The other week, I wasn’t feeling like my usual self.
A particularly difficult weekend left me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and I spent the following days unmotivated and unable to focus. With all this in mind, it was quite difficult to return to my regular routine and get back to work. Instead, I was distracted by a lot of negative thoughts, and held back by a self-esteem that was at an all time low.
If I knew how to overcome these feelings, which feel so sweeping and formidable at the time, then I’d tell you. What I do know is that these feelings are temporary; in time, they will pass.
I’m pretty committed to my routine, and rarely do I feel adventurous enough to break away from it. I have a coffee and read a book in the morning, write for an hour or so, go for a run, get to work, cook dinner, and then watch a film or some telly in the evening. Exciting stuff! Over the last week, however, I took a step back and tried to do what felt right in that very moment. If I didn’t feel like waking up early, then I’d stay in bed. Or maybe I’d take a break from work to spend some time with family and friends. I did what I felt would make me happy at the time.
Gradually, I’ve returned to my routine. Some time away has allowed me to restructure my thoughts, get back onto a positive trajectory and, most importantly, rediscover the passion for what I do.

Left to right: The 400 Blows (1959) and Paddleton (2019).

Whether it’s screenplays, short stories, or even an update to this blog, I try to write every day. However, when I’m in a negative mindset, I’ve found that writing to be unproductive and a waste of energy. I’ve stopped allowing myself to write unless I’m in a good headspace, which may be at odds with some people’s understanding of the artistic ability and the creative process. The tortured artist is a great cliche, and it’s one that I’ve come to take quite serious issue with over the years. I’m of the strong belief that negativity blocks creativity, which is why writing - and creating of any kind - is at the bottom of my to-do list when I’m unhappy. Instead, getting back onto a positive trajectory is absolutely the priority.
That isn’t to say that I distance myself from creativity of all kinds. I have a job that keeps me focused and creatively limber, I try to work on my health and wellbeing by exercising and eating well, and I submerge myself in some of my favourite art in an attempt to be reinvigorated. The other week, for example, I revisited some of my favourite movies. If you’re asking, these included The 400 Blows (1959), Paddleton (2019) and Uncut Gems (2019).
My biggest takeaway from being stuck in a rut and negative headspace for a few days was the good that can come of actually talking to people about how I was feeling. The other week, I spoke to more people than I ever had before about the negative thoughts I was experiencing and had a lot of constructive conversations around how I could get back onto a positive path. So, talk to people. It’s a cliche, but it is so for a reason.
Look after yourself, and should you feel those negative thoughts starting to emerge, take a break to focus on doing the things that make you happy. The creative life will be waiting for you to start living it again when you’re feeling better.
Back to Top