The focus of my research has changed again — or more accurately, has refined itself even further, or become more fundamental. The upshot and downside is that the creative output for the research is now completely different (again). No game now, which is all right because I can put that together on my own once I’m finished with this research.
Now I’m helping on a larger project. And I couldn’t be happier, to be honest.
For someone who spends a lot of time writing, I spend a lot of that time in the company of others. Yeah, sure, I’ve got short stories that have been accepted, and I’ve got a couple of ideas for novels that are quietly keeping warm on the backburners of an extraordinarily large oven, but a lot of the making stuff I that I do is in the company of others. I spend at least one day a week, usually, in some kind of tabletop RPG, and plot all kinds of collaborative fiction projects that I have no business thinking about until this research is over. I cut my teeth on playwriting pretty early, too, and if there ever were a collaborative art, it’s theater.
With this project — which I’m being vague about because I still don’t have complete details to share — collaboration is built-in. I’m not responsible for generating the bulk of creative content; here I’ll be writing, but so will others, and I’ll be facilitating and coordinating, too. I can focus on collaborative processes as much as creative ones, and more importantly, write about what’s happening and why I think it’s happening. And I’ll have all kinds of people to talk about it to, to ask question of.
So back to square one is not back to square one. All the stuff I’ve pored through in the past few years is still relevant, just in a different way, and in a way that resonates more strongly with what I tend to do when I make stuff up (I’m not quite ready to call it “my creative practice”). There’s relief and new anxiety in equal measure, but the anxiety is toned down by excitement and that’s a fine place to be.