A Letter To The Creative During Off - Season
I know that owning a business looks a little bit different for everybody, especially for those that live in different states and endure different seasons, but I wanted to send a message to all of my creatives and freelancers in the height of “slow-season.”
Slow season is the glorious pause after peak season. Peak season, for many of us, is filled to the brim with weddings, sessions, meetings, phone calls, behind the scenes planning and probably too many take-out meals. Peak season is the time when our friends and family get a little angry that we are never around, we wake up from actual nightmares about our lightroom catalog queue and we constantly say, “when slow season starts, I’m going to start X.”
Slow season is glorious, it’s the breath of fresh air, it’s the moment we can re-collect ourselves. I have a notes folder in my phone dedicated to all of the big ideas I want to begin and finish during slow season.
But after peak season ends, the editing from peak season begins. Once the holidays have passed, the editing is finally finished and tax season begins (uh).. we are beyond drained. During slow season we promised to head back to the gym, to cook more at home, and to do some creative projects for ourselves but we find it hard to even get out of bed (and let’s not even discuss the weather this winter that just made it all worse).
It’s hard enough to have a thousand ideas scattered everywhere but then you log on Instagram each morning and see 10 new glowing stories from all of your local creatives, sharing their new launches and courses and presets and everything in between. It’s a cycle of being proud of the hundreds and thousands of photos you’ve delivered in the last few months and a self-deprecating disgust that you are a fraud, that you are not good enough and that you are nowhere near the others in your area.
I personally think that February is the worst month of the year (and that’s probably why it’s the shortest) but now that March has begun, I felt like I wanted to share this message to anybody that needs to hear it:
Seasons are going to come and go. There are seasons meant for joy and some meant for grieving. There are seasons that are going to be full of fruit and then there are seasons of sowing seeds. “Nothing in nature blooms all year.” I believe slow season is meant to plant your seeds, water those seeds, and to trim out the dead ends. I think slow season is a time to rest and to lay low. Don’t worry about showing up publicly, don’t worry about posting 100 stories online and forcing yourself to be authentic. Even though I think being personal and sharing your life is one of the best things you can do for your business, I also think that we need to learn that staying silent sometimes is a good thing. Sometimes, our best work comes when we work quietly. Sometimes, sticking to ourselves and keeping our head down is when we accomplish the most. If you are feeling the pressure to create something that has never been done, if you are feeling the comparison that is stealing your joy, if you are feeling drained and it’s not even peak season yet.. It’s okay. It’s more than okay!
You get to wake up every single day and chase after this gift. There are so many people who wish that they were where you are at, right now. Think back to yourself a year ago today, five years ago today… that person would be so excited to see all that you’ve created in this time. Every step, even small steps, are steps. Even if you aren’t producing something you are very proud of, even if it isn’t perfect, it’s still good. The things that I am least proud of end up being people’s favorite. Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. Take some time for yourself, treat yourself, take a nap, a walk, a hot shower, read a book, call an old friend. Anything at all to pour back into yourself before you pour out to everybody else again.
One of my favorite quotes is, “you didn’t come this far, to only come this far.” Take some time to lay low in this season so you can be better for the upcoming one. Don’t worry about showing up for everybody else, just show up for yourself this month. I hope your 2019 is incredible.