Dear Concerned Creative,
Are you feeling the whole world is doing something amazing while you are just twiddling in your pajamas? Worried that your clients’ reluctance to spend money is putting everything on hold for you? Feeling that you have lost out on two precious years and thus wasted many creative lives because of the pandemic? Were you amongst the first ones to adapt to the new normal of working and yet have nothing much to show for it?
Let me give you some good news. You are not alone in this feeling. This indescribable ‘blah’ that you are feeling is what a lot of creatives are feeling. The guilt of not being productive and being stuck in a creative limbo where you are simply replaying the tragedy that the pandemic is, sitting by the side of a road and watching the world play out its drama. It is not an active form of depression rather a more subdued aimless, joyless existence. It’s time we spoke about this languishing behavior that many of us creatives are dealing with.
This sense of disorientation comes from being unable to go back to what you once were. You could be working for a brand that can’t advertise right now. Or can advertise but won’t. You could be amongst the ones who found themselves without a job. Or you could be someone who has every intention of doing the usual great stuff but aren’t being able to bring yourself to do it. Or you could be simply someone who isn’t feeling it anymore, who is having difficulty restarting your engine.
Well, here’s a positive affirmation for you. Your creativity isn’t dependent only on the brand work that you do. Yes, this is your chosen medium to express. Yes, this is what you love doing and it is your challenge to find answers that make your brands shine, maybe even win accolades for it. But if you have missed that addictive high of getting a great campaign out thanks to the times that we are living in, do not fret.
Remember the reason why you were drawn to this field. Remember the thrill and joy of creating something new. Remember your creativity isn’t tied to the confines of your work desk or zoom calls. Maybe it is time to write the song you always wanted to. Maybe it’s the pictures you love clicking. Maybe it is an old love that you let go off because of the other career milestones.
In my case, after languishing for several months, half in disbelief, half waiting for this dystopian dream to get over, I decided to act on my creative instincts. It might not have been a proactive step on my part to do something positive, but it gradually became something very important to me – I launched my debut book, ‘What The Pandemic Learned From Me’ a hilarious retelling of my personal blunders and my observations of baffling human nature in general. Without any knowledge of the publishing world, and a constant drone of mental resistances created by me, and some very practical challenges created by the pandemic.
But quite frankly, it may not be possible to do anything at all. And if that is the case, if adversity doesn’t stimulate your creative soul, so be it. It’s okay to languish in this post covid inertia and not be able to churn out one mind-blowing campaign after another. You deserve this break, this freedom to not do anything, to not feel the burden and guilt of being less than your usual-productive-self and simply breathe. Like everything else, this will get over, but your creativity won’t.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Anindita Das is a Senior Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Bangalore and has extensive experience working for leading advertising agencies across the country. As a collateral, she often switches between her multiple personalities – that of a top mobile brand to a warm hospital to a young airline to a hip fashion brand to an Indian masala, amongst others. ‘What The Pandemic Learned From Me’ her hilarious debut book received a bestseller tag on Amazon within two days of its launch. She is also an alumna of Indian Institute of Mass Communication and her work has been awarded several times for creativity and effectiveness.
Know more about her here: www.authoranindita.com