When I was setting up this website, I was beyond excited thinking about how productive it would make me. “I’m going to get so much done!” my naive, eager-eyed self exclaimed, frolicking through a meadow and admiring the beauty of the world. A butterfly delicately landed on my outstretched hand. “I’m going to draw and write literally ALL THE TIME!” For some reason, I thought of myself as an artistic machine. I had a handful of topics of what I’d blog about in mind, and just assumed that more ideas would naturally flow to me as time went on. Obviously, things didn’t quite turn out that way.
In the four months since this website’s conception, I’ve posted nine times. Upon reflection, that’s actually not too bad, since a majority of those posts have been around the 2,000 word mark, and always feature several of my own illustrations. I just thought I’d have done more by now. My original goal was one massive emotional, thought-provoking academic essay of a blog post per week. Now I realise how laughable that actually is.
Guys, trying to be creative is draining. Sometimes I’ll just be going about my day, and apropos of nothing, several ideas will pop into my head, either for a post or a simple doodle. But then when it comes to bringing them to life, my brain suddenly turns to mush and I forget how to use my hands. Other times, I’ll have nothing in mind for days, but I’ll force myself to sit down and produce something, and for a few hours it’ll be my favourite thing I’ve ever made. Either way, whenever I’m not actively being productive, I’m possessed by a looming sense of dread that I’ll never make anything ever again.
I think the problem has been that I have far too high standards of myself. Realistically, writing 2,000 words with several original drawings every week when I work full-time and like seeing friends on my days off is a fairly difficult endeavour. This becomes even harder when you factor in Mental Blahness and its consistency in sapping out any energy I do have. Moving out has actually improved my well-being exponentially, but I still have a long way to go before I’m where I want to be in life.
So I’m trying to be a little kinder to myself. I’m going to try to draw and write something every day, but it doesn’t have to be the greatest feat of my life. It could just be drawing a cool bird, or scribbling three lines in my journal. As long as I get into the habit of creating something, it’ll improve my productivity and make it that much easier to craft something bigger. Plus, I’ll try and write more blog posts like this one – smaller pieces about the minutiae of every day life, rather than #deep confessions of personal angst.
Thinking about struggling with creativity has stemmed from a personal conflict with stagnancy in general. I’ve realised that I am the only person preventing me from achieving my goals, and from gaining closure with certain issues. Of course, this is entirely dependent on circumstance, but I’ve come to the conclusion that if somebody has hurt you, there is no point in waiting around for them to apologise. You can accept an apology that is overdue because they weren’t sure how to approach things, sure, but don’t let your happiness hinge on them coming forward. Sometimes, even if somebody knows how much they upset you, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll own up to it. Don’t wither away pining for their apology as if it’s the only thing that can heal you. You are whole and wonderful without it.
Wow, even when I’m trying not to palpitate with self-reflection, it still seeps through, like a pot of pasta boiling over. My case of oversharing is terminal, apparently. Merry Monday, everyone, I hope you get to touch a new £5 note soon. They’re nice and smooth.