A friend recently attached internet to her massive TV. With the whole internet stretching out before us all we could narrow it down to was YouTube. And then we had no idea what we wanted to watch. I’m embarrassed to say this, but with all the choice in the world, all we could think of was funny cat videos. We were overwhelmed to the point where our brains just closed down (just as an aside, the cat videos were very funny).
This is what it is like when you sit at the computer and attempt to ‘write a story’. If you haven’t been struck by an idea and you just try to force one out, there is too much choice and (for me) the brain goes blank.
That’s why, if I’m looking for a new story, I put limitations on myself. I set arbitrary rules just so my brain has something to hook into; a rock must be a significant part of the story (just typing that story ideas start to come), it must have the theme of loss (yep, happening again). It is only when there are some boundaries set that the idea generator kicks in.
This, of course, I have extrapolated into wider life. Maybe this is why so many of us are unsure of what we really want to do in life. We keep going along the same path as everyone else because it is easier than making a decision. Getting a job, a partner, 2.4 kids, a house and a dog called Rover is something we can focus on. When we open up the whole world as an option, our brains go blank.