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Introspection and Inspiration

Writing a blog post is on my to-do-list today. So what does one write when one cannot decide on a subject? I am wondering whether I can write an interesting blog post about being completely uninspired. Shall I try?

I’ve been avoiding pain and stress as best I can. I’ve had some difficult times last year and in the years before that and I discovered, perhaps by accident, that not thinking too deeply about anything is a great way of avoiding stress. Unfortunately, it’s also a great way to never feel inspired.

People discuss the connection between art and mental illness and I wonder whether this is the problem – when you think and feel deeply, it hurts. When you try and avoid pain you have nothing to tap into, no ink for your art.

Since Christmas, apart from finishing the first draft of Ribbons (and I have to admit I’m pretty happy with how that’s shaping up) I have avoided introspection. I’ve been editing, which has been great in my current mood, and I’ve started sketching. It’s a way to see the surface of things in minute detail without feeling the need to dig deeper and consider motivations. I’m not talented at drawing, but sketching makes me happy and content to see what’s visible while writing stories makes me strive to understand what hides beneath. My other distraction from introspection has been Minecraft. A creative game of making architecturally interesting buildings that have no practical purpose, and no life – again it’s all about what’s visible on the surface. Which is ironic considering “mining” is supposed to be an integral part of the process.

To write a story, or a blog post, I mine my emotions. I dig deep and pull out those parts that might horrify or repel someone who is content to live on the surface, to be content. This is my dilemma. I have so much pain below the surface, but mining it exhausts me. Yet for now at least I cannot write compelling stories without suffering this pain.

I suspect that’s why I don’t see value (beyond personal pleasure) in my sketches. What can be said by only revealing a surface that is already visible? Especially when one cannot do that particularly effectively.

Is there a solution? I believe I have choices. I can either continue to live a half-life of contentment or I can resume mining my psyche for uncomfortable truths. I haven’t decided which way to go yet. In the meantime I shall accept that January is a month for peace and recharging of batteries. Minecraft and my sketch book will be places to hide from pain for a few weeks at least. Eventually I know I will no longer be comfortable hiding from life or pain. It is my nature to pick at scabs.

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