Not ever doing Nothing

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Before I even begin this weeks blog entry allow me please to apologise for the grammatical mess of a title I have chosen. It just came to me and stuck with me and just wouldn’t get out of my head. Though, even in its wrongness it is the perfect summary for what follows. With said apologising out of the way allow me to get to this weeks topic. For which I literally have nothing and yes while I’ve previously spoken about why boredom can be a good thing and breed creativity (here) and how we now live in an age of infinite information and therefore interests (here). And yet I literally have nothing. Unlike on previous occasions where I have rambled and teased with a sense of being lost only to produce, find or craft something and eventually come up something to say, hopefully, worthwhile and readable. Unfortunately though I feel this time that is not the case.

Why? I wish I could outright tell you but I’m not entirely sure why. Of late I’ve been making exciting and promising headway with the drafting of my screenplay. I have been enjoying writing, enjoying the craft but this week its all felt flat as if there was a disconnect between me and the craft, the work and my creativity. A disconnect amplified by my own growing sense of annoyance at said disconnection, the feeling of wanting, needing to write. Of becoming disappointed in the fact I’m not writing, a disappointment flared by a feeling of disinterest in not only my works but the craft itself. My head it seems hasn’t been where I’ve wanted it to be which has only further served my frustrations which has in turn aggravated my disconnect and sense of discontent. All of which is angered further by my inability to understand all of the above. All with the added disproportionate weight of this very looming deadline, a self imposed, self inflicted deadline may I add. At week forty, at forty posts in have I run out of ideas, out of things to talk about or have a say on, did I only have thirty-nine posts in me, a mere 35,000ish words?

Wednesday dawned and with it my weekly excursion to the comic store where I inevitably fell in to a conversation with my friend that works there, whom by the way has just packed it all in in order to pursue his writing full time and to whom I wish the very, very best of luck. As ever though, we got to talking comics, movies, life and our ongoing projects, as normal we covered all of our usual backs and fourths of topics in the course of which he expelled a splendid piece of wisdom that while I had heard a few time before but still bears worth repeating. Please excuse the un-sage like sense of the following wisdom but the general gist of it is; if you feel as if you are going to be unproductive be productive elsewhere. For instance, and this example is just off the top of my head, if you are struggling to write or feel like you are going to be unproductive in your chosen endeavours focus your attention elsewhere, be productive outside of that piece of work, read or watch something, play something, colour, draw, just be productive in another way. Being able to refocus yourself or expand your horizons is an incredible tool within an artists arsenal. Allowing your mind to venture elsewhere, allowing it to free itself up, to relax its overworked side, to give it a chance to breathe, focus and re-focus, to get active again. The mind is like a muscle that needs to be cared for, exercised, relaxed, pushed and stretched and strengthened. It takes a variety of exercises and uses to strength a single muscle and your mind is no different, in its creativity or otherwise.

I followed the advice and in part it worked, there was a reconnection to the craft, I began to think up new ideas, to plot and plan new things but still the looming presence of this here post was crushing all sense of ideas for thesupermundane blog. All I could conjure was a smattering of half formed ideas as I wildly clutched at straws trying to find something in anything. I began to head down the dark path of doubt; do I have anything to say, anything to write, anything interesting, can I do this, is this still fun or is it just work?

The truth is there wasn’t something in anything the answer was in nothing. Of course I can do this, I love this, I love writing, I love hitting a wall and breaking through to the other side even when it seems completely impossible. I stress and hate my deadlines but they drive me to find something, even when nothing is just as good as anything, they drive me to write in new ways, to explore. These waffling 800 words or so are a testament to that very fact. I had nothing to say but I pushed myself for the love of this craft, for the love of this blog, for the daring-do of my self-imposed challenge. I pushed. Yes, sometimes you need to rest, stretch and expand your mind and at others you have to push, you have to complete that one last rep, to make that final sprint even though your lungs feel like they are going to burst, that moment when you go beyond nothing. Exercise yourself, exercise your mind, search for something when it feels like there is nothing to find, make something from nothing, write when you feel like you have nothing left to pen and when you can’t find anything write about nothing.

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