Creativity Flop

I’m tired, but I think the worst of the vaccine side effects have faded. Now I just have my perennially creaky knees and about a week’s sleep debt to worry about. No wonder my creative juices are barely ticking over.

I’m aware I’m being a little harsh on myself under the circumstances. I’ve just finished one of my journals and will be filing it away in the writing bureau some time soon. A previously started one has now picked up the baton and will travel most places with me.

I’d love to be writing but my brain says no. Not right now – so instead I’m setting up possible battle maps and locations for the game on Sunday before the yawning gets too much.

Weekend’s Here

That’s my first week back at work, and my legs are very aware I’ve been on my feet for most of it. It’s been good to reconnect with staff and public alike, and it has been a chance to encourage new creativity for displays.

We’ve got Mother’s Day here in the UK on Sunday, and Shakespeare Week to follow, so my main role today was to support, encourage and stir the pot, while my staff turned their attention to working out how to use Publisher. There may even have been investigations into the intricacies of printer layout settings and margins.

I love watching people’s faces as they work out new things, especially creative things. There’s often a great dawning joy and satisfaction that overtakes their features and its hugely rewarding to be part of that process.

That said I now need to start whipping my own creativity into shape to prepare for Sunday’s game. I have no idea what I’m going to set up.

Creative Paralysis

I have so many things I want to do, and feel inspired to do, and yet amid the day to day requirements of work and keeping the home I’m unable to complete many of them.

It’s not so unusual, even with my grasshopper mind. I currently have two stories that I’m transcribing, as well as a third that I’m editing in the hope of it being the opener for a series of short stories via Kindle and the like. I also have tee-shirt designs to tidy, some graphics for a friend’s Twitch channel, a number of half-done sketches, and of course there’s posting here on a semi-regular basis and the D&D sessions on Sunday evenings.

That’s not even counting paid work at the library, regular counselling, games, reading, the washing up, hoovering, and other minutiae of daily living.

No wonder I feel exhausted, and why I struggle with feeling guilty when I do none of the creative things when I get home or, like this morning, have a few spare hours.

I know plenty of people who will say that I shouldn’t feel guilty, and one or two who would say that guilt is just a mask for anger. I know that in an ideal world I would apply myself to one thing, and then another thing, and then another thing in turn – but my brain and heart aren’t cooperating. I’m like the dog in Up who is constantly shouting Squirrel!

Maybe another nap will help

Lockdown

We’ve been such hermits with being in isolation that the announcement of some form of lockdown in the UK has been largely met in our household with a bemused snort and a glance out the window at the children playing on the estate. Our own health has been reasonable until today, but Lady M has worsened noticeably in the last twenty-four hours and has spent most of the day on the sofa dozing in front of Disney+ and a Toy Story marathon. Her temperature is noticeably up, and she is having difficulty breathing – but we’re reminding ourselves that her underlying asthma means that whatever germs are doing the rounds normally hit her chest hard anyway so there’s a lot of intentional grounding thoughts taking place at the moment.

My own health seems to be stalled at the rattling in my chest and brain fog with added muscle aches, but I can hold my breath for ten seconds without noticeable affect, and am only occasionally dry coughing. Assuming I don’t develop anything else with Lady M declining I should be okay. Hygiene and general distance isolation continue to be the routine.

Have some random cosplay body positivity

I’ve mostly been in the office doing preparation for our new D&D group which looks like it will be a feature of our Sunday evenings for the forseeable future. We originally set up a Discord just to chat and arrange Cards Against Humanity games online, but once I’d mentioned it as an option I practically had my ears bitten off in enthusiasm.

So at least I have a side project to engage me for the time being. It is another trip to Eberron, this time under Fifth Edition rules, which is a new experience for me and indeed most of the people taking part. Lady M and Lady B, Lord S, myr s, and Mre B are so far signed up, and I will indeed chronicle some of their adventures here too. Its been a good three years or so since I’ve done any tabletop gaming so I’m looking forward to it.

It does seem somewhat paradoxical then that at a time of enforced isolation and lockdown that I’ve never been more social in my interactions. I’ve always been an active text communicator, and between the Discord, Messenger, and various voice call interactions with family and friends I seem to be positively overflowing with people to talk to.

Which is nice – even if my brain has gone into information sponge mode.

What has been a lovely surprise is how well everyone has gelled together and how much roleplay is taking place outside of session. We had a session zero this weekend to check all characters were made up, decide on bonds and links between them, and to also agree the style and boundaries of the type of game people wanted to play. A couple of people have messaged me about a couple of topics that they really would not enjoy, and by and large we’ve come to an understanding of who the characters are and why they are choosing to embrace the adventuring life together. Within the game itself they have an employer, and resources and obligations that come with that – if nothing else the process and session zero has given me plenty of potential story hooks and beats to play with.

I’m selfishly hoping this will also help my creative writing side wake up. Like any skill it needs exercise, and running roleplay games has always helped. The in-character Discord chats that have been running since Sunday are already sparking ideas, and are a complete delight to read in any case.