Distractions of Creativity

I think when I was younger, and had more time for gaming, the primary reason I was involved in running so many games was that the act of refining ideas I have created seems to spark more and more ideas for completely unrelated things.

As readers of this blog know, these days I am working on developing a good campaign to give RuneQuest 6 a thorough testing. It has been a long time since I have built a fantasy world from scratch. To make this revival worthwhile I am setting the design requirement to draw on ideas and styles that I have discarded in the past. The effect of all of this is that campaign design is taking a slow and measured pace, framed in assessment and reflection. The effect of that is that ideas for a host of other games are bubbling up out of my subconscious at a very distracting rate – made all the more frustrating by my current lack of a regular group. The pump has been primed and it is gushing ideas all over the place. That, is the core of the problem about which I write today. I have unrelated, disjointed, exciting, and totally untapped ideas filling my head and they have nowhere to go. I find myself worrying that if they go unused and ignored too long, will they stop coming?

In the old days, I would just start a new game, or transition between games. These days, due to moving to a much smaller city and having more demands on my free-time, I have no group. I am running my Mechwarrior PBeM in G+, and am theoretically still playing in a quasi-Palladium Fantasy campaign, but that is it. Unless I want to make a trip to Seoul and back that is longer than the time I can spend there, I have no gamers for face-to-face play. I am used to having a fairly prolific creative streak, but I am also used to having an outlet for it. The overflow finds itself neatly channeled into projects like my Saturday Seeds or Serial Settings usually, but now has burst the bonds of constraint and focus and is going where it will and producing results of all shapes and sizes.

As I labour to produce this RuneQuest campaign, full-blown campaigns for Unhallowed Metropolis, Brass and Steel, CthuhluTech, Call of Cthulhu itself, and Blue Planet keep pestering me, while side ideas seek to contaminate and overrun my Mechwarrior campaign and others try to force me to start a Prime Directive campaign. It is entertaining, but ultimately distracting. Not having even the basic amount of time to get my RuneQuest thoughts down in text here, or on my YouTube channel, is producing a curious feeling like being constipated while in the grip of diarrhea. Lovely image, no?

The wisest course of action seems to be to step away from gaming-related reading and writing for a while to let things settle back into place. While I am used to preparations for one game causing me to create new things for several other games, the intensity of this bout of creativity likely has more to do with the lack of free-time and the stresses which come with new work environments.

The question remains:

What to do with all of these random, thoughts that beg to be made real, but must be neglected to rot in the fields of Dream?


6 Responses to “Distractions of Creativity”
  1. Gawain says:

    I used to carry a note book for these thoughts that itched at my brain. I would write them down in point form and the date as well as the person place or thing that was the catalyst for the thought as well. I believe another good friend of ours still does carry a note book. Perhaps he can share more. I do hope this helps your unique and painful situation. As always take care.

  2. anarkeith says:

    I second the suggestion of a notebook, although these days it takes the form of a smart phone. The text editor native to Dropbox works well enough, and ensures my notes are accessible whenever I’m in front of a computer (with internet access).

    • Runeslinger says:

      The speech to text function of my phone will prove very helpful in this regard as I have spare moments to myself on the commute to and from work.

  3. Brady says:

    I never discard an idea. They may be cryogenically frozen for centuries and/or never see the light of light again but…they remain somewhere notated and often fermenting into something intoxicating when the hour or the day is better-suited.
    It’s a gift. You don’t have to unwrap it until you’re ready steady.

    • Runeslinger says:

      I think it is the low ebb of activity coupled with the near-complete lack of free time which is exacerbating the distraction. When things slow down, I am sure this mountain of a problem will sink back down to its molehill proportions~
      Thanks for commenting!

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