Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Procrastination, Cycles, Drive, and why I could Never be a Businessman.

Those who know me well know that I am a big fan of procrastination. Like, a BIG fan. I have the box set and everything. The posters are on my walls. I can recite the theme song by heart (including the musical notes themselves). I am the president of the fan club. HUGE fan.

Metaphors aside, I am known to procrastinate quite a bit (hell, I’m procrastinating on an assignment right now). Things that need doing that cost something (marks, money, etc) still get done in the end, though, so in that respect, all’s well. The problem with my procrastination is that it also fits into other areas of my life.

Y’see, I have great urges sometimes to create something. Whether it is a written work, a comic, a drawing, or even work on making a game of some kind, I feel the need to do it. My inspiration, however, comes at some inopportune times (in the shower, in class, trying to go to bed, when I’m out, etc). Granted, this is the case for most of humanity, but in my case, it means that things do not get done. When I get the inspiration, I tell myself that I will tackle it later when the time is right (like when I’m not in class, or after my shower, etc). The problem is that when my initial inspiration fizzles, however, it does not rear its head again when I actually do have the time to do something. When I have the time, my mind blanks, and my skills seem to fade. Since the muse is no longer with me, and since whatever I would make would be for myself and not really worth anything outside of that, I decide to go do something else instead. While doing other things BOOM, inspiration again. But again, it fizzles when I actually try to act on said inspiration. This is a cycle that has gripped me for quite a decent portion of my life, and it has led to some strange behaviours on my part.

By behaviours, I mean in relation to my emotions. When inspiration hits, it is a damn powerful force. I feel invigorated, that I can do something with myself. They say that the greats in their respective fields did what they loved just for the hell of it, and dammit, I’m gonna do it too! But when the inspiration fades and I result in nothing, I feel like shit. A waste of space. Sure, I get things done that cost me something in the end, but when it comes to creation for the sake of creation, I do not have much to show for it. That is, as much as I would like to have. I hear tales of others who enter the arts and the like who can’t do anything but what they love: kids who have written novels in their grade school years, artists who have sketchbooks filled with creative pieces. When I examine my life and find that I do not have those things, and when I notice that I lack the drive to create this things, I get down. Sure, I do other things to cheer me up, like listen to music, watch some good animations, play some games, and I eventually get out of the rut (thus leading myself to another bout of unwarranted inspiration). But it always nags in the back of my mind that I haven’t successfully acted on my inspirations. My lack of a “portfolio” of sorts gnaws on my consciousness, making me subtly uneasy. It is a cycle that drains me in one instant and invigorates me in the next. It is a cycle that I wish would cease.

Then again, I hear of artists who go through the same thing, in different respects. Some artists make what they can, but are continually convinced that what they made is shit, that they’re no good. This self-loathing in artistry is well documented, but in my case, it is underlined by the fact that I don’t even have those shitty things to lament. I make things here and there that I keep, but as previously stated, in times when I could make something, I usually don’t. As an example, I am making this blog post right now, but part of me is confident that it will be quite a while before I do anything else creative.

And I guess that’s my problem. What I should do, what I need to do is man up and do something. The main thing seems to be that, without a deadline or a cost, I choose not to do things. But I say now that I am going to actively try to change that. I will attempt to do, each day, something constructive and creative that is outside of what needs to be done (like work, school, etc). I will make something, whether it is a blog post, a drawing, something written, etc. Even if what I make is shit, I will keep it and continue. Hopefully this habit will help me break my self-injuring cycles. Ideally, I hope that this leads to me doing even more things a day just for the sake of them, and that it jogs my mind into conjuring my inspiration when it is actually needed. Ideally, this will end the feelings of utter uselessness that I feel I experience far too often.

There. Now it’s in writing. Before, I would make similar commitments, but in my mind. My mind, however, is a very malleable place. But now the text exists outside of myself. I have something to look to, something to push me on. I pray that it is enough. I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of a new age for myself. An age, dare I say it, of “magical wonder” (trademark).

Lastly, before I decide to publish this, I must mention that I could never be a businessman. My Intro to Entrepreneurship class is teaching me that. All of that work done for green (as in money, not environment), all of it revolving around green. Where did the humanity go? Where did doing things because you believed in them go? I know the way our current society works demands the dollar above all else, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way. I am not declaring a solution, and I could go into more detail in another post, but I just think it’s worth saying that, in the example of creating one’s own business, one should do it because they want to create something, not just for some green (working to avoid poverty notwithstanding).

To recap: I must do something each day for the sake of doing it. That is my new creed. May it lead me to where I wish to end up.

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