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Walls and Footholds


lately i have been trying to find a new approach to my creative processes. this has had its own effects, a ripple on my little pond, through different unrelated endeavors, like finding fun in things, or figuring out things i want to do, and how to do them.

i found myself recently getting bored of or avoiding making 3d works altogether. there was this feeling of dissatisfaction, or burnout. so what do i do?

well, i tried regular digital art, but that only helped a little. i felt like i wasn't working with tools enough, i decided, and so i tried some new things from there.

i took out oil pastels and started doodling with them for the first time. i pulled out acrylic paints. i made collages. i got hands-on and tried something 'out of the box', stuff i hadn't done before (or at least, in a long time), and stuff i wanted to try practicing.

that took the frustration out of the equation. i just needed to figure out what was blocking me, and find a way to circumvent it.

i have another example here. i enjoy, wholeheartedly, playing all the different pokemon games. i have played all the games so many times i couldn't keep count. i have tried a number of challenge rulesets people have posted, thinking i might have a fun experience with something that's familiar but challenges me in a different way.

however, the wall ascends from the earth when i try something like, say, nuzlockes (recommended reading if you don't know the term).

now, i have in fact done nuzlockes before. but i have only seen a few nuzlocke runs to true completion. so, from there, i find myself asking: what part of this is keeping me from continuing this? because there are a lot of variables that could be contributing, and narrowing it down could help.

do i dislike the permanent loss of team members? i guess i don't dislike it, it keeps me on my toes, and lets me try pokemon i wouldn't try normally. i like cycling teammates and seeing how long they will last (and how long i can pay attention to that).

so then, is it the time investment? maybe a little a bit, but not entirely. i like spending time on a challenge.

from there, there were few elements that stood out to me, but the one that i had an 'aha!' moment about, in the end, was the grinding. i am easily bored to tears by repetition. i get frustrated if i am grinding and i lose the pokemon during the training sessions i do before milestones.

so what can i do here? well, one idea would be to just ignore anything that isn't during a gym battle or similar plot event. i guess that works, but i felt a bit like i was cheating or like i wasn't following the rules of nuzlocke to the letter, and in the end i just got frustrated and i felt conflicted no matter how often i tried to resolve it.

what i found actually helped was playing a challenge that wasn't so punishing. i started playing pokemon crystal recently, and via retroachievements, i found myself enjoying the challenge of using only johto pokemon, no items in big battles, and no levels higher than what the gym leader has. it's simple! it's fun! it has me thinking of new ways to approach gyms. it's the perfect match for me.

here's another example. i find that i have trouble keeping my desk tidy. there's obstacles in the metaphorical sense, but also in the physical sense. what can i do to make the task of tidying up more accessible for me?

for one, i've had a trash can next to my desk. this allows me to just. toss whatever trash i have into it, and it lets me free up space without having to get up.

for two, i found i would sometimes leave plates or dishes to pile up, because i eat at my desk pretty much exclusively. you won't guess it, but making it impossible to have more than a plate on the desk at the time actually helped me keep tidy. i found myself taking dishes back to the kitchen whenever i got out of my room out of necessity. it's become such a habit now that i never leave my room without at LEAST one dish in hand.

now my desk is a lot tidier than it used to be, all because of convenience and... well, i guess forced inconvenience! and getting up to bring dishes in makes me realize i could have food or water while i'm up, too! it's genius!

i encourage you to think about something that's been nagging you in your life, and figure out what tiny steps you can take to try and accommodate yourself.

find your foothold,

forest's signature

playing: pokemon crystal
feeling: tired
outside it is: sunny sunny