Well, this post isn’t going to follow my usual format. I enjoying making lists and posting them online – I try to be helpful when I do so. I also try not to rant, but that’s what I’m going to do right now.
I’ve been having trouble writing. And not just writing, but thinking of ideas. Usually, ideas are constantly pouring out of me and I try to write all of them down, even if I get a, “This one’s not so good,” feeling about a few of them. But lately, I haven’t been able to think of anything good. And when I say good, I mean exciting. None of the ideas I’ve had so far have been exciting.
This spread to everything.
Now we all know the sob story of how my computer bailed on me, but have we discussed how long I was in project-limbo? I was there for months. I was waiting for a chance to have my files restored and ignored the tiniest urge to start a new project or to mentally move on. I was trying to keep a dead thing alive (a big no-no). While I was in project-limbo when it came to having a novel to work on, I started to get bored.
I have most of my files back and my computer, too, but for some reason, I was still bored. But it took a turn for the worse.
I was mad bored.
I mean the kind of bored where you lay on your back and stare up at the ceiling, contemplating starting a new project, what’s for dinner, am I really a writer because I like writing, like what makes a writer a writer, and what if I decide to start a makeup channel on YouTube or something and forget all about writing and never get back to it until my channel flops and I realize that I should have been writing all along?
Yes, it went that far.
Just the other day, I was mad bored and laid on my bed, staring up at the ceiling. I remembered old dreams of wanting to be a pilot (around the time I was 10 to 12) and then a fashion designer (9 to 10), and of course, I came back to now and asked myself:
“What if my inactivity is a sign that I’m not a writer?”
And why did my mind go there? Because then I thought about all these quotes from these famous writers, how writing should feel like a thirst to be quenched, an urge to satisfy, and practically your entire reason for existing, and for me, that had disappeared. I was confused and terrified, because getting a degree in Dramatic Writing was what I came to SCAD for. It was why I was getting student loans and if my heart wasn’t in writing anymore, then I had to quickly figure out where my heart was.
And during all this thinking, I realized that I had no answer for, “Why am I at SCAD if I’ve fallen out of love with writing?”
Now, of course, deep down, I knew I still loved writing. I adore it. If it was a person, we’d be the clingy couple that never separates except to use the bathroom and whatever.
But why had my mind gone all these places?
My only answer is because I was bored. I let my mind sit still for so long, unknowingly holding onto something that was dying in my hands, that my mind turned on itself and was like, “Okay, Taia, since you’re not going to let go of the idea of your files returning and refuse to give me something good to chew on, I’ll make you question their worth. Do you need these files to continue to write? What if you never get them back? Then what? Will you stop writing? . . . Are you even a writer?”
And that, my friends, is why I refuse to sit in project-limbo anymore. I have to admit, I did enjoy some of the places my mind was going. For example, I started considering a YouTube channel that I would (somehow) manage with this blog. (But as usual, I started overthinking and wondered how I could avoid being boring. I go too far sometimes. I even considered the whole makeup tutorial idea or playing Sims 3. I surprised myself by liking some ideas, but YouTube is having some issues right now, so I’ll have to hold off.)
So am I having a mid-life crisis before I turn twenty?
Was this a severe case of writers’ block?
Some of my writing professors have said writers’ block doesn’t exist, but maybe.
However, this was most definitely caused by boredom. I mean, I was low-key rethinking my reason for being at SCAD, my future career, everything.
At the end of the day, I would say keeping yourself busy (in a good way) will keep you from doing drastic things (like rethinking your entire life). Boredom is definitely a troublemaker.
I was telling my best friend Nachos about my inability to have the patience to read the other day and now we’re going to start some sort of long-distance book club so I can get back to reading (and enjoying it like I used to). That’s something to look forward to, and if you find your mind wandering to scary places, follow it, but only so far. Be sure to come back to the light and find something to do while it’s shining on your face. Also, be careful and don’t be blinded by it. Don’t lose sight of the goal.
Thanks to this lovely experience, I’ve decided to write one short story a month, starting in May (of course). They’ll feature the characters in my current WIP and that’s all I can say for now, other than that they won’t spoil the book the characters are in.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next week.