How To Rekindle Your Creative Edge After A Long And Steady Crash
The road to peak creativity often mirrors the track of an orgasm. It takes a while to get going, maxes out in a burst of output, and then furiously retreats to where you started.
But there's a difference with peak creativity. You will believe your otherworldly output marks the beginning of neverending and continuous creative gain, so when you lose your mojo, it comes as a surprise, and that's when you start asking yourself how your trajectory reversed itself.
Two years ago, I hit my peak in my writing career, maxing out in production and financial gain. I penned several viral stories and embarked on the final version of my novel.
Then, the decline began.
One year later, I had powered through a few chapters of my novel, and my daily writing production had diminished from 1,500 words per day to a few hundred, and that's being generous.
I still managed to bang out an occasional winner with my blogging, but the satisfaction I got from finishing a piece waned. Each one felt like learning to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time.
The reason? My writing had devolved into a practice of rehashing my most successful work. In a short time, I got bored, and once boredom set in, I questioned my reason for being, which further sapped my motivation and desire to create.
Many creatives hit a peak and then retreat into oblivion, or their work becomes so predictable and boring that their audience abandons them for someone with a fresher perspective. We can all point to writers, actors, musicians, artists, and other creators who blow us away for a few months, maybe even a few years, before racing towards extinction.
A theory once floated around stating that, with few exceptions, you lose your creative muscle after five years. The rationale rested on a few cherry-picked examples of famous artists who seemingly lost their genius after hitting the 60-month mark. I don't buy it. The theory pointed to only renowned artists, not everyday creatives lucky enough to escape the doldrums of anonymity for five minutes.