I think I may have the opposite problem. The flip side of the question is how do I shut down all the crazy voices in my head and focus on just one? The cuckoo chorus keeps me up at night with sporadic insomnia is the same one that “decorates” my office with abandoned prototypes and hastily scribbled notes. I’d show you my workspace, but it’s truly shameful. Plus I’ve temporarily misplaced my dog (and possibly a burrito) in here.
Like some of the writers and creative-types I’ve encountered, I exhibit ADHD-like symptoms when it comes to projects. It’s like trying to harness multiple streams from proton packs. And according to the Ghostbuster canon, Venkman, we all know that crossing the streams would be bad. I can’t stick to a single genre and I’m easily distracted by other projects, real-world activities, and—oooh, something shiny…
I hate you, Pinterest.
How about if I list my hobbies so you can judge for yourself? I’ll start on my right and go clockwise around my office. Acrylic painting of swamp blossoms. Sewing felt warlord banners. Horror decoupage. Interior design. Event planning, bar mitzvahs only. Trombone playing. Snarky card making. (“I love you and your tiny bladder.”) Quilting. Dead flower arranging. Amateur macro photography, but never economics. Weight lifting. General collecting of crap. I think I need to stop. My manic is showing.
What’s wrong if you’re not inspired?
Officemate lured out of hiding by stale burrito
If I’m not up to my usual hijinx—or if you’re not up to yours—what’s wrong? In my case, it meant I was severely vitamin deficient. Got two mega-doses of vitamin D and I was back to normal, relatively speaking. (Thanks for nothing, feeble Illinois sunshine.) But if you’re unable to find inspiration from the things or people around you, maybe look in your past—even if you’re painting or writing about a futuristic space colony. Futuristic space colonies probably still need characters to inhabit them. And your crazy Uncle Charlie deserves to be immortalized. Especially for that prank he pulled in ’03.
If you’re stuck for creative inspiration, ask yourself this, What am I trying to create? Because maybe…just maybe you’re forcing yourself to focus on something that’s not very interesting.
So maybe ditch your idea and try something else. Move on to the next thing. You might find what you’re looking for right next to you.