Too much of a good thing?

You know, I really haven’t been very creative lately. Part of the reason for that is that when I get a buzz to do something creative, I’m so overwhelmed with options that the result is a complete creative paralysis. I’m aware that this is pretty much the ultimate first world problem (“Oh no, I have simply TOO MANY CHOICES available for my spiritually nourishing creative pursuits!”), but it is something of an issue in my life at the moment, thus not beneath mention– in part because I’m pretty sure I’m far from the only one having this problem.

So, let’s say I have some free time today and I feel like creating something. Here are the options that I have immediately available at my fingertips, without having to go out of my way to do any special preparation or purchase any additional supplies:

1) Drawing pictures either on paper, or on a tablet, which I can then edit digitally and share with the world via my blog or other social avenues

2) Making sculptures with polymer clay, which I can then take pictures of and share online

3) Create a book about literally anything, and self-publish it to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and virtually all other internet retailers via Smashwords and other services

4) Start Manga Studio and make any kind of comic/graphic novel I want.

5) Start Anime Studio and make any kind of animation I want

6) Start RPG Maker and/or GameMaker and make (within reason) any kind of videogame I want; in fact, I could finish that stupid RPG of mine that’s like 90% done(!), but that’s neither here nor there

7) Start up Garageband and experiment with making music. I used to be really into singing when I was younger, and sometimes I miss having music in my life. Now, with the tools available, I can make music without having to invest in expensive instruments

8) Make videos for upload on Youtube to explore issues I care about

9) Open Audacity and start a new podcast

…and that’s only scratching the surface. I could make the list a lot longer, but most of the other items would be either related to, or subsets of the above, so I decided to keep it short(ish). There are also things I consider creative that others may not (like doing gaming Let’s Plays that can veer into serious analysis and/or a kind of performance art) but those are less immediately tempting than the options above, so I left them off.

I’m envious of people who are in love with one medium and are prepared to devote their life to it. I’m interested in all of the above, but doing any of them WELL requires a commitment that I don’t seem to be prepared to give, since making a choice would be robbing myself of the other options. Yet by not making a choice, I effectively do nothing.

It seems almost criminally wasteful. Here I am with technology at my disposal that previous generations of creative types would have KILLED for, and I’m not using it much because I can’t pick a discipline. That’s stupid, but how do I break out of it? I love doing a bunch of different things, but doing what I’ve done in the past– dabbling in a bunch of things, and switching around as the mood strikes– means I’m not likely to ever do more than mediocre work in any of them. I’d like to have the chance of being more than mediocre, at something.

All that said, I’m getting really tired of feeling like such an uncreative louse, so I am going to have to make some kind of choice– or at least a choice not to make a choice, and continue to be mediocre, as opposed to being nothing. That’s a pretty depressing way of looking at it I guess, but what’s the alternative?

2 thoughts on “Too much of a good thing?”

  1. I think there was a tweet that said it best, “All worthwhile things are difficult, but not all difficult things are worthwhile.”

    This kinda reminds me of myself and how I have so many interests (even though I don’t dabble in all of them creatively). I have a problem where my mindset switches if something new sounds interesting to me. I guess you can say that I’m too ambitious and just going after the shiny new thing because of how enticing it looks.

    I think it’s worse when you have too many choices and crave mental/intellectual stimulation. It leads to so much rumination. Is that how you’re feeling? I’m not going to tell you to be mindful (unlike all those pop psychologists are preaching), but think about whether that interest will make you a better person and help you in ways that other interests can’t.

    I focused my talent on writing and research and so far, so good. It’s gotten me somewhere to a point that I can be a bit more successful. My company at the job I’m at doesn’t want me to switch to my weaknesses.

    I’m starting to find the benefit of being stupid at times. 😛

  2. My problem is more than I tend to tackle everything at once and end up pushing shit back. It’s not always my fault, life often gets in my damn way, but it’s also just a problem with me. Part of the problem is I tend to put shit out there as side-projects just to gauge how people respond to them and then feel guilty about not updating them as often. I really ought to just wait on some of this shit.

    I’m writing a mythos that spans several different running webnovels and interconnects and builds off of each other. I’m fully aware that at my current pace, I won’t finish this project for like another 20 fucking years or some shit. I’ve kept myself going steady for the past two and half years but it’s scary to think I may end up abandoning it somewhere down the line. I don’t think I’d do that but who knows what the future holds?

    Motivation is hard when you’re small-time. It’s easy to be content with putting out a chapter a month when there’s less than dozen people actively reading it. It’s easy to let your LP schedule fall behind when you barely get any views. I always assume that the bigger reaction you get to your work, the bigger a part of your life it becomes and you get more motivated to do it.

    I don’t fucking know, just my shit.

    If you ever do start a podcast though, I’m always available, 😛

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