Inert Detritus The Internet's dust bunnies

Posted
14 August 2006 @ 2pm

A Dearth of Inspiration

I’ve stared at this empty box for more than twenty minutes, just looking at it. I’ve examined all these drafts I have floating around, but I feel they’re stale and old and useless. Every button above this text, where I can make all sorts of HTML magic happen: they’ve all been clicked and previewed.

I’ve been reading Jeff Harrell’s excellent “Untitled” series. I’ve been waiting, refreshing, hoping every morning that there’s another installment in the incredibly dystopian story he’s written. It’s not dystopian, it’s worse. It’s terror and pain and fear, raw emotions; dystopian to me means “soma” (a la Brave New World) and constant history rewriting by Big Brother’s minions. There’s nothing clean and sanitized about this.

By the way: his colophon alone makes my entire blog look like trash.

I’ve been working on my homepage a good bit lately (read: staring at, refreshing, hoping bits will magically evolve into something pretty). No, really. Can’t you see it? I’ve put up three or four incredible designs. They just disappear when anyone looks at them…

I thought, maybe, my lack of progress on the blog was my inability to write. I then realized, “Wait, I can form mostly complete, gramatically correct sentences. That’s more than 90% of LiveJournal and Xanga can manage…” Then I started to blame it on my time management: “I never have time to write!” But I’ve stared at the WordPress toolbar for 20 minutes. I’ve got all the time in the world.

I’m a bit challenged in the Department of Mental Focus. I bounce from idea to idea, one responsibility to another, just wandering in search of something easy to do. In the time it took me to write that sentence, I had four distinct thoughts:

  1. I need to sign up for intramural tennis for the fall semester.
  2. I’m glad I got my car inspected today.
  3. Hm. When will I get an oil change and my tires rotated and balanced?
  4. Jade’s not due into the vet until…November?

I have a terrible time paying attention to anything. But this is nothing new: I’ve been coping (enjoying, really) with it since I was young.

In a nutshell, my lack of ability in design, writing, or anything creative (barring perhaps photography) stems from a lack of inspiration. When I see an empty Photoshop window, a blank desktop, a properly marked-up HTML document with no CSS, I don’t dream of fancy text overlays and beautiful typography with banners and image backgrounds and nice margins.

I think, “Wow, that’s dull,” and I move on.

How do you make anything beautiful if nothing inspires you to a higher form? I’m spinning my wheels in a rut of mediocre appearances and lacking ideas.