Magic Monday: Getting out of the Rut

“What about ruts? You’ll never get out of a rut by driving in the same direction as the one in which the ruts take you.

You need to jump the ruts, and that’s often a violent action – a reaction against the current direction.

So don’t keep doing more of the “same old same old” and hope it’ll yield new results.”

-David Duchemin

Anything in life is in danger of becoming a rut.  Creative endeavors seem especially at risk considering its easy to want to repeat what worked the time before.

Something snapped inside of me the end of 2010.  I had spent the entire year living in disguised panic mode, trying to suddenly adapt to being a new mother for the first time, and most of all, I assumed this incredible burden of being the sole breadwinner for my family when my husband left his job and started Grad School.  I think I got ulcers.  I sought out any ounce of photography work available to me–most of which was never blogged since it didn’t fit my personal aesthetic (no offense to reunion groups)– I was trying to feed my family.  Somewhere around fall 2010 I developed a hatred of  photography.

yes.  I just admitted that I hated photography.  Deeply.  I resented it.  I hated everything about portraiture, about the industry. I hated the thought of being hired to do basic boring work.  I hated the camera and kept it packed away during all family events, since I was tired of it. I didn’t care that the hard work brought progress and I was finally supporting my family now.  I wanted to quit.  I wanted to throw it all away and just be done.

A rut?  I think I was more likely in the pit of deep dispair.

How can something incredibly fulfilling turn into something I’m practically dangerously allergic to?

A variety of things played into the tragedy.  Life imbalance, living with fear instead of faith, spending too much time online, not taking time for myself, working too hard and too much, not having time for family, having a blocked perspective in approaching shoots I wasn’t excited about, not working with the right fit of client, and yeah… did I mention fear?  Fear seemed omni-present.

The important part of the story is how things changed.  For as David DuChemin says “You’ll never get out of a rut by driving in the same direction…”.

You really can’t expect different results by doing the same thing.  Something has to change.

  • A few years earlier I got out of my rut by refusing to shoot in the same location more than once, forcing myself to always be doing something new.
  • I conquered another rut of shooting weddings and getting bored, by no longer shooting wedding days but only bridal/groomal pictures on a separate day that allowed me more creativity.

My pit of deep dispair is finding some sunshine.  I changed direction.  I’m on a new creative path with photography and finding the love again, but only because I stopped doing many of the things adding to the problem.

And the fear?  It still tries to creep in–change likes to invite it–but fear and faith cannot coexist.  And as Thomas S. Monson has said, “The future is as bright as your faith.” I’ll keep working on things that strengthen my faith, for the future is bright.  Especially on this new road.

How do you change direction?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  In effort to not get in a rut in daily routine life, she is trying new things.  Today she made freshly squeezed orange juice for the first time ever. It seems small, but it totally changed the day.  Just imagine what could happen with a bunch of small things every day… a truly exciting life.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as seasonal photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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