Monday, April 11, 2011

What you see is how you think

Over the last couple of days, with my desk in disarray from putting up the new computer, I have realized something. Without all those piles of RPG junk, art books, sheafs of paper, and the other detritus that tends to accumulate ... it has been a lot harder for me to come up with ideas out of the blue.

There's something about having an undifferentiated jumble of idea-laden stuff that helps you invent new ideas. Not just rehashing the ideas that are in front of you in the pile, but new ones that springboard from the old ideas.

So here is the brilliant new idea -- I have plenty of RPG stuff, fiction, notes, etc. squirreled away in various corners of the house. I wonder if it wouldn't be a whole new avenue for creativity to take the pile from the desk, maybe every three months or so, and switch it out for an entirely different pile of stuff? Would a different stuff-population on the desk lead to whole new avenues of creative thinking?


What's on your desk?


  1. Great question!

    Here's a quick run-down, from most applicable (for OSR bloggers) to least.

    * Module S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Just finished running my group through it this past Friday night, and I'm writing the recap now.
    * Gamma World, 1st Edition Boxed Set. This is for the series of posts I'm making on my blog about Gamma World / Mutant Future Encounters.
    * Very old notebook, ca. 1985, which contains a bunch of old RPG notes, including the aforementioned Gamma World Encounters.
    * My order form to renew my subscription to Kobold Quarterly.
    * TV remote control
    * Desk lamp with hinged arm
    * Pens, pencils, scissors, in a box.
    * Alligator and paper clips, each in a separate jar.
    * "The Pocket DJ" - a guidebook for building the best music library.
    * Flip camera
    * Phone
    * Phone log
    * Personal and business checkbooks
    * Calculator
    * Assorted business cards from networking events
    * two AA batteries, which may or may not currently work.
    * An entry form for an upcoming advertising conference
    * A "Broadcast Calendar" - basically a special calendar used for advertising
    * A huge stack of tax preparation documents
    * Another huge messy pile of assorted advertising contracts, things to read, ad trade magazines, etc. (I run an ad agency and work from home).

    Sadly, the last two items, while probably the least interesting, take up the most real estate.

  2. Interesting, I'm kind of the opposite. Most of my ideas come to me as I'm falling asleep or bicycling - that is, when I am far away from the creative works of others. I don't have a desk at home for some reason.

  3. Desk? Usually I'm posting from bed (god bless the laptops!), writing in bed, reading in bed. Very comfortable :-)

  4. I do most of my writing now on a laptop while watching old episodes of the Avengers, Rockford Files, Incredible Hulk and some some old westerns on Netflix.

  5. Old westerns are really good for firing up the creativity for me too. I can't for the life of me figure out why, because they generally follow a completely predictable formula.

  6. On my desk at home.
    - spindle of CD-ROMs of backed up PDFs
    - Pathfinder core
    - stack of characters for Pathfinder
    - stack of characters for D&D4
    - handfull of minis.
    - three-ring binder full of witch notes
    - Moldvay Basic D&D book
    - B/X Companion book
    - two Boba Fett action figures
    - Willow and Tara Action figures
    - 3 empty Mt. Dew Bottles
    - Indigo Tribe Power Ring (plastic)
    - Poison Ivy character sheet for M&M3/DCA
    - Notes for Dinosauria! the adventure I am workoing on for Gen Con.

  7. On my desk right now:
    – Cigarettes, zippo, ashtray (bad habit)
    - Module B4 The Lost City
    - Module X1 The Isle of Dread
    - Dungeon Masters Guide
    - Monster Manual
    - Complex Analysis
    - Piles of paper with notes and equations and graphs
    - Cup of coffee (empty)
    - Glass of water (empty)
    - Some random framed photos
    - A pig-faced cup full of pencils
    - Notebooks
    - A Silver Surfer t-shirt (?!)
    - And a pair of boxer (??!)
    - Star Wars headphones
    - Two external hard drives
    - In the desk's closet: a box full of dice, a warhammer ruler, a Dungeons & Dragons whitebox, condoms, scotch, an empty envelop and a plastic bag (also empty.)

    This is after saturday morning's order...

  8. Great question.

    Ipod-I really need music when I'm writing or reading, but not the TV. For some reason the TV is really distracting.



    Master Yoda bobble head

    My best ideas occur when Im in the shower or driving though...Weird.

  9. I have a poseable, rolling Dalek on my desk. :)