While I realize you have received this question a multitude of times and I have, admittedly, read through every last letter, your responses to them, and any possible comments, I cannot help but wonder if you may have some advice for me too?
To start, the question is rather obvious: I am struggling with keeping a singular fursona and was wondering if you had any thoughts on how to keep them and remain sane in the process, based on the experiences and things I have done below?
For example, every time I think I am happy with my critter, I go through what I refer to as a 'Honeymoon Period'. It begins with my being completely in love with everything about them... but then I turn around and either turn them into a character (exceedingly rare) or completely discard and sell them (too common). I can honestly list on one hand my longest lasting 'sonas-turned-characters, while those who have a few days, weeks, or months, only to be sold, would take far more fingers than we naturally have.
I have attempted a shifter as per the recommendation of... well, everyone I have come to this issue about, but I feel so incredibly uncomfortable with the idea. I have made also 'sonas that are just like me, are who I want to be, who are nothing like myself, based them off of species I love, made numerous original species, hybrids, chimera, full-on synthetics and blatantly obvious robota, mythical, alien, amorphous blobs or shadows, Dullahan, primordial, horror, bestial, creatures. I feel like I have attempted everything, including seeing what made year-long sona's stick and attempting to finagle that mess out into something coherent, only to be discontented.
I have also tried bringing them about through free writing, meditation, seeing animals out in the real world, etc. At times I feel like I have done everything humanly possible and that I am just not meant to ever have someone or something that represents -me-, that I can draw and write, and it is... far more disheartening than I would care to admit.
I will say that I have been diagnosed as autism level 1 and with generalized anxiety, so I imagine this impacts my decision making and indecisiveness to some level. At the same time, I do not want my mental health issues to prevent me from being able to create something that makes me genuinely happy and that I can show off to the world and say 'here I am'.
It's positively maddening.
Thus I am at my wits end. While I am logically aware that I'm overthinking it and that the solution will likely be something rather simple, I am failing to find it. Not in the above, not in totems or spirituality, not in quizzes or even my dreams, though admittedly the latter all have the commonality of me flying through them on feathered wings--which is the one feature that has also stuck with every single prior 'sona or character made.
I feel like this letter is a bit scattered.
With that said, regardless of whether or not you have advice for my situation, thank you for your time and for putting in the effort you have into this blog. It means a great deal.
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It certainly seems as if you have tried many things to create a fursona. The problem might be this: when asking for advice from people on how to choose a fursona, you are taking advice from non-autistic people. Such people do not think in the same manner you do, being autistic. Autistic people, as you likely know, have a different thought process, and the part I'm about to write now is more for my column readers than for you. For example:
The solution for you, as an autistic person, is to approach fursona design from your point of view.
Step 4: Don't try to imagine a complete fursona (i.e., a category, such as "sparkle dragon"). Instead, start by compiling a bunch of parts that appeal to you. Anatomical parts. Colors. Textures. Clothing that interests you. Don't even limit yourself to biology if you don't wish to. Perhaps your fursona is part machine. Perhaps it is merely a spiritual energy being. Do not try to associate these parts with each other. Keep them separate and individuated. Use as many or as few parts as you like.
Step 2: Go do something else for a while that has nothing to do with the fursona.
Step G: Have a little fun with being literal. Do you have some favorite expressions? Try illustrating them. "He's making a jackass out of himself." "She got the lion's share of the meal." "Don't be pig-headed!" "It was a wild goose chase." "Crazy as a coo-coo bird." "Wise as an owl." Just play around with it. See what inspires.
Step ϑ: Don't worry about what anyone thinks of your fursona or character. This is all about you and who you are or what you love or want to be. Don't worry about what is popular or what other people do with their fursonas or how they create them. Don't even listen to my advice here if you don't like it. Create your own original process.
Finally (or Firstly): Don't worry. Don't rush. Don't even be upset if you never create a fursona. Let yourself go. Leave anxiety and self-doubt in the garbage bin where it belongs.
And then, just let it happen.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.