“There are no original ideas. There are only original people.”
– Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
When starting out with a common idea, as I am presently, starting a blog that is partly about myself but partly about the world around me that expresses perspective through drawings, photographs, & thought out mini articles. I keep finding myself questioning my every idea, acknowledging that what I have dreamed up has probably or is in the process of becoming a reality for someone else.
Gaining the confidence to stay focused has been an uphill battle, I live in the Pacific Northwest where sunny days are a rare commodity and the allure of lounging in the park with friends sounds far more glamorous then working on my tan by the light of a computer monitor. As I have made a decision to see how this project evolves, I shall highlight the encounters with my mental ghouls that have attempted to eat at my confidence by distracting me from fulfilling this present fantasy.
- Ghoul #1 : I have come to terms that I have a hard time finishing projects.
This was a big one, as it has been a handicap for most of my artistic life. By nature I am most excited by the newness of a project, I have enjoyed sitting in quiet contemplation about all the possible outcomes & how they may change beyond that. My mind races over all the details, all the steps I will need to take, the heartaches I may encounter, and the people I might meet along the way. I have countless unfinished projects that are strung, jammed, & piled all over my apartment from puppets, to dresses, to drawings, and to half finished sandwiches. (We’ll include that as well, as I seem to have a issues finishing food.)
So yes, my first step was to take notice that there is something about me that can not finish tasks that I have set for myself, regardless of my excitement to see them to fruition. Though, I can not elaborate as to where this is stemmed from I can say that allowing myself to be okay with only working on a project to a point and setting up a timeline to finish has instilled motivation to finish said projects without having them turn into a burden or a flaw in character.
- Ghoul #2 : The art of controlling a wandering mind.
Distractions, Distractions, Distractions.. How I love being distracted & having my mind wander. A good rule of thumb that I follow is if my mind is wandering more than I am able to focus then it is time to take a break. Somewhere along the lines of 20-30mins or more depending if I have found some mischief to involve myself in.
Before stopping I sketch up some quick words about my train of thought before fully accepting that no more work can be done at this moment. It would be quite sad to lose tone or direction and then not be able to remember the purpose of why I started in the first place.
Embrace that the mind does like to wander, take breaks, & attempt to not think about the work while away from it. Inspiration can not be forced, it prefers to sneak up on you when you are not paying attention.
Always carry a pen.. EVERYWHERE.
- Ghoul #3 : Someone else has already done what I am attempting to do.
The internet though an amazing tool for information and ease of connection to different places & people it can also be the biggest knock to the head that there are no original ideas. I have dreamed, schemed, & convinced myself that I have yet to encounter another person doing this or that, only to find myself wide-eyed & disheartened after a quick search or two.
I battle with this one a lot. It has been difficult for me to keep pushing myself past the sadness of, “If only I would have started this x number of years ago, when the internet was smaller & still developing.” or “I have wasted a lot of time in my life.” It is these sorts of thoughts that I am attempting to overcome.
Instead of seeing the amazing artists, crafters, bloggers, etc as an ego-crushing wall; I am changing my perspective and allowing myself to see them as partners in crime. As everyday Mischief Maker forging their own way of bringing something unique & magical to the world.
Just because someone else has done something that I really want to do and has succeeded at it, is not grounds for throwing in the towel because they too at one point where nervous, intimidated, and moderately stressed out about how their perspective & their art was going to be received.
It takes a lot of heart & squishy guts to lay your life out on the interwebs, if anything that is the common factor that ties everyone together along with the drive for self expression.
Ultimately, I have challenged myself to continue and quiet my ghouls from getting in the way of what I want to do. I have embraced the fact that I am me, and no one else is me. The way that my mind deciphers the activities of my daily life & the way that it decides to visually present itself, is unique to me.
It’s a-ok that someone before me has had similar ideas or a similar outlook, the driving force is realizing that if we ever stood in the same place and did the same task, we would walk away with completely different experiences.
So.. Upwards & Onwards.