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Navigating Creative Burnout, My Interview With Rebecca Green

How do you navigate creative burnout? That is something that illustrator/author Rebecca Green has been working through.

Here is a snapshot of her work:

A-MAZ-ING right?!

But a couple months ago, she shared this with her 225,000 Instagram followers:

“I have to be honest, my well is empty. Bone dry. It’s been a rough last six months and recently, strange as it sounds, when I show up to my drawing table, I have an immense urge to weep, sing, or run. Anything but make art.”

“This is of course, extremely difficult when you make art for a living, so I suppress those feelings and keep pushing and showing up and am happy to do so.”

“I am though, experiencing a major burn out that’s unlike anything I’ve ever gone through. Work has always ebbed and flowed with periods of intense creativity and moments of resentment, but this time feels a little too deep. I find myself unmotivated, lost, and not sure who I am, what I make or why any of it matters.”

When someone looks at Becca’s body of work and accomplishments from the outside, it is tempting to feel that her success makes her fortunate and that it makes creating easier.

It doesn’t.

The line from above that rings in my head the most is this one:

“I find myself unmotivated, lost, and not sure who I am, what I make or why any of it matters.”

When I read this, I emailed her and asked if she would be open to coming on my podcast and talking about the topic of creative burnout, and dig into her journey as an artist.

To my great delight — she said yes!

You can listen to our conversation here or on iTunes:

Rebecca Green & Dan Blank

What Becca shares in this interview is relevant to someone working in any creative field.

You can find Becca in the following places:

  • Yes, Dan, I have been feeling burnt out, too. In the last year, my husband I moved our family to a new city/home and welcomed our third daughter. These major life changes have greatly affected my creative work.

    It’s interesting to note that the majority of my time is spent driving my daughters (older 2) to various therapies, specialists, surgeons, and physicians. We have at least one appointment daily – every week. And that is not including well baby check-ups or monitoring my or my husband’s health.

    I only say this, because at the end of the day, when I actually have TIME to write, I feel so drained, so empty. And that is discouraging. It’s only been 5 years since I began to write publicly, so I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers on any social media site. Plus, I work with a very, very specific niche – the spirituality of grief (which can be a draining topic, too).

    So I appreciated this, because it is refreshing to know that I’m not alone and that, somehow, those of us who are creating are in this together.

    Have you ever considered doing a podcast about those of us who do creative work but are simultaneously caregivers? Or those of us who incorporate spirituality into our work? Those are very important topics.

    Thanks, Dan! Have a great weekend. 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing this!!! Yes, those are two very important topics. For the podcast so far, in my mind I have kept the scope of it to be very small. I think that has made it easy for me to approach. But I’m doubling down on it, and considering meaningful ways to do that. As usual, I appreciate your wonderful support!