Sensing a slump

Song of the post: Leaves by Ben&Ben ft. YoungK

While I am waiting for the Butter (Hotter) remix to release, I just thought I’d put this out before I spend my time streaming and screaming the song.

I have spoken about slumps before. Art slump, creative slump, watch slump, life slump. All of these and more are valid and living through pandemonium is only proof that slumps are just part of what makes us humans. I think I’ve grown to see slumps as forced resting. When you can’t put your pencil on a piece of paper without coming up blank, you give up.

But that’s not all you do. You don’t just give up, you think you’ll try again later. And maybe later is in a few hours or days or weeks or even months. But you wait it out and decide you’ll try again. That’s what I think we do as humans.

I came about writing this post because for the past couple of days, I have been sensing something coming. It could be impending doom or it could be a slump. (I’m deciding on the slump, for now.)

I have a lot of writing and art projects lined up. Each very fun and different and gives me a push towards stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something that I’ve never done before. It’s something that I look forward to as I wake up (freshly unemployed now) and get started on my projects.

But sometimes, it doesn’t always work that way. I was halfway through one of my shorter writing projects and it just seems so…bland? It felt like I’ve been writing the same things over and over without any change or variation. At first I thought maybe I’m thinking too much. So I accelerated, as you do, when you feel like you’re about to crash.

Then I realized that I wasn’t feeling anything when I was writing it. I put word after word and while the story progressed in the general direction that I had in my head, I was not enjoying the process one bit. Suddenly, I was writing for the sake of writing, because I had to, because nobody else would write this story for me. And that’s actually not bad for a writer but for me, it becomes easy to hate my own creation. So I decided to pause.

I had already taken a break from painting. A few weeks ago, I had been trying to draw something but the more I tried, the more wrong it looked. It made me frustrated and annoyed and I hated to pick up my pencil to try something. I haven’t made anything new or fresh in some time but I painted some skies and sea and swatched a new set of gouache paints and I know my watercolours will wait for me, until I return. It’s just a matter of time.

It’s me second of taking a break from writing and I have had so many plans and ideas since. Some are fresh, some ideas are to take older ideas forward and more. But apart from this blog post, I haven’t written much. And I’ve convinced myself that it’s okay. It’s okay to rest and take a break and not expect perfection every single time I write something because that’s practically impossible. That’s why revisions and editing and rewriting exists.

It’s been pretty peaceful.

Maybe in the next few days I might open up some of my incomplete, ongoing documents and finish them faster than ever. Maybe I’ll take some more time to think and breathe and rest. Who knows? It’ll go when it goes. I’ll be here, till then, reading and consuming art and stuffing myself with so much inspiration that when the slump finally leaves me, I feel happier than ever.

It’s okay for me to say this, that it’s better to wait it out the slump than forcing yourself to do things because I’m primarily a hobbyist. I write and make art as a hobby. But for professionals out there, going through a slump or a rough patch or feeling generally low, I am sending strength to you guys. It’s a brutal world out there and your creation is keeping us mundane people alive during some of the worst times we have gone through. I hope you take care of yourselves and have someone to lean on when things are tough.