Often it will be something small, like doing a quick sketch or writing/editing a handful of pages in a story, but the goal is to put aside my doubts and frustrations and make time for my creative pursuits.
The Lenten season typically carries over into Camp NaNoWriMo when they hold an April session, and so my motivation to make time for creative endeavors will continue sometimes (if my focus was writing rather than sketching or photography) with participation in Camp NaNo.
After two months of making it a daily habit to do something creative, you would think that maintaining such practices would carry through for the rest of the year. However, I do tend to drop daily pursuits as my work schedule in May becomes more hectic, and I suffer a kind of burnout based in not having enough free time to take care of myself. It gets disheartening, especially when I find myself facing another spring season of the same frustrations with no significant movements to escaping this cycle. Each year I set goals to try and overcoming these issues, both work-related and mental, but the three month drag of spring stalls out my resolve.