Thursday, June 28, 2012

I missed creative writing - the freedom of being non-professional

I used to be an artist, it sucked to live and die by the quality of art. Now, being full time in technology and management, I find more inspiration to write than ever.

My wife and I were talking about it, and she pointed out that it was hard focusing all energies in just one creative pursuit. I have a mental model for that: Input is always greater in proportion to output. Working, Living, and Playing are kinds of Input. If 90% of you day is doing WLP then you have that to write about.

My other mental model/ hypothesis is WLP is distracting, and distractions add variety to our experience. The variety of task and fields is helpful in learning because of the advantage of having to master different and what may be unrelated fields (In other words: doing stuff you don't like or does not favor your strong suits). Work has the advantage of allowing one to exercise: Variable Priority Training which is great for cognitive health (i will explain how I try to exercise this in my work blog). Variety also allow me to try to exercise Mindfulness Meditation. (is another multitasking exercise. I should discuss the two in detail in my work blog). 


So work, life, and a variety of hobbies has helped. Work allows me to meet more people, that "Library" of personalities everyone draws on gets more interesting and more life-like when we have a better sampling to populate it. Instead of going by labels and archetyping, my process for that has gotten more complicated (I still have a process; I don't know if I should post this one given that it opens my hand too much). 


Dealing, since business and money is at stake brings out a unique dimension in human behavior. As geeks are motivated by the intrinisc value of their pursuits there is a radical paradox change when there are elements of money, cost of living (loss aversion to a standard of living one has been accustomed), the variety of ambitions and risks in the professional world. In such occasions, the GM in me takes a back seat and loves watching what goes down and would keep careful notes about how to use the material in the next game. That GM is always modeling what is observed into complex rules to accommodate the credible data. Random number variables allow me to categorize some exceptions to the rule into my general understanding. 


So the GM has a ton of notes every end of the day. Sometimes there is much data it is really part of my work day compressing and summarizing that data externally, like in blogging and my personal doctrine of strategies. When I write about what I learned, I cannot help but be inspired by the new approach I could take writing or playing out a scene. 


Writing has its own rules and structure. Listening to a Ton of Audiobooks allowed me to digest data more than I've ever done in my life. So now I have more writers to compare to and more patterns by which i can approach a narrative. 


There is such a wealth of information, that I may be stumped where to begin... but most imporantly: I'm not a professional. I'm a GM who is too busy with WLP (other hobbies) that no one can fault me for crappy writing... which gives in to the best Writing Mental Release Valves: "Lower Your STANDARD!" Being a working stiff has made me free to try, to play, to fail.

When i started writing again, I got sucked in. I promised myself One Hour a day... and only during walks to offices, waiting for stuff to load, or meetings to start. Only "dead" time which could not have been spent any other productive way. I'm happy with what I made so far and self editing had the reassuring voice of: Your not a professional you are a GM and you can be a crap writer and no one can fault you for that.

If I could go back in time... I guess i'll leave things as they are. Experience and the suffering helps reinforce lessons for those of us with predisposed poor self control.
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