Have you ever heard the term, 'Hitting the wall'? If you've ever done sports, especially running, you know what this term means.
If you haven't, then let me explain.
In my younger days I ran 10K races and relay marathons. When training for these events, I had to eat a healthy diet, train by running at least 25 miles a week, and get enough rest to ensure my mind and body were ready for the endurance I was going to put it through.
As if that weren't enough, I was working a full-time job and carrying on the typical responsibilities of a grown adult.
Do you know what happens to your body when you run long distances? It basically operates like a car.
The fuel that's been stored in your body through the food you've eaten is burned at a very rapid rate. That's why most athletes stay away from heavy meals before an event. They usually focus on small amounts of protein and heavier amounts of carbohydrates. When running, carbs are your friend.
At some point during an endurance race or journey as I like to call it, your body does this strange thing. Or maybe it isn't so strange. Like a car that's gotten low on fuel, it begins to consume the fumes left.
In other words, instead of burning the highly concentrated fuel that you had, it now has to consume whatever is left. That's pretty much the protein left which is muscle. This is called: 'Hitting the wall'.
It's very unpleasant.
The same thing happens with creativity or the creative process. We can be humming right along and suddenly or not so suddenly hit the proverbial wall. That's happened to me recently.
How do we get past this wall? Well, similar to running races, we have a couple of choices.
Give up and go back to the status quo
Forge ahead and push through this temporary roadblock
When you're running and hit the wall, your body is telling you, 'Stop, stop, stop. I said STOP!'
If you listen to only that response, guess what? You will stop!
But, if you've trained and learned to go beyond the pain, you will keep on knowing the goal is in sight.
It's the same thing with creative roadblocks. Authors call it 'Writer's block.' I just call it a temporary road-stop during the journey of life.
Here are a few things you can do when you find yourself 'stuck'.
Take a nice trip. There's nothing better than getting away to give one clarity. Plus you can take some great photos of a place you haven't been to before.
Rest and recuperate. Sometimes our minds and bodies are just burned out from doing too much. Like sleeping at night, our mind, body, soul, and spirit need some rejuvenation. Think holistically, not just one dimensionally.
Put everything away for awhile that's not of importance. The book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." The time may not be best to pursue your creative pursuit. Perhaps another season would be better.
Pray for help. God is always listening. In fact, He wants us to ask for help. The bible says in James 1:5, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."
There are other coping mechanisms for this struggle, but these are the best and the ones that I personally use.
Sometimes life can just throw all sorts of stuff at us. It can come from many different directions and can be frustrating as well as cumbersome.
Let's throw off those things that are just 'noise' or minor 'annoyance' and get back to enjoying our creative experience.
If this has helped you in any way, I would love to hear about it at the email address below.