what the fuck even is writer’s block (on having to let go of ideas)

ideas graveyardmaybe this is a rude ass thing to even write about because i know a lot of people genuinely do struggle to get moving on things they wanna make; i don’t want to put some cosmic hex on myself where i say “fuck you know my brain is constantly making ideas and it’s too much” and then like my bitchass brain runs out of juice and throws back a “fine if you don’t appreciate me after all i do for you, i mean i gave you all these ideas and also that overwhelming dread about drive thru’s and incoming phone calls and this is how you repay me?”

but it’s just that i can’t get to every project (piece of writing, drawing, item to make for my shop, the list goes on) i want to get to and it’s a huge bummer

being in a headspace where you’re thinking of lots of ideas all the time is straight up just a trap; i am in the habit of writing all of my ideas down so i can stop thinking about them, and the result of this is that i have amassed piles of lists and outlines and little brainstorming things, to the extent that even wading through all of them and organizing them would be an overwhelming task. i’ve got blog posts planned out through april, wayyyy too many notes in my phone, several lists just hanging around with 20+ ideas for things i could make or draw or write, and at least two (and maybe more) completely full notebooks chilling in a pile somewhere at my parents house from when writing fiction was my primary creative outlet

if i never had an idea again i could go through my notes and have stuff to do for years, even if i threw half of them out. which sounds like a garbage complaint but: it is overwhelming and extremely disheartening to have to arbitrarily disregard things that have the potential to be really cool

as it is right now, a lot of my time is tied up in things that aren’t creative in nature. as much as i would love to write and make stuff all day every day, i spend so much of my time on other things. (not even that i don’t like these things, just that it makes it so that there’s never enough time to put towards ideas that i’m itching to work on). there are people who are important to me that i want to be with, i have to sleep and eat blah blah, and i spend so much time on school shit that lately i’ve started to wonder if maybe i should double up my sex life with school by just fucking people from my class so we can talk about engineering stuff while we’re doing it, go over mohr’s circle and debate the merits of different types of concrete and get off all in one really efficient swoop. (this would feature a very brief pillow talk and cuddling session, where we whisper sweet nothings about calculus to each other.) but it’s important to mess around and do things that aren’t important every once in a while, also; i watched some tv this weekend and it felt like an act of rebellion.

so i guess my primary frustration is taking this limited amount of time and energy, and a seemingly unlimited quantity of ideas, and trying to work with that.

i’ve kind of made this decision that i’m primarily going to work on my blog and my etsy shop; i know that if i go through ideas randomly and start projects and don’t follow through with them, it’s going to be really unsatisfying to me. by choosing just a few things to focus on that i’m super enthusiastic about, it gives them room to actually grow and develop. but it still sucks. i want to do so many things. and how do you even choose what to keep and what to kill?

an extremely limited list of abandoned projects/ideas

  • i wrote a really shitty novel when i was in high school and i’d love to do that again (but you know try and write something good)
  • i spent like 7 years playing the oboe and haven’t picked it up in over a year, to the point now where the thought makes me nervous. related: i have largely given up on my adolescent fantasies of being in a band, unless something drastically changes in my life
  • i started learning how to make amigurumi over the summer — which are little crochet stuffed animals — but never got into the full swing of it (got sidetracked by work/school/moving/the vibrant explosion of my love life). still got the pinterest board of cute ones other people have made going strong though
  • i desperately (DESPERATELY) want to do like cross stitch and embroidery right now? i’ve been looking at pieces other people of made and there’s a lot of cool stuff out there

i feel like a really common thread in like advice type articles about writing is that somebody says something like “i want to write but i don’t have time” and then the response is “you have to make time!!”

this is true to an extent. the time i spend on writing and making things is time i straight carved out and protected and spent on this at the expense of other things. if you don’t think there’s homework i should be doing right now: you are wrong. but there’s a limit. people have physical limits, because they have to work and care for themselves (as in, their own physical and mental health) and also, sometimes, for other people. it’s not always so simple as “just make the time you need” and that has to be acknowledged

even more than this, too: i have lots of ideas for things that i don’t have the technical knowledge or skill to pursue. the internet is awesome, you can teach yourself so much, but sometimes i look at an idea like “here’s the equipment it would eventually need here’s how much time it would take for me to learn how to do it” and it’s just like …. ok next! but fuck i would love to have like some basic graphic design chops! i could google hard and read up, sure. but will i? no.

i don’t know where to end this, but i’ve said all the things i want to say about my feelings and i don’t have any useful advice content for people in similar situations other than as much as it sucks, burying ideas to focus on your favs is a necessary survival mechanism in this cold cold world.

xoxo,
rori