The Journey of a Thousand Miles

Trying something new: I’ve deactivated my shadow and daylight Twitter accounts, and I uninstalled one of the three games I play a couple times a day on my phone. Why?

I’ve listened to Manoush Zomorodi through a few channels, her own podcasts and one in which she was interviewed. On The Ten-Minute Writer’s Workshop, she explained how her creativity went away when she got the latest iPhone. All the free moments of her day were occupied by keeping up with social media, doing work, playing games, and chatting with friends. Her mind had no down time, and she formed the theory that boredom is where the restless mind becomes creative; burden your mind with distracting nonsense, and there’s no time to come up with new ideas.

In the pursuit of inspiration and creativity, why wouldn’t I take this at face value? This is exactly the sort of thing I’m desperate for. Having gone a full day without Twitter, I’m acutely conscious of how many times I reflexively reach for my phone during any lull or even in the middle of work, seeking a momentary distraction. I expected that, that’s what everyone says when they go on a social media cleanse. You can read articles and anecdotes on how bad social media is for you and how it’s taken over the other ways we used to engage with the world and connect with each other, and you can nod at it, distantly acknowledging some truth to it. But then you get to the point where you stop seeing social media as just another channel to engage and… kind of a cognitive cancer or virus. It’s something that creeps into you, colors your perceptions, and alters your expectations and self-perception. And it has a self-defense mechanism built in, because as soon as someone mentions “social media cleanse,” you can feel your guts adjust and your sweat glands tickle as you reflexively reject the idea, faster than thought. Almost as visceral and dire as if someone asked you to leave your phone at home for the day.

Think about what we’ve become. People change, of course, society evolves, but this feels like a step beyond that.

Anyway, I’m desperately trying to regain my creativity, and given that I’m disenchanted with and heartbroken by my online communities, it seemed reasonable and even enticing to shut them down. I deactivated my daylight Instagram account, too, but reactivated my Size IG account, because I need that steady stream of big round butts. Nowhere else to get them. Sure, I can create them in Daz Studio, but it’s not the same, somehow. It’s novel to receive that stimulation from someone else.

I can do this all day… and have been.

Along with shutting down significant portions of my phone and online communities, I’m going to reread The Artist’s Way and try to complete it this time. I think I only got through week six or seven last time. But the thing about trying out these lessons and self-taught guides to developing your creativity, is that you have to meet them halfway. That doesn’t mean quitting halfway: that means seeing it all the way through, giving it a good-faith effort, taking it at its word. And then and the end, when it fails and nothing’s changed, then you can bitch with authority.

And I’ll take more walks. I have to keep exercising, to loosen up my stiffening and wounded shoulders. I’m still practicing four languages (French, German, Spanish, and Indonesian). I’m really trying to read more, and I hope that shifting away from my phone means I’ll have better attention span to get through these books I’m actually interested in but can’t seem to make time for. That’s horrible. When I was in my 20s, I used to read three books at a time: one on the bus, one before bed, and one just lying around to stretch out on the couch with whenever. Now it’s a burden and a labor to read one chapter of one book each week. That’s not progress, and I’m not happy with it. I’m going to change it, I’ll read more, and I’ll write more.

That’s another thing: NaNoWriMo’s coming up, and I don’t feel capable of meeting the challenge. I don’t. I haven’t written anything in two months, and I’m only now taking drastic measures to try to reclaim my creativity. What could I possibly do during NaNoWriMo? I have no ideas, nothing novel-length, no smattering of short stories to hack out in aggregate.

And before that is Drawlloween. Is anyone even doing that? Anyone with a soul has rejected Inktober, since founder Jake Parker is issuing cease-and-desists to anyone promoting their work and daring to mention his copyrighted “Inktober.” Which is hilarious, after his bald-faced plagiarism of Alphonso Dunn’s Pen and Ink Drawing—fucking ripped it off, point by point, and yet he goes after the artists he claims to inspire. There are plenty of alternative artistic prompts out there:

Just as you don’t need to get Size porn from fucking Nazis, a lesson the community has yet to take to heart, you don’t need to participate in a harmful egotist’s October drawing challenge. The bandwagon isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, kids: the people you admire aren’t following the crowd. Think about that.

Anyway. So I’m home alone, drinking vodka and homemade lemon sours, listening to Italian lounge, and… writing. I’m outlining a commission. I’m not getting my self-esteem crushed by Twitter, I’m not fighting haplessly in a pay-to-play app. I’m doing some writing. Don’t tell anyone.

And hey, a new trailer dropped for Giantess Attack vs. Mecha-Fembot. I know you’re excited about that. As always, show Giantess Hug some love: she cleaned up all the giantess scenes of Asami in the Shin Ultraman reboot.

This is going to haunt/bless my dreams for a while.

11 thoughts on “The Journey of a Thousand Miles

  1. For some nuance: I personally found that inspiration + creativity can come from a lot of sources, even social media or other channels, so getting ideas is never the problem for me. But for being actually productive with them, the timeouts you suggest are exactly what I also find is necessary, yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true. I have two notebooks completely full of ideas, outlines, sketches, and one Google Doc that also collects story concepts. No shortage of ideas if I can’t produce them on the fly. There’s something preventing me from wanting to sit down and work on them. I’m hoping a forcible absence of distractions could change that.


  2. I’m not on any platform that would be considered “true” social media, but I do hang out on a blog that discusses current events and it encourages the same compulsive behavior (if only events would stop happening so frequently). Very occasionally I take brief sabbaticals from it (usually when something really depressing happens and I have nothing constructive to say), but it remains a daily struggle.

    I need to exercise more anyway, so that’s what I’m forcibly diverting myself with when I get disgusted with my online habits. No podcasts or audio books, just looped trance beats. I carry my Kindle everywhere and it’s got a hundred neglected titles, but the concentration just isn’t there.

    Gonna work on the story this morning until my ophthamologist appointment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been meaning to check in and give you that nudge. Don’t want to become annoying, but I know the nudge can be helpful.

      All day long I have the reflex to look at my phone, and I get a little upset at myself and put it away again. Upset at myself for having surrendered so much control over myself, for no gain. Forcing myself to do nothing is as passive an act of rebellion as I can think of.

      I also have a huge online Size library (digital and print) that needs to be consumed. I should buckle down and start working on that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also have a huge online Size library (digital and print) that needs to be consumed. I should buckle down and start working on that.

        You want an extra chore? Make sure it’s all properly sourced.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Alas, that Asami video has been removed by its uploader! So close.

    I’m glad you’re filling you Spooky Month with creativity. We were worried over on Twitter (and miss you) but were then happy to hear you were just taking a break and hadn’t been stepped on, or shrunk and tossed into a hamster tank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, that sucks! I wonder why. Probably issued a C&D? Hope not. Also hope they didn’t attract unwanted attention from fans. It was a great clip and I’ll keep an eye out for it.

      Can’t believe it’s already the middle of October. Sept. raced by unduly fast, and Oct. seems to be pulling the same trick. Wonder what happens when you hit bottom after a temporal free-fall? But yes, I’m technically okay and no one should worry. Thank you for thinking of me.


  4. I was wondering why all of a sudden I wasn’t seeing you on my timeline and then I saw your Twitter account was gone and went “Oh no!” and immediately came here. Glad to hear you’re alright and the twitter deactivation wasn’t due to anything majorly serious.

    I also have to agree about boredom cultivating creativity. I can be at home for 24 hours browsing the internet, bathing in the type of content I love, taking in other people’s creativity and no good ideas ever reach my mind. But when I’m at work, just working with muscle memory and not really thinking about anything in particular, with my phone not even in reach, all the best ideas fill my brain like It’s nothing. I’ve started to find myself sneaking out my phone and taking short notes just so I remember the ideas and then going back to plugging away at the grind, only to have more ideas hit me and sneaking away to jot them down.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. In fact I am. Or, I will be as soon as I shut down the browser. Made some good progress last week and found a satisfying conclusion to the second act, then went out of town for a three-day weekend. Now in the home stretch.

          Liked by 1 person

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