A Story of Creative Block from a Broken Filmmaker
Let me explain…
I guess the first thing to address is the term “Broken Filmmaker” and what that means. I don’t think I can call myself a filmmaker currently. 2020 has been a massive punch in the guts and I understand hearing that has almost become a cliche.
I haven’t made a single film this year. I had planned on making a documentary and a couple of short films. Besides the fact that quarantine, lockdown, social distancing, and the like have made a drastic impact on content creating as a whole, I have become severely uninspired.
It’s left me feeling a sense of hollowness and even loneliness so strong I find it hard to explain. I lost my sense of purpose which just threw me into a torrent of depression and anxiety. I didn’t feel motivated in my work, in the general things I had enjoyed. And even now I’m battling with my mind every day.
Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with severe panic disorder and depression. I had lived with it and frequently struggled with it, however, I had always found solace in my work and was able to handle my mental health. These issues mixed with my fear of failure and strong ambitious nature created all sorts of problems for me to the point where I can call my inner imposter a neighbour. You can read my article on imposter syndrome here.
I struggled with a previous degree before finding my career in film and the journey had been one of great love. I finally had found my place and I was thriving.
Towards the end of 2020, I’ve been finding my stride again and haven’t used filmmaker as a term for myself. I’ve been more of a Content Creator because my work has spanned to other mediums such as digital art, writing, and more. But I will be reviving my inner filmmaker in 2021.
Creative block for me hadn’t been a massive issue in the past. I could generally work through it. However, this year was entirely different. Now, it’s become an issue of me battling with myself. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? I’m hideous. I’m a failure. I can’t keep doing this. What’s wrong with me?
I acknowledge that I’m not alone and that there are many others in the same position. It’s been rough for all creatives out there. The only advice I can provide you is… don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and no it’s not a train. Things are going to improve and you have already come so far. Creative block is a natural part of the process.
What I have learnt about creative block this year is that there is always something in the background that is the cause, the root cause. Sit with your needs, your emotions. Sometimes we just need a moment of breath. If it turns out you’re feeling overwhelmed or that you're burnt out or just simply emotionally or mentally exhausted, that could be the cause you’re looking for.
You have the right to your energy and space. Remember that. Creative block could be a way of your mind telling you you need something. It’s something that I’m learning and acknowledging now and I’m making room for what my mind and body need.
So no, I haven’t been a filmmaker this year. Instead, I’ve been a photographer, artist, business owner, student, videographer, marketer, failed plant mum, cook, girlfriend, teacher, ambitious, sister, gamer, writer, daughter, and more.
But, I’m ready to reclaim my filmmaker hat and take on what I want. I’m finally ready. And so are you.