Yesterday I got to play solo and, after having a blast for a few hours, I realised that it had completely re-energised my desire to prep and play with a group too. Although it’s nothing new, I tend to forget that playing games is enjoyable and empowers me. This is just as true of solo play as it is when I run a good session for a group.
Generally speaking, inspiration does not just arrive. Great ideas flow from the act of beginning, of starting to create and share our creative energies. This is just as true of RPGs as it is of writing or any other creative activity. When we sit down and begin, there is a very good chance that we will begin to enjoy the process and find a snowballing sense of inspiration.
The problem, of course, is that we tend to forget that inspiration flows from the act of creativity. We convince ourselves that we need to be inspired before the creativity will happen. Thus, we sit around waiting for the muse to strike… which it rarely does when we are inactive.
By starting to play, I rediscovered that the best way to breed inspiration is to begin to create. The simple act of beginning to play, of making some initial notes, and of keeping the session going for just a few more minutes was to open the way towards a great experience. Off the back of that positive solo session, I found the energy and motivation to re-engage with other RPG projects that I had left to languish.
The secret is to keep the momentum going without pushing oneself too far, too fast. Moderation is the key here: set up regular times to play, feed the fires of inspiration with activity, but hold back from over-committing. We don’t need to pour kerosine on the flames, we just need to gently fan them with our play.