Creative Burnout: Why??

Sometimes we can start to feel overwhelmed and drained by our hobbies. We’re trying to come up with ideas and motivation but it’s just too difficult to do. Creative burnout is a difficult struggle that a lot of people in many hobbies suffer from.

I try new things all the time to avoid burn out. I save paint scraps to use for later projects.

Burnout? What is it?

Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger coined the term burnout in 1974. Freudenberger defined it as the “loss of motivation, growing sense of emotional depletion, and cynicism. He made this claim after observing health workers in New York City. It’s actually recognized as a medical condition. Wild right?

Creative burnout feels like you have been wiped clean of any creativity or imagination. You can decide what to do with a miniature or find the energy to build a model. It’s easy to dismiss just procrastination or lack of motivation. For some folks, creative burnout can be a major roadblock.

I went five months in 2020 without building or painting and it was the most frustrating hobby time I’ve ever had. I couldn’t come up with any ideas and things weren’t going my way.

Sometimes this burnout happens from things like stress, lack of sleep, and so on.

When suffering from burnout I switch to things like toy photography and mini painting. This a NECA Genocide Alien Queen.

What are the symptoms?

There can be a few signs of creative burnout.

  • Procrastination
  • Exhaustion
  • Unhealthy comparisons
  • Self-Doubt
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Creative burnout does not take the same shape and form for everyone.

For me, it typically starts with self-doubt. What I’m doing doesn’t look right. The colors are flat or boring. I start to compare myself to other people. Then I try something else and just get caught in this loop until I stop it completely. Then I won’t work on anything for periods of time. Fun, right?

This helped me get out my last batch of creative burn out.

How do we deal with it?

Creative burnout can often be extremely difficult to deal with if you’re not sure how to. Pushing and pushing to do something may worsen the burnout rather than help it so my number 1 thing to do first is:

1. Take a break

Give yourself time and space to digest these emotions. Distance yourself from your projects for a few days to start fresh.

Find something else to do. Read a book. Go for some walks.

2. Seek Support

Reach out to some trusted friends and discuss it. They may be happy to help brainstorm ideas or just be a friendly shoulder to vent on.

3. Try something new

One thing that I found that helped me is to try something new. When I had that pesky five-month burnout what helped me was to try painting miniatures! It was something creative but also different from what I was doing with gunpla. It started to jog my creative juices.

4. Seek inspiration

Find things that inspire you. Reading books or articles. Look at art or watch some related media. Scroll social media.

I’ve seen this described as a “well”. Well as in hole in the ground with water. Sometimes filling that well with inspiration and can often fill the creative juices we need.

5. 30 minute challenges

This a little different that other tips but try doing 30 minutes of the hobby related thing you like after taking a day or two off. Draw for 30 minutes. Snap build for 30 minutes. Nothing that requires a lot of hobby skills. I like snapping SD’s and haropla for this. Simple, simple, simple!

I do simple paint jobs. Low effort paint projects.

It can be hard to know if you’re at a creative burn out and it can be even harder to know how to get out of it. Just remember you can get out of it and it may take time (That’s okay!).

I do these mini tanks as well! They’re really cute.

Hope you all enjoyed this post! Thank you for reading it! If you have any questions, drop them below.

Happy Monday everyone!

-J

One thought on “Creative Burnout: Why??

  1. I haven’t built any Gunpla in 2022 – first I was heavily pregnant with a toddler, and then I had two kids to juggle. It feels like a part of my identity is missing! But when I DO have time, I feel too tired to get out a Gunpla kit at all! I think I should try your #5 suggestion, that sounds doable =)

    Liked by 1 person

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