If you are a creative, and especially if you create your own stories, do you ever get into a slump where you just don’t want to draw or write or choreograph? Or maybe you do know but it’s just not what you want to work on now?
Well if you still want to stay productive – especially in regards to the project your working on – then try out this process. (This method still works with less creative projects, tasks, and problem solving too!)
Find a person, group or place in your story that isn’t fleshed out. It could be a main character, a side character, religious organisation, a government, or an event.
Ask yourself a simple question – what did that character look like 10 years ago? What did that organisation’s founder act like? What does this person or group do to relax? What did these ruins look like when they were in their prime?
Then sketch or write about that character, interaction or place. (Please note: when I say sketch I am referring to sketch in the wider sense, this includes acting and dancing as well as drawing with pencils/drawing programs!)
It’s that simple. It doesn’t have to be neat and fully formed, it doesn’t have to be ground-breaking and mind-blowing. It just needs to be made.
And the final step is important:
4. Keep that thing that you just did safe – in the cloud, in a sketchbook, in a video diary – somewhere! And build that collection. This will keep you energised and excited about your project, while continuing to build the world, the lore, the story, the idea – the project as a whole.
As you can see in the opening picture, I have an entire shelf of sketchbooks as well as folders of documents which were created either when I didn’t have access to a computer or just didn’t feel like making more Arksong pages, or writing more Enkerai chapters. In these are held random doodles and notes that flesh out my stories. There are character designs, animals, governmental power structures, flags, clothing - there are even songs and nursery rhymes from cultures within my stories!
So how about it? Let’s turn those mental blocks into mental steps and maintain our productivity.
Check out some of the sketches below for examples of what's in my sketchbook. There's more with accompanying information in the Extended Lore section of the Hawthornearts website.
Please note: Make sure you rest and stop being productive when you need to. Trying to be endlessly productive will eventually lead to burnout.