On the Unbearable Visible Absence of Color

What we do is hard.

I assume that if you're reading this blog, you probably run a game. So at the very least you're responsible for creating content for your players.

An awful lot of modules are sold, which I think speaks to the difficulty of content creation.

What's more, if you're reading this there's a pretty good chance you're attempting to do more then just produce content for your players. You are producing content for a blog, self-publication, or even for an authentic real publication. And that can be hard.

Today we are going to talk about writer's block.

What's writer's block?

A waste of science damned time.

Either you're telling someone else you have it as an excuse OR you are telling yourself you have it while you stare at a blank page till you go browse Facebook.


Look, content creation is hard; artist, writer, scriptwriter, composer -- whatever. You can find a ton of wishy-washy namby-pamby feelgoodery out there about writer's block and what it is and how to cope with it. All that is a waste of time. What is writer's block? A manifestation of laziness and fear.

How do I solve writer's block?

You send me 20$ and I tell you.

That's funny now of course, but growing up in the 80's in a household with a working writer I saw more than one or two advertisements that made the same offer. Thank goodness for the internet where you can spend a thousand hours finding out you have writer's block without actually working!

Let's examine the causes of writer's block and how to fix them.

1. You're lazy.

Whatever it is you have to do next on the project is a lot of work. Make time and sit down and do it. How do you make time? That depends on your creative process. If you aren't feeling so compelled to make the time to sit down and do it, then by definition you aren't a writer/content creator.
Writers write, because they can't not.

2. You're an idiot.

Looking for just the right idea? That's an excuse that can keep you from working for a while. You know there's only like a handful of these, right? My favorite compilation is S. John Ross's Big List of RPG Plots, but depending on your field you probably have your own bible.

The idea is completely unimportant. What is important is your implementation of it

If you are sitting around waiting for the right idea, then you aren't writing. This makes you a daydreamer, not a writer. Writing is work. Take any idea and make it interesting. That will speak to your efforts as a creator.

3. You're a self-centered narcissist.

You have one really really good part of whatever you're working on because you've worked it over 100 times? Haven't started because you want to make sure you don't make any mistakes?

Enjoy not being a content creator.

You see, you are not perfect. Anything you do will be flawed. The only way to get good and produce good things is to actually produce something. The instant something becomes a real thing is the moment it loses the perfection of the platonic ideal.

In Conclusion

Now you're either making a knowing sage-like nod as you think about the 2,000 hours you slaved in addition to your full time job in the past year in order to get a work published or you're constructing your defensive whining so that you can tell the world that that in spite of the fact that you have never published anything in any form at all except for the comment they are about to make on this blog that they are really writers and all the above is wrong.

Either this will invigorate you and make you want to get back to work or it will inspire you to tell yourself how what I'm saying just really isn't true. You can tell by which you pick if you're really a writer or not. You should defiantly quit in a huff if you're completely able to detect sarcasm. Maybe you won't and you'll make something worth seeing.


  1. A lot of lines from this post could pretty much be pulled from what I shout at myself when I'm angry about a lack of productivity.

  2. But I hang out in coffee shops for hours on end and smoke clove cigarettes! I thought that was all it took to be an artiste!

    Whatever. I'm going to go back to listening to bands you've never even heard of.

  3. What works for me is to have a project that has a bunch of different parts that call for different kinds of work or work-like activities. For example for the setting I'm building with a few other people for fun I can:
    -Write more content.
    -Edit content other people have written.
    -Organize and compile the edited content.
    -Read stuff for ideas to rip off.
    -Look through the internet for free art that looks cool.
    -Look through the archive of free art that looks cool for pics that fit any given hex.
    -Scribble down some ideas in the "ideas that I'll develop later" file.

    A lot of the time I don't feel like writing up content or I write up two thousand words in one day but there's always stuff to add stuff too if I don't feel like writing stuff that other people will read. Is working out fairly well.


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