I've been thinking a lot about my writing these days and what might be holding me back from really pursuing it in earnest. And I think one of my bigger challenges, as strange as it may sound, is the very real possibility that I'm just not all that creative. I can write well enough when it comes to these blog posts, essays and other more factually-oriented pieces. But my creative work just continues to struggle and the best I've been able to do are the various short story pieces that I've been posting on this blog. They're okay, but they're not quite stories that I'm amazingly proud of.
Sure, every writer is his own worst critic, and I know I'm a pretty major victim of that. In high school I had gotten past 100 pages of my first draft of a novel. But when I actually read the whole thing from start to finish, I junked the whole thing in a big of a rage of disappointment. And I never truly recovered that story ever since.
My biggest struggle since then has been coming up with new ideas for stories. I'd spend a good amount of time to think about story concepts and I'd try fleshing out one or two of them but in many ways I was still going back to ideas first formed in my high school and college days. Something just wasn't clicking in terms of my personal writing engine or whatever you want to call it.
Since getting together with Tobie, I am glad that I'm at least able to write again. And while I've primarily been exploring old ideas, at least I've gotten a fair amount of creative writing done over recent years. But the one that I feel I struggle with the most is coming up with entirely new story ideas. And I still feel a tad confounded as to why the ideas don't just seem to flow.
Then I look at Tobie, whose primary job with Indigo consists of coming up with new game concepts day in and day out. And man, he can churn out 3-5 ideas within a day - or sometimes just within a few hours. And given all the different tabletop role-playing games that he runs, those are still even more story ideas that he just churns out on a regular basis. I swear, just considering the volume of his creative output on a weekly or even daily basis is truly impressive.
I think that's why I decided to jump into trying to run my own game with the on-going sessions for The Gossamer Order. But even there I'm feeling myself struggle with continuing the adventure for my players and truly knowing where I want things to go. I'm honestly afraid that I might just never get around to finishing the game's story. And thus it may become like many of my other stories that were begun but were never finished.
The prospects sort of scare me.
I'd like to think that there's still a creative part of my brain that's worth tapping for ideas. It's really just a question of training myself to exercise that part of my mind a lot more - or maybe even just figure out how to kick start it to come up with new ideas.
Or maybe I'm just not a truly "creative" person in that sense and I need to rethink this whole writing thing.