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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Please help me fix my burn-out

    Iíve been burnt out for a while, but I want to get back to designing games, coming up with worlds, and designing characters. Itís like Iíve forgotten how to be creative. Do yíall have any tips for getting over this hump?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    For me, it's having deadlines unrelated to my hobbies. I find my creativity peaks during tax season.

    I also think just setting aside time to write creatively, even if it isn't the project that you are aiming for completing, is good for jogging the creative juices. Joining a Gateless writing circle where we do writing exercises at the group sessions has been helpful for me in getting thoughts on the page.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Find somebody else's project and give it a review. "I can do it better" is frequently a good motivator for me even if it's not something the other creator ever sees or hears about. And if you know them, maybe they get some helpful feedback
    ďEvil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.Ē

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Wyoming

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Start typing and get beyond the blank page.

    It will be utter crap, but it is still better than a blank page.

    Basically, just do it. After a bit of friction to start, it will all fall back into place and you will have lots of fun!
    *This Space Available*

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    We once ran a one-shot where everyone got to decide what kind of player character for each other. Maybe you could do something like that, be a player instead of a GM for a while and ask the people at your table to make a character for you. They should make something appropriate for the table and that you can play, but should be something you haven't played (at least not recently if you've played everything).

    In other words, take a break, don't create, just play.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    First of all, don't panic. It happens to most people at some point, and it is usually just an opportunity to try something else for a while.

    How about trying something similar but different? Preferably something that does not need a lot of time.
    Maybe that one silly idea that does not fit into your your big ideas, but that you might turn into a silly one-shot.
    What can change the nature of a man?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Try running a game in an established setting, in a different system. Sometimes you need a new framework to get your creative juices flowing. Whether it's the Traveller setting, Rifts, Warhammer 40k, Conan, Cyberpunk 2020, or Call of Cthulhu, it helps to take a vacation somewhere you didn't create all the ins and outs of and the heavy lifting was done for you by dozens of authors already.

    And when I say "run a different system" it can be anything, but I don't mean a one-shot thing. I mean at least an adventure that lasts 4 sessions, maybe more. I have been in a terrible rut before with some games where I feel like I exausted every avenue and creature family in the book for conflict, and I am just "out" of ideas. Running a module for something else can clear my head and let me enjoy something and maybe give me ideas or conflicts that I hadn't thought of before.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Watch some fantasy movies. Read some fantasy books.

    And don't worry about it. If that's not what interests you right now, no problem. Do something else.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Castle Sparrowcellar
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    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    When I'm struggling with writing, personally, the worst thing I can do is try to consume other media or take a break. All that does is combine mental guilt (from not writing) with a distracting thing I still enjoy (consuming media). It doesn't help overcome burn-out or inspiration gaps, it prolongs them.

    What has worked for me is the same as Easy e's suggestion: Just write. Set yourself a word count or similar goal and push through it. For me, it's 500 words minimum a day, every day. Some days I'll come out the other side of the word count hating what I've written and think it's crap, but that's fine, because I'll fix it later when I edit at the end of the work. Some days I'll be a genius and throw down 2000 words of pure gold (or what I think is pure gold, anyway).

    Swings and roundabouts, but what matters is not losing the pace, and not letting myself put it to one side, because every time I do, I never start it again, and my hard drive is littered with half-started failed projects that I couldn't stick to because I lost interest when I didn't force myself to keep on with it.

    That's not to say other's suggestions of taking a break are wrong, just that they haven't historically worked for me, though they might for you.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    Cyre Red IC | OOC

    Playing:
    OotA IC | OOC

    Master Homebrew Index (5e)

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Yeah, my advice is similar: do something creative but totally different. If you usually make statblocks, try writing a short story. If you usually do prose stuff, try your hand at making minis/terrain. Something that keeps the creative juices flowing, but gets you away from all of your current projects and the guilt/boredom/baggage that you've been slowly attaching to them. You'll find a new idea to follow and maybe it'll pique your interest in a way that nothing else has recently.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Nottingham, England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    I find sometimes getting out of the house and going for a walk helps, especially in the countryside. I just look around me and let my mind wander and often my imagination starts populating the landscape with monsters and magic.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
    LibraryOgre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Read a lot, and not just genre stuff. Not to knock genre writing, but you can get some great stuff if you pick up some books on biology, or grab a fun history book, or read a romance novel.

    That I am a librarian in no way influences this.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Two Tales of Tellene, available from DriveThruFiction
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    There are almost 400,000 threads on this site. If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    For me, doing something boring or something I don't have to use my head. Doing chores works wonders because I find them mind numbingly boring and so my mind starts churning. Same when I take a long walk, my mind kicks in and I starting thinking.
    Optimizing vs Roleplay
    If the worlds greatest optimizer makes a character and hands it to the worlds greatest roleplayer who roleplays the character. What will happen? Will the Universe implode?

    Roleplaying vs Fun
    If roleplaying is no fun then stop doing it. Unless of course you are roleplaying at gunpoint then you should roleplay like your life depended on it.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Nov 2023

    Default Re: Please help me fix my burn-out

    Start running your ideas past Skynet!

    No, seriously, the best use I've found for GPT-4 to date is unsticking myself creatively. I'll throw a quick idea to the AI chatbot and it will throw 10 ideas back at me. They often serve to get my creative juices flowing!

    Also, for the same reasons, read books, watch movies, and watch YouTube videos about the topic you are interested in developing. I've gone way down the rabbit hole doing this and I find myself dreaming about my crazy ideas.

    Good luck!

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