We have all lived this moment in our lives. When the dust starts to settle on your camera, or you haven’t even unpacked your gear from that photo-shoot you did one month ago. And don’t think the “pros” are immune to these feelings of inadequacy.

Being a professional photographer does not mean photographing every day of our lives. Many of us have other obligations, other jobs, and other ways we earn a living. But after a certain period of time passes without lifting our cameras (and we all have timeframes we hold ourselves to), the feelings of guilt start to creep in.

You know what I have to say about that? Stop. Feeling. Guilty.

I’ve rambled on about this topic before, but it’s worth repeating. Trust me. You will have moments where you pause and reflect. And then you’ll have days, or weeks, where you do nothing at all with your camera. Or maybe the imported photos you wanted to process and share go untouched on your computer for days or weeks at a time.

Sometimes the guilt reveals itself in the form of envy. It’s difficult to look at social media and not be jealous of some of what we see. Or maybe the guilt comes out of duty as a photographer. We should be using our camera as often as possible … right?

If I have learned anything about anything, it’s that breaks are good, even when they are not self-imposed. Sometimes these periods of photo-inactivity just happen. Maybe the weather is not behaving, or other obligations and priorities get in the way.

Eventually the creative itch will come back, and you’ll scratch it. You’ll do it because you must, because there is no other way. You will carve out time or force yourself to hold a camera with something beautiful in front of it and press the shutter, and you will create. It will get to a point that you just won’t have a choice.

So when the guilt starts nagging, just do your best to shut it up.

Guilt is cancer. Guilt will confine you, torture you, destroy you as an artist. It’s a black wall. It’s a thief. Dave Grohl