Nidonocuous (nidonocu) wrote,

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Creativity Paralysis

Recently, to a greater or lesser degree, I've found doing anything hard. Even writing this post is hard, thinking what I want to say and getting it in to words and actually posting it. Not because of any physical problem or anything like that, but just a fundamental state of being unable to capture the right mood and the right feelings at the right time when its appropriate, not to mention the ideas.

It annoys me as I see my friends' and others' creative endeavours all the time. Art, writing, jokes, software, music, videos, physical constructions or endeavours, anything that requires an original thought and the skill to execute on it. I know none of it is effortless, the people who create all the time and do so seemingly without effort is because of practice. I know in my own skill area how once where I used to struggle with how a program might function, these days I can see something and work out its possible data-structures and processes quite quickly. But the fact that they are able to even make starts in these things is frustrating.

I suppose it could be down partly at least, to the fact that what I do is not very well, easy to show off. A project like the system I'm working on now will be months of work and could well not be seen by anyone outside of a small circle till autumn of next year. Before that, the only people who would be able to appreciate it anyway would be other programmers, and sadly most of those I try to talk to are either too busy with their own work (no fault to them), or rude and inconsiderate, believing my work to be without any merit because of some choice I've made in the tools I am using to build it or because I am still learning as I go. And there is no way of course to prove any such disheartening arguments wrong, after all, the program is incomplete and cannot be tested to prove either point.

Ranting aside, I want to be able to make more artistic things. Of course, I also do the Pawpet stuff at ConFuzzled, but I mean Small things. Things that can be created, shown, appreciated, critiqued and then I move on to something else in a very short timespan. However, whenever I consider trying to do one of these things, write, draw, et; the creative paralysis hits. Much resolves around my computer as in, if I'm at it, everything is a distraction. The web, the MUSH, IM, IRC, heck, isn't it about time I changed my desktop wallpaper? All of these sap at my focus until nothing is started. Conversely, when I try to move away from it, I feel that disconnection and even sudden lack of ability. I can't write fast or well on paper (and if its something worth saving, I'd have to transcribe to share it!), I can't draw without looking at lots of reference pictures, I can't think without the right musical cue...

There's such a thing as Artist's Block, but I feel now as though this has been going on years. I remember when I was growing up and crazy madcap stories would flow in my imagination games with friends, weird strange, wonderful stuff. Now the only times those seem to come is when I'm asleep and dreaming. I couldn't ever draw much in the way of people or characters really unless it was a carbon copy trace, but I used to play-pretend spaceships and such with my brother and thus draw control panels and interfaces for those. Heh, precursor to my love and UI and UX I guess.

I really REALLY, need to get out of this. Its kept me awake along enough tonight to be writing this at almost four in the morning when I'm supposed to be getting an early night. If you do anything creative, and you all do. Regardless of what it is, how do you defeat your moods like these? What do you do to stop it coming back? And how do you deal with getting the willpower to focus while in an environment that is less than calm and free of interruption?

Small or huge replies dearly welcome. And as an experiment, cross posted to LiveJournal and Google+.

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