By now you’re all thinking, “Kaat never finishes anyth…” and I have to admit that I understand why you’d think that. I do often start something and then either forget about it or just lose interest. The past couple of years, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to a) get inspired and b) find the motivation. And when I do feel like I have something to create, I always have hope that my rediscovered inspiration is longterm, or even definite. And then it never really is. As soon as I start slacking, I lose motivation: “I’m already failing at this. I failed my project’s premise / my goal! It won’t work anymore now.”
This began when I started my business: I don’t regret it, but everything formerly fun did start to feel like work. But even after re-shifting my focus to stock and fine art, I still feel stuck about 85% of the time.
Part of me wants to be apologetic about it. Although I hardly think this bothers you, I do feel like I’m disappointing as an artist a lot of the time. But then I have to remember that I’m just frustrated at my failure to energize myself. I know the only person truly bothered by all of this is me. I need to reconcile with none other but myself. Putting myself down isn’t the answer; accepting myself is.
I don’t need to do things perfectly in order to be successful. I don’t do deadlines well, so why force them at this time? I’ve learned to accept that I’m an introvert, which makes a lot of areas of photography challenging, but other areas are stronger because of it – so why not celebrate that? I may give up on projects, but I always come back to try again, and again, and again – I guess in my heart I do believe it could be possible to one day be back to how I used to be and I do have more faith in myself than I thought. One day, a project or idea will stick. I will find my way.
Until then, here’s how I’ll try and handle things from here on out: instead of giving up on a stale project altogether, I’ll just change my goals to suit what works for me at that time. This will hopefully set the tone to help me find self-discipline, but a more patient and self-aware kind of self-discipline.
Self 2016 will be my first experiment with that new work ethic. Due to very happy circumstances I started falling behind on my weekly themes and then promptly forgot all about it. Because why? Because growing little human. Yup, I’m pregnant.
Instead of quitting a project I was very excited about initially – and which helped me process a lot of feels – I’m deciding to continue it, but adjust it to my current needs. This means letting go of perfectionism, learning to be more flexible and most importantly to understand that there’s value in everything I do. It doesn’t matter that I produce work on a weekly basis. I am not failing if I can’t do it regularly. I always want to do more – how about I just settle for doing what I can? Because what really matters for myself as an artist, is that I continue to try to produce work in a genuine way while enjoying the process. That’s what I want to hold on to, and I think I can do that.