How to overcome the ruts we get in:

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I’ve been in a reading rut, for two years, honestly. It might not seem that way to people who don’t read much, because I’m still choking my way through a few books, but up till a few weeks ago it’s been taking me months to get through one. I didn’t know what was wrong. I used to love to read, I still did, but for some reason it wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting sucked in like I used to and I didn’t think it was the books I was reading. They were good enough, I was just grossly uninspired. Unmotivated. Unmoved.

I was stuck in a nice big rut and didn’t know how to get out of it. I did get out of it, in the last month I’ve read five books. I’ve officially overcome whatever beast I was struggling with. I was moved forward, so lets talk about ways that you can un-stick yourself from the ruts you get stuck in, no matter what that rut is.

  • Talk to a friend who is excelling where you are stuck. Inspiration is contagious. When we hang out with someone who is currently in love with what we can’t seem to deal with it helps open our eyes. It makes us feel like we are missing out and starts to move us back into motion. We remember why we loved what we loved, but more importantly we remember what it is like to be excited about our projects or hobbies. That reminder goes a long way.

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Touched by Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament: A Book Review

The definitive work on the profound and surprising links between manic-depression and creativity, from the bestselling psychologist of bipolar disorders who wrote An Unquiet Mind.

One of the foremost psychologists in America, “Kay Jamison is plainly among the few who have a profound understanding of the relationship that exists between art and madness” (William Styron).

The anguished and volatile intensity associated with the artistic temperament was once thought to be a symptom of genius or eccentricity peculiar to artists, writers, and musicians. Her work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic-depressive illness.

-Goodreads

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The Follow Through.

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© Anna Katherine Oates, 2014, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

There are times when you pick things up and don’t like them, and then there are time when you pick things up and don’t give yourself time to like them. I’m serious, there is a big difference. I could go with the easy example of reading for myself. I hated reading as a child, loathed it, even. But I was forced to with school, and well, there it was, I found the right book and it took off from there.

I’m not saying that there is going to be a “right book” for everything, that if you try something enough times that you’ll like, but I’m saying there is something to learning or trying something new, and that’s the follow through, even if it’s just a month of dabbling in it. Promise yourself you’ll finish one or two projects. That you’ll not judge yourself based on skill you haven’t given yourself time to learn. I used to say all the time (and still do for that matter) “I’m so terrible at painting and drawing” and my mom would always reply with “to learn to draw you have to draw.”

Life changing advice I received as a seven year old.

Another thing we do? Well, we don’t try things fully, we don’t go into the depths of it. Part of this is our culture, a kid tosses a ball a lot when he’s in grade school and all of a sudden all the parents are saying he’s going to be a college athlete. Oh okay. But we do the same thing in the reverse. I tried realistic drawing a lot when I decided I wanted to draw, and guys, I sucked, and it wasn’t because I was bad at art, and that’s what we’re taught as kids. If you don’t like crayons and markers in pre-k you don’t like art, you’re not creative in the visual way. Not the case. Turns out my visual super powers don’t come from physical on the paper art, but things like photo shop. I would have never found that if I had just said “why would I take that class? I suck at art.”

  • Give yourself time to fall in love with a hobby
  • Give yourself room to fall in love with a hobby

I don’t know if you could say it any easier. Hobbies don’t just grow out of thin air, people who are good at things don’t just happen to fall upon it. Sure, talent counts for a lot, but it can also be built, and more than often, people never make it that far.