The Myth of the Muse

I asked you all to ask me questions and some of you took up my challenge. To those, I thank you. Now, I shall share a few of my answers here with you, exploring my brief answer in a bit more detail.

The first question comes from Josh Bazin.

Josh asks: What do you find to be your biggest muse when it comes to writing? What motivates you and helps churn ideas onto the page?

First off, Josh snuck in a couple of questions, but I feel up to doing some heavy lifting. My original answer is as follows:

Anything can spark ideas. Ultimately, this is my full time gig, and I cannot wait on some mischievous muse to come along with a basket full of ideas. It may sound less than magical, but I work from a master plan with spreadsheets and deliverables.

Now, I’ll see if I can expand a bit more on these points.

Once upon a time, a youthful and naive writer fully believed in the Muse. At this point, he was more an overwrought artiste hoping to one day cross the imaginary boundary from wishful thinker to actual writer. He laid out carrots and cookies for the Muse by the fireplace. He placed glasses of warm milk. Wait. That’s Santa Claus. For the Muse, he drank wine. He stayed out late with the wrong people. He soaked up life like a sponge and then, and only then, did he make sacrifices upon the altar of his personal life. He cast aside friends and fun and beautiful distractions who pined for his companionship on a sunny beach. Those were halcyon days. Everything was topsy-turvy. There is no muse. Certainly, there are moments when one gets in a groove, but this happens in anything from singing karaoke to shooting pool to playing video games to, yes, writing. We do these things not for the magic moments, but in spite of them. We use the force of our fantastic willpower and imaginations to turn hard-baked clay into fertile ground which we then seed with words and whispered promises from pasts that never were to futures that shall never be. I have chosen writing as my vocation. This is my gig. The craft of writing roleplaying materials offers a lot of challenges which are compounded by also being a publisher.

What motivates me? Creating and sharing products of my imagination with the world around me. Contributing to this great parade of games and gamers. To draw people into worlds they may never have explored. To explore my own creations on a deeper level.

Allow me to address this last point a bit more. For anyone who is into world-building, there is such a personal and profound element of creating things just for their own sake. World-building is often an exploration of creativity unlike any other. I enjoy it immensely. For me, it’s as addictive as painting miniatures or creating terrain. There is an immediate and response “oooh-ahhh” element. Developing elements of a world fall into place as people begin exploring this personal creation. I owe it to myself to make sure it all gels. Ultimately, gaming is about fun, and I have to have fun when I’m creating or it shows in the end process.

It’s essential, from a business perspective, to take the attention to detail deadly seriously. In the end, the product represents us to each and every person out there.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!




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