May Challenge: Mundane

I find it hard to be creative, sometimes. Especially when it feels like life is very boring. Sometimes you wake, work, eat, sleep, rinse and repeat. It feels very boring because you do the same thing every day and it is very hard to get inspired. It can feel hard enough trying to function in your daily life without the need for inspiration to strike.

And, that is what I tend to struggle with the most. I am a naturally creative, person. I like keeping busy by making things. But, you often need to be able to imagine those things before you can create them. It has become one of those problems that has become difficult to describe to people who aren’t of the creative mind. Like, how do you find the interesting, in the mundane?

When someone finds the answer, it would be great if they would let me in on the secret.

This month, although I haven’t stuck to this challenge, I have been able to keep at it. The topic sitting at the sidelines, means that, if I can switch off, I can try and do something. And like most things, creativity becomes easier once you have beaten the mental block. And, for me that is good. As sometimes the challenges I opt into, don’t have any prompts, and that often makes my mental block worse. As if I can’t imagine random content ad hoc, how can I do it on demand? So, maybe going forward, I shall try and look at prompt lists, just to have in the background. Just to be there if I feel the need to write, but can’t think up anything.

The important thing is that if you do feel fed-up with life, try to find the differences in every day, or add stuff to your routine that makes it better. Most lives feel mundane, no matter the person or the job. Every job has its routine, the boring, but essential, parts. So part of adulthood may be learning to find the excitement within the mundane.

Challenges Don’t Challenge Me


It is the 2nd of April, which means a new season of tasks for online creativity. I normally look at BEDA, or Blog Every Day in April, where I aim to post something every day over the course of April. I fail. All the time. And instead of inspiring me to be more productive, I am discouraged and don’t want to do anything.

A challenge is supposed to inspire a person to do bigger and better. It is an opportunity to prove to yourself what you can actually do, beat your own expectations. And, if you do it in a group, you can all help motivate one another, it can work very well. Blogging is a rather solitary task, so it is nice to not do it on your own. Nice to be able to discuss ideas and theories on what you are writing.

However, I haven’t really got involved in many groups and communities, which means I am on my own when it comes to motivation and ideas. And, it can be pretty difficult. And then I join a challenge, like BEDA, and hope it gives me the kick I need to post more regular, and the effect is opposite. I forget to post once, and feel I have failed the challenge, so don’t see the point in continuing. I sometimes struggle with deadlines and doing things, and although I set my own targets, sometimes they seem too large. I have a horrific fear of failure, of being told that I am not good enough. And I sometimes think that it is easier to give up, on my terms, rather than fall down despite my best aims. It is a habit that has been picked up from school, and it is an awful. Sometimes, I am better trying things without a serious goal. That way I can work away without the pressure, and I find I am better. It feels less forced, and there is no big nasty target to discourage me.

I am glad that challenges work for so many people, and every month there seems to be more coming to light. And, they do sometimes encourage me to pick up my art tools, camera or notebook, to try and create something. But, I have to remember that daily challenges don’t help me, so sometimes it is okay to simply sit out.

Head In Sand

Recently I haven’t been sharing at all. Which is not like me, but it’s hard when you are dealing with something that you’d rather not be dealing with.

Unfortunately, life is not that kind. I have been sick, had a major crash with my mental health, had course work due in and the busiest time of the year for the ol’ day job. And it all kind of left me functioning, but that was it. I didn’t want to talk about it, still don’t, because I didn’t want to think about how much stuff was happening all at once. It’s kind of calmed down a little, my coursework is done and Christmas is a week a way, which means no overtime. And it’s allowing me a little time to reflect on why I burrowed myself away from the internet.

For years the internet was where I could let my feelings go, where I could write about stuff that no one cared about. It was very therapeutic and it was completely disconnected from my real life. However, every day there seems to be more merging of both my private life and the one I talk about on line. People who I know in real life, are able to access what I am writing.

Now, this doesn’t seem like a huge problem for some, as they see things being made public, and surely it doesn’t matter who reads it. But… that’s not really how it goes. In my life, I try to put a smile on as I soldier on through whatever the day throws at me. Inside, I may be falling apart, but I don’t want people to see it. I always feel like my mental health issues makes me a burden on others, so I don’t want them to know. That way people don’t feel pressured into being nice, they are being nice because they want to, not because I’m not right in the head. And when these people I share my daily life with can read what I really feel, I feel like I have let them down. I mean, surely I should be able to talk to folk, right?

So, sometimes it is easier to bury my head in the sand. Pretend things are okay, when they aren’t. It’s not perfect. But, it can get me through times where I don’t have the strength to deal with questions about things that I don’t know how to put into words. That’s what writing helps me do, sometimes, put what’s in my head into words that (kind of) make sense.

Perseverance

So, I started posting regularly again, by saying that I would post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  You will notice that today is Tuesday, and there was no post yesterday. I’ll be honest, it was a bad day. I had a few panic attacks and ended up spending most of the day with family. Which was nice.

I guess, what I want to say, it is okay to take time out. I still plan on writing 3 posts this week, it is just that 1 post is a day late. You can still be motivated, and not push yourself too hard. Which, is something that is important. Because when you force things, you sometimes end up doing more damage. And, that is the tricky thing. Having to learn the balance between pushing enough to get things done, and pushing past that. It is a difficult balance.

But, it is important to never give up. If you can’t do something, it is okay to side-line it till later. Stuff will still be there for later. And, if it is urgent, speak to people. It is surprising how supportive people are if they know what is going on.

Finding The Balance

I haven’t been posting again. It has been a conscious decision for the first time in my life. It was a signing out of browsers and apps, so that I could disconnect from things a bit. I am really bad at putting pressure on myself to do things. Usually, it is meaningless things, things that are not essential. Blogging became one of those things, and it quickly became a thing that stressed me out. Which is the opposite to what writing usually has for me.

Where stress came into play, was that I would want to post a few times a week, and I wasn’t really in the mood. My mind was elsewhere, and I couldn’t think of anything to write about. But, because I had set my mind on posting something, I would start panicking that I was failing. I don’t know what you really fail at, if you don’t post on a blog that noone reads, but it was still a stress-point. My head has a way of recognising what I fail at, whilst ignoring everything else. And by recognising, I mean constantly berating myself till I feel so suffocated I get dizzy. Which is not nice.

So, I have been taking time out. Time to re-assess things. Try to find the pleasure in writing again. It would be nice. I mean, writing has been a favourite thing of mine for years, and it has helped me figure a lot of things out. Doesn’t mean I am any good at writing, but I should get a Blue Peter badge for trying. To write when I want, not because I feel I have to.

In the time I have spent away from my computer, I have tried to do things I like. I have been going on long drives in my car, which is fun. Being able to go where I want, when I want, instead of waiting on buses has changed my life. I have explored all around where I live, visited towns I’ve never been and walked in parks and woodland. It has really helped me chill out. I put a crappy CD on, put petrol in the car and just follow a road somewhere. There is no pressure to exceed, just drive safely. Learning to drive really is the best thing I have done in years.

I just need to try and find a mix between productivity and relaxation. If I can try to not stress about being productive, I am sure I will find pleasure in writing again. I just need to remember sometimes, that what my head thinks is most important, isn’t always that way.

Nervous. Who, me?

This is quite a relevant prompt today. I have fallen off a lot of bandwagons recently, with my productivity going from ‘quite good’ to ‘non-existent’. I struggled to do everything, from going to the gym, to progressing through my to-read pile. I felt a little bit useless for a few weeks there, and it is horrible. I was at the stage of failing to see the point in doing anything, which is not a really nice place to be.

I am at the stage now, where I am feeling a bit more energetic, wanting to climb back on that horse again, but I am nervous. It takes a lot of effort and work to get your energy levels back, after a period of self-doubt. Because a lot of my problems are brought on by anxiety, I find myself jumping to the worse possible conclusion when it comes to trying to do anything. I find myself a lot less anxious, when I am doing things based on habits. But, habits have to be formed, so I will always have a brick wall to navigate past, no matter what I do.

It is frustrating. I have been reading a lot about positive energy, and that by changing your mindset, you can do a lot more than you normally would. Use the nerves as a positive thing, as a thing to conquer. Something that you can defeat. So many people in this word use nervous energy as something that drives them, musicians, writers, politcians. But, it doesn’t have to be a particular career that can benefit from using nerves, anyone can do it. So rather than falling silent to the thoughts running through your mind, use them to push you forward. As said above, that is all about forming new habits, something that is quite hard to do.

Remember, if it goes a bit askew one day, one week, or even  a whole month, today is a new day, so try and make it better than before. Which is easier said than done. Try today, and if it doesn’t work, try again tomorrow. Every day is a new opportunity. Just don’t let the nerves win.

via Daily Prompt: Nervous

Struggling

This week, so far, has been very difficult, productivity wise. Like, I set out these plans, and some of them aren’t working. Forming new habits are really hard, and I think it is easy to forget that, when you set yourself tasks.

I have posted every day, so far. And, whilst I was ahead of myself last week, this week, I am ‘putting it off’. It’s not that I don’t want to do anything, I do, it’s just I can’t stay focused long enough to do anything substantial. So this wee gap, between spending time with family and going to bed, has been used to write. It’s not so much a writer’s block, more of just pure procrastination.

I. Hate. That. Word.

Procrastination.

It’s the idea that people have this programme in their minds, that simply ‘puts things off’. As an adult, I have had enough experience to know that putting stuff off never works. The number of sleepless nights I had because I didn’t do work for school or college, and it was deadline time. It was not good. But still, all these years later, I leave everything to the last minute. It is one thing that annoys me about myself.

But, when I think about it, or chat to friends about it, they procrastinate too. No matter what it is, people can feel like they can’t be bothered. It made me think, that maybe procrastination is natural. That, if people had the choice, they would love to just watch funny videos on YouTube all day. But they can’t. People have to function, and sometimes trying to function knowing those funny videos are out there is hard. You have to show discipline. You have to make effort. And sometimes, no one wants to make effort.

Maybe we need to be easier on ourselves. Understand that everyone gets to where they can’t be bothered. And we need to either push through it, or decide it is not important enough. I think that is what I want to come of trying to commit more. That if there is something, that isn’t worth ‘pushing through’ the distractions, then I shouldn’t do it. Quite hard to know when to let something go though.

Sometimes it would be nice if life had a guidebook like the Computer Games do.

Thumbs Up!

Today I am feeling very positive. Like that I can take on the whole world. Which is something that doesn’t happen very often. It may be that taking time out and doing things for myself is working, or it may just be that I haven’t been working for most of last week. Either way, it is a nice feeling. And, as I have mentioned before, I want to show a bit more of a balance on her. Making the point of writing when I am doing well, not just when I feel rubbish.

So, I am taking this feeling of positivity and turning it into actual stuff. That stuff includes writing, like this, and getting things ready to shoot a video tomorrow. Yes, I am another person who sometimes vlogs (video blogs). Nothing makes me feel better than expressing myself, and the more avenues I have to do that, the better I feel. I started off well with my vlogs, at the start of the year, but I have since fallen off that horse long ago. But, as I have said before, it is not about not doing something, it is about carrying on with that thing after a period of not doing it. If that makes sense.

I feel buzzed today. As much as I would like to think it is because it was my birthday yesterday, I know it isn’t. Being on the wrong side of 30 kind of has the opposite effect that my birthday used to have. But, I do always take time out of work for my birthday, so maybe it did help. So I was sitting around feeling a bit hyper today. So i decided to do something useful, and spend a while rambling some nonsense. Again.

This post was created under the influence of:

This video by Tessa Violet (Meekakitty)

This song by Good Charlotte

This album by Babymetal

 

Frustration

What do you do when you have no motivation? When you can’t find the energy to do anything?

It is something that happens a lot, and when I speak to others, it happens to them too. It is frustrating, something that annoys me a lot. Because I have all these things in my head, but I just can’t process these thoughts into anything substantial. Because of these issues, I feel stifled, almost suffocated. Whether it has been a traditional diary, or writing an online blog, I have written my way through any problems life has thrown at me.

So, as a way to try and pull myself out of whatever ‘funk’ I have been festering in, I am forcing myself to write something. Because that is how we get through life, by being a trouper and carrying on through the shit. It doesn’t sound like much, but the only way that a person can truly get over something  is to force their way through. I have tried ignoring things before, as I have done the last few weeks, and as I said earlier, it really doesn’t work.

But I guess that is a lesson that I have learnt as I have got older. Something that has come from experience of trying to run away from my problems. Whilst ignoring stuff may seem like a solution, it is only temporary. The problems that you avoid, will always come back around for you, and sometimes it is worse than if you had dealt with it at the first opportunity. The quicker that things are dealt with, the less a problem they are in the long run. And, with something like productivity, once you have jumped back on that old bandwagon, it is a lot easier to keep going.

Productivity Eliminated!!

I am always complaining about how unproductive I am. People scoff, as if it is pure laziness causing the problem. But it really is an issue. I am not unproductive in the manner that I sit and do nothing. I am unproductive in the state that I do other things rather than what I am supposed to do. It is like my mind distracts me to do something other than what I have to do. This is a wee list of the stuff that are the main culprits of my distractions.

*Twitter/Tumblr/Youtube: I have lumped these three together because they are all similar as to how they soak up my time. I log on to the site in question, so see if I have any messages, or anything of interest pops up. Which is fine. Except that ‘one thing’ ends up with me checking something else, and then another. And before I know it, I have lost my whole evening. Because social networks are constantly updating, the new influx of information coming constantly, can make it difficult to tear yourself away from the site.

*Finding Things: Tidying up is the worst for me to get distracted from, and it happens all the time. Usually, it comes as I find a magazine, book or newspaper, and I decide to check through it to see if there is anything worth keeping in it. However, rather than skimming, I sit and read the whole thing. I lose my motivation, as I get myself comfortable, and read through everything I can find. And that seems to take priority in my mind, over the washing that is sitting in the piles on my floor. Yeah, not efficient at all.

*’Just One More’: Computer games, TV shows, chapters of a book, it is very easy to say, I’ll do it after this one. I do it, because I seem to think that it will give me motivation. That because I want to play the next fight on Street Fighter, that I’d give myself 10 minutes to clean a bit, play another fight, another 10 minutes. The problem here is one of two things. I either become too involved in what I am doing, that I ‘forget’ to stop. The other is that I am so shit at what I am doing, I don’t actually get to the checkpoint that I have in mind. So never actually clean up.

Reading this back, I think my main problem is making excuses. Ooops!