Happy Monday, everyone!
How do you find inspiration to be creative? Do you just go with it, write until something that you like appears on the paper? Do you do detailed outlines before diving into a bigger project? What sparks you?
Within the past year, I started writing on Medium. The past month or so, due to the state of the world at this time, the site hasn’t seen any new articles from me and I’m planning on getting back into it at some point. Still, it was an interesting site where you could write about nearly whatever you want and, if it’s good enough, it could be curated and distributed to a wider audience. It was the type of site that didn’t look too bad whenever there was downtime at my office and I was browsing the internet.
Anyway, a while ago, there was an article I read that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t remember it all too well, other than the author was proud of himself for consuming less and creating more. That sounds great and I’m glad the author was able to do that, but he was talking specifically about stepping away from video games.
Which, again, is great for the guy if that’s his goals for a healthy life. I’m not knocking that. What I am knocking is the fact that he separated video games from being part of a creative lifestyle. He “consumed” video games, taking them at the surface level, rather than allowing them to mingle with his creativity. Only by slowing down and ultimately stopping his gaming habits did he feel he was able to really embrace his creativity.
Hey, good for him if that worked out. Video games, at their core, are designed for entertainment. If that’s what he got out of them, enjoying them only in the moment only to later consider them as something that ate away at his time, that’s not a bad thing. However, to someone like me, I found his opinion a bit insulting.
Video games walk hand-in-hand with my creativity. Imagine me gesturing wildly to this blog, for example, and the amazing friends I’ve met due to it. Let me open up one of my many novel drafts that started based on a “What if?” question from some video game or other. Old sketchbooks are full of drawings of Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog characters, Legend of Zelda fanmade characters. Text role-playing back on AOL instant messenger with my best friend — me taking on the role of several Nintendo characters while she took up the mantle of her favorite movie characters — started me on the path of writing and I never looked back.
Video games are, to me, more than just a fun piece of entertainment used to whittle away the hours. My creativity is constantly inspired by the stories, the art styles, the music of some of my favorite games. I’ve learned about character arcs and designs ever since I first picked up Super Mario RPG for the SNES.
Creativity can be found anywhere and, yes, people are going to find different sources for their inspiration. I’m glad that the original guy on Medium was able to figure out his own well of creativity, but to suggest that others “consume less” is detrimental to creativity itself.
Consume all the art, including video games. Open your mind, form questions, share your opinions, try your hand at said art. Consume more, create more. That’s what I did with that guy’s article, after all.