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What am I doing it all for?

Since I'm blazing a trail in a new direction, I'm virtually unable to write anything honest and meaningful without addressing the change of course first.
Since I’m blazing a trail in a new direction, I’m virtually unable to write anything honest and meaningful without addressing the change of course first. | Photo by Muhammad Haikal Sjukri on Unsplash

Yeah, it was another while. I made a couple of promises to get back to writing and then fell silent. But I wasn’t idle, let me assure you. I’m hard at work on my ttRPG projects. I only need to unstuck from writer’s block, which I’m doing right now, as I’m writing this post already. And since I’m blazing a trail in a new direction, I found that without addressing it first, I’m virtually unable to write anything honest and meaningful – which are the qualities I don’t want to forfeit in my writing at no point. So, let me tell you what I’m doing and what I’m about to do so I can finally get back to writing these things.

Everyone has to start somewhere.

When I started this blog, I was looking for a way to channel and share my creativity around running ttRPGs. I always wanted to do more than just homebrew my adventures. I love to tell stories, and blogging is great for this. And, fawning humility aside, I think I’m great at telling stories.

Second, when I was writing my first things here, more hidden aspirations and hopes started to surface. I realized I was following my dream of being a writer. I can’t afford to write novels with my day job and personal relationships. “But I can write for RPGs!” – I started to think. That was when I began to look at various third-party creator options. And I found myself really lucky because Free League Publishing already had something like this for a system I was successfully running back then.

The First Milestone

Then, something like a year later, I managed to pull off my very first publication. I’m still pretty proud of that. For someone new to writing and publishing – and running an actual website without any help – I found it very challenging. And overcoming these challenges with hard evidence at hand felt great! (Well, technically, it wasn’t that hard; it’s a .pdf-only publication, but you know what I mean, right?)

The clue is that my Blood Manticore Monastery adventure site for the Forbidden Lands RPG sold more than 100 copies. That’s big for me since I was learning the whole process along the way and didn’t really hope for anything. At the same time, writing, editing, and preparing the thing for publication was a lot of fun in itself. Then, the setback happened.

The Setback & the Breakthrough

I was then suddenly thrown off-balance by work and personal life. It’s all good now, but I had a massive gap in actively running the site, and so the inner tension built up in me. Almost 5 months ago, I decided to break through this tension. It’s not easy returning to something I almost didn’t feel competent in in the first place. But I worked out some directions I wanted to go and started working on them. Nevertheless, the actual writing on the blog… scared me off.

Yeah, I didn’t write much about my personal stuff here, and I don’t want to start now. So it’ll be related only to my writing.

Inner Block

There’s this thing called writer’s block. It’s when you know you can write – possibly that you can write well even. But you can’t bring yourself to actually write anything. You may have an idea – a ton of ideas even; you may know what should your next content contain; you can hear it in your head. But you can’t make it happen.

For me, it was what I hinted at in the intro. I experienced an unconscious, inner disconnection. I was trying to force myself to write the same way I did while my goals and drives steered in a (slightly) different direction. Luckily, I finally saw that – and took a step through the dreaded barrier of writing anything.

The (Re)Commitment

So, right now, I’ve got a ton of work done regarding my hack for Forbidden Lands. Cool, right? It’s both mechanical and setting content. It’s just not put together for being published yet. And I’ve got some outlines for the things about my older series – which I still intend to finish. Both things – new design concepts and old tales’ closures – are what I want to publish. What changed, though, is that my main goal is now not telling the stories of my games. I still will tell them, but I look at them from a different angle now. I want to build a framework on which I can create my own RPG content more regularly. Boiling it down to its essence, I will do two things shortly:

  • Narrate both my Forbidden Lands and AiME campaigns’ endings – with or without my (formerly) usual insight/advice.
  • Reveal some details about the setting and mechanics for my re-work of the Forbidden Lands.

For bonus points, I’ve got a lot of The One Ring RPG stuff half-ready. But that needs to be introduced on its own. ????

In the long term, I want to publish what I’ve got ready for the Forbidden Lands. And there are a few adventure sites I’d like to see published that I wrote down in more or less detail. Then, I’ll move to publishing my FbL-based engine, for which I want to make a big project. And then… then, there are yet greater dreams I’m not ready to talk about aloud yet. But the time for these will hopefully come, too.

For now, take care. And run games! It’s fun, and it’s what we (since you’re reading a GMing blog) both thrive on. Don’t forget to do such things, or you’ll lose drive for the rest as well. Until next week.


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