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When you paint it black

Posted Apr 02 2009 12:53pm
"I was weak. That's why I needed you... needed someone to punish me for my sins... but that's all over now... I know the truth. Now it's time to end this. "

- James Sunderland, Silent Hill 2

In my When your colors fade to gray post I wrote tips on what to do when you want to do smth but too tired to do anything. Here is some piece of advice on what to do when you don't want to do anything at all.

So. You sit in your corner and all you want is to be left along. You don't want to do anything creative, you don't want to skip time reading or watching tv or playing some video game. Nothing is interesting. Everything is dull and unimportant. And you hate this state.

And you love it at the same time. No worries though. Let us start and you'll love a sense of relief too, I promise.

The best way to get over this numb state is to get yourself busy. This of course contradicts your very mood, yet ask yourself if you want to make things better or what? If your wish is to become happier and more creative, then you need to force yourself but only in the beginning.

1. Make a list of long-term projects and place it on your desk so that you can see it. This doesn't mean making a list of things you want to do right now (besides right now you seem to want to do nothing). Switch your emotions off and write the cool things that you dream to do one day: a story or a book to write, a site to create, a painting to draw, a set of flowers to bloom in your garden, some jewelry to make, some new pie to bake (or create a set of your own recipes maybe?), remake your house interior, write some cool program or create a new design model.

2. Divide each project into small pieces. Big projects always look almost impossible until you realize that they can be divided into several small and sweet steps. As you think about some big project chances are it overwhelms you and you put it on a shelf of cool-things-never-to-be-done, which you call a to-do-later stuff. Besides a set of small steps to perform will also keep your mind occupied for a long period of time and thus distract from sad thoughts which is the main goal.

3. Choose 1 project and start with the first step. You may need to force yourself into doing this step. Do it. Even if you don't feel like starting. Start with something.

When I created this blog I copypasted info from other sources which is [info] no doubt interesting and useful. Then I burned out. It wasn't my work that I pasted here so I considered blogging as a mechanical rather then creative activity. I abandoned it for several months. I complained that I couldn't write and did no attempt to actually start writing. I blamed other people, said surrounding conditions discourage me from doing anything. Finally I forced myself into the first step: write down any ideas or experiences to my notepad. Now this blog is based on those notes.

4. Keep away from perfectionism. Trying to make a masterpiece from the first sketch means to burn out soon and for long. Don't try to make a clean copy at once, rather make several drafts. Also don't consider drafts as failures. Only cartoon characters make millions copywrites to tear them to pieces one by one. You instead learn and improve with repetition. Thus it is good to keep a track of your attempts.

5. Be honest to yourself and stop creating extra demons. The problem is in your mind only. Be brave, stop running away from distractions. Be a master of your own universe. Correct your own mistakes instead of cancelling newborn projects just becuse you think they started in a wrong way. Take control ower your life and soon you'll succeed.

In the beginning of this post. James Sunderland - a protagonist from Silent Hill 2 video game saw a pyramid-headed monster spoil his life through the game. In the end, however, he understands that the monster is just a visualization of his own wish of self-torture. He makes a decision [a quote] and starts attaking pyramid head. He does not kill it - because it is not real. Instead the monster kills itself, which means James understood that there is no need to blame external powers and he is the one who controls his life and can improve it. His fear gone.

A personal note here. Right now I experience a bad period of my life. I don't know what to do about sertain things. My emotions tend to play tricks on me and I don't always control them. Yet I won't give up. I know this. I have lots of projects in my mind and I will bring them into play one by one.

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