Taking a Break

I worked on a some new card designs yesterday, but by late last night I felt like I still hadn’t made much progress. None of the new designs were coming together as well as I hoped. Forcing myself to create when I feel discouraged never yields good results, so today I stepped away from work for a bit and took Oliver for a hike (Mabel is spending the day at the vet for a checkup).

Oliver is the perfect hiking buddy. He prances along next to me heeling like a champ. If I trip on a root or scuff my toe on a rock, he’ll nudge my leg with his nose and check on me with a questioning look. If I want to wander off the trail to look at a weird mushroom on a rotten log, he will happily accompany me and pee on all the trees in the vicinity to ward off danger. He constantly looks up at me with this adoring face as we walk along. I don’t know how he keeps from running into stuff, since he doesn’t watch the path most of the time. It’s a nice feeling, to be a dog’s favorite person.

What do you do when a project isn’t working out, and you’re feeling uninspired and drained? Taking a break and doing something else for a while usually helps me get back on track. Does that work for you too?

take a break

take a break

(Please excuse the iPhone photos… I forgot to bring my real camera!)

10 comments

  1. Mnêmosunê

    Aw, Oliver is so cute !
    When I feel uninspired, I try to go out physically(going for a walk in a parc for example), or mentally like reading a book, meditating, calling a friend, etc.
    Once my mind has its amount of distraction (sometimes I only need half an hour !), I’m more creative, well, in fact I feel more creative and energized.
    (And by the way, your iPhone photos are great !)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Excellent suggestions. You’re right, it does help a lot to get out and change your perspective!

  2. Sabela

    Doing something different from the project that refuses to come out is really helpful. But I sometimes find myself obsessing about not having done something useful, or all I could have done… A good walk (with great pictures, don’t doubt it!) must be the best way to unwind and come up with new things. Hope you’re feeling on top of the world today! :D

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yes, I hate feeling like I wasted a day! Thankfully after my break I was able to wrap up my new designs, and I’m happy with them. I guess I just needed to look at them with fresh eyes!

  3. Louise

    What a great hiking buddy. I try to be creative in another field. Grabbing a few food magazines and trying a new recipe or crossing off a few nagging house to-do’s can help. It helps me feel productive and let my mind rest for a little while (and I usually get cake and a clean sock drawer out of the deal!)

  4. Shayla

    I always take a break when I’m in a creative rut. I tend to go through phases where I’ll have a day or two when I’m on fire and everything is coming together and then I have days when everything I start just doesn’t work out and then I have days when I find myself just staring at a blank page in my sketchbook and though I have ideas in my head they just won’t seem to come through my hand. I like to take walks but I also love to clean when I get like that. Something about cleaning up my external makes room in my internal environment and then the firestorm of creativity can start all over again. :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Cleaning is a great idea, I’ll have to try that the next time I’m stumped. It’s funny how the creative urge is such a roller coaster ride.

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