Ryan’s Field Notes #33 – The Art of Being Unstuck

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Ryan’s Field Notes #33 – The Art of Being Unstuck
I hope you are doing well.  We are starting to see promises of spring here.

Today’s edition is a bit wordy, but one that I had to write.
Hopefully it can help others, if you know someone who it may resonate with I would appreciate you sharing the newsletter link with them.
 
It’s a day like any other day, the sun has started it’s journey across the the sky.  The birds are beginning their conversations and you roll out of bed.
The mind begins to put the pieces of the day together groggily, figuring out which orders of business need done first for the day…coffee, yep, that’s first.

As the habits of the morning run their course, coffee is consumed, breakfast has founds it’s place within, you begin to consider the rest of the day.
It happens to be one of those days that you sit and ponder a little longer than normal, the blah is setting in. 
Maybe the thoughts jump from one thing to the next and a bit of despair creeps in.
Maybe inspiration is a distant friend that hasn’t visited you for awhile.
You feel stuck. 
You feel maybe even a bit worthless. 
You don’t really examine the thoughts deeply, they linger at the edges of the mind but they are there. 
You are feeling the blah, stuck, uninspired, not really sure what next to do and even if you did, not knowing if it is worth the effort.
You are not alone, even though it may feel like it. 
Most of us I think face these times in life, some of us have a hard time ever finding our way out of it.

I considered this as this week a friend of mine shared a video that really hit home with me. 
It resonated with me because I was struggling with many of the same thoughts that was addressed in the video. 
The video had over 135,000 views, 7,800 likes. (It resonated with way more people than just me and you)
The topic of the video, Artists don’t have to believe in themselves, just do the work.

I find that when I begin to not have confidence in myself, when I stop believing in myself I begin to get stuck. I falter, I quit putting in the effort.
Which then begins a spiral of self-loathing. 
I then feel bad that I didn’t accomplish anything, didn’t create anything. 
Which then reduces my confidence and downward the spiral continues.

Considering the topic of the video, just do the work anyway, I thought back to some times when that is what I did.
Days where the pain of doing nothing overwhelmed the fear of being a failure if I did. 
Maybe being a photographer it is a little easier for me to go ahead and get out there and create something (anything) to start the momentum. 
I don’t know though, resistance is resistance. 
Writing an article today, if I am to be honest with you, almost didn’t happen due to the above feelings. 
Today the struggle was real.
I thought back to one February day a couple of years ago, the blah was heavy on me. 
Grabbing my camera I forced myself to just go for a drive.
It wasn’t any spectacular day, I had zero hopes of finding anything worth photographing. 
Driving down country roads my mind jumped from problem to problem.
Looking around I enjoyed being out but nothing inspired me.
Realizing I needed to focus, that I was not going to allow myself to go home with out taking a picture I took a couple of snapshots.
Then an interesting thing happened, I started seeing pictures. 
I had probably drove by multiple great images but I didn’t drive by the above image. 
It grabbed me.  It said today you get to create an image.
I was able to go home excited to upload the image and finish the edit into what I envisioned as I snapped the shutter.
Another day one January (yeah winters are particularly rough for the blah’s with me), I grabbed my camera and made myself go down to the local lake.
I even set a box around my creativity that day, I told myself I had to concentrate on getting exceptional images of geese.
To me geese are a very un-inspiring  subject as they seem so ordinary. 
They are everywhere it seems and really not one of my favorite wildlife animals. 
I walked away that day with the above and below images, only because I went ahead and did the work.

These images (along with the other 100+ I took that day) didn’t exist before and wouldn’t have existed without taking the first step of picking up the camera and saying I don’t care, I’m going to create something, anything.
As my mind pondered those days and the challenges I face with it the importance of pushing yourself even when you don’t feel like really set in for me.
I considered days when I am hired by a client to tell their story, we schedule a date and a time. 
We have a framework of what we need to accomplish, I can’t just call up that morning and say “you know, I’m just not feeling it today.  Can we reschedule?”
No, we do the work. 
I put in the time, the creativity begins to flow more and more. 
Ideas keep piling up, but only after I start taking those steps forward and push hard against that brick wall of resistance.
 
Do you have a project we can help with? Give me a call.
Even if at the end of the day you are not happy with what you created, you should be exceptionally proud that you tried.
We will have learned something through the efforts, we will have moved the ball farther or at least weakened the wall of resistance.
Does it mean that it is something that you have to show the world, no. 
Your creativity can be for yourself alone. 
I have drawings that I did years ago that will probably never see the light of day but I had to do them just to know if I could. 
Someday, maybe, I will take up drawing again.  Now I know where my weaknesses lie in the craft, but it’s not a craft that I currently pursue.
Photography is, and writing is one I want to get better at. 
I have to keep pushing these, stepping up against the wall of resistance and pushing against it.
Some days I am able to knock a brick out of that wall.  You can too.

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