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Author Topic: Sucked into a creative quagmire.  (Read 1937 times)

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Offline Kassy

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Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« on: May 08, 2013, 05:08:53 AM »
So I've somehow ended up in this inescapable quagmire, into which all my creativity is being drained.

I've been lurking on this site for a long time now, with the occaisonal contribution, some good, others not so good. Yet I'm determined to continue.

Easier said than done.

I really enjoy using this site to further my written ability, and to peruse others fantastic and inspirational works.

However, I now rarely ever make it past the initial idea, and basic properties/history phase. More oftan than not ending up with a sliver of greatness (well, in my own mind I perceive it to be greatness).

Do I need therapy? Will it eventually subside? How do I re-attain a level of creative ability and decency?

I may have a number of RL issues, but I've been through those before and they were worse then and didn't affect me in a really noticable way.

Would anyone be willing to shed some light?

K,

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 06:01:11 AM »
Kassy, I would say stop thinking abt writing for a while and just chill. Inspiration comes to you at the weirdest moments. I got two of my subs in the following ways:
1. I was on the tram and someone was reading newspaper next to me. As I got up to get off, I saw a news item titled "Sheen killed" or sth but somehow at the moment I thought I saw the words Sheen Killer and somehow that sparks off a sub for the Bizarre Life Form Challenge
2. I'm on the train this time and standing at one of the doors. I see this tattoo on the back of some lady's neck that is some symmetric pattern that looks feathery but is an actual thing and then somehow my mind makes the leap into what actual things it could be. I came up with 3 possible images and I wrote a short sub based on a optical illusion image that can be seen as 3 different things.

I know I'm diverging off the topic quite a bit but I guess I just want to say that I'm sure this will subside. I mean, you've been in and out of the Citadel but you came back to it and you want to post, right? So I'm pretty sure you will be able to post sth soon. Personally, I've also been out of the Citadel for a while and just recently came back to being a somewhat active poster. And really, when I've been out of the Citadel, I've been lurking around once in a while as well (I also started off as a lurker) so I understand your situation and concerns. Just relax and do some other fun activities besides writing for Strolen. An alternative would be to do a collab with someone to get back in the loop- maybe post one of your ideas that you couldn't turn into a sub here (I mean in Sagely Advice) so others can give you feedback and then you can see whether you should really ditch it.

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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 06:08:24 AM »
"trams" lol, you wouldn't understand but Gossamer and I were just having a conversation about them in Full Chat.

Back on topic, I know you mean well, and maybe inspiration will randomly strike, but I tire of waiting for something to spring to mind.

Doing a bit of ad-lib with Gossamer now, trying to oil the gears.

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 06:10:26 AM »
I see, well, good luck.

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Offline Forganthus

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 06:32:21 AM »
I'm with Moonlake on this one.  You can't force creativity.  Take a break.  Read a book.  Focus on learning stuff instead of creating stuff.

Do you have a slush pile?  My slush pile is a big ol' monster of a text file that I just write down all the half-decent ideas that I get.  Sometimes I can combine a couple of halfway good ideas into something solid.  Most ideas in the slush pile will never leave, but a few get their wings there.

Or just drink tequila and play word association games with crazy people.  Whatever works.
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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 06:48:57 AM »
I'm with Moonlake on this one.  You can't force creativity.  Take a break.  Read a book.  Focus on learning stuff instead of creating stuff.

Do you have a slush pile?  My slush pile is a big ol' monster of a text file that I just write down all the half-decent ideas that I get.  Sometimes I can combine a couple of halfway good ideas into something solid.  Most ideas in the slush pile will never leave, but a few get their wings there.

Or just drink tequila and play word association games with crazy people.  Whatever works.

I have what you call a "slush pile". It's a big notepad filled with short writings, drawings and random thoughts.

Perhaps I should try the Tequila way once I get another tablet and go to my local movie café!

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Offline Gossamer

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 07:28:10 AM »
Or just drink tequila and play word association games with crazy people.  Whatever works.

We didn't need no tequila, but she did play Word association with me, so she took that part of your advice. :P
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 07:38:24 AM »

Try a few 100 word challenges on some of the stuff, just to get back into the habit of writing.

I'm still priming myself with a few - partly to clean up the ridiculous number of in-works I have.
   
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Offline Dossta

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 08:40:24 AM »
I'm with Moonlake on this one.  You can't force creativity.  Take a break.  Read a book.  Focus on learning stuff instead of creating stuff.


I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and say that I cannot disagree with this more.  Writing is work.  Anyone who has done NaNoWriMo, or who has to write for a living can tell you that you can't just wait for inspiration to strike.  Sometimes you just have to sit down and WRITE.  It's the only sure way to get over a block.  Write the thing that you've been stuck on, and allow the piece to SUCK.  Then go back and fix it when your head is clear.

Many of my subs were crap that I had to force out, word by word.  The Hellephant, and The Players Cult were both kernels of ideas that were really, really hard to get down on paper.  In the end, you can't let the blank page beat you.  Take a walk, do some chores to give your mind a break, but don't make the mistake on waiting for your muse.  She gets lazy if you don't push her, sometimes. :)

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Offline Forganthus

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2013, 09:09:53 AM »
I'm going to play devil's advocate to the devil's advocate, and agree with the guy who disagreed with me.  Dossta is right.  WORK is the other half of the equation.

And there's a difference between not having any good ideas recently and having writer's block.  The best cure for writer's block is writing.

In my humble opinion.  Your mileage may vary.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2013, 11:41:20 AM »
I am not one to give much of a solution because I get stuck in your situation often and I just turn to code instead.

Maybe it is a thing with self editing the idea before it even has time to form. My main issue is this self regulation about the ideas I come up with and I stagnate. I am waiting for THE idea instead of any idea. Once I get picky I know it is time to take a break. Maybe you have ideas but discard them before you have a chance to act on them? The only way I can loosen up and get things written is to turn off the self editor and just type out an idea. It is hard as hell for me to power through an idea and just type. After two sentences I want to go back and change stuff or I feel like the idea is crap. Often times it is crap, but if I am able to power through and just keep typing anything, often times I get a gem or two out of it and then those pieces of inspiration can help drive me forward again.

I have so much random crap that I really need to go through and edit it. But that is phase II of my own personal blockage and where I am stuck. My "In Work" is in my private files and there is a lot of it! :)

It is work sometimes, no doubt about it. But it is the product that makes that work very worth it. Other times writing is simply a great joy and the whole process is fun. Either way it is never a waste of time.

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 05:49:05 PM »
Just thought of two Strolen functions you could use to get back into writing:
1. Under Fav lists, there are 2 that are basically lists of scrolls needing more additions (1 by me and I by Val). If you somehow can't get a full sub out, surely you can contribute at least one user-submitted idea (previously known as scroll entries in v.2 of the Citadel)
2. Start a 30 list or a Wiki.

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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 06:25:05 AM »
I am not one to give much of a solution because I get stuck in your situation often and I just turn to code instead.

Maybe it is a thing with self editing the idea before it even has time to form. My main issue is this self regulation about the ideas I come up with and I stagnate. I am waiting for THE idea instead of any idea. Once I get picky I know it is time to take a break. Maybe you have ideas but discard them before you have a chance to act on them? The only way I can loosen up and get things written is to turn off the self editor and just type out an idea. It is hard as hell for me to power through an idea and just type. After two sentences I want to go back and change stuff or I feel like the idea is crap. Often times it is crap, but if I am able to power through and just keep typing anything, often times I get a gem or two out of it and then those pieces of inspiration can help drive me forward again.

I have so much random crap that I really need to go through and edit it. But that is phase II of my own personal blockage and where I am stuck. My "In Work" is in my private files and there is a lot of it! :)

It is work sometimes, no doubt about it. But it is the product that makes that work very worth it. Other times writing is simply a great joy and the whole process is fun. Either way it is never a waste of time.

This could also be a part of what I'm going through. Now that you mention it, I will dismiss certain ideas before they even hit the drawing board. The main reason being; they're cliché'd and have been done before in so many different incarnations.

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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2013, 01:12:07 PM »
This could also be a part of what I'm going through. Now that you mention it, I will dismiss certain ideas before they even hit the drawing board. The main reason being; they're cliché'd and have been done before in so many different incarnations.
I strongly disagree!  Let the lameness pour out without judging the ideas.  They may be tired and cliched, or they may be utterly craptastic, but let them come forth. 

After you've belted out whatever lameness was determined to emerge from your psyche, good and original ideas will rise from the resulting pile of fertilizer:  "So now I have a description of an emotionally tormented vampire, who spends his spare time pouring glitter on high-school girls in some sort of twisted image of romance.  Perhaps the high school administrator secretly encourages weird supernatural monsters to prey on her students.  I wonder what she gets out of the deal?" Once the glittery vampire and the high school setting  have been purged from the brainstorm, you have the less-cliched idea of a supernatural bureaucrat who magically records the last images that flow through people's minds, keeping a terrifying archive of hideous deaths, which he somehow inflicts on unsuspecting victims

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2013, 07:27:26 PM »
Sounds like wulf has a premise for his next sub! Do eet!
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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2013, 06:29:37 AM »
Good luck with that idea Wulf! Thanks for the tips as well.

But do I publish the crap, or does it remain in work for however long it takes?

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2013, 06:40:17 AM »
Kassy, you can put subs into the Advice Requested category (or has it been renamed Collaboration Wanted?) if you are sort of iffy about putting out ideas you don't quite like and think ppl might downvote. Or you can put it up under Sagely Advice here. The In Work-Public option where everyone can see it but nobody can vote on it is also still available.

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2013, 11:49:32 PM »
In my case, the crap never hits the Citadel at all. It either gets dumped permanently once the filtering and percolating phase of a brainstorm is done, or it sits in a text file on my desktop, just in case I come back to it in the future and have a new spark for it.
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2013, 03:48:11 AM »
In the case of abandoning and completely deleting some of your crap, CM, you should totally post it up as an 'abandoned idea' in the Fields of Challenge thread, and challenge others to have a crack at finishing it! You could even make an unofficial quest out of it :p
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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2013, 05:33:28 AM »
Advice requested is a 2 sub maximum for me. Else I would put almost everything into it.

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2013, 05:53:42 AM »
Well, then Sagely Advice would be an alternative place for these iffy ideas, I would say. A pity that Sil has disappeared- I was thinking that given that you two are good friends, you could ask Sil to read over your iffy ideas and then maybe you two could brainstorm together.

Also, Shadoweagle's idea of posting abondoned ideas as a challenge is a good one. I believe there is already a thread started by Manfred somewhere in the forum that does this. I also like the idea of this being a quest, maybe it could be a collaborative quest where someone puts up an 'abandoned idea', another person takes up the discussion, the two of them go off to brainstorm together and a collaborative sub pops out. Sound good to anyone? 

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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2013, 07:19:27 AM »
Well, then Sagely Advice would be an alternative place for these iffy ideas, I would say. A pity that Sil has disappeared- I was thinking that given that you two are good friends, you could ask Sil to read over your iffy ideas and then maybe you two could brainstorm together.

Also, Shadoweagle's idea of posting abondoned ideas as a challenge is a good one. I believe there is already a thread started by Manfred somewhere in the forum that does this. I also like the idea of this being a quest, maybe it could be a collaborative quest where someone puts up an 'abandoned idea', another person takes up the discussion, the two of them go off to brainstorm together and a collaborative sub pops out. Sound good to anyone?

Yes, I'm pretty upset at Sil's departure. We came up with some really good ideas between ourselves. I deactivated my Facebook account so unfortunately I can't use that to communicate with her.

I vaguely remember that thread. Will hunt for it now.

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2013, 07:03:57 PM »
Looks like you've decided to commit yourself to creating a new setting :up:, good luck with it!
P.S. Manfred's thread on his unfinished ideas is right here in Sagely Advice and one of the top ones listed (the 2nd) as well.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 07:10:19 PM by Moonlake »

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Offline Kassy

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Re: Sucked into a creative quagmire.
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2013, 07:20:42 AM »
Looks like you've decided to commit yourself to creating a new setting :up:, good luck with it!
P.S. Manfred's thread on his unfinished ideas is right here in Sagely Advice and one of the top ones listed (the 2nd) as well.

Thanks Moonlake, I'll need it :P

I will add my own thread, with a listing and links to each unfinished piece that I don't feel like toying with myself anymore.

K,

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