Unwinding Stuck

I am trying to work my way out of a creative block and depression.  I am so stuck.
I don’t remember the last time I was stuck like this… weeks on end.  I was looking for images for something I am writing and went back through a few journals and cannot believe the difference between pre-2020 and post-2020.  I’d like to blame it on Covid but there is more.

Looking deeply, using all my words, I became overly cautious, lazy, critical, worried… I stopped sketching.  Part of this was exhaustion from the stress in our business due to Covid issues*, but I am also depressed.  I sleep like I did when I was a teen, and I feel hopeless.

Always risky to share journal entries, but this is important.  I went back to some earlier journals and Natalie Goldberg’s books on writing… and applied it to art.
Creativity is creativity, after all.

I identified — and that was easy — that the iffiness of income is stressful.  We have enough work in the business but clients are paying sluggishly, and that is difficult.  Also, the stress in the business due to Covid is handling procedures, and also difficulty in finding materials.  So many people have gone out of business, or if not, are on limited schedules so that we have to time calling them for orders.  The former also adds to our stress — when a great business goes away then you can’t help but look at what could happen in your own.  I think if we were younger it would have less impact but the hours added to our days just to try to stay on schedule is considerable and the best clients understand and then there are the others that simply add to our stress as our schedules have radically changed.

Setting all this aside, I moved to my personal issues with creativity,
writing through then, asking questions of myself then answering.
Writing it all down was the best thing I could do.

And through it all, I had to keep remembering to breathe, breath deeply, breathe often.  Are you aware when you hold your breath to steel against whatever is coming?
Breath-work is the way out of that anxiety-producing activity.

“I am too old now…” 
Wow that one runs through my head constantly!
Maybe some is this is for good reason — I am exhausted and feel old and worn out!
In the end I don’t think this has anything to do with how other’s perceive me but it is about being tired and lack of time… When you are young taking a year out is not as big a deal as when you are in your sixties…

Still, if it is a perceived lack of time then why am I not using all my spare minutes?

Depression.  Again, I asked, “Why?” and listened, writing.

“I’ll never sell anything.”   Crap.
That is about the massive rejection I’ve had, and so that is a hard one to fight.  I actually have been turned down constantly for anything art related.  Not so architecture or writing.
I have a goal of moving to augment our living with my artwork, but it seems futile.
Okay, I will work on this little ditty that runs through my head.

I took a break and sketched a bit and will share that later.  Then…

This came up as I was sketching:  “Am I an artist or am I a teacher?”

Yes I can be both but where is my interest?
Teaching, it has always been teaching, with art/writing coming a close second.
I am never tired when teaching, and this is probably why I keep a blog.

I also can paint or write for hours without tiring, and am eager to return to it.

This is all a good start and btw, writing this down instead of having it swirl in my head is a step toward climbing out of this hole in which I am sinking!

*Note: we do not have Covid…
One of my great pleasures is writing with Chesapeake Pen Company’s pens.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, commentary, creativity, journal, meditation, painting, pen & ink, process, ritual, sketchbook, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Unwinding Stuck

  1. Lainey says:

    I can relate to this. Hope you can get out of the hole. It’s tough, sending lots of good vibes your way – which feels pointless I know but I say it anyway! x


  2. Dan Antion says:

    I hope things start back toward normal, soon, Kate. These past 14 months have been very stressful and very hard on business.


  3. kimlhine says:

    I can do relate to this post! From Aril 2020 until this April I couldn’t do a thing it was terrible before that I was doing something creative every single day, Covid and lockdown took away my joy and my creativity. I’d go down to my studio and end up cleaning or crying nothing worked so l just closed the door and walked away. But my written journal got a good workout and that’s what kept me sane!


    • Yes…. I write in my sketchbook but this one is full of writing and few sketches! Lockdown didn’t bother me so much as we work and live together but the uncertainly of life and so much death got to me. Thankfully I have a 40 year meditation practice (Buddhist) because without that I’d really be going in circles. It grounds me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lois says:

    This is a lot, Katie. Maybe writing it down so you can reread it is helpful? Covid has messed with a lot of us, and messed us up badly. I don’t know what to think about the ‘new normal.’ I think it’s a myth. Love to you.


  5. dweezer19 says:

    I feel you completely Kate. To say you are not alone doesn’t change the depth of how painful this is for you, but know that you are not alone. Every word you expressed is an echo for my own experience. Hugs and love. Cheryl PS. You are an amazing artist. 🤗


  6. libraryladysusan says:

    oh dear, i don’t have any Chesapeake pens. yet! another brand to love …


  7. Steven Kutch says:

    I can empathize the overwhelming feelings and burdens…..been there, done that and didn’t even bother with getting the t-shirt because I’ve got the perpetual return ticket. It’s like being in a life boat, bobbing in the open sea, there’s 360 different courses you could take, but you can only take one. Which one leads to the safe harbor? Along the way, there are currents, waves and wind trying to throw us off course and at the same time, helping us to our destination. Trust your star. Every wind, every wave……eventually leads to a shoreline. From there you find the harbor. You are closer than you can see. One day, one bridge at a time Kate…….


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