Feeling Like a Fraud

Today, I had a sore throat, it was dreary and cold outside, and I felt completely uncreative at work. Days like today make me feel like a fraud of a designer, and I hate that feeling more than anything.

Sometimes, I just have such a hard time getting inspired and designing anything that I even mildly like, and I am really hard on myself as a result. That makes it even harder to get over the slump and get inspired. In college, I used to put so much pressure on myself to create something incredible that I’d usually procrastinate too much, end up with a piece I wasn’t all that proud of, and regret it later. I’ve gotten quite a bit better (I guess work deadlines seem a lot more serious now since there is an actual client waiting for the finished product!), but today’s lack of creative inspiration reminded me of how insecure I used to feel about my work.

How do you deal with slumps in your career and/or creativity? Where do you find the inspiration that most often jolts you back into reality?


  1. What inspires you? Is it music, images, fabrics, (and so on and so forth)? I would try to focus on that to jog you out of your slump.

    For me, it’s looking at images (usually cities) that can inspire memories, or listening to music that will trigger inspiration. I remember sitting in the Merriam Theater’s upper classrooms, trying out for this special writing program, struggling for something to write about, and the strains of someone practicing trumpet just jolted me out of my instant funk. Granted, the work was arguably not my best, but it got me wait-listed (which, given the pool and the number of slots, I can finally feel good about).

    But lately, I too have been feeling a slump, so I’m into anyone else’s suggestions to get out of it!

  2. Totally been there, especially lately. I usually try to surround myself with things that inspire me. I reread books I love, I check out websites that make me laugh, I go for walks to places I love. Otherwise, I pick a totally random thing to try and have a bit of an adventure.
    There’s a lot to be said for just getting away from whatever you’re working on for a while and just having life experiences. At best, you get turned in a completely new direction and at worst, you had a break! :)

  3. Getting away from what I’m working on to clear my head is definitely something I don’t do enough. I tend to just stare at my computer until something comes to me :-) Obviously, it’s not working so well!

  4. It happens all the time to each of us. Sometimes I sit there behind the computer and just push things around on my screen for 8 hours straight.

    The only good thing keeping me going on those days is to try to remember what other things make me happy. Life’s all about balancing the good times and the bad. And once in awhile, we need a really bad, unproductive day to prove to us how great the really exceptional days can be.

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