Concept envy, and feeling defeated

This is the sort of confessional post that I feel iffy about writing, because it betrays my well-established gruff and grumbly persona and exposes my soft, vulnerable under-belly. All right. Let’s get this out of the way so I can get some actual sleep tonight, and then maybe try to see where my brain goes with writing tomorrow.

Lately, and by lately I mean for quite a few months now, I have felt defeated. I haven’t had ideas popping into my thoughts like before. My projects have been gathering cobwebs like it’s their job. As I said earlier today: I feel less like a writer as of lately and more like someone who wrote here and there. I feel defeated. 

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t me throwing in the towel, not by any means. I think a combination of my day job, my lack of a proper sleep schedule, and the events of this past year overall have come together in a way that continues to weigh heavily on me. And so here I am, looking that beast in the eye and saying “Get your shit and leave so I can go back to being happy creating things”. How long will that take? Who knows.

What really sparked this post, however, was looking around my room for something I managed to misplace…which is a more frequent occurrence than I care to admit. I came across a book I’d forgotten I have (another common occurrence; my commitment to organization can be described as “a faithful recreation of post-apocalyptic life”), and my immediate thought was (pardon the language) “Fuck. Why couldn’t I have thought of that?” I have had, and have, plenty of ideas I’m very attached to, though some fizzle along the way or end up getting reworked, but I can never seem to have one of those ideas. The kind I see in a bookstore and my brain lights up like a Christmas tree full of negative thoughts. “You should have thought of that.” “What an obvious idea that you should have had.”

Keep in mind, of course, I’m more than aware of how toxic this kind of thinking is. For one, it devalues the fact that the actual author of said idea/ideas came up with them on their own, treating their concepts and premises as if they were apparent enough anyone could think of them. Secondly, it kind of takes away from my own ideas. As a creative person (or someone who likes to moonlight as a creative person), I have ideas. How good or bad they are is ultimately up to how much I enjoy them and, to some degree depending on what I’m trying to achieve, how much other people enjoy said ideas. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a day when I finally get my shit together, get a book published, and someone will say the same things about it that I find myself saying about other authors’ works. A message to such a hypothetical person: use that frustration and turn it into something of your own, and then be proud of it. I suppose I should follow that advice as well.

And so we come full circle to where I should be creating, and want to be writing, and yet I find myself sitting around in a miasma of my own frustrations. I don’t have a precise solution as to how I’m going tackle this disconnect between wanting so badly to write and feeling so absolutely horrible at writing lately, but I at least know and acknowledge I need to do something.

If nothing else, it was certainly therapeutic to get this off of my chest.

Happy writing to you all. And, should I not post again before then: Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.

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