The Importance of Switching Mediums

Photo of train tracks, a freight train, and the underside of a bridge against a blue sky with some clouds in it. A colourful purple, pink, green, and blue glitching effect has been applied to the image. Hollow white text in the centre reads: "I am a writer first and foremost, but not all of my art can be writing. Writing is cerebral, and sometimes I need to get out of my head." Handle @sage_pantony in smaller light blue text under white text.

My mom says that when she’s feeling stuck with her art, she switches mediums, which always helps. Sometimes, I take pictures rather than write poems. I go for walks and film artistic interpretations of fountains. I colour while listening to podcasts or the chatter of my friends. I apply paint inexpertly to canvas.

I am a writer first and foremost, but not all of my art can be writing. Writing is cerebral, and sometimes I need to get out of my head.

I also switch up the what and how of my writing. I type type type on my laptop. I scribble in my notebook. I stop on a walk to poke at my phone. I focus on poetry. I pen essays. Occasionally, the odd short story comes out. I change topics and themes. I make zines. I self-publish and submit to journals. I write short pieces for Instagram and long ones for my blog. I create graphics that combine the written and the visual.

This is how I keep going–keep writing, keep creating. This is how I keep from getting stuck. Creativity isn’t static. It needs to ebb and flow to function. Getting too rigid results in becoming blocked. I have to accommodate my changing moods, interests, desires, and ideas.

Of course, this doesn’t mean having no follow-through. I still do my best to consistently show up to my practice and complete the projects I start. It just means I approach things with a certain degree of fluidity. My ultimate goal is to keep creating. How exactly I go about that is what changes. When I feel stuck with my art, I switch mediums, which always helps.

Published by Sage Pantony

Sage Pantony is a writer, poet, and zinester. They write about gender, sexuality, mental health, trauma, creativity, and the best ways to cook eggs. They are the author of several zines, including a trilogy about transitioning as a non-binary person. Sage’s work has appeared in publications such as Coven Poetry, Idle Ink, and The Varsity. They currently reside in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with their pet dinosaur, Peter.

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