For the last few weeks I’ve been heavily in creation mode; thinking up new concepts for both games and comics at the same time.
There’s no doubt that the “making stuff up” phase is always the most fun part of being professionally creative. Everything is possible, everyone can be involved, and the brain is happily pumping out novel thoughts. (Well mine is, at least.)
Of course at some point it ticks over from play to work. It isn’t a clean transition, but if an idea is going to be appreciated by more than just yourself it needs to be crafted. But for most people the point where the rubber meets the road is also the moment when it stops being something fun, and procrastination sets in.
It’s pretty easy to tell the kind of people who never manage to get past the point of concept. They’re usually very worried about people “stealing their ideas”, and spend all their effort imagining the wealth and fame that it’s going to bring them once the rest of the world discovers the thing that they’re never going to actually do.
It’s never nice to have a novel thought taken and used by someone else, just like it’s no fun to have a girl you like swept off of her feet by another guy. And as for that feeling of fame and fortune, you can get that same rush (and possibly better odds) by buying a lottery ticket.
Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. – Thomas Alva Edison
While this hoary old quote gets thrown out a lot, it’s a useful one to remember when you’re in that first flush of love with your new idea. You need to ask yourself if this idea is not only good, but is it good enough that you want to spend the next few weeks, months, or even years of your life putting in the effort that its going to take to get it out into the world.