Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Confidence in Creativity #IWSG #GCAP14

As some of you know, because I’ve delved into the game development world, starting up my own indie game studio, I attended a gaming conference in Melbourne last week. Technically it was two conferences, but the one I’m focusing on today is the Game Connect Asia Pacific 2014 (GCAP)  The final keynote speaker was Rami Ismail, game developer ‘and business guy’ from Vlambeer, a Dutch indie game studio. As the final keynote speaker, he gave an awesome talk about confidence in creativity. Because a lot of what he said can be translated for any creative pursuit, writing included, I’m going to share the gist of his talk here for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

First he explained what confidence is and isn’t: It’s an internal force. It’s about trusting your choices. It’s not about pushing anything on anyone. It’s not about arrogance, exaggeration, or lying.

While it’s intimidating to talk about our work, it helps to know that normal doesn’t exist. We’re all weird in our own special way and that’s interesting.

Likewise we have to believe in what we create. Find the passion for what we do by asking ourselves why we started the project in the first place. Stopping at, “Because I love it,” is a mistake. Dig deeper and find the fundamental truths about your game/story/creation. Then communicate what you are excited about with your work. This will help you stay motivated to finish the project and it will help you with marketing once it’s out there.

There is no way to improve except to try and possibly fail. Dare to be vulnerable.

As you can imagine, the whole room was buzzed by his talk. I certainly felt newly inspired for my own creativity and I hope to hold onto that motivation for a long while.

What motivates you with your creativity? What conferences have you recently attended that gave you a fresh insight and boost to your motivation?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month.

To join the group or find out more, click here.


Photo: Sunset on the first night in Melbourne.

Note: For the next two weeks, starting this weekend, I will be unplugged so you won't see me around the blogsphere, the twitterverse, or the FB...world(?) and I won't be able to answer any emails either. Yikes! I'll share what I've been up to on Monday 24th.

100 comments:

  1. First of all, I want to note that the date of this post is November 5, but it's still November 4 where I am. Holy time travel, Batman! Okay, now that's out of my system... ;)

    How inspiring! I'm currently revising a book that has had so many versions, and I've been adjusting it to something more in line with what initially excited me about the idea in the first place.

    We (my regional SCBWI) had an agent come to do workshops and page critiques a couple weeks ago. It wasn't an actual conference, but it fueled me. The last conference I went to was in the spring, and it was the SCBWI Western Washington conference--and it was fabulous.

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    1. As an Aussie, I'm ahead of my time ;)
      I've done that to an old manuscript and it's so much better for it. I hope your book works out too.

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  2. I haven't been to any conferences on writing in particular (or gaming), though I'd like to go eventually, once I'm finally done with grad school. I could definitely use more self-confidence; I think that's why I always envied Samantha on Sex and the City. I didn't envy her dating life but the fact that she could walk into any room with confidence. I wish I could be like that in real life and in my writing.

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    1. I honestly think half the 'confident' people aren't so confident. They fake it most of the time ;)

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  3. They are some really interesting points and I think I can use them in my teaching career :)

    Duncan In Kuantan

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  4. Hi Lynda - fascinating that you're into Game Development ... wish I understood the arena - but I can quite believe about the confidence side of things ... and yes we are all weird in our own way! Go for it .. it's something your passionate about ... and that is the starting point .. creativity follows on ... cheers Hilary

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  5. Weird in my own special way describes me quite well, I think.

    I agree with the trusting your choices definition of confidence. If we have doubts over a piece of writing it's much harder to keep going.

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  6. We are indeed weird in our own special way.
    I can see the motivation for my latest manuscript. That will help!

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  7. I like that. "Weird in own special way" it makes it sound cool. I am certainly that, at least I have been literally told that before, LOL.. I enjoyed your post. Game Developer sounds like a cool job too. I know I like playing video games. I'm geeky that way too. Like role play and huge Star Wars fan among other things. Very inspiring and encouraging post.

    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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    1. Geeks rule! ;)
      I'm glad you found the post inspiring and encouraging.

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  8. 'It's an internal force.' I agree. What a fascinating and inspiring conference you've attended! Haven't attended one lately. But I do get inspiration from books--particularly, self-help books. It helps me a lot when I'm feeling down.

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    1. Self-help books work in a similar way. They get us thinking and light the fires of creativity within us.

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  9. If we're not passionate about it, no one else will be either.

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    1. That passion has a way of shining through.

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  11. "...It's an internal force. It's about trusting your choices..." WOW! I totally needed to hear that. It's so simple, yet so hard to follow. Thank you for sharing this.

    Also, you would totally be my youngest child's hero. He wants to develop games himself. Granted, he's only eleven, but he's constantly breaking down games and figuring out new avenues they could travel. :)

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    1. Yep, that's definitely a sign of a future game developer!

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  12. "There is no way to improve except to try and possibly fail." This is what motivates me. Every time I feel knocked down by defeat or disappointment, I try to get back up and keep trudging forward.

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    1. Success comes from forward movement and getting back up again when we're knocked down.

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  13. Great post! I love the fact that confidence is about trusting our choices but not pushing those choices, ideas, etc onto other people. Definitely an important point.

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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    1. It's a good reminder. No one likes anything pushed onto them.

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  14. What? You haven't told us you're opening an indie studio!

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    1. Did I forget to mention that? Oops. Might be because we haven't settled on a logo yet.

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  15. Awesome. Profound. It's cool about your own Indie game biz!

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    1. Thanks, Shelly. I'm super excited about it.

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  16. I really like that definition of confidence. If I was still teaching I would use that in a lesson.

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    1. It's why I just had to share it here on my blog.

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  17. My motivation comes from reading a great book or watching an enthralling movie. Confidence can and will wane, but keep your heart in the game!

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    1. The love of what we do will definitely keep us going if we don't forget that love.

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  18. I love it! It was a few years ago I started really digging into the theme behind a story. Stories with real heart are the kind that draw on a fundamental aspect of our souls. We have to reach deep if we want something compelling that will resonate with other people. =)

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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    1. It takes more thought and time to take that route, but it's so worth the effort.

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    2. Agreed, and it lasts longer in the player's/reader's mind. Best way to go. =)

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  19. That is awesome indeed at your feed. My motivation is to get everything out of my head, might happen when I'm dead lol

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    1. Yep, there can be a mighty clamour in our heads if we don't get the ideas out.

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  20. That's really good advice. The difference between a master and a student is the master has failed more times than the student has tried.

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  21. Love it! We sure are weird in our own special way and we must indeed dare to be vulnerable! :D

    S.K. Anthony: My Writing Quirks—IWSG (16)

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  22. Thank you for sharing this! Sounds like you have an interesting unplugged time coming up. See you later!

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    1. I haven't been completely unplugged in a long while. I'm looking forward to it.

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  23. That is some sage advice this guy gave. And no, I had no idea you were getting into the gaming world. So cool! :)

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    1. It's a challenge, but it's exciting at the same time. And it's something i've wanted to do for a long while.

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  24. What great advice! I gain confidence from other creative people, especially in groups like IWSG, where it becomes clear that we all face similar obstacles, but we all have the potential to overcome them. Sounds like you're on a very exciting path!

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    1. The IWSG is such a supportive group, it's hard not to gain confidence through it. And yes, I'm on a super exciting path! Woot!

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  25. Great post, Lynda. There is something about going to a conference with all the creativity swirling around in the air. You can't help but absorb some of it. My local RWA chapter hosts a small (less than 50) retreat each spring and I always return with such energy. The IWSG certainly adds to my confidence.

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    1. If only I could bottle that energy generated at retreats and conferences... ;)

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  26. Great advice, Lynda, and congrats on your gaming ambitions! (I'd love to get into that sort of thing, too.)
    Success is a gamble: if you risk nothing, you win nothing. You have to put yourself out there and take chances, and you have to fail. It's inevitable. It's the only way to grow. (I actually recently told me step-son the same thing, who said he was afraid to risk new paths in life because he was afraid to fail.)

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    1. The fear of failure is a common one. It's one I battle with on a daily basis--along with the fear of success! lol!

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  27. Weird we are indeed and it wouldn't be the same if we weren't. Answering that very question Mr. Ismail mentions not only got me finish my first novel's draft, but also led me to get through the first mark up when all else was falling down around my creative world. I am now on the hunt for those fundamental truths to carve out the best story possible.

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    1. That's so awesome to hear. I hope you find those truths with ease.

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  28. I like what he had to say. I do love to write these stories, but knowing why, at least on my novels, would be an interesting exercise. I may not WANT to know why I write the horror stories. ;) Good luck with whatever project is keeping you away!

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    1. It's a project of relaxation and distraction... ;)

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  29. "We’re all weird in our own special way and that’s interesting." Thanks for this thought :)

    Those were all good thoughts though.

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    1. They were. That's why I had to share them :)

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  30. Oooh. That's an interesting question.

    Good post.

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  31. I do believe in both normality and weirdness. Also sometimes I love it is enough. I write for various reasons but the love I have for the written word always helps me, especially when around those who don't appreciate it. Still a wonderful talk and you need confidence to help put your work out there. See you Nov. 24.

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    1. The love for the written word is essential, in my opinion, to being a creative writer.

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  32. That's really interesting - to be true to yourself and your creativity, but dig deep to find and concentrate on the part of it that will appeal to others. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the 2-week break! :)

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    1. I hope it helps. It's certainly helped me.

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  33. I don't depend upon confidence too much. I depend upon an almost naive belief that everything will work out in the end if I keep plugging away. Delusional? Probably, but so far it's worked for me.

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    1. Hey, if it works for you, then it works! And I say, don't mess with anything that works!

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  34. "Dare to be vulnerable." I should tape that to my computer and bathroom mirror. When I dared, I succeeded. When I chickened out, I felt defeated.
    Play off the Page

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    1. Yeah, I need little reminders everywhere too.

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  35. Wow, this post is exactly what I needed to motivate me. Lately I have been hiding from my manuscript after getting it back from a crit partner. I do love my manuscript, but you are right, I have to dig deeper. I hope you enjoy the time away from social media.

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    1. Yay to motivation! That's awesome to hear.
      Hopefully I don't get the shakes from being unplugged for so long ;)

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  36. There is only one way to go when you hit bottom, and that's up.

    Great post Lynda. Good to meet you on IWSG

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  37. 'normal doesn’t exist'

    brrrrrrrilliant!

    Superior post, Lynzich.

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    1. Ha, thanks, Suze. You always have a way of making me smile.

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  38. We all are weird, but the best thing is that there are a bunch of people out there who share your special kind of crazy. Trusting your own voice is the most important step not only to success, but to happiness. Great post!

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    1. It's a huge comfort to know that there are a bunch of people out there who share my special kind of crazy.

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  39. I remember you mentioned a secret project. How interesting that it's indie gaming.

    Conferences fill me with positive energy.

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    1. I have yet to attend a conference that hasn't had that positive energy. :)

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  40. Dare to be vulnerable. That is the hardest thing. You have to dig deep... bare your soul.
    But the best writing (insert relevant form of creativity) stems from this digging-deep process...
    Enjoy your 'unplugging' Lyn!

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    1. Being vulnerable is difficult, but it does make a difference to the writing.

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  41. How interesting that you've been working on gaming development. I don't know anything about it.

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    1. I've always been in the gaming world in some form or other, so it seems like an inevitable step for me.

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  42. I'm pretty sure I'd win an award for being weird. I think I have my act together and then something happens. It's always a shock. Right now I'm in Bucerias, Nayarit a week and my whole schedule, not to mention my hair has gone whacko. I'm waiting for my brain to kick in. Happy Unplugged Next 2 Weeks, Lynda!

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    1. It's bad when the hair goes whacko ;)
      Hopefully you'll be able to get a handle on that and your schedule soon. :)

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  43. I think it's all about triggers. Going to film festivals or reading an awesome book always make me remember why I'm writing and blogging in the first place, because I feel the excitement attached to it. But there's nothing worse than reading a bad book. If I do, I always end up thinking: "Pfff, why should I be writing anyway? There's no point in writing bad books."

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    1. I think that's why we should surround ourselves with everything positive to encourage us on our creative paths.

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  44. "It’s an internal force. It’s about trusting your choices. It’s not about pushing anything on anyone. It’s not about arrogance, exaggeration, or lying."

    I love how he said this!

    Conferences always leave me totally jazzed!! Good luck with your game dev!

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    1. I know, right!? I just wish conferences were more affordable so I could go to every single one of them!

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  45. Very interesting that you have been working on Gaming Development. I agree "There is no way to improve except to try and possibly fail. Dare to be vulnerable." Unless we try we will never know whether we can do it or not.

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    1. And if we don't try, those dreams of ours will wither and die, so I keep trying.

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  46. My wife is definitely my motivator. If I write something she likes, it spurs me on to keep going.

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  47. Now I'm living in UK again, and not Dubai, I should be more able to attend the odd writing conference or two and I'm very excited though nervous about that. I admire how much you do, how you are always challenging yourself. :)

    shahwharton.com

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    1. I hope you do get to attend more conferences. They are so helpful in so many different ways.

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  48. Oh, I love this! I can see why you were inspired!

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