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StarBase 118 Staff

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You’ve been working or have been at school all day or even a combination of the two. You have responsibilities out the yin-yang. You’re stressed and unable to think clearly enough to form any independent creative thought. I can’t get a sim out today, you say to yourself, even though it has already been forty-eight hours since your last and others are waiting on you. You want to produce something brilliant and bring the unexpected to the table yet stay within the boundaries of the mission and remain true to character but, let’s face it, your brain is fried.

This happens to all of us at some time or another. I know for myself, I have often said that I was “simming as the walking dead,” as a way to laugh my way through it. But, I know that this can be incredibly frustrating especially when you want to do well. Here are some simple yet effective ways to work through this.

1)    Relax. You will find that creativity comes more easily with patience and time. Don’t stress about bringing out the “big guns” for the next sim. Sometimes just having your character present, reacting to the events unfolding around them is more powerful than saving the ship. There is beauty to simplicity.

2)    Find a good room to sit in or find a space outdoors and enjoy the weather. Play music if it helps. Create an environment that fuels your imagination.

3)    Keep an open mind and find inspiration in unlikely places.

4)    Pull from your personal experiences to make any moment or emotion real.

5)    Start by building the basic “outline” of your sim and revisit it a little later to “flesh it out.” Rest and repeat as needed. Approaching your writing after giving your brain a little rest can sometimes bring new and exciting things you hadn’t considered before.

6)    Planning out things is great but sometimes, “plan to not plan.” What does that mean? Don’t fret if you don’t have a plan! You might think your character may act a certain way but, until you are able to play out that moment, you may find that your character naturally gravitates another way. Go with it. Spontaneity is sometimes genius.

7)    Too out of it to think? Get up and move! Walk around your house or take a stroll outdoors. Change your environment. Take a break.

8)    Too out of it to proofread? Missing a word? Spell-check is great sometimes but it doesn’t catch everything. Edit your document backwards to find errors that your brain may have missed.

I know that these items may not solve some things we may face on a day-to-day basis as we write our sims, but it can make things a little easier when approaching that one sim. Take it easy and take it one sim at a time.

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