REAY JESPERSEN:
WRITER OF, AND DABBLER IN,
MANY THINGS

On Creative Flow

I've got the same problem that so many creative types do: Too many ideas and not enough time to get to all of them. It happens to people with a laser-tight focus on what they do, let alone those of us who are much more scattershot with their interests. I've won awards for short stories, won awards for speech writing and delivery, ranked well in screenwriting contests, been approached by a would-be patron to write comic scripts based on some samples I wrote, and have been told I should sell my photography.
That's not even including pursuits I'm interested in and worked on but haven't gotten any industry traction from yet, including writing novels, doing tabletop game design, various TV show concepts, and choreographing Weasels On Ice: ABBAtastic.

Wait, what?
Ignore that last one.
Ignore it.

I find that I need to give my mind a chance to noodle on whatever creative idea may pop into it. Yesterday I thought of a new tabletop game concept -- let's for the moment look past the issue of my already having a few others in various stages of development, because finishing what pursuits I start is something I came to way too late in life and am still wrestling with constantly -- and I brainstormed on it for a while. Enough that I think it's got legs. 
Today I continued working on the same idea and then, out of the blue, I got hit with another one for a whole different game. Or not a game so much as what may be a new, innovative way to approach an aspect of a game mechanic.
Working on creative ideas gives you other creative ideas.
Creativity begets creativity.

Point being, part of the trick, which I'm still learning, is knowing when to keep chasing down a solid concept that has a real chance at becoming A Thing and when to catch and release it like a fish you caught but isn't the big one you were hoping for. Or maybe it's not even the right kind of fish. Maybe it's something Lovecraftian from unknown depths, with rows of knitting needle-like teeth and cataract-blinded eyes that somehow put you at ease even as it sucks out your soul.
Fish are weird, guys.

Anyway, it occurs to me that the purpose of this site, the reason it took the initial shape it has, may in part be my trying to get some of that chaotic jumble of ideas out and in front of me instead of just locked up in my head to help see what may be worth pursuing and what isn't. I've long thought that if something that I enjoy doing -- any of the myriad industries I've dabbled in -- were to catch on somehow, that I'd happily keep on producing for that option as a potential career. Yet the reason I keep trying new ideas in new fields is because of a curiosity and interest in them, and for not wanting to ignore ideas in other areas. Even if any of my interests did take off as a job, I'd still try out other creative stuff. Not because the grass is always greener, but simply because boxing in creativity is anathema to it.

Always keep the flow going.

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