Tag Archives: arts

how can I create when I don’t feel like it?

People have claimed that the arts can help those who suffer with depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles. I believe this is true. Yet as an artist, I find that there is sometimes nothing more difficult than actually engaging with the arts while I’m not feeling well.

I know that playing my clarinet, painting something new, or writing will help me, yet these are the things I lose desire for when I’m going through a rough patch. (This explains why I haven’t posted on my blog for a few weeks… Whoops.)

Many people experience this. Depression makes it difficult to put effort into anything beyond simple tasks, yet these tasks are the ones that can help you to start feeling like yourself again. It’s a cycle, and it can sometimes feel impossible to get out of.

The arts demand effort and confidence, and oftentimes daily practice. This is especially true for those who try to make a career out of them. But how can I make a daily practice out of something when I struggle to find the motivation to do it for even one day?

This is one of the things that I most want to explore this year through commitment to daily practice and writing about it on this blog.

I think a great way for me to get started on this is by setting goals. When setting goals, I’ve learned that it’s always important to set attainable goals, and to set small steps along the way. It’s important to be specific.

To get started, here are some attainable goals I want to set for myself this month:

  •  Practicing my clarinet 5 out of 7 days a week
  • 1 painting
  • Posting on this blog at least 2 times a week with thoughts on how things are going

To show how I will break one of these goals down and set smaller, specific steps, I’ll use the example of finishing one painting this month.

1. First, I’ll dedicate an hour to deciding what to paint and drawing a simple sketch of it. To make this even easier, I’ll pick a time to do that within the next two days and commit myself to that as a part of my schedule.

For this painting, I’m going to do this tonight after I get home from work.

2.  Next, I’ll think about my needs for this painting. I’ll need a canvas, paint, brushes, and water. I already have all these things, so my next step is deciding where I will set up my supplies. I don’t have a table for this in my apartment, so I need to get creative

I’ll use a garbage bag as a tarp by cutting open its seams and laying it on my floor. Then I can set up all of my supplies on top of it, and feel good about having protected my floor.

3. I pick a time to begin my painting. If if got leftover time tonight after drawing my sketch, I can start then. I’ll have additional work time tomorrow at 10am.

From there, I’ll decide additional steps as I go. I anticipate this painting to take me a minimum of 12 hours.

I might complete more than one painting this month, but by setting the goal of only doing one, I’ll feel accomplished if I manage that much, and I’ll feel especially great if I can manage more.

Depression and anxiety are hard, but they don’t need to hold me back from doing the things that I love. I can do the things that I love better when I break them down into small tasks.

What favorite activities of yours are difficult for you to do when you’re feeling down?

Do you have any goals for yourself this month? How can you break them down for yourself?

changes for the blog

I haven’t posted to my blog for a while, and this has been for good reason. I’ve been rethinking this site and its purposes, and I have decided to change its course. I’m starting with a blank page.

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This year, I decided to turn my love of writing into more than just a hobby. I have taken classes on grammar, design, media, and editing, and as a result, I’m more excited about blogging than ever. As I have grown as a writer, I realized that I want a more focused blog.

My blog has always been a personal blog, and it will continue to be. Personal blogs can be great, and they can have various degrees of focus. Through my years of experience, I’ve learned that when writing a personal blog, it is often best to choose some specific topics to write about, rather than just writing about whatever comes to mind. This gives a blog focus and purpose.

Focused blogs reach a more specific audience. They attract readers who are interested in the topic of the blog, and this keeps readers coming back. Having a focused blog can also help its writer to have some direction in picking topics. This is great, since picking a topic for a post can be one of the most difficult parts of actually writing a post.

When considering new topics for a blog, I thought that I should pick one or two things that are a part of my every day life and that are personal, but not too personal, to me. After thinking about this for a bit, it became obvious to me. The new topics for my blog are…

the arts and mental health.

These topics include things like:

  • What it means to be an artist (of music, visual arts, writing, and more)
  • Exploring what it looks like to practice the arts
  • Maintaining practice through seasons of mental health struggles
  • Self-care strategies
  • Blogging
  • How media and technology are related to mental health
  • How to promote yourself as an artist
  • How faith is related to being an artist
  • How faith is related to mental health
  • How the arts can help you through mental health struggles
  • What it means to grow as an artist
  • And MORE

As I have grown as an artist, I find that my mental health and my creation of art are closely related. Since I am a musician, writer, and visual artist, this has overlap with many areas of my life.

I’m really excited for this change. These topics are near and dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to see what is to come for this site.

If you are interested, please follow and share with friends who are also interested in these topics.

See you again soon,

Amberly