Happy birthday, Obstacles! It’s 10 weeks old today, boy do they do grow up fast…
Not going to lie, this week’s topic was inspired by another friend, who (un?)knowingly herded me down this road. A brief recap of our conversation:
Me: “I should write… but I forgot the idea I had for this week’s topic…”
Him: “Free write?”
Me: “But without an obstacle, it won’t fit in the series…”
Him: “The lack of obstacle IS an obstacle!”
Somehow, that put all my feelings into one word for today’s topic: aimlessness.
A very accurate Japanese expression comes to mind: うろうろする (urouro suru). It literally means “loiteringly, aimless wandering,” although apparently ‘loiteringly’ isn’t a word (tell that to my dictionary!). Basically, it was me before having a topic. “I want to write, but I dunno what…” It can also be translated as “whine whine whine, excuses excuses excuses,” although the former sounds much better. (Before you get offended, realize I’m addressing myself first and foremost.)
This takes place in all aspects of writing: before you have a story, especially when you have a story and trying very hard not to write it for numerous reasons (read Obstacles #1-9), and probably even after you wrote a story. I haven’t really finished enough stories to feel the latter, but I can see how it exists.
Aimlessness is kind of an overwhelming yet so underwhelming feeling. It’s basically like shuffling your feet in front of the fridge, mumbling to yourself “what should I eat, what do I feel like eating,” and closing the door then opening it again without ever really making up your mind. “I want to write this, I don’t know how, but then I could do this, but I need more time to think but I really want to write but-but-but…”
Sometimes it sort of feels like “writer’s depression,” at least for part of it. *
What to do to overcome it?
I seem to whine to my friends a lot, and they shove me back on the road I’m (subconsciously or not) trying to avoid. I don’t really have good advice, mostly because most of my writing phases lately have been spent in this stage, except for the few “omg what a great idea!” moments.
I unfortunately don’t know of a miracle pill! For the sole reason miracle pills don’t exist, but– if you have some remedy, pleasepleaseplease tell me/us! 🙂
P.S: Ok, I might‘ve found a remedy… Ready? Hear this: be sick. I wish I was kidding – or maybe I’m just really weird – but don’t you think things outside your control are great inspiration? Perhaps in the strangest way. For me at least, when I feel crappy – like last night when I had a fever – my mind just jumps to being able to describe what I’m going through and it’ll probably show up in my writing at some point… But I’m not saying you should make yourself sick, because– ew, being sick sucks! Maybe I should pay more attention to things when I’m also not sick and see where that ends up? 😉
* Disclaimer: I don’t mean to discuss this at length, but know I don’t mean to offend anyone.