It’s been a while since I posted anything, and so I’m going to take a bit of a different approach to writing about conworlding for this post. It’s going to get a little personal here. The reason for my hiatus is simply that I’ve been dealing with some difficult personal issues. I’ll just sum it up with saying that I’ve had some health and emotional issues, depression among them. That said, I haven’t gotten any work done. I haven’t worked on my blog (obviously), I haven’t worked on my book. I haven’t really done anything other than play Facebook games and watch Netflix. Now, I’m not bashing on Facebook games or Netflix, because I’m still doing those things, but they took over my life.
I’ve decided to get back in the game. With some great support from my wife, I’m exercising, starting to be careful about what I eat, and pacing myself in my writing. That brings us to what I want to talk about. World building is pretty time intensive, and sometimes emotionally and mentally intensive. To make a conworld really good, you need to make it yours, and if you’re not doing well, the world you’re trying to make won’t do well. When you’re doing this for a story that you plan on publishing, or for a game you plan to share, this is a problem. When you want to do these things for commercial gain, it’s even worse.
You see, my world is for an epic fantasy series I plan to get published once the first book is done. It’s not just a hobby for me; it’s my life goal to become not just a published author, but a professional novelist. To do that, I don’t just need to create a world for my books; I need to create a world for myself. Reading this, you may just have these things under control, so I you do, just make sure you’re aware that you don’t lose it.
Here’s the deal. I collect disability. I’ve tried working, but my health issues keep me from being able to work in retail, food service, or even an office environment. I can’t drive, either. So, writing is my job, even though I’m not getting paid for it. On that note, this blog is my job too. In the past few months, I’ve fallen into such a rut that I’ve forgotten what was important to me. I’ve forgotten what made my world worth creating.
The world you make is more than just a campaign setting, or a story location. It’s an extension of how you view the world. Utopias are born out of hope, what the world could be or should be, and dystopias are born out of fear, what the world shouldn’t be, but at the same time what they could be. Do you have heroes, or are they tempered with the caution that tells you everyone makes mistakes, screws up, and even commits evil acts while trying to be good? How you view the world is shown in the world you create.
To really make a good, believable, and rich world, you need to actually know how you view the world, and to accept it. My problem has been that I have not been accepting my view of the world. That perspective has been tempered by my disability, and the fact that I have felt ashamed of the fact that I need help has made it so that I tried to make myself so small that I could hide from myself, and so I got nothing done but stewing in my own discontent.
So, here’s the plan. I’m going to start up the blog again, but I’ll do more than that. I can’t exactly advise people on how to make fictional worlds if I’m not going to get my real world in order.
- I’m going to watch what I eat more carefully.
- I’m going to exercise more, including jogging as much as I can.
- I’m going to focus on positive notions, because when the emotional zombies of doubt and self-deprecation grab hold of you, it’s nigh on impossible to do anything.
- I’m going to maintain my own personal space at home and when I leave the home.
- I’m going to write regularly, because…you know…that’s kind of my job at the moment.
- I’m going to keep blogging. I have ideas. I just need to write them.
- I’m going to actually work on formalizing my own conworld, because I do need to have it ready for when I write later stories.
- I’m going to keep up with building a professional platform and online presence.
Now, like I said, I know this was a bit more personal than you’re all used to, but it needed to be said. When you’re creating a fictional world, make sure your own world is in as much order as you can. Even if you situation is pretty crappy, you can at least take control of yourself, and that’s the world I’m talking about; the world that is you.
Next time, I’ll talk about the world as a character.