Ever sat there with a word document open, or a pad and pen in front of you just staring blankly at it, wishing it would write for you? Hoping that soon a little fairy will come along and magic words, ideas, creativity anything just so that page is not blank. However, I don’t know what is worse, sitting there with nothing or judging everything you write, getting distracted and then simply deleting it all so you are back to square one. Most nights I am the latter, unable to keep my mind focused upon one task for too long, even as this is being written I have the radio on, and at least twelve tabs for the internet running and finally at least three word documents open. Each of them just as important as the next, at least within my mind (organised chaos it’s been called) and the subjects vary completely, everything from the cupcakes I plan on making tomorrow (chocolate fudge of course) to researching the history of my new home, even having at least three social media sites running communicating with people all over the world. There is a saying “a tidy home is a tidy mind” meaning that your thoughts will be clear, concise and you can communicate your thoughts completely. But this is just not me I don’t think I could have a completely tidy mind, or home (it’s not filthy my OCD makes sure of that, but a little clutter never hurt anyone right?) But I always have something, no more than one something, running around my mind, needing to be discovered and spoken about.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” now this from Albert Einstein I can truly relate to with so many projects lay upon my desk waiting to be finished but so many more ideas bubble around my head and I have to catch them before they all just disappear into thin air. So many pieces of paper, or saved documents with little snippets of ideas that I could never quiet finish completely but just could not ignore (Everything seems like a great idea when you start). Now in my life I have survived three years at university (survived sounds apt, maybe one day I will explain it….Oooo there goes another idea) with this mind set, always wanting to do something different, now I can honestly say it has gotten me into some trouble now and then, especially when it comes to having to complete assignments.
Most of the time I got handed several at once, (the joys of working for a degree) which at least for me did not help my mind to become focused, or at least less cluttered in order to focus upon it all properly and construct a clear and concise assignment for the strict deadline. And of course most of the time these assignments never came with just the one question (because that would have been too easy); so there I sat with a string of assignments and a string of questions for each one having to just choose one to start with. So what would have taken someone only about a week to do took me a little longer, starting the assignment getting about three hundred words in before simply getting distracted, or judging the work and deleting it all. “you are your own harshest critic” not a truer word has been said, everyone has those moment where they hate what they are doing, believing it is no good; but imagine that when you are creating say three different things for one assignment, you truly are a harsh critic.
Knowing all the worst that can come with being hyper cluttered and highly unfocused most of the time it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is there, somewhere buried under all the paperwork. A cluttered mind is not something to be worried about, stressed over or try to ignore but something that should be embraced even in its chaotic ways. Just imagine all the ideas that can come into your mind in a day, a week, a month and then a year; your entire lifetime is filled with so many little sparks of ideas that can be turned into so many wondrous things. For me its ideas for stories, articles and jus things to research in general; the smallest thing making my brain burst with ideas that I just have to write down or look for.
However, the problem when getting all these wondrous ideas, at least for me, and being so distracted or easily swayed to delete it all is hardly any of them actually get finished or amount to much, sitting there collecting dust but I just couldn’t let the idea slip away unnoticed. I have file after file of work that needs to be finished, but I just keep starting new projects as new ideas bubble to the surface but of course those ideas that I once started are never forgotten, just sitting there waiting for the same spark to come back around and bring new life to it once again.
This is what leads me to wonder what is worse, having “writers block” where you have no creativity or idea what to write, or having far too many ideas to write and flitting to one after the other without finishing the first. Most people tend to suffer with writers block, being unable to put pen to paper and to know just what to write but there are many ways to at least help with this problem, to get the flow going once again so you can finish or even simply start that piece of work that is looming over you. However, as far as I know, there is no such thing to stop yourself getting distracted by your own mind.
Meditation, the aim is to clear your mind completely, relax and focus only upon your breathing; once complete you are supposed to stay relaxed and able to focus throughout the day. Maybe it’s just me but once I’ve stopped meditating its back to business as usual for my mind. Even when focusing upon important things, like trying not to burn dinner or having an important discussion my mind is always thinking about so many different things a mile a minute. Sometimes the only piece from my cluttered mind is in my sleep, unless I end up dreaming of course (wonderful stories as you rest). It is always the simplest of things that will distract me the most, a friend saying hello, a loud noise on the tv or even, strangely, a change in light, movement or anything just out the corner of my eye; it is just a second of my life but then poof the idea is just gone and there is nothing that can bring that fleeting idea back once again.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked, well I must have been really naughty in a past life. So which is worse, writer ’s block or serial distraction? Am I alone in my suffering?