I wish I had the will and energy to write


Gamer Life General Discussion


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I have a number of times started something with great ideas but not been able to finish due to my own exhaustion and depression. I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Clinical Depression. It's hard.

So I am wondering, is there anyone out there suffering the same conditions that has a method of mustering the strength to write RPG content? How do you do it?


I'm in a similar boat. I've had luck with scheduling short sessions (like working on something for 5 minutes short) and then gradually ramping up day by day. If you can manage 5 minutes for a few days in a row try 10 and so on.


Well, I'm a lazy bastard but I love to write RPG stuff. My only help is sudden bouts of motivation that I try to ride.


I want to produce enough for publishing, but I just can't. :(


That's a shame, I've seen you make great posts, I surely would enjoy a book made by you. Why don't you try something small? I've seen great 3pp products of only 5-10 pages.

Liberty's Edge

I have clinical depression which comes with extreme insomnia, but I think that's the opposite of fatigue. I dictate while I pace For hours at night and send the audio files to my mom who transcribes and edits them.


Nicos wrote:
That's a shame, I've seen you make great posts, I surely would enjoy a book made by you. Why don't you try something small? I've seen great 3pp products of only 5-10 pages.

I dunno. I also feel like I've burned a few bridges in my intermittent bouts of misery-fueled paranoia and anger.


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Work on prompts. Short, powerful images that serve as anchoring waypoints. If you can bridge between them and flesh the story further over time, good, if you can't, they become side projects that can be added to later.

No matter how dissatisfied you are with your work: SAVE!

I fell away from writing due to other hobbies becoming my leisure; my creative side (maliciously mischievous) comes out when I DM for people, as well as when I am a PC. Concepts haunt me across campaigns, and the fun struggle is to keep doing new things and allowing character concepts and arcs continue over multiple characters and other people's stories as I bridge my character over to their realm and others'.


Most of my RPG writing is done on sketched out notes and half filled pages. I rarely write long game works now. My writing problems stem from the fact that despite everyone telling me I could write great fiction, I've discovered that after 40 years of trying to write things (I'm 52) I hate writing. It could be my own Clinical Depression or something else, but while I DO think I'm a fairly good fiction writer, I just can't stand the process so I get about 6 pages into something and quit.

Shadow Lodge

I use online spreadsheets to do a lot of my RPG pre-writing and plot-tracking.

It might be worth trying; I find that I can organize my ideas very quickly that way and can make meaningful progress on a piece of the story in only a few minutes.
"Fleshing them out" comes naturally once I have enough details, notes, or goals set up.

Doing a little bit at a time is a lot easier for me than trying to write everything out in one sitting.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
Nicos wrote:
That's a shame, I've seen you make great posts, I surely would enjoy a book made by you. Why don't you try something small? I've seen great 3pp products of only 5-10 pages.
I dunno. I also feel like I've burned a few bridges in my intermittent bouts of misery-fueled paranoia and anger.

I guess I would not be able to understand your situation at a personal level, but as I said there are plenty of really great 3pp material of less than 20 pages.

I can think of the villain codices by outland entertainment, village backdrop by raging swan or tangible taverns by Dire rugrats.

My advice is to work in a short book, one that can be done in steps. Something that don't require continuous work, something that can be done an step at the time. Then you work in each step whenever you are in good mood.

Liberty's Edge

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There's a great writer's quote (not sure who first said it) that's very apropos here:

"I hate writing. I love having written."


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Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

After posting that I think it could be taken as critical of people who are struggling to write. Please don't. I find this inspires when I think I can do something but can't find the will to do it.

Liberty's Edge

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I'll admit when I have what I think is a good idea I'm excited about, it becomes all I can think about and I can't wait to start writing. Once I start, it just flows out of me.

BUT, there are other times, particularly when I need to write something I'm not necessarily as exited or passionate about, that I have as much trouble as anyone getting started and and then keeping the momentum once I do finally get started. It's a very frustrating feeling to be sure.

I've read many interviews and biographies from writers who say that, when they are working on project and feeling the dreaded writer's block, they set aside a certain amount of time every day (a couple hours, or even just a single hour or less) in which they MUST write. No matter how well or how poorly it seems to be going, they simply must write something for the project. They may not edit themselves and they may NOT trash, delete or crumble up what they have written.

Then, they come back to what they wrote at a later time and look at it with some degree of objectivity to see what's there. Maybe a given day's writing resulted in nothing worth keeping. More likely, however, there IS something good, even if it's just a single paragraph, a sentence, an idea, or even just a cool name. Keep that nugget of gold, refine it and then keep moving forward like that every day.

You might be very surprised what you end up with!


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Umbral Reaver wrote:

I have a number of times started something with great ideas but not been able to finish due to my own exhaustion and depression. I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Clinical Depression. It's hard.

So I am wondering, is there anyone out there suffering the same conditions that has a method of mustering the strength to write RPG content? How do you do it?

Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
I'm in a similar boat. I've had luck with scheduling short sessions (like working on something for 5 minutes short) and then gradually ramping up day by day. If you can manage 5 minutes for a few days in a row try 10 and so on.

Wow, I am in a bigger boat than I imagined. Two other people with both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and depression are in this forum. Though my depression is pretty mild, it is a temporary symptom of a CFS flare-up. Er, SEID, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease--I have to grow accustomed to the new name for CFS.

Do you have mental fog from your SEID? That can make writing exhausting. But if you are free of the mental fog, like I am, then writing is light work and the big problem is the depression.

I once had significant depression as a symptom of undiagnosed sleep apnea (fatigue caused fatness, fatness caused sleep apnea, sleep apnea caused diabetes, waiting for the next shoe to drop) and my method of controlling the effects of the depression was writing fan fiction. I wrote for an hour every morning. While living in the heads of my characters for an hour, I walled off the depression because it wasn't in my characters' heads. I could maintain that wall for a few hours afterwards, enough to go to my job and get some work done.

To get the oomph to write the fiction in the first place, I relied on another trick. My depression had a weak spot: it does not stop me from helping other people. I think this is a human instinct, to be willing to help one's community even while sick because that encourages the community to help the sick person in return. I had an audience that liked my writing, I had a commitment to the audience, and that gave me enough willpower to write.

I don't know whether your SEID and depression act like mine. But that worked for me.

And posting helpful comments in Paizo forums also triggers my helpfulness instinct and drives back my depression.

I am retired now, so I have more time for anti-depression hobbies. Twice a week I run a Pathfinder game, Iron Gods adventure path, for retired and partially-employed friends. They are so far off the railroad of the adventure path that they need a telescope to spot it from orbit. "From orbit" is an inside joke, because I let them rebuild a small spaceship in this adventure about a crashed starship fleet. At 7th level. Thus, I am rewriting half the content of the modules to adjust it. It keeps me on my toes and helps me fight off the depression.


Dot.


I can't speak to writing with Chronic Fatigue or Depression, though I *can* say that, for me personally, removing distraction like the Internet and TV helps more than I care to admit. Which is hard because my computer is the easiest place for me to write.

Have you ever listened to the Writing Excuses podcast? They don't focus on game writing (though they do have a handful of episodes related to that topic), but their general writing advice, which includes writing while being mindful of one's own health, has been very helpful to me over time.


I'm a creative writer with severe clinical depression. The concomitant lack of self-esteem, motivation, and energy makes it difficult to produce. Other than my empathy, I can only offer the advice I've been given: make your creativity a habit. Even if it feels terrible, even if you look at the material you wrote the day before and cringe, just keep going.

I believe it was one of the Transcendentalists who felt he hadn't earned his dinner until he had at least written something that day. It's also helped me lately to read about Keats's concept of "Negative Capability."

The most important thing (and here I am hypocritical) is not to castigate yourself when you "fail." Self-flagellation feels "deserved," but it's really just a way to distract us further. It feels right because it's severe, and we think the hard thing is the right thing, but "severe" != "hard." The hard thing is to see ourselves as we are: not the best, not the worst, not lacking in creativity but not so perfected as to s*+$ golden tomes or unassailable RPG content. You're at the choice point. Take care of yourself: sleep, eat, cry, whatever you need. But, when your needs are met, are you doing what you love to do?

Apologies if I am projecting my own flaws and struggles. This is just the stuff that gets me in front of my pen/keyboard; maybe there's something there to help you. Best of luck.


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Thank you for being brave and asking this question. Depression sucks.

I'll speak from my own experience, having written through/with/during depression for years now. There are a few things I think hold true, at least in my specific situation.

1. Depression makes me a lousy critic. Part of being depressed is enjoying things less. When enjoyment is blunted, that applies to my own work as well. Therefore, I'm going to be less capable of re-reading my work in a positive way, or seeing any qualities it may have. It's hard to read even writers I usually really enjoy, therefore it makes sense that I would look at my own work and think "Feh. Crap."

What I try to do (don't always succeed, but try) is to suspend any judgement. To acknowledge that I am in a physical state where I am simply less capable of experiencing the pleasure of reading. It doesn't mean that the work I just did is crap. It just means I can't really trust myself to know, and therefore I should keep working.

Because even the worst something is better than the best nothing.

2. Writing is not publishing. Publishing is not writing. This is very hard to keep in mind when writing FOR publishing. The process of getting published is (by its nature) prone to reinforce many of the 'voices' of depression.

The work is ignored. "Nobody cares about you."

The work is rejected. "You suck."

The work is ignored some more. "You are a failure."

The work gets published, but some asshat in the review section feels the need to say all those harsh (and subjective) things that depression tells me all the time. Rejections pile into the hundreds, each one echoing the voice of depression that says "You're lousy. You suck."

That's publishing.

Not writing.

The only way I've ever found to deal with that is to do my best to separate those two things, especially when I'm depressed. When I'm feeling good, then it's the time to look at the industry feedback I get (positive and negative) and see how my work can be more marketable. But when I'm depressed, all that will do is compound the sense of futility.

So when I write, I just write. Then, once done, I turn to the marketplace. I look at what I have, not as a writer, but as someone trying to convince a business person that I can make them some money. Totally different task, totally different set of skills.

When it's just me and that tiny frail space of order and flow and creativity held up against the terrible pain and chaos of depression, THAT is the writing. That is the immediate feedback, that is the piece that matters to me. That is the piece that keeps me well. No one (not even me) gets to decide that is a waste of time, simply because they do not see how it will benefit a publisher's shareholders.

3. Depression messes with the reward system in my brain. It becomes monumentally difficult to put forth the effort for a deferred reward - both because of the cognitive difficulties imagining distant success and the inability to maintain attention that long. Deferred rewards include things like finishing a novel or publishing something or winning a contest.

So.

Given that, I have to focus on the only piece that I really can count on to provide a reward. That little bit of time, hedged out from long painful exhausting hours, when I disappear and am just working. Someone above quoted the old saw about hating writing but liking having written. For me it is the near opposite. When depressed, I can't think about having written - that is too far off, too insurmountable, even if it's just a 100 word goal. My focus dwindles to immediately in front of me, and the present pleasure of lining words up as best I can.

The surprising thing - the thing I had to learn to trust even though it seemed wildly improbable - is that focusing on that moment, just working, winds up leading to a completed manuscript. Somehow. It just does. I didn't think it would, but I forced myself to say no to the fear, and, I had a novel. And then another. And another. And I honestly can't tell you that I thought I would finish any of them while I was working.

I gave up on finishing, took my eye off that goal, looked only at the next step, and that was the trick for me to finish.

4. I had to find someone to read what I was working on. Just to read it. Not a 'critique partner' or a 'beta reader' or whatever people insist you have to have. Just one person, to whom I could give each day's (or each week's) progress, with the understanding that they would read it and say "Good job. Keep going."

Otherwise, I found myself working in a vacuum. And when exhausted and depressed, it was easier to just think about the story than to write it down. But I knew I couldn't deal with criticism of a work in progress (even the most helpful, best-intentioned criticism kills my work before it's a complete first draft; especially when I'm depressed). So I just had someone read it and say "Good job. Keep going." And that was enough. Someone else, someone outside my head knew I was working and expected to see more and encouraged me without analyzing or leading me down those snarled razor tangles of depressive thought.

******

This has turned into something of a tome. There is more I could say, but I will leave it at this:

Good job. Keep going.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
So I am wondering, is there anyone out there suffering the same conditions that has a method of mustering the strength to write RPG content? How do you do it?

Yes, though my ambitions only extend as far as writing for games I might run. I don't think I will ever publish and don't see it as a realistic ambition for me.


My problem is the fact that I can work on stuff for long periods but it has to be for a editing process. Creating new stuff is NOT as easy as it was when I was a teenager. I use to write short stories that I would get ideas off of playing live action role-playing on my trampoline with my friend. My longest story that I created out of just my mind took me 4 years of real time to complete at 60 pages long. I printed out most of the work as I don't have the material on my computer anymore as they where all saved on floppy drives and that is how old of a computer I was using at the time or it was a Windows 95 system. I have like also tons of pages of my very own created table top rpg stuff. I keep most of the papers packed away in real life folders. But my problem tends to come not from lack of working but working myself to death and then having my brain be on auto-pilot. Like I said good for editing but horrible for being creative.


But to get the best out of your situation I think you need to just do your work in small sprints or just do what you can then come back to it when you can. Or the bursts of inspiration mode type of style.


I suffer from schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder with insomnia myself. I have tend to be in manic mode most of the time but when I get into depression it is usually at night. Night is where I get most of my work done as I am awake most of the time during night time.


You and I are kin more then you know Umbral. I also have an amazing creative streak, but my bipolar, ADD and depression have sidetracked my life into such a ditch I often wonder how I fell so far.

If I don't get off track while writing I get bummed out from something completely unrelated and leave my work half finished, that and what I do accomplish takes longer then it should, so I over think what I've done until I'm bored with it altogether.

Being unemployed money barriers often raise my ire, I too suffer from bouts of inner rage, yet I'm the only one who is worse for it. I hope it makes you feel better you are not alone, I know it does for me.

Community Manager

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You're not the only one that has this problem. My best piece of advice is to outline what you want to do and break it down into smaller chunks to make it more manageable, that way when you're in a better headspace it will be easier to tackle.

Dealing with depression is a much harder beast. One of the tricks that I taught myself was that every time I felt myself reacting to something (positive or negative) to take a moment to step back and analyze it, then find a mid-point. When you're feeling great and amazing, it's easy to overdo it (and then you're out of spoons for an unspecified time period while your brain recovers). In writing, something, anything, is better than nothing at all—even 100 words is something. Try Pacemaker to set goals for yourself.

And you know what? If you can't write...that's okay. Keep fighting the depression, practice good self-care, try again. Depression isn't a one-time battle; it's a war that you have to face again every day, but you can do it. I believe in you.


I keep a notepad in my car, my work bag and ones all around the house. Every time I have an idea (especially for game scenarios) I write it down, you'll be surprised at how productive you can be in those small moments stuck in traffic, waiting at the doctors or any space moment.

Over time it's easy to just collect all my thoughts together and build a good game. Little bits at a time, you don't have to commit to everything on paper but commit to writing any and every thought you have.

Silver Crusade

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From my perspective as someone who also has pretty bad depression, something I've found that helped me out a lot is working with others. The idea of Team KOP came up because when there's other people working and supporting you, it makes things much easier.

I myself also write no matter what without worrying if it's good. Like Mark R. said (I've also heard this from others), setting up a writing schedule can be helpful. It's kind of like exercise, you have to do it regularly or else it loses its impact. Once you get into a rhythm, you can more easily continue.

I'd try to find a writing buddy with whom you can talk about writing, as having one of my design partners on skype has done wonders for my productivity, as well as provide critical feedback.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You may find some useful suggestions if you read the biography of Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote "Seabiscuit" while confined to her home by CFS
A Sudden Illness -- How My Life Changed

Her persistence through all the brainfog and pain has given me hope when I get dragged down. She was writing award winning books while going through some of the worst days


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Umbral, while I do not suffer from depression, I know what it feels like to try to write and just not feel it, I have felt the sting of harsh reviews, and you know what, it has been totally worth it.

I am one of the owners of Flying Pincushion games, you may have heard of us, you may have not, but we have something of a rep for bringing in new writers and assisting with honing their craft as RPG designers. We are always happy to bring in new folks, and one of the best things is, because we write as individuals, and edit by comity, our books have many perspectives, and no one author has to shoulder all the page count.

If you are interested just PM me and we can chat, I took a risk three and a half years ago and jumped into the RPG design world, have not looked back since. Money is fine, name recognition is nice, but the satisfaction of seeing my work in print, in crafting our books (I am our layout guy, along with a contributing author) surpasses it all.

I like sharing that chance with others, and am happy to give you a chance to share your work with the world.

Either way, keep writing, and learn from every misstep, they are sometimes the best teachers.

Jeff Harris
Flying Pincushion Games


Umbral Reaver wrote:
I have a number of times started something with great ideas but not been able to finish

This is a problem I share though thankfully I can say it's not because I have the same conditions. I suspect it might be a case of ADD, but I never got myself tested, so I might just be lazy.

I have started a lot of stuff which could be good but never saw it through all the way. had I done it I might have a few books with which I could go into publishing right now.


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I can help you with some depression advice.

Keep a close friend who can check in on you at regular intervals. Someone who will recognize your depression and can pick you up and take you out to do something they know you will enjoy. Because DOING something is the fastest route through depression, and if you have had severe moments were you couldn't even watch TV then that friend is a lifeline.


Aranna wrote:

I can help you with some depression advice.

Keep a close friend who can check in on you at regular intervals. Someone who will recognize your depression and can pick you up and take you out to do something they know you will enjoy. Because DOING something is the fastest route through depression, and if you have had severe moments were you couldn't even watch TV then that friend is a lifeline.

I don't really have any support of that level.

Project Manager

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Set aside time each day, at the same time. Start with 30 minutes.

First, go take a 15 minute walk outside. Walking stimulates your brain and makes you more creative.

Come back inside. Get rid of any distractions, including browser tabs (I like using WriteRoom). And sit down and write.

Don't beat yourself up if you don't get much done. Like anything, it will get easier with practice, and like anything, practice will be easier if it's a regular routine. Don't beat yourself up, but also don't allow yourself to give up before the 30 minutes are over.

Write what you want to write--remember you don't actually HAVE to write scenes in order. (None of the professional writers I know start at the beginning and write straight through until the end on every project, and most of us don't do that on ANY project.) If there's something crying out for you to pay attention to it, write *that.*

If you get in a groove, and you don't have anywhere to be, keep writing until you get tired.

Make yourself an outline for what you want to write, too. Then you can cross off sections as you get through them.

Contributor

Jessica Price wrote:

Set aside time each day, at the same time. Start with 30 minutes.

First, go take a 15 minute walk outside. Walking stimulates your brain and makes you more creative.

Come back inside. Get rid of any distractions, including browser tabs (I like using WriteRoom). And sit down and write.

Don't beat yourself up if you don't get much done. Like anything, it will get easier with practice, and like anything, practice will be easier if it's a regular routine. Don't beat yourself up, but also don't allow yourself to give up before the 30 minutes are over.

Write what you want to write--remember you don't actually HAVE to write scenes in order. (None of the professional writers I know start at the beginning and write straight through until the end on every project, and most of us don't do that on ANY project.) If there's something crying out for you to pay attention to it, write *that.*

If you get in a groove, and you don't have anywhere to be, keep writing until you get tired.

Make yourself an outline for what you want to write, too. Then you can cross off sections as you get through them.

Jessica has some really great ideas here.

I'll chime in and double down on the idea that you don't have to write something in order. I never do. If a particular idea in a project comes to mind I work on that. If I'm writing a story, any particular scene or even a stray line of dialogue that happens to pop up first, that gets written, and then I'll frequently just jump to something else not even in the same scene. I splice together dozens of disconnected portions later on.

I typically write something every day, but there are times when it just isn't happening, and unless I'm under a deadline I don't try and force it. But if I'm in a creative mood, I'll boot the cats out, close the door, and just keep writing until I can't.

:)


I've also been trying to write stuff and struggling, which annoys me as I was once pretty good, but I'v realised a couple of things.

One is that I'm trying to write much longer stories over longer periods of time, which means I need a much better understanding of the characters, the setting, and what's happening around them. Like what time year it is. And I don't have any experience of doing that

And then I'm starting to write scenes, perhaps someone reaching a decision or two or more people interacting, and I don't have a clear picture of where they are. I think, before I try to write the full scene, I need to decide where it happens (indoors or outdoors, furniture if any, what a scene setter would need to know for a play), what time of day or night it is, the weather, if there's sunshine coming through the windows and so one. Then where the characters are - how close, sitting or standing, holding anything and so one. And why they're here - are they passing through (where are they going?) or doing something or waiting for something to happen (if so what)?
Then perhaps I'll stop stalling if for instance they look around whilst thinking, because I have no idea what they might be looking at. Or they put something down and I suddenly need a table for it.

Dark Archive

Crater Labs wrote:

I can't speak to writing with Chronic Fatigue or Depression, though I *can* say that, for me personally, removing distraction like the Internet and TV helps more than I care to admit. Which is hard because my computer is the easiest place for me to write.

This is my bane.

I've got three things I 'should' be writing, and they sit and sit and sit, while I surf the web or binge-watch shows on Netflix or whatever. Fortunately, at work, there's no Wi-Fi (and I don't have a cellphone), so between breaks and lunch, I've got about an hour of time each day I *can't* go online, and can get some writing in, if I don't fire up the solitaire...

The downside to that is that the internet has become so integral to my writing. I am completely addicted to being able to check something about geography or culture or whatever online, that I feel like I've hit a wall when I'm writing something and realize that I can't 'look something up real quick.'

Gosh, the excuses I'll find, instead of developing some self-discipline. :)


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Aranna wrote:

I can help you with some depression advice.

Keep a close friend who can check in on you at regular intervals. Someone who will recognize your depression and can pick you up and take you out to do something they know you will enjoy. Because DOING something is the fastest route through depression, and if you have had severe moments were you couldn't even watch TV then that friend is a lifeline.

I don't really have any support of that level.

Umbral, not that it makes much difference but if we lived in even the remotely same neck of the woods, I would offer to be this level of support. I know, heck of a lot of good that does you.

My advice is going to sound much like Aranna's. I've found that my creative outlets are entirely blessed when I share them with friends. There is no law that says writing has to be done in isolation. If you have any friends, or even acquaintances you know that share your interest in creative writing, it can be really rewarding to get together and write, together. Cooperative fiction is an excellent outlet not only for creativity, but also for entertainment and just good clean fun! The great thing about cooperative fiction is that you don't have to do it face to face. Google sheets makes creative fiction possible right over the internet. If you'd like, I'd be happy to be your creative writing buddy over the web? Shoot me a PM and we can try and get something going. :)

Your friend,
MW


Set wrote:
Crater Labs wrote:

I can't speak to writing with Chronic Fatigue or Depression, though I *can* say that, for me personally, removing distraction like the Internet and TV helps more than I care to admit. Which is hard because my computer is the easiest place for me to write.

This is my bane.

I've got three things I 'should' be writing, and they sit and sit and sit, while I surf the web or binge-watch shows on Netflix or whatever. Fortunately, at work, there's no Wi-Fi (and I don't have a cellphone), so between breaks and lunch, I've got about an hour of time each day I *can't* go online, and can get some writing in, if I don't fire up the solitaire...

The downside to that is that the internet has become so integral to my writing. I am completely addicted to being able to check something about geography or culture or whatever online, that I feel like I've hit a wall when I'm writing something and realize that I can't 'look something up real quick.'

Gosh, the excuses I'll find, instead of developing some self-discipline. :)

I sympathise - my house was at its cleanest ever when I was writing up my PhD thesis. That was was before there was an internet, though.

A long, long time ago, I can still remember

when we used to have to go and do the dusting or the hoovering or clean all the windows ...


I've been writing for like some 23 years... Like I said earlier, I had had really good stories that I still have in print out form, just not on my computer as it is ah hell to rewrite them on it and I have changed so much about the world I use now days from the beginning..... Heck I still have my first map I drew up, then again I sealed it in a plastic wrap in a folder as I have made paper doubles and also a color version on my computer. Oh the early days where crazy but fun. Dragon Ball Z, The Record Of The Lodoss War, and the RPG Big Eyes, Small Mouth 2nd Edition Revised (As I own a copy. Its hard to find one these days without you paying 60 bucks for a used copy on Amazon or 100 bucks for a new one. Yah that is how rare and good this tiny book but awesome book is.) where my main three things that had impact on my creating my own RPGs after I found my friends didn't like D&D 3.0 so I started making my own game for us to play. We played ah lot but most of it was, more or less, LARP as the rules where there just to tell us how cool are characters where to each other. I just finished a revived, like 7th Edition, of my main game or as I call it "Zamtar". It has ah lot of crunch but also has rules that are easy to played with. Sure character creation is heavy footed but it is a point buy one so that is how it goes there... And you can make a level 1 character in 10 minutes and not be blown away by your choses at least as I just made one and found I created him fast and easy without needing to look up much but on what I wanted him to be able to do.... So yah I have a fun system. Even have a RPG producer ask me for some of his races to have needed descriptions for each. I did good for many of them. Only one I had trouble and that was more of a his game's story wise nature of the race being a created for battle animal people making them more or less just combat slaves to me....


So, a couple years ago I was lucky enough to win a place in a book from Raging Swan Press. I was immensely proud to see my name in print after years of applying for freelance jobs and not making the cut. I got a hard copy, printed the PDF and framed my part of it; I even got paid $15 (which promptly went right back to Mr Broadhurst!)

Then, about a few months after that, the floor dropped out of my life on a personal level.

I have notebooks and Word Doc files filled to brimming with fits and starts, from up to a couple years ago. Since then, I feel like I'm writing the same pabulum, just ripping off PF material really, and haven't tried out for a single job.

I don't know what to tell you Umbral. I've read some of your insights on these boards and I'm a fan, but I doubt that's much of a motivator. It isn't to me. The only thing at all that's kept my hands going is a writer's group I've been attending on weekends, and a WHOLE lot of therapy, and even then I haven't felt up to submitting anything for anyone to read/buy.

I just feel so... unworthy all the time. Like, if the person in my life that things ended so badly with thought so little of me but I thought so much of them, and then I thought the same amount of myself... could I have been wrong? Was that person actually bad, and consequently, was my assessment of myself any more accurate?

Bottom line, I don't feel good enough. For anything. A few weeks ago I nearly threw away the framed piece I have in my office. I feel ashamed of what I've been and what I've created.

My therapist says just keep writing. So do the folks that've heard my stuff on Saturdays. These are semi-professional writers and they think I've got potential, so maybe I do, but who knows. Whatever anyone else thinks though I keep writing because if I don't... well then I know I'm down for the count.

I hope you find your courage UR, or, considering the age of this thread, maybe you already have. I hope you're well UR.

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