I don't know about you, but every once in a while I just get bored. Not like a random Saturday afternoon when I'd rather sit inside instead of being out in the sun, but also can't find anything to watch on TV and yet still don't want to get off the couch. No, it's more like I want to do more in magic but at the same time I just don't open the book that's sitting in front of me and I don't practice any routines. You know?
There are waves of inspiration and breakthroughs, and then there are crashes of failure and stress. In between all of them, more often after the crashes than not, there's a lull period where I find myself simply fidgeting with cards rather than practicing with them. No actual ideas are going through my head other than "I should practice something" and it's really bothersome.
I would like to say that social media (i.e. Instagram) is to blame, but that's also probably just a crutch I'd use rather than admitting that every once in a while we just need to take a break. Those crashes that I mentioned above, they often happen when trying to film a routine for Instagram though, so maybe there is a shred of truth to the feeling. It's kind of funny, but I'll practice a routine for a few days -- nothing complicated, maybe one or two sleights. It feels good and fluid, in the mirror it looks like I'm doing it in all the right ways, and then on camera bam. Flash. Angle's wrong. Fingers are too stiff. The clicks are too noisy. Another flash. Ugh. 236 takes later and another destroyed deck and instead I just film a Cardini Change and I'm done with it.
What's interesting, or sad, about this is that I set out to film a routine just for practice with the expectation of "if it's good, I might post it online eventually." And then after a few bad takes, something kicks in where I need to get it right because now I want to post it. I think it has something to do with a perception of the routine's difficulty level increasing each time I fail to do it, so nailing it is a greater accomplishment. What I really want to work on is developing better practice methods where "recording a trick" is just to make sure I can do it properly. If after a few takes I don't get it, keep practicing and record it again some time later. This would definitely help reduce stress and it's not like I don't have hundreds of routines I could do instead.
The same actually goes for photography. I'm not an expert or professional photographer by any means. If you look at my Instagram (@gbabbits), you'll see that I try a little here and there... but coming up with ideas is hard. I try to pull inspiration from some other really great photographers (I post shout-outs to them every now and then) but I don't want to "replicate" those accounts either. I think that that's a good thing on a few levels as a lot of their photos, even though they're with different decks or EDC (every day carry) objects, are really the same "scene" just, well, with a different object of focus. I have no problem with just showing off a deck of cards, but I feel like my goal is to try to capture something more than that. I don't know, I'm still trying to figure it out myself so we'll see where that ends up.
After two or three months of posting a new photo and/or video almost every single day, I'm exhausted and frankly out of ideas. Maybe posting the same scene is the smart way to go... or, maybe I need to go back to my original use case and only post when I have something cool to show and not "just for content."
What I really need is a better way to organize my thoughts. Or, rather, to prioritize what to practice! I've been working on just that too - I'll post about it soon after I've given it a decent trial. If it works, it might actually solve a lot of my boredom issues too.
I've spoken with at least a dozen different people on this topic too, the lulls in between interests that is. From my small sample group it actually sounds like this is a normal thing too and they have, as well as their magician friends, have all gone through the ups and downs. Unfortunately, more than half of those I've spoken to haven't picked up a deck in over a year so I think that the inspiration never came back for them. I don't see that happening with me but like they say, never say never.
If you're falling into a rut and don't know what to practice, or can't find the right type of inspiration, reach out! Talking to a friend has always helped me and I would be more than happy to try to help you too.