You might think, from the title, that this is going to be another post about Netrunner. As much as I could ramble about cyberpunk card games until the post-apocalyptic cows come home, I want to talk more about the weather. No, not the weather in Night Vale, that’s yet another post. Lately the weather where I live has been cold. The winds have teeth. Snow is everywhere. And slowly but surely, almost every surface has languished under a coat of ice.
We’ve had to dig ourselves out of weather like this, situations like this, before. Even if you haven’t (in which case, consider yourself very fortunate), I’ll enumerate to facilitate better understanding. We have a bit of a hibernation instinct, the impulse to withdraw from the biting winds and damaging cold, to retain all the warmth we can by staying as huddled and insulated as possible. Whatever we leave behind, whatever escaped our notice in our withdrawal, becomes encased in that ice we’re desperate to avoid.
So it is with projects we leave behind. It could be for any number of reasons – fatigue, stress, more pressing projects, mere distraction – but whatever the cause, we put our ideas on a shelf in the freezer of the mind, to preserve it for later. Thankfully, ideas do not themselves suffer from freezer burn; the only real danger is that time may have made the idea too hip or too passé to be completely actionable. But no idea is completely without merit. All you have to do is break the ice around it and see what you have to work with.
This goes back to reinterpreting the entire concept of writer’s block. I maintain that it doesn’t really exist, at least not in the form of some ineffable construct that simply appears in the path of the writer. What does exist is this reshuffling of priorities in our heads. If you feel like something is preventing you from doing what you want to do, all it takes is some time to recharge, rethink your approach, and maybe break the ice covering something in your mind that hasn’t had attention in a while. I’m sure, in some case, there are truly daunting things in the way that can mess up one’s personal productivity, so I don’t mean to generalize. However, for the most part, if you’re wondering what’s happened to that idea you once had, if it’s any good or if there’s something fresh about it you can use elsewhere, I encourage you to dig it out from the back of that mental freezer, chip off that ice around it, and see what you can do.