Wednesday, August 10

[There’s only art and lies]
You know you're living a priveleged, bourgeois life when the lack of inspiration ranks among your top worries. I think about art and meaning and my lackluster propensity for both so much that I get sick of hearing my own thoughts, which nag me to do better. Do more. Create and share. Make things that you'd be drawn to even if you didn't create them yourself. Find the light. Write it down. Stumble your way toward understanding life by recording what you see and hear and feel and want.

But damn it, every time I get all wound up thinking about how important creating things is, I balk. I balk because I read harrowing tale after harrowing tale of people half a globe away (or, perhaps, just a couple of blocks away) who don't have the luxury of worrying about aesthetics and beauty and the Meaning of It All. Their days are spent securing sustenance, dodging bullets, hating America, etc.

It's almost like my brain is applying the elementary school recess rule: If you don't tell me who's responsible for this mess, no one gets to go outside and play.

Clearly, it's an excuse. I don't think to myself, "You know, little Ethiopian babies don't get to have the pleasure of harvesting brain stems in delightful alien-themed cartoon video games, so neither should you." And I think that signifies that I can safely place the blame for this brain weirdness on my well-worn sense of self-doubt. It's not like if I fail at a video game, it represents a character flaw or a deficiency in my humanity. It just means I suck at the game and can make up for said suckage with a few handy cheat codes.

But if I sit down and get all covered in paint only to stand and see that what I have slapped on the canvas bears no resemblance to any incarnation of what I had imagined I wanted it to be, then I have to face the real possibility that I suck at painting. And it's not as though I'm painting for commercial gain; I paint simply to create something interesting to look at, something that, at its best, conveys my worldview in acrylic. And if I can't transcribe exactly how I'm feeling or what I'm seeing, then I feel like I've failed. The frustration compounds.

The same goes for words. If a grand, wordless idea hatched in my skull and the words I use to express it don't do it justice, I feel like I've ruined that idea with my careless meandering and that no amount of revision will ever make that idea seem worthy again.

I suspect laziness and fear are behind this ridiculous problem of mine.

Laziness because I'm so far unwilling to pour my time and effort into anything at which I might ultimately fail. My attention span is shrinking. I sleep too much to get anything substantial done.

Fear because my frustration with myself is mounting. I don't want my lack of technical talent to piss on my parade of vision, so I avoid the confrontation altogether and then whine about it endlessly, in my head and on my cute little online journal. It's pathetic.

Everyone I know who reads this is a creative, talented person. How do you carve out time for that in your day? Do you schedule "Me Time"? How do you bludgeon your self-doubt into submission?

I thought these were issues that I'd never have to confront because I never imagined I'd lose my creative inspiration for good. It comes and goes, waxes and wanes, often with the seasons. But I swear this time it feels different. My lack of inspiration has been replaced with despair -- a feeling that if I don't get it back right now, it will be gone forever and I will be a lesser person for it.


Blogger Brandonian said...

I get the twins to do most of my work for me.


Thu Aug 11, 09:05:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home