How to stay in love with your creative practice

Lauren Ellis
9 min readMar 10, 2022

Whether you paint, write, design, sew or code, it can be tricky to maintain motivation, no matter how much you adore it. While there are a million and one blogs, books and podcasts about finding fresh ideas, what creatives speak about less is falling out of love with their practice altogether.

Beyond the usual writer’s block or just plain despondency, sometimes we lose more than our energy and enthusiasm. A few days off turns into weeks, months or even years. Inspiration doesn’t just run dry — it disappears altogether. Leaving us feeling bereft, cast adrift and unsure of whether the magic will ever come back again.

And with every day that passes, we pile more and more guilt on top of our inactivity. Our shame gets so stifling that even just stepping back up to our canvas or screen can feel impossible. Creating becomes an activity we avoid and push to our brain’s edges, only to have it remerge when the lights go out and we’re left alone with all the things we still haven’t done.

The trouble with applying pressure and being steadfast with our creative process is that in the effort to Just Get The Thing Done, we forget why we love it so much in the first place. This is a tragedy for any creator, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll have wrapped so much of your identity up in your output that it’s hard to know who you are without it.

And this is especially troublesome when your passion is also your livelihood and you don’t have the luxury of just leaving that project to gather dust in the corner of your studio. But there is a way home. The pendulum always swings back, and with a little love and intention and patience, you’ll find it again.

So, to illuminate the way or at least leave a little helpful writing on the wall for the next one along, I wanted to share a few of my tried and tested ways of getting that spark back. Maybe it helps, maybe it won’t. But hopefully something gets knocked loose in the reading. Here are five tips for falling back in love — and staying in love — with your creative practice.

Get back to the basics

We’ll start with the simplest one. Try to return to the roots of why you loved your craft in the first place. What is it about it that makes you so excited? What gets your mind racing and fingers itching to get making? What sets a fire in your belly, or better still — whose work makes you feel envious or inspired?

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Lauren Ellis

Writer, artist and occasional poet. Lover of philosophy, folklore, history + curiosities. UX writer by day. Writing a book about death by night.