• Member Since 16th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen Jun 17th, 2019

CDRW


More Blog Posts135

  • 184 weeks
    I feel like I should write something.

    Dunno what, not a continuation of any of my stories yet, just something to prime the pump. The plump pump. The pleasantly plump pump of doom.

    6 comments · 478 views
  • 253 weeks
    On the art of Not Writing.

    I've been in a weird limbo for the last couple of years. The simplest, and maybe even the most honest thing to say is that I've lost interest in writing, but that doesn't feel right to say. I have lost my interest, but I still want to be interested. I've wondered if maybe it's time to move on from MLP, but I don't know what I'd even move on to.

    Read More

    15 comments · 773 views
  • 269 weeks
    I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike.

    So.

    Yesterday I decided that I wanted to take my shiny new mountain bike mountain biking. I obtained it through perfectly legal means (no, really) about two months ago and so far I'd only really used it for grocery shopping. Yeah, there was that one trip in the mountains about a week after I bought it, but that was only one trip and I'm getting fat.

    Read More

    5 comments · 407 views
  • 271 weeks
    My goal is to write 5,000 words by the end of Saturday.

    Just letting you guys know because I gotta be held accountable for my work. Wish me luck.

    5 comments · 340 views
  • 272 weeks
    It really is.

    Twilight Sparkle was humming to herself as she placed the last skull at one of the points of the pentagram on her basement floor when Rainbow Dash walked in, surveyed the candle-lit scene, said “Uh...” and backed slowly out again.

    Twilight looked at the empty doorway, looked down at the pentagram, looked back up, connected the dots, and scrambled to catch up with her friend.

    Read More

    14 comments · 404 views
Jul
21st
2015

On the art of Not Writing. · 4:11am Jul 21st, 2015

I've been in a weird limbo for the last couple of years. The simplest, and maybe even the most honest thing to say is that I've lost interest in writing, but that doesn't feel right to say. I have lost my interest, but I still want to be interested. I've wondered if maybe it's time to move on from MLP, but I don't know what I'd even move on to.

This fandom caught me by surprise. I'd never actually been part of one before, and nothing has even come close to sparking the same interest since. A lot of people might be surprised to know that MLP isn't my favorite show. My actual, all-time, nothing-will-ever-depose-it, show is Princess Tutu. It is the finest example of pure storytelling that I have ever seen.

I have never written Princess Tutu fanfiction.

The Princess Tutu fandom is so small it might as well not exist. There's two or three pieces of fanart out there that's any good, and nothing really epic (a feat in itself considering the source material these artists have to work with). The show is self-contained, almost flawlessly written, and fully resolved, so there's not much opportunity for writers to latch on to when coming up with ideas. You could try for a direct sequel, but the inevitable comparisons would not go well.

MLP has a combination of things that brought me in and made me actually call myself a "fan." I like the show, I like the fan content, and I like the people. That's a damn rare combination for me. Nowhere else have I found a fictional world that was so interesting in its original form, yet left so much room for creativity. The characters have definite, real personalities that still allow room for everything from silly, off-the-wall stupidity, to serious adventure, to existential horror (all three of which I've tried my hand at writing, btw). The show gives us just enough knowledge about the world of Equestria to provide fuel for slice-of-life stories about finding a good job and sweeping, epic adventures full of myth, magic, and gods; and somehow, I've lost interest in that.

I haven't moved on. Nothing took it's place. It just kind of faded away. I could still say that this is just than normal life taking its course. You pick up interests, you play with them, you drop them, you pick up new ones, repeat. The thing is, I haven't really picked up any new interests since. I haven't moved on to other shows or books or whatnot. I haven't started any new creative endeavors. I've just stopped creating and started consuming more and more. Even the stuff I consume, though, isn't the same. I don't go looking for new experiences, and the stuff I'm a fan of right now doesn't capture my attention like it used to. I just read the same things, listen to the same music, and fantasize the same fantasies ad nauseaum. It's all old and stale, and doesn't truly capture my mind for more than a few minutes at a time. I've stopped imagining, and I HATE that.

I don't know what's going on. Symptom-wise, it sounds a lot like depression, but it doesn't feel like depression. I've been there, for years at a time on occasion, and this isn't the same. I've got the lack of motivation and zest for life, but not the unhappy feelings or deadness of soul that comes with depression.

Writing these stories was fun—some of the most fun I've ever had, to be honest—and I want that fun back. Even if I stop writing pony stories, I still want to write. I want to dream, and I want to share my dreams with others. My imagination defines who I am and I want it back.

I guess I'm asking for help, ideas, or whatever. You guys have been amazingly supportive of me before, even long after I've stopped giving you reasons for it, and I'm hoping that you might have some ideas about how to re-kindle the fires of creativity.

Report CDRW · 773 views ·
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 15 )

Write, and pay attention to what the world tells you once you start writing. Write whatever comes to mind. Don't feel constrained by forcing yourself to finish things when you're trying to rekindle. You have logs you need to burn but you cannot throw them on the fire when your fire is this low. Write lots. Write a journal. Put yourself in front of the page and write for thirty minutes a day, even if all you are literally doing is writing the words "I don't know what to write" over and over again. Once you present yourself as a writer to reality at large, pay attention to things that stand out from the background, even if you don't know why. Foods that taste especially good for no particular reason, songs that suddenly make sense or feel differently than they have before. Stuff like that. Grab on to anything that cuts though the noise and mine it for inspiration. And when you get inspiration, write with great rapidity so your inner censor cannot keep up.

There is the super trampoline method of just writing stupid stuff for fun. There is a reason my slashfic compilation is my favorite thing to work on. Hell, I'll Post the Collab PM I send out from time to time if you want to write 100 words of fluff. Stupid stuff can be fun.

Hello! Would you like to write a 100 word guest chapter for a slashfic compilation? It's simple: Choose the weirdest pair of MLP characters you can think of, then write 100 words about them being in some sort of romantic/shipping situation. No need for it to actually be any good or make much sense. Just keep it PG-13. Oh, and FimFiction counts quotation marks as words, so use double apostrophes instead. Let me know if you're interested, and have a great day! :pinkiehappy:

3256517
3256519
Thanks. That's some good advice. While I've heard it all before, it's something that I tend to forget and need periodic reminders. You're right that I just need to focus on writing right now, not on trudging through the projects I already have going. I actually started Princesses Don't Potty during a "I'm just going to write what comes to mind" phase. I need to make writing into a habit again.

I am scared that if I run with that, though, I'm always going to be starting new projects and never finishing them. I don't actually have a completed story anywhere.

3256592 Discipline is a huge issue with me. Lack of it lies at the core of all my failings, and a big part of becoming the kind of person I want to be requires careful cultivation of it. That article makes a lot of good points and gives some good advice. However, the philosophy it espouses is vile and I want nothing to do with it.

3256654 what on earth is vile about the deliberate cultivation of good habits to bring about a long-term positive benefit, even if it might cost you some instant gratification?

3256658 Not a thing.

3256654
It's never easy to finish your stuff (unless it weirdly is for a piece or two; this being art, there are no absolutes). If you wait for it to be easy, especially on an older story that has been sitting a while, you will be waiting a long time. You need to put some serious effort into it if you want to finish any given story, if that is an important goal for you. When you are feeling totally blah inside and questioning if you even can write, you may need to set the hard stuff aside for a moment and concentrate on a small, short, closable piece in much the same way as (to continue the fire analogy) you need to feed small sticks to the fire when it is small. Just don't fall into the trap of assuming that, since small sticks burn so well, you should just always burn small sticks. Eventually you do need a log on there even if it's heavy... to... Um, lift? Into the fire pit? This metaphor is getting strained.

3256592 I'm sorry. That was way too hostile of a way to talk to someone who was trying to help me.

3258124 I was a lot more confused than annoyed.

You know, CD, I'm gonna have to say I don't have an answer for that one. I've dealt with the same thing, though I think more on a surface level than you (i.e. less deeper than you). I guess for me it's not quite so much motivation, but, well, discipline. When I have the time to do the things I want, I don't do them. It stinks. After ruminating over it for several months, I've at least moved onto trying to schedule myself daily, factoring in work hours, errands, and at least an hour a day of reading and writing, each. I might have to move it to one day I read for an hour, one day I write for an hour.

So because I'm kinda in the middle of it too (though again, I don't think as rough as you), I can't say, "oh here's what you can do." If I could, I'd be doing it myself already :p

I am a fan of Princess Tutu as well but I can no longer remember exactly when and where I saw it and whether it was dubbed or subbed. Though pony, Gargoyles, and the Avatar series are above it along with a few other things. I'm also nearly certain it's just the anime version of swan lake, but I don't actually know enough about ballet to say for sure. That might be why the storytelling is so tight, it's a ballet stretched out a bit and given that anime twist.

Is it the uselessness? I find it's the uselessness. I'm pretty useless; I've no skills worthy of note and I work seventy to eighty hours a week driving vans to the arse end of nowhere. I feel rather bad about this, and writing isn't going to change that. And even if I did get published and somehow made, like, millions or something (which, given that I've never finished any story in my life (literally never), is probably not going to happen any time soon), it's not a useful contribution to the world. It doesn't help anyone. And for some reason I feel bad about that, too.

You know who I really admire? Cold in Gardez. Dude's a soldier and a scholar. He's got a solid skillset in something useful, required and respected, and he's an awesome writer too. And good at a bunch of other crap, too.

It's ridiculous, of course. I don't even know the guy. I've never even spoken to him. But screw it, I admire the ideal he represents. All the other guys around here too, actually. All the best writers (and I'm horribly biased and almost certainly wrong about this, but nevertheless) seem to have solid skillets in useful things.

I want to be like that. Good at something 'useful' as opposed to just vacuous paperwork shuffler, which is pretty much the only job I'm qualified to apply for. Course, I've no idea what. I keep thinking paramedic. Bit of a drastic change, since I'm nearly thirty and my degree is English. But it's apparently do-able.

Still, I suspect that I don't actually want to be useful. I just want to indulge in writing without feeling like a shill, in much the same way my housemate eats a tub of ice cream every weekend in the happy knowledge that he jogs forty miles a week. So if I ever did become a paramedic, I'd probably just be like 'well, I've paid off my good karma now! See ya!' Which seems a bit dickish of me.

Or I just need a job with normal-person hours so I actually have more than half an hour between getting home and going to bed. So is my energy better spent trying to do that instead?

Or I'd end up feeling just the same anyway, because I suspect my dissatisfaction has more to do with me than it does to my situation. Plenty of people are 'vacuous paperwork shufflers' and they don't have these problems.

And I probably ACTUALLY don't write because, y'know, I'm just lazy.

Well that all dissolved into navel-gazing. Argh.

I know that feel. My siblings and I have discussed the distinction between "want to do something" and "want to want to do something" many times.

Personally, I go through phases of interest in different activities. It's a lot more enjoyable to just go with it than to try and stick with a single project all the way to completion in one go. Though most projects of any significance will have a "not fun" part in there somewhere, and you just gotta muscle through that when it comes. Try to minimize the number of not-fun parts by careful design before you begin.

But just because you don't feel like writing right now doesn't mean you won't feel like writing later. And until then, think about what you do feel like doing right now. It may be something you've never done before.

3256592
Maybe that approach would work for some people, but it's the stuff of nightmares to me :rainbowderp: Schedules and obligations are the path to despair.

Sleep, exercise, and high quality food are always good for boosting the energy level. I'm currently having difficulty in the exercise department just because I don't have any place to do it without getting devoured by bugs :applecry: My current plan is to look for a job that involves manual labor. It seems ridiculous to pay a gym to allow me to exercise, when I could get someone else to pay me :raritywink:

Oh, and if you do ever decide to call it quits on your pony fanfics... please tell us in what way Celestia's bladder was going to be emptied :twilightblush: Few things worse than an eternal cliffhanger.

This disaffected feeling you're describing is something I've struggled with and never really found a good solution for. The best I can do is say 'try to do something different that's outside your current rut'. Sometimes that resparks interest in creating. For that matter, try making something small and easy that isn't related to what you're currently struggling with and see if that gets you in the mood for more.

3263536
Oh, there's definitely a swan lake influence, but if you told someone who'd seen Swan Lake that it was the same story, they'd be very confused watching it.

You know, I've been feeling very similarly to yourself.
I'd like to work out of my funk as well, considering I have a story that has almost a thousand people eagerly anticipating what happens next. Maybe it doesn't mean a lot to you, who surely has many thousands more, but I've never had so many people in my whole life even remotely interested in anything I've done before.
Maybe... let that be what helps you. Not that you feel you have to please people, but rather that the thought of doing so and knowing you can make an impact on someone, or many someones, gives you a good feeling. And who knows? Today's thousands on Fimfic could be next year's millions in the real world with something original.

:heart:

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!