Seize the now

David Gemmell asked me once if I wrote stuff, or had an inclination to do so.

I stammered some half-hearted reply about waiting for inspiration. There were a million better answers, but that one was probably pretty close to the truth.

I do write. I have to write stuff for work which requires me to set the scene, explain the background, discuss the arguments, provide some solutions and highlight the issues. I have to take non-believers and make them believe, and then part with their hard earned cash.

It’s not fiction, but sometimes you have to be pretty bloody creative.

I think I am creative. But I’m also lazy.

The combination isn’t always good. It can in fact lead to depression and serious frustration. A build up of creative energy and ideas, but a lack of will to carry them through to anything.

Initially, I didn’t realise it was a problem, but then, I was doing creative things all the time, and so it wasn’t as huge an issue as it can be these days. Now however, I find outlets, and that reduces the frustration I feel.

I still don’t think I’ve got the inspiration for a book yet though – but I do write stories.

I roleplay, as often as possible, although not often enough these days, and it’s a hugely creative activity. I run around 30-40% of the sessions we have, and it demands a level of fast-reacting-creativity that scares me if I think about it too hard.

Oh there’s a planning stage, and a writing stage and all the creativity that brings, working out the general lay of the adventure or mission, working out who the major players are, their goals and motives, and what plot threads you might throw at the players.

But then, those players pick those threads up, almost at random, certainly not for any good reason the person running the game understands, and they follow them, in weird and odd directions, and ask questions that you hadn’t even thought possible.

And the buzz I get from having to answer those questions, and work out what happens, and describe the newly changed world and rethink the motives of all the players is huge.

And also hugely draining. I know that after a game, I can be quite down, quite drained, and I usually think the players had a terrible time. Once energy levels recover it’s different, and I realise that we all did have fun, and that drives me onwards again to more creativity.

And so here I am, at 00:44, feeling creative, and without any immediate outlet other than GemmellFantasy, hence the last three postings.

For those of you who are waiting for the inspiration to write, be careful, if you have creative urges but don’t think you can do anything with them for lack of specific ideas, I advise you let go, and just dump words on the page. I don’t, and it drives me nuts. For those who get all creative and don’t know what to do, be careful, it can make you feel oddly dissatisfied with the world, and it wasn’t obvious to me initially what he problem was.

Roleplaying might be an answer if you can find some folk, or just doodling, writing long e-mails, jotting down the opening chapter to the next Jordanesque epic, or writing a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to in years.

But don’t, whatever you do, ‘wait for the right moment’, it never arrives.

Seize the now.