Thursday, 27 November 2014

Getting Stuck

This applies to basically everything (well, everything I do): writing, drawing, gaming, etc. You're going along, just as happy as could be, until suddenly! You hit a snag. It could be a plot hole you just can't figure out how to fill, drawing those hands on that character (it's always the hands), or beating that one stupid boss level. You just can't do it. YOU JUST CAN'T!! *commence wild weeping and fit-throwing*

And so you move on to something else, telling yourself you'll come back to it later, once you've rested, calmed down, cleared your head; once it doesn't seem so daunting any more.

Pfffft. Yeah, right.

I know I can't speak for you guys, but for me? 90% of the time, whatever I was working on just sits there forever, and I never touch it again. Or, if I do touch it again, I'll start it over from the beginning (where games and writing are concerned), because it's been so long since I saw it last, I've totally forgotten everything about it. Or if I do go back to it, and I do start from where I was last, I find that it's JUST AS FRUSTRATING AS LAST TIME OH MY GOSH I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THIS IT'S TOO HARD EVERYTHING SUCKS AND I HATE ALL OF IT.

*cough* Um, or something like that.

So, what's my point? My point is: nothing. I have no definitive advice to give, especially because I'm the main perpetrator for this. Are you required to finish whatever you're working on (e.g. commissioned artwork, book deadline)? Then YOU CAN DO IT, DANGIT!! You're so skilled, you've worked so hard, you've already come this far. You can totally take it all the way! In this case, when you know you must come back to it, taking a break to refresh your brain and hands is a good idea if you're stuck. You'll still have the motivation to finish it.

Are you simply doing whatever-it-is recreationally? Then IT DOESN'T MATTER. That sounds bad to say, but really: what are the consequences of NOT doing the thing? Nothing? Then why torture yourself with it if it's really frustrating you?

Now sometimes, it's a matter of pride. You're not going to let this thing beat you! Well, great, if you can do it. Oftentimes, you can. But it can be stressful for everyone. Because you're getting frustrated, and everyone else in your house can hear your angry growls (unless you live alone, in which case, your neighbors can hear you screaming in rage), or can feel the weight of your sullen, brooding silences, and that makes them tense and upset. And while they may listen with a sympathetic ear the first three times you rant to them about your struggles, anything after that just gets increasingly irritating, and they wish you would just quit it.

Yes, I speak from personal experience on BOTH ends of that.

*blows a calming tropical breeze over you* *whispers* just let it go.

Unless it's required for your livelihood, or to fulfill a (paid-for) promise to another, you really don't need to cause yourself so much stress. Hey, even if it IS required, you shouldn't stress. Relaaaaaaaaaax.
I'm not saying that giving up on everything is good.
I'm saying that you need to know, for yourself, when to quit, or at least when to take a break. I'm saying you should only go back to a project if you can approach it calmly. I'm saying you shouldn't kick yourself when you're down, nothing gets accomplished that way. Troy in High School Musical. Whenever he was upset, he'd try to shoot hoops, and would miss every time, and would get more and more upset.

*coughs again* uh, moving on from that analogy...... XD

Ok ok ok, I'll come to the LEGIT point of this ramble: Take it easy. Don't stress yourself. Life is good, God is good, YOU are good. Feel free to stop and breathe. That thing will still be there when, and if, you go back. There is no shame in giving yourself a rest. There is no shame in knowing when to put aside a project and when to pick up another. Or when to pick up nothing at all. Just give yourself a high-five regardless, because you rock.

Now that we've established that......I guess I'll go try that one boss battle again. XD


  1. Haha, awesome post! The trick really is to know what is important enough to you to finish:)

    1. Yes, exactly! ^.^ hehe thanks Sunny! X)

  2. Love it!!!! I need to tell myself this sometimes, I try way to hard to be perfect but I hate perfect and also perfect is no fun so I, um, yeah. I do need to chill out a little sometimes.XD Awesome post!!!!!!!

    1. I'm glad you liked it! I hope it's somewhat helpful to you. Yes, I have a perfectionist streak in me, too, and it can make any of my mistakes/difficulties quite depressing. :P Let's both make an effort to be more relaxed. ;D

  3. Very true, very true, very true. :) I am stuck right now as well, actually, and I don't think there's much I can do about it but I'm still not giving up on that novel... I think I just need to find a new perspective. *nods* Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. You're welcome! hehe don't stress, I know you can do it!! :D