Since diving into my project, I’ve found the perspectives of other students engaged in creative work to be enlightening. In live, biweekly meetings and online, forum-style project updates, I’ve gained insight into my own creative process by listening to my peers discuss their own work.
I suspect this is true, not despite the diversity of their interests relative to my own, but perhaps because of it. There’s an incredible breadth of creative forms, media, and styles in the world. This is something I’ve come face-to-face with in my fellowship. Each project is so unique, it can seem as though there’s no overlap. Similarly, the depth of my research and creation in such a niche medium and style as interactive fiction has taught me the wealth of creative forms in the world. However, in this research and my discussions with the other members of the fellowship, I’ve realized that all creative work holds something in common, simply in how humans engage in creativity.
So even though the members of my fellowship and I each work in different niches, we can help each other grow as creative people by sharing those quirks that are unique to our field of work. In a recent project update, one of my peers described a creative practice in which they meditated on a Chinese character they couldn’t read, and found themselves aimlessly weaving it out of the grass they were sitting on. This kind of calm, meditative practice is something I can learn a lot from. I’m usually work fervently out of anxiety and excitement, but I’ve found that taking a moment to consider things more camly, especially something I’m struggling to understand, can help me succeed creatively more than continuing to struggle headfirst against a problem.
A skill I think will be essential to my professional work in the future is the ability to use social media to share my work. Not only is this a skill that’s essential for surviving as an independent game developer, but it’s also something I think could be very rewarding to practice. I’ve often wanted to engage more with communities that may appreciate, engage with, or critique my work. I’d love to meaningfully engage with the work of other similar creators. However, the ‘marketing’ side of independent game development is often seen as the part no one really wants to be a part of. I know for myself, promoting my own work can feel both disingenuous and futile. So, it’s a long-term goal of mine to become more comfortable and skilled in collaborating with these online communities .