Moving to the Pacific Northwest from Florida, I knew I might feel some seasonal emotional heaviness as the grey days, winter rains and cold temps drag on into spring. I expected some feelings cabin fever and some loss of motivation to make art. But wow! This year our winter will just NOT let go and I am feeling it. In early March I had my first “I am F&%K-ing over this” feeling of the season. We are now going into April and there are still snowflakes in the weather forecast.
Along with this shake-my-fist-at-the-sky attitude comes a lack of motivation…a loss of direction when it comes to building a business. We all experience this from time-to-time. I want to share some strategies that help me reach the other side of a funk.
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) sunning in Costa Rica - an old image revisited
Heavy rains, heavy snow, very cold temps (too cold for my two dogs) meant that I did not get out to create photographic images. Not only does creating images help me continue to grow my business, doing so also fires up my creative side, which helps me create more artful, powerful and compelling images. Being creative helps me be more creative. This creativity also applies towards the critical thinking needed to grow a business. Furthermore, being outside creating art is a must for my emotional well-being.
Short of being outside creating art, I was able to find joy and excitement in revisiting older images. I have files and files of old slides that I began looking at with an evolved, 2023 eye and artistic approach. My editing tools are better than they were 20 years ago. Now I can achieve the look and feel of some images that I was not able to achieve when I took the photo. I still have SOOOO many images to revisit, but doing so has been a great way to reignite some cool embers of artistic excitement.
Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) in Cecropia tree
I also paid for some online courses from photography presenters and educators. Doing so gave me fresh perspective and helped still hear about and think about photography, even though I was not actively making images myself. Even better was that I attended a photography seminar hosted by the Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest. Yeah, I actually sat near other people and listened to a very talented photographer talk about photography. It was awesome and helped get some wind back under my sails.
Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) in late afternoon sun, Florida
When you might next feel the emotional toll of inactivity or lack of motivation, think of ways to engage with your activity, even if only on the periphery. It might be challenging, but doing so can do wonders for your motivation. Good luck out there. 😀