When It Feels Tricky



Analogue Therapy


Well, this week in the studio has felt just strange, I don’t mind confessing. Do you get days like this too? Days where it’s all set up just how you want it, yet for some reason, things just don’t feel in the groove and it’s hard to find an energy and flow you need?

One of the most beautiful things I want to learn is—as an independent and proud—how to keep going through these strange ebbs with grace and optimism, not let that backing gust stall me completely.

Some days everything’s clear, I have the best strategic head in the universe and all channels are loud and clear. Then other days, nope. Fog. To be a successful independent takes some doing, and it’s heartening to know I’m in good company by the way, sometimes finding posts from peers and heroes that acknowledge the same feelings. They get this too, and work out how to carry on, going from strength to strength, and these weeks become folded in to the grand experience so that next time, they’re not so thrown and are better able to sail through the breakers with a little more courage and wisdom.

Some days, your tired head just needs a break, a slightly different angle from which to look in on things.

When the weirdness hits (and it is a ‘when’), I have a few immediate and simple tactics I deploy to fight it off. I’ll turn away from my desk onto the big wooden table behind me and draw some letterforms out, flip through a design book, or write, or just eat an apple and put a tiny corner of the world to rights with Chesapeake.

Or else, I’ll wander downstairs and find Silkie (the heart behind this Forge vision) for a little chat, and somehow whenever I’m talking to her I remember how far we’ve come on this journey and straighten my spine up again.

I may decamp back home and write from a different desk, swim, run, cook, muck about with Rusty the enormous fluffball cat. Just stop forcing the ideas before they’re ready to emerge. And sometimes when it’s really bad, I’ll just go and stand in the boutique chocolate shop in St Nick’s market and breathe in until I am verging on a blackout.

Or another thing altogether, I might dip out and head to the farm and watch things growing on our allotment. That kind of seeds-in-the-ground pace I can handle, when the social media streams have turned into torrents, and everyone seems to have it nailed but me. (That is a lie, don’t we all know that, but so hard to remember.)

It’s good to desist from the screens and pick up a brush pen, scratch out a smudged ink word or two, look out of the window at the ever changing patterns of clouds and remember, it will be okay again soon. Clever head will return shortly.

When I don’t feel so bright, it’s good to have these pens, fresh apples, this table, these people. Ebb and flow.

{Today’s Soundtrack: Christine and the Queens – No Harm Is Done}

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