I Hate Everything I Create

I can’t wait to look back over the last year and a half and laugh at how my work has taken a deep, deep plunge. I haven’t been able to create like I used to, I haven’t been able to write like I used to, I hate almost everything I create, and I’m just stuck. I can’t wait to get to a point where I’m happy with my work and accept that the downs have to happen. Sometimes, they’re just a few days. And sometimes.. they’re over a year. Which is where I’m at now. Feeling like I’m clawing my way through this. I have dirt under my fingernails and it feels like it’ll be there permanently. And I’m embarrassed because no matter how much I try to wash it off, it just doesn’t go away and everyone can see it. Everyone can see how I haven’t been producing work like I used to.

Drought, April 2017
Drought, April 2017

I made this image earlier this month and decided it won’t see the light of day. I hated it. But it’s exactly how I feel right now.

I have this fear that people will forget about me. Which, when I stop to think about, shouldn’t bother me. I didn’t start creating to be noticed or well-known. I created because I needed to. That’s what I wanna get back to.

I tried the 52 week project, I tried committing to a smaller project, but I realized that I can’t force it. I know that creativity is a muscle that you have to train, but I’m at a point where I’m sore and tired. I just feel lost.

2014-2017 Thoughts

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I love that you’re human, Amani! I love that you’re willing to share your self-doubt and “stuckness”! When I was young and my body could take it, I’d run time-trial laps on the track at the local college – 5 days on, two days off – quarter mile, half mile, one mile and two mile runs. Each day my times would be a couple seconds worse than the day before. One day was not enough time for my body to recover. But after the two days off, my time would improve by 15 seconds. And I slowly worked my way from a 10 minute mile to a 6 minute mile.

    I think you’re right, Amani, there is a creative muscle, but it needs to rest periodically as well. You’ll come back sooner than you expect with new fire, new passion, and stronger and more energized than ever. And for what it’s worth, I love the image. There’s nothing harder, or more exhausting, than running in sand. Or clawing and dragging yourself forward, as the case may be. So savor the rest you’re taking. Read. Build sandcastles. Enjoy new art and artists outside the scope and style of your normal work. Load your subconscious with new raw material that can blossom when you’ve rested and recovered and inspiration strikes again. As it most certainly will! 🙂


  2. I agree with Tim, Amani. Even great photographers, like Ansel Adam would shoot only 12 images per year. I am not suggesting you do that because I love your work. Self doubt happens to the best of us, but when you push through the pain, and keep doing what you love doing, you will only shine on the other end. So don’t get discouraged, keep talking photos and keep writing. 🙂 All the best from Australia.


  3. Aww Amani, I understand how you feel. I found that when I put a lot of pressure on myself, when I put the bar so high I overexerted myself trying to reach it, I failed and got stuck. It’s sometimes maybe, for me at least, a way of selfsabotaging. I’m not in any way saying I’m an artist and I know what it’s like. I just opened my instagram feed for other people to see and I’m dying with selfdoubt and a ‘wth are you thinking, like anyone wants to see what you’re doing’ feeling but I love taking pictures. You love taking pictures. This picture you created has certainly touched someone’s heart. It speaks to me. And if you hate this image, I’m sure you’ll channel that and create something you’ll love :). You can do it! Don’t look at the past, but look at all the possibilities in the future because you’ll learn and progress and be thankful you didn’t let your fears get the better of you.

    Thank you so much for sharing these feelings. I think you’re a great artist and I hope you find that spark again! Are you doing the 15-day creation challenge? Maybe that’ll help 🙂

    Take care!


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