Over the last month, I’ve been brainstorming what my next big project should be. And in all honesty, I’ve been slightly aimless. I’m still doing my normal work related tasks — like preparing for my summer photography course and writing essays — but I’ve felt off. I’m not surprised I’ve felt this way, though. “My Morning View” was released in mid-March and typically I feel lost and goalless after I complete a large project.
In “Still Writing” Dani Shapiro sums up this feeling perfectly. She said, “When I’m between books, I feel as if I will never have another story to tell. The last book has wiped me out, has taken everything from me, everything I understand and feel and know and remember, and . . . that’s it. There’s nothing left. A low-level depression sets in. The world hides its gifts from me. It has taken me years to realize that this feeling, the one of the well being empty, is as it should be. It means I’ve spent everything. And so I must begin again.”
Shapiro's words were affirming. Over the last month, I’ve thought about writing a memoir, an e-course on resiliency, and working part-time this summer. I’m incredibly grateful that I have the option to be still, to think, and to brainstorm. For me, this is part of the creative process. Yet, this part of the process isn’t easy because I can get in my own way. Doubts start emerging when I’m in-between big projects. I start feeling like an impostor; that I’m not a “real” writer and photographer. And, I worry that my small business will fail.
If I was giving advice to a friend, I would tell her that it’s normal to worry. But, she shouldn’t let those worries deter her. That she should follow her intuition, make space for her next project, and to believe in herself. It’s okay to rest, recharge, and to trust the creative process.