I've really been suffering lately from a huge slump in my creativity as far as my writing goes. And I've finally made the tough decision to acknowledge what was draining my creativity away and to do something about it.
Back in June for Alex's It's All Fun and Games blogfest I mentioned that I've been playing The Lord of the Rings Online for over 2 years, after having gotten hooked on MMORPGs a couple of years before that. One of the things that I loved about LOTRO was the large community of extremely creative individuals that I became involved in on the server Landroval. Landroval was the unofficial Role Playing server and there was always a lot going on. It wasn't long before I got caught up in the world of RP and exploring the depths and corners of J.R.R. Tolkien's lore through my characters. I learned A LOT about Middle-earth during my time in LOTRO and became something of an expert on Tolkien's Elves. I even got into the habit of hosting somewhat involved RP events open to the whole server.
|Performing the Music of the Ainur|
That was in September. And it dawned on me that I was pouring so much of my creative energy into LOTRO and its lore and music that I barely had any left over for my writing.
Because, my friends, creative energy is not limitless. I think sometimes we tend to think it should be. After all, creativity is just this ephemeral thing. It's just ideas. But it's not just ideas. All those stupid people who are always asking authors where they get their ideas from are getting it wrong. EVERYONE has ideas. Every single person. People have ideas about all sorts of things all the time. But a writer, a story teller, is someone who takes an idea and makes something real out of it. We take a thought and make it into a story. We are craftsmen and artists and we have to apply massive amounts of energy to our work to make it into something concrete and lasting.
It takes a lot of work to write a story. And you have to be careful how you use your creative energy, because it can so easily be used up on things that are not as important. Like blogfests and challenges and fanfiction and role playing events and music that only exists in a virtual game world.
I've loved LOTRO and the people I've known there and the experiences I've had and the amazing things I've accomplished. I think that I've been a positive force there. I know I've given a lot of myself into that game. But I can't do both. I can't be Fionnuala the Minstrel and Sarah the Author. I don't have enough creative energy for both and I'm no longer afraid to admit that. I realized that I had to choose between them.
But it is time for me to focus on being Sarah the Author. There are so many stories in me. I want to tell them. I want to share them with the world. I want to finally do it. No more excuses. This is the future I want. I'm going to go make it happen.