It’s been 4 months since “my creative strike” started. It all started because I was confused about the direction in which it is all heading, because I was in a poor mental health condition and because I felt like I am spending way too much of my life doing things for the gram without getting enough satisfaction in return to motivate it. I felt like I am not learning anything from most of the content I was consuming like everything is becoming repetitive and like it wasn’t fun anymore. I found myself longing for more story replies, for more reactions, for more people to interact with me and in a way, I felt as if my happiness has become dependent on my Social Media activity. It all overwhelmed me to the point that the pleasure of creating has disappeared almost entirely and for the first time ever I hit a creative block – I couldn’t edit anymore, I felt unable to transmit any type of emotions through writing and I couldn’t even fake my excitement on video anymore. That’s when I decided to stop, telling myself that it would only be for one week; one week became a month, a month became two and here we are today on the verge of four months since I have last posted consistently.
I feel like I have learned four valuable lessons in my four months of absence and I thought I’d share them with you.
The community is real. The amount of people that have reached out to ask me how I am and simply stayed in touch in the past four months despite me not producing any content nor sharing almost anything about my life has been overwhelming. It just went to prove that people who really care and you’ve connected with don’t need a reason/pretext/story to reply to in order to talk to you. Social Media is offering us an unprecedented opportunity of creating a community – a group of friends from all over the world, with common interests and common topics of conversation. To all creators out there: the community you are creating over here is the most valuable asset Social Media will ever provide you with. That is priceless and that’s what we should value most.
2. Offline vs Online
In the beginning of the year, I realized that the line between offline and online is thinner than I ever thought it to be. I started posting on Social Media so that I can showcase my life and somehow ended up scheduling my life so that I can showcase it on social media. I found myself doing things just because they would’ve generated good content, going to places just so I can show them on stories, photographing things just because I knew that this is what people expect for me to show. Taking a break made me realize that the offline experiences are the ones that matter most and that our lives are the ones who need to influence what we post and never the other way around. In the past four months I have regained my appreciation for spending quality time with people, travelling for the sake of travelling and discovering new places, experiencing new things for my own enjoyment, learning new things just so that I can enrich my pool of knowledge and so much more – and at no point did I feel the need to share any of it online because being there and then, living that moment at its full intensity, was all I cared about\
3. Mental Health
I’ve had problems with self-doubt and depression way before I have posted my first picture on Social Media, but the constant exposure to other people’s supposed perfect lives, incredible lifestyles, drama, disappointments and constant nagging about anything and everything has worsened my condition. Without even realizing it I started comparing myself with all of them, losing track of all I had, all I’ve done and everything I have achieved. This made me anxious and afraid of the outside world – constantly feeling insecure, invaluable and like there is nothing I could possibly do that is better than something someone else has already done. It was like Karma hit me, all of a sudden, for all the times I have preached that we should never compare ourselves to others and we should just focus on comparing ourselves with our previous selves. In the past four months, I have regained my grasp on my reality and my confidence stopped comparing myself to anyone else and started focusing once again on improving myself rather than catching up to others. PS: I am sure some of you are wondering how I’ve done it. In addition to spending more time offline and focusing on myself, I have unfollowed or muted all the people projecting negative vibes, are disrespectful and publicly criticizing others for no particular reason, showcasing unrealistic projections of what the content creator lifestyle is all about and those creators who are constantly complaining about anything and everything.
4. Creative Drive
Creativity involves innovating, breaking patterns, showcasing the world from your perspective, looking at things differently and in order to be creative we must lose our fear of being wrong, being judged, taking risks and having fun. It is the way we exteriorize our inner feeling, the way we translate the world through our own personalized existential filter. We can never use up our creativity, but it is essential to understand that negativity, overthinking, self-doubt and the comfort zone are the mortal enemies of creativity. It can be an endless stream as long as we make sure to fuel it with all the necessary elements and therefore in order to ensure creative longevity we must remember the importance of constantly seeking new experiences, knowledge and ideas.