Creative Drought; Friend or Foe?

Life will sometimes get tough and in the way of what you love most. Don't let that get you down and push forward.

By: Garrett Schmidt + Save to a List

We have all experienced it on some level in our profession or passions. Drought comes to those who have a desire for perfection and growth. I have found that sometimes I even change my style or content just because it’ll get me more likes on social media. But sometimes going through a season of “creative block” makes the space you need to grow.

These situations tend to make you really start looking at things differently. I mean when you are on non-stop adventures you have content for weeks, but what happens when life gets hectic and you can’t just leave for weeks at a time? I tend to do a few things to help when I can’t think of what I want to create.

1. Look at things in a new perspective  

From a photographer's standpoint the foreground helps create awareness and perspective. Look at the subject and use that instead of the background to create distinction in the photo. For example, wood grain. When drift wood or old growth is in the front of picture sometimes you lose that subject, but what happens when you just focus on the detail of the grain? You create mystery in your work.

Random piece of wood I thought was pointless until I got home and viewed it on my screen to have such intricate detail. I am happy I stopped to take this photo now. 

2. Don’t stop exploring 

There are so many places undiscovered and with so much potential. Even though they may not have epic views or amazing scenery; these places can be untouched and unexplored. Never lose your sense of adventure and wonder with your work or environment that you live in. In my opinion this can create some serious depression in your work, or the thought of being “stuck”.

Cool spot I didn't know was so close to me (thanks to The Outbound ).

3. Meet with people doing what you love 

Through The Outbound specifically I have met so many people on the same mission. Talk with those people so that you can learn from each other. Without someone or something challenging you, you can get stuck in a rut.

My buddy and business partner that challenges me to do better and the think bigger. 

4. Don’t forget why you started. 

Saved the best for last. Ultimately, sometimes you need to sit back and think why you started doing what you really love. Not in a sense of "why", but the reason behind the sacrifices you made to pursue these passions. Most of you have given up a lot to chase these dreams. I.e., relationships, sleep, and monetary things. You know the things you chase are worth so much so never stop doing what you love!

I never imagined seeing places like this, and that's why I started pursuing my passions. 

So what drives you, and makes you continue to pull long nights and chase the sun!?

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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