The Angry GM published a fascinating article today about inspiration. He made a good point in it about how the real key to inspiration for creatives is keeping your mind open, and not constantly analyzing content and trying to find flaws. Which is crucial to me. People are often amazed when I tell them I like certain things, like the Star Wars prequels. And I think that one of the reasons I like so many of these things is because of that idea of keeping an open mind, and just enjoying the show.
The other point that is not mentioned in the article is allowing a lot of input. I read fantasy fiction, science fantasy. Lately, I have even been picking up and reading some comic books if I can get them in a consolidated form. This week I put some of the official 5E published adventures on hold at the library, just to read through them, not because I intend to run them. Yesterday I was reading through the spell lists section of the Players Handbook, just to get some ideas, and be sure I understood them.
I watch a lot of TV shows. I have my comic book hero TV shows: Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Agent Carter, Agents of Shield, Supergirl. I have other TV shows like Vikings, Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones, that I watch out of interest and also for creative ideas. All of these give me ideas in one form or another while also providing entertainment.
One thing that Angry did not mention was his video games. He is not shy in his writing about admitting that he mines his favorite video games for ideas, plot structure, adventure design. If I played video games I would be all over that, but I am just late to game there. But he plays them with the same approach, keeping an open mind.
I know that I have gone on before about my many sources of inspiration. And this seems like I am just repeating that. Which I am, but with the goal of pointing out that I embrace all of this input without analyzing it too deeply because I know that it is all input. Input that I can then turn around and turn into inspiration for my games.
The only negative to all of this is that I often get side tracked. I read something, or watch something, and think that would be a cool thing to introduce. And it really does not fit at all. Like watching Pirates of the Caribean the other day, thinking how cool it would be to run a sea encounter. And then realizing that there is no ocean anywhere close to where I have the campaign. I do have to watch that. Try writing out my ideas first, see if they fit into the overall campaign before I actually insert them.
As an aside, I am trying out new tools for keeping track of all this. I have some iCloud Notes, which clutters up that tool that we use around the home. I was keeping docs in Google Docs, but did not like the iOS interface for that. I have been using Pages recently, which is good for long form writing. But not so good if I just want to jot down an idea. Because with all of this inspiration, and ideas running around my head, it would be smart to have some place to keep those ideas. So I am going back to using Evernote for a time, just because it might work better for this sort of thing. We will see.