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I’ve been struggling with the creative flow.

I take photographs.  I don’t like them.  I take some more.  I don’t like them either.  And, then, I try again.  Nothing.

I play with photoshop.  But, I don’t like the outcome. I try again.  And, again.  No luck.

I’m not finding the sweet spot.  Not getting that wonderful ‘a-ha moment’ when you see something you really like!

Nope.  Not happening.

And, it’s kind of lousy.

Discouraging.  Unsatisfying.  Definitely, un-fun.

And, then, unexpectedly something gives.  I don’t know if it’s me, or the circumstances. But, something shifts, and I find a connection to the work.  An image I like.  Or, more than one.  And, a narrative begins to emerge.  Everything starts to flow.  And, it’s back to being an experience that is…creative and engaging, and, definitely…much more fun.

So, what’s the trick to unlocking the block?

I don’t know.

No trick.  Not that I can find.

I think it might be the creative cycle.

Ebbing and flowing.

Some combination of opportunity, mood, skill level and the learning curve.  All of it rolls up into one, and depending on the dose of each ingredient in the whole magic formula, I move between inspired by the work and not liking it at all. Between productive and not so much.

If there is a trick, it may be in not quitting.  Not giving up.  Not abandoning my art.  Nor myself, for that matter.  For the two are intertwined.  My art and me.  I can’t give up.

What does not giving up look like?  Well, here are a few shots from Saturday’s photographic adventures.  Wasn’t sure I’d like any of them.  Turns out, they’re growing on me.  Pushing forward in order to get back into the creative flow.

Tender shoot

The struggle…

Rusted beauty…

I have also learned that when all else fails, take some pictures of the dog!

On the move.  (I love this one!)

And, finally…Not again!  Not another ebb in the creative cycle!  🙂

What’s your way back?  When you’ve lost some of that joy in making your work, or you find you just don’t like what you’re producing, how do you keep going?  How do you find your way back to creating work you love?