Hobby Rut

Jan 3, 2018

    1. It is the start of the new year and usually I have plans and ideas lined up in my head but not this time. Could've been the way I ended the year, work, or even the dreary weather to put me in this slump, I don't know. I don't like it. I love this hobby and this rut bothers me. Can you guys share how you pull yourself out these ruts? My dolls are just sitting on standby, growing cold from my lack of attention and interest.
       
    2. Hobby ups and downs are normal, and burnouts do happen. (Yes, even in things we love doing the most.) I love this hobby too, but there are likewise times when I keep my dolls on standby because my bjd enthusiasm needs to recover. I just let it happen, and eventually I get the urge to pick them up again.

      Don't stress too much about it, even if it seems counter-intuitive. Try engaging in another non-bjd related activity (I alternate making art prints and the bjd hobby). It helps to "reset" the bjd creativity meter. =))

      On the other hand, here's another thread that is quite similar. You're not alone in your sentiments. :) Suddenly loosing motivation for my dolls?
       
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    3. I've been in the hobby only a few years but I definitely have peaks and troughs. Browsing through my Flickr I noticed a good six month gap between pics over the so-called summer last year. The arrival of a new dog means I can't have my sewing machine out in the living room where he lives and that and the bad weather meant I couldn't work on faceups and body-blushing either. Even shopping for my dolls left me uninspired.

      I think Halloween was the turning point for me. I found some jumpsuits on eBay and realised one would make a perfect Ghostbusters outfit and that led to me working on other outfits which didn't require the sewing machine. Admittedly most of them remained unfinished but that just means I have plenty of time to get them ready for next Halloween, right?

      So my advice would be not to worry too much. My dolls live on shelves so they're kind of ornamental - even if I'm not doing anything with them it's nice to have them around. You can't force inspiration but keep your toe in the water. Browse the forums, check out new outfits and dolls and when the mood strikes you, your dolls will be waiting for you.
       
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    4. I’d say just playing with them, looking at what you’ve already done (if you have), and thinking back to what you plan on doing.

      If you’re not feeling that plan, I would think that playing with your dolls would help jog your mind in a new direction—but that could also just be me. :whee: I personally really like being tactile with my dolls, posing them and playing with their hands and feet!
       
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    5. Take a break and don't force it.

      For awhile, I was buying new things for the hobby weekly, handling and photographing my dolls every day, constantly crafting, and roleplaying my BJD characters for hours every night. Sometimes, I'd feel overwhelmed or like I was trying to force it, which only made it worse. Then I'd feel anxious and guilty for having so many dolls and no motivation.

      Lately, I've been feeling kind of burnt out on RP and like I have too many dolls who just look messy or crowded. I did sell a few, and I don't want anymore right now except the body I have on order. I still do a little with them, but I'm kind of taking a small break and have been focusing on retro gaming instead. I think it's good to have other hobbies so you don't get in over your head on any, and you have something else enjoyable to do when you need a break from one.

      Even though some of us can get really attached to dolls and their characters, we still need to remember that they're not humans or pets, and it's perfectly fine to put them away for awhile and focus on other things until we choose to come back to them, or let them go and do something else.
       
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    6. Honestly, a break won't do you any harm. If you don't want to do that you could always take a trip down memory lane or go window shopping.
      Don't be alarmed everyone goes through it :)
       
    7. I actually did take a break from all my hobbies 2016-2017 and I thought that when I came back I would feel refreshed. I had been finishing up my classes and thought it was a good excuse to stop things for a while. Maybe a year wasn't long enough...

      How long do you guys take breaks for?
       
    8. I took a break due to a clinical depression. I think it lasted about 2 years! I still am not up on everything I missed, lol. If you have to take a break as long as that - or longer - don't worry. It's not like the dolls will spoil sitting in their boxes. They are dolls, after all. They will wait for you.
       
    9. I was hardcore in this hobby from like 2004-2010... and have pretty much been on hobby hiatus since. I have small bursts of activity for a few months here and there, but for the most part my resin babes sit in my spare bedroom closet. There's nothing wrong with taking a sanity break.
       
    10. I took a break for almost 3 years where I did /nothing/ doll-related. I didn't even take them out of their boxes for maintenance { which now that I'm slowly back into my dolls again I'm regretting but Shhh } I found just taking time to do other things and wait until the urge comes back really helped me. The dolls can always wait, which is what I like to tell myself!!
       
    11. I ended up taking a three-year break, came back last year with a vengeance (too much resin...). But, now I have a doll I absolutely adore, not that I didn't adore my first doll. I just... my second boy had a character before he had a sculpt, whereas my first had a sculpt and still does not have a character. I'm much more motivated to do creative things with the second boy. But, as long as you don't sell them, they won't be going anywhere.
       
    12. I am definitely considering another break now. At least its not like my other hobby where I lose out on stopping for a while.
       
    13. I've been involved with bjds since 2004--but there are times when I can't or don't feel like playing with them. I think that's just natural. Forcing yourself back probably isn't a good idea. I guess it just depends if you want to do something with them and if you have the time!

      I actually want to take more photos of my dolls (I haven't had the motivation lately), and I want to blush some blank dolls. I know I will get to it sometime--whenever I can and whenever it's right...

      I haven't ever taken long, complete breaks... maybe off the bjd sites for months at a time, but that's it. I just like the dolls and although it ebbs and flows, I always continue to like them!
       
    14. I try not to pressure myself to do anything with my dolls. Sometimes I will want to so I can try a contest or get ready for a convention or something, but otherwise, I let them sit and look pretty around me and I will eventually want to grab one and take pics which sets off a time of playing with them hardcore. I never sell right away because I know that it's just how I am with hobbies so I wait a few months to see if I still feel uninspired by a certain doll. And even if I'm not active with my own dolls, I try to stay active on fb or instagram to keep seeing new stuff in case I get inspired.
       
    15. I think looking back over 2017 I definitely had a break. I didn't take many photographs, didn't do much with my dolls in terms of making clothes, etc. It happens.
      Now I'm doing a lot of stuff with my dolls. I'm buying things, making things, etc. And I'm neglecting my other hobbies a bit.
      It doesn't really worry me. Even if I didn't do much with my dolls in the past two years, I still enjoyed looking at them and knowing they were there patiently waiting for me to get back to them. :)
       
    16. I don't pull myself out of the rut when it happens. In my experience with anything I feel passionate about, forcing myself to do something I like just because I used to like it doesn't cut it. I will always love BJDs and dolls in general, but there are times in my life I am just not as focused on them. It's a natural cycle for me and it doesn't hurt either the dolls or me to put them aside for a while. Something will eventually and inevitably pull me headlong into being passionate about my dolls again without any prompting from me!
       
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    17. Taking breaks is great! It can be a way to recharge your hobby batteries. Some people work best in spurts, then they rest. Some people have to take a break to take care of other priorities.
      Just a thought - This time of year can be a suspect in a lack of interest or energy. People use sunlight-imitating lights and exercise to fight the mid-winter blues. It's not unusual to feel blah in January.
       
    18. Oh I'm always in ruts! I hardly spend time on any real hobby lately... I had a spell just after Christmas of NEEDING to read manga, in a couple of weeks I'll be dying to watch as much anime as I can, or I'll be hooked on a video game... then I won't be interested in them at all for weeks and weeks! So my dolls get the same treatment, one day I want all the pictures I can take, and I'm looking at dolls all the time (like I am now but I cant buy any :( ), and then they're just another hobby on the list of hobbies I haven't done in ages... Doesn't mean they aren't loved, and that I've lost interest, I just have these cycles
       
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    19. I've definitely had ruts. Thankfully nothing can go wrong with dolls if you sit them around in storage for a while unlike my aquascaping hobby. .......so much algae.......

      And I think since I've been in this hobby for like 10 years now (joined this forum in '07 and first dolly in '08 lol not sure where I start counting from), I've also changed in my aesthetic tastes over time and it took a while to settle into the new styles I liked. My first boy is super stylized anime looking compared to the sorts of dolls I now buy for myself. So sometimes it's a bit of trying to figure out what you want to do with this hobby. Like I vary in how much I focus on sewing than face-upping or vice-versa. I think I drop my dolls for a couple months at a time. lol however long it takes them to cycle into "I have portioned some for-fun money for the dolls."
       
    20. Ruts are not the enemy. They can be disconcerting, but they're not bad at all and don't harm anyone or anything--in my opinion, getting stuck in a rut or hitting a "doll block" can be especially great for letting one's mind rest. (Being "on" all the time for any one thing is mentally draining and shouldn't be forced!) Often times, at least for me, this will eventually lead to a stroke of inspiration that will take me out of the (sometimes months long) rut and let me work earnestly on my dolls. Leaving them to the side can lead to looking at them with fresh eyes and developing a deeper appreciation for them.