Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween, Sun and Writer's Block.

Happy Halloween!
And a perfect Halloween it is too. The weather is lovely. All cold, brisk and autumny, but with sunshine streaming through the windows. I took a break from my dissertation planning (which, yes, I'm taking another break from to write this...) and took myself out for a walk in the park to soak up as much as possible this glorious autumn sun, before it starts rising at 11, setting at 3, and spending the hours between shrouded in clouds.

I have writer's block, which is affecting me everywhere. In fact, it feels more like life block. I'm not writing, not keeping up-to-date with uni work, not following up opportunities that come my way, not doing the things I love to do. Not because I don't want to, but because I seem to have become stuck in the belief that if I do something I'll suck at it. Or that, even if it's not bad, it still won't measure up to other people's standards or abilities.

I wonder why anyone would want to read something I've written. Why should I bother taking photos when so many people can do it better. Why draw, when my pens only occasionally make the shapes and lines they're supposed to? Why am I making films, when every recent project I've been a part of has fallen apart?

The answer to all of the above, is because I love to do it. I love to draw, to take photos, and to see my ideas come alive on screen and on paper. And I know that I'm good at it when I give myself the chance. But the chance is what I'm not allowing myself to have. I refuse to be second-best at something, refuse to fail, which means that if there's the slightest chance of this happening I turn tail and run.

Okay, 'tis time for these musings to come to an end for now. Back to writing my dissertation proposal. This time trying to write about what I want to, instead of worrying about whether my (so far beyond useless) dissertation tutor will see it in the same way as me.

(Picture by Madydiu on deviantART)


SillyBoy said...

Sometimes I worry that you've picked up this kind of thinking from me! Right around the time you posted this, I was already musing on the way I avoid trying new things because I can't handle not being perfect at them. Like that keyboard I keep not getting around to buying.

Of course, this also makes me not exactly the best person to give you helpful advice. I could parrot the conventional wisdom, which says that practice, practice, practice is the only way to get better at stuff, but I never seem to believe it quite enough to follow it myself. As a kid, I was just naturally clever and coasted through school, so I never really made the connection between working hard and getting better at stuff.

But, you know, just turning tail and running and producing nothing, is far more failsome than sticking around and producing something, however imperfect it may be. And from what I've seen of your writing and artwork and photography, it's not all that imperfect :)

Evie said...

Hehe, don't worry. I haven't picked it up from you. I've always been a perfectionist, I'm just noticing it a lot more at the moment. Or rather, noticing how it affects so many things I do/want to do. But now I'm so aware of it, perhaps it'll be easier to get past. I am hereby giving myself permission to not be perfect at everything first time. Practice does indeed make perfect, and practice I must.

And you so have to get that keyboard!

SillyBoy said...

And you so have to get that keyboard!

Yes, yes I do. But not in November! The last thing I need now is a new distraction.
I might start dropping hints in time for Christmas, though :)