Creative Processes

While I, by and large, have those impostor syndrome feels pretty well under control, they do surface from time to time because of the assumption that being successful as a creative looks the same for everyone and has the same level of output.

It doesn’t.

Your success might not look like waking up at 6AM and having coffee while looking out of a window and listening to lo-fi. In fact, you might hiss at the sun and find you live your best life at 10PM with a mountain dew and the Ramone’s playing in the background. That’s OK.

“Cool, but how did we end up here, Syn?”

Well…

In the shower – 1:35 PM

Today, one of the characters I was making for a game spoke to me in the shower. I sat here thinking about how I made them.

When I want to think about what characters I want to make, I can’t look at stats and mechanics. Instead, I need a conversation and I need to draw things out of it, so my character backgrounds look like a dialog between 3-4 people and having the core of this person I want to make emerge from that conversation.

I reflected on Alston, Black, Rián, and others I’ve created over the years. For each one, there’s a dialog of some kind that I use to get a shape of this character.

Every single time.

Oh.

At my desk – 2:40 PM

As I stood there, warmed by finally knowing who this character was and wanted to be and thinking, “I can find the mechanics to support it now!” this realization hits me pretty hard.

This is my process. It was right there the whole time. It always has been.

The trash pickup rolls by my window and I ponder. “How long was I sitting here thinking I didn’t have a process because I wasn’t looking at files or folders or other, seemingly better-organized structures for making, building, or writing things?”

Answer: a lot.

When it comes to you doing the creative thing you do, the things you consistently do are your process regardless of what that is.

Anyway, I know the name of a pirate and the mannerisms of a DJ and I’m happy about it all. Now if I can just keep that same energy when it comes to the rest of the work I do…

But that’s a giant to slay on another day.