Show Me That Inspiration!
If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered which arm rest at the theatre is truly yours. You just sit there, absolutely terrified, wondering if you’re stealing from some poor guy or being robbed blind by that asshole with the hotdog. You know in your heart you gotta fight someone (I mean it’s just good theatre etiquette really) but you’re not too sure who. The baby or the kid kicking your seat?
One of them has got to go.
It’s a system deviously envisioned, surely intended to free up seats for even more ticket sales.
CORPORATE CONNIVING BASTARDS.
Or, I could be reading way too much into it.
Anyway, I suppose more to the point, I’ve also been wondering lately where it is that others go when they’ve hit a wall.
Both literally and metaphorically speaking because I’m in a lot of pain right now.
But what does one do when sitting before a blank screen, blank canvas, crime scene, whatever.
Again, asking both metaphorically and literally here.
Well I tend to aimlessly flail about the streets like a fish choking on air, looking for something or someone to show me a little love.
Personally though, I’ve come to see that there are few things as truly frustrating as having a deadline of some sort, and simply not finding the substance needed to get you there on time. The sense of being chased while you sit at home and eat nachos all day. I’m fairly certain you all know that feeling of dragging about a dead horse, really just unable to get to work.
And before you ask, no, there was no particular reason.
But I think most of you really do know what it’s like to feel as though everything you start on is so atrociously ugly it’s just asking to be burnt the moment you set your pen or brush down. That feeling of being so utterly stumped, you can’t help but crawl around your house sobbing, grabbing at the pant legs of family members as they kick at you in annoyance.
But seriously, it’s a problem all the narcotics in the world couldn't help, because believe me I tried that too and it ended a LOT differently than I thought it would.
“You seen Sky?”
“Umm, yeah. He’s ah… digging tunnels outside again.”
Distantly: “To Rome my brethren!”
I know most of us here are not what you would call ‘rational’ or ‘sane’ to begin with (silly-silly words), but surely we shouldn't be adding to that insanity with this inability to produce something you can look at without violently vomiting. We’re mad enough as it is, no need to stretch those limits.
Leans close. Whispers: “That’s when it gets messy, friend.”
But you do see that man in the trench coat, right?
OMG HE’S WAVING.
So what’s best then when facing a crisis of your own like that? How does one refocus, and get that axe to the grindstone? Because in our line of work, we need all the axes we can get (Metaphorical?).
Well, a big one that’s been shared with me is getting ‘outside’ for ‘exercise’ and coming back ‘stress free’ and ready to work again.
Now, I’ve done some research, and four of these things are just not like the others. I’m actually pretty convinced four of those words are not even real.
But, I guess if I’m mistaken, and this whole ‘running’ thing works for you, by all means head out under that giant ball of radiation and thrash those leg muscles wildly about in some forward like motion or other.
That’s… really all I know about it to be honest.
Which is precisely why I much prefer another method. It may come across as a bit strange (though let’s be honest, not half as strange as everything we cover here on BSW) but it does actually help me.
I enjoy many storytelling platforms, including the one with moving pictures. Whenever I can’t sit down and hammer out whatever I’m supposed to, I turn to the magical box of colours and find myself the absolute worst tear-inducing, murder-inciting, botched experiment, piece of garbage TV there is.
And then I drink until I can watch it.
I kid you not, after a few minutes of mindless yelling and incoherent materialized rage, I’m good to go, determined not to in a million years create anything half as shitty as whatever I just watched.
Now, truth be told, I’m sure that in my darkest hours on this planet I’ve drafted some stuff that’s even worse, but there’s something about bad TV that just kickstarts the creative process. I don't know if it’s fear or commitment or collective human guilt that gets me up off the floor and back behind my desk (now literally the only two places I exist), but it works every time.
Foolproof, and I would know, ‘cause I’m the fool here.
They say that a change of purpose is what resets the mind, but whoever said that has obviously never gone from writing to real life because that shit will mess you up.
Anyway, another highly recommended method was to change my environment.
So I tried that, and broke into my neighbours apartment, but just ended up getting arrested. So that one’s a no go.
Unless you like that kind of thing I guess.
Taking a walk was yet another proposed option from a friend of mine, meant earnestly I’m sure, but I’m fairly certain now that my life behind a desk has seeped the strength from my legs.
“I am one with the chair.”
Get the blood flowing was also mentioned, and at first I thought this was a great idea, until I realized they meant mine. Then I was less interested.
But, through the hours of tireless dedication I poured into researching this topic, I’ve found one other tried and true method that I have in fact used myself in the past. One rather quite simple thing that apparently does science stuff in your brain and actually helps with the whole ‘more work less nachos’ thing.
Music, obviously, is one of the greatest ways to let your mind drift for a while. For me, I take a moment to explore iTunes and find new stuff. Tunes I wouldn't normally listen to, good for both a simple distraction of the mind and finding good music. After 15 minutes I’m usually ready again to get to work, having, like a man-sized goldfish, forgotten about whatever it was stopping me in the first place.
Understandably, everyone’s going to find their own way to push through. Though the bad TV thing is actually a pretty neat trick if I don't say so myself. Go ahead and give it a try sometime.
In the end we’ve all got our things that keep us from being productive. Family, work, nachos, crime, it’s all the same. But I mean, if not for gravity, I guess we’d all be superstars anyway right?
We’d all be mush puddles, and that’s a fact.
Stay classy folks.
Thanks for reading.