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Creative Overwhelm

Seems what I have is quite common for creative types. The flood of creative ideas followed by the need to act on them all right now. And then my brain locks up, creative overwhelm. Like too many programs running on the computer, you staring at the screen and the screen staring back at you. And often, I stay overwhelmed, poking at one or two endeavors but never feeling like I’m accomplishing anything. Because even when I do, the amount of tasks is daunting in comparison. And nothing can make the grade when the curve is that steep.Creative overwhelm on Shalavee.com

Perspective to the rescue. If all things are fabulous than nothing is. If there’s too many items on the to do list, I’m overwhelmed. And even if I accomplish anything, it doesn’t look or feel like it comparably.

What if there were a way to separate the ideas from the action lists. To quarantine them, contain them from spilling out and having me feel like I’m standing still comparatively. Because a year is a mighty long time when you devote a little time regularly to one thing. I think it’s possible to accomplish a lot more than we do, or think we can, if we’re clever and intentional. I just think it’s all in the way we’re looking at it. Because Perspective is my additional word for the year.Chessie napping on Shalavee.com

Conversely, I think we can sabotage ourselves a million ways past Sunday if we do “all or nothing” thinking and don’t allow for our humanity. Push , push, strive for perfection, every achievement is hollow, never good enough because we’re not good enough. When I hear my brain use words like always, completely, perfectly, it’s a flag for the need for some perspective there. I’m aware of how my auto-pilot goes into autocratic mode. And the outcome will prove my unworthiness every time.

So I’ll start with my aspirations and my lists. Pick one or two things to focus on until they’re done, keep my blinders on to the bigger list, and celebrate my small one at a time victories. Sabotage starts with mindfulness.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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4 Responses to “Creative Overwhelm”

  1. Suzonne says:

    Um, yes, I have this problem. I’ve been trying something in the past year that has helped me. Maybe it’ll help you, too. I have one big notebook that I dump all of my thoughts, ideas, and sketches in – just to keep my brain clear. Then whatever one or two things that keep bubbling up in my brain get my focus. Sometimes that leads to yet another pathway that I hang out on and sometimes there’s closure. And if those “great ideas” in my notebook never resurface, then they’re just not important enough to me. The other Thing that helps me a little is recognizing that there will always be more ideas than time. It’s a difficult truth, but one I’m trying to accept.

    • Shalagh says:

      That seems so simple and brilliant. One place for ideas to be collected. They can appear otherplaces but that is the go to. I tried a bullet journal and didn’t get the hang of it. I read a Steve Jobs quote which said he was just as proud of all the ideas they didn’t follow up on. And yes, there will be many many more where they came from. I think it’s an addiction to the overwhelm that needs breaking. Grateful as always for your opinion here Suzonne.
      Love, Me of Shalavee

  2. Shannon says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Suzonne. I like to jot down those things that I think “Oh I want to do that” and then they’re in A Place (besides running around in my head). And…a lot of the time it works!

    • Shalagh says:

      I think Suzonne has the beat on the right place Shannon. One catch all. That’s not my journal. Or this other file or that other place. A designated creative dump site. I’m all for getting stuff out of my head but there’s a free for all after that.

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