Artistic Burnout During the Pandemic

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Written By Alex La Loggia

A Creative Plague

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, countries everywhere shut down as stages of government mandated quarantines began to roll out. Though most people feared how the isolation would effect their lives, many artists saw opportunity in it. The alone time seemed like the perfect chance for creatives everywhere to hide away from the world and finally finish their passion projects. I remember seeing posts from writers proclaiming that this was every creator’s dream. Shakespeare’s King Lear was famously written during a plague, their tweets read, so why can’t the next great novel be as well?


Energy Killer

Despite the buzz at the beginning of the pandemic, that artistic energy quickly dissipated. Although I saw some of my favorite creators eagerly use the time to speed through projects, it seemed that most people were experiencing quite the opposite. What caused this sudden lack of motivation? The unusual circumstances of the pandemic may have gotten to creatives more than they had anticipated. Combine the stress of a new normal with near total isolation, and add onto that the sudden rush of new projects? A fatal mix for creative energy. Many artists, including myself, experienced major burnout.


Artist’s Cure?

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for getting your creative spark back. In fact, conquering a lack of motivation such as writer’s block is known to be one of the hardest parts of the creative process. The best thing you can do is step away for a bit. One of my old teachers once told me half of the writing process isn’t even actually writing – it’s reading, thinking, walking in nature, or processing the thoughts in your head. She used to make us go on walks every writing class, and although I used to groan about being dragged away from my laptop, I understand her reasoning now more than ever. Sometimes, a break is the only thing that can get your creative brain working again. So, I encourage everyone, not only artists, to take a break and step away for a little from what’s stressing you. This away time is vital – it may be the thing to get your motivation back!