It happens subtly. Over the years your focus diminishes, you let minor irritations get to you more easily, you start to resent the repetition. Creativity turns to negativity and you find it harder to get out of bed. You can’t find the spark anymore. Like songwriters, comedians or even speechwriters, your well dries up and you start to panic.
This is not a hobby for you, it’s your income stream, it’s who you get defined as. People around you start to wonder what the hell is wrong lately. This stew has been simmering for more years than you realized. Then the financial pressure builds and the symptoms worsen.
But the show must go on so you grudgingly push on halfheartedly and it shows. You find fault everywhere. Hopey turns to dopey as you start your climb up the misery index. You can’t believe what intelligent, educated (sometimes a problem) clients and customers are asking you to do. And the beat goes on. Churn.
The pressure is mounting and it stifles you even more as you sit in the dark wondering what you should do. You hate to disappoint. That hatred of disappointment made you a superstar back in the day. You had a destination, a target. All options were on the table.
Now you’re confused, frustrated and angry. It’s them, not me. I’m not doing that, you say. Hell no, I won’t go. This is so stupid. Opinions can be deal breakers. Years of experience work against you. Maddening.
You’re breaking hearts all around you. People depend on you. You start your search for a distraction, the next “new big thing” that will rev your engines again. Nothing. Waiting for a bus that never comes. You can’t get back in the corral again.
You’re too long in the tooth and maybe a little too wise. You can’t morph back into the “team player” again and the realization is getting to you. You can’t find your way home. What to do. Like a flood victim helplessly watching everything you’ve ever held dear swirling past you.
Thus is the burden of the creative mind. A blessing and a curse. I have to learn to be still. It will come to me. Compulsive thinking is an impediment to my creative flow. All that noise and pressure takes its toll until you stop touching that hot stove of negative thought. You usually have all the answers, this time you don’t.
But wait, is that my bus way off in the distance? Sure looks like it.