I'm Rachel, and I worked for a solid 17 hours yesterday. Yup.
So here's the deal. Inspiration, mojo, whatever you like to call it is a really funny thing. Sometimes I go for weeks, months on end even where I feel like I just can't find that spark. I carry on with my day-to-day work, but I feel like I'm not really achieving anything. Certainly nothing I can look at and say 'yay this is ace, good job well done'. Sometimes even when I think I have an idea, I just can't seem to put that to paper.
I have days where I just can't draw - it's crazy, and it's frustrating. In the past, I've gotten bogged down in that frustration. I've longed for my mojo to come back, and I've sat and compared myself to all of you other lovely creatives out there, getting myself into a right old funk wondering why I'm just not getting it right.
Then out of nowhere it hits me like a bolt, and for seemingly no reason at all I have a head full of ideas, and the ability to craft those thoughts into designs that I'm actually proud of. When I'm having a good flow of creative juice, I can sometimes get a whole new range designed over a couple of days.
That's what happened yesterday. The cats woke me up crazy early and for some reason instead of rolling back over to sleep, I decided to grab my laptop and have a little play around.
I came up with a revamp of one of my old designs and I placed an order for that new design on a brand new product that should be arriving next week! Spurred on by this sudden flitter of creativity, I also managed to illustrate 7 new leaf designs, scan them, vectorise and colourise them, and get them ready for a whole new leafy range. Long story short, it was a good day.
The moral of the story?
Creativity isn't something you can force. Sometimes it can be absent for what feels like an eternity. Don't stress - get on with the things that don't need that mojo, give yourself a break, take some time out to do something fun - a little trip, an afternoon off to enjoy a long walk. Anything but sitting there stewing and longing for its return. It'll come.
That's the thing about being a creative, especially a self-employed creative. On the one hand you have the flexibility to work the hours that you want, take time when you need it, and set your own agenda. On the other, it can be difficult to not just be able to get to work, get on with a list of tasks, and go home, put your feet up and switch off.
It's not like a normal job though, my work is my life and my life is my work. I eat sleep and breathe onr. So if I've learnt one thing in my 2 years being full-time self employed, it's that sometimes I'll work 17 hour Sundays, sometimes I'll work 80 hour weeks - and sometimes I'll struggle to achieve anything substantial in an entire week. And you know what, that's totally ok.