person holding silver round coins

How Disease Affects the Creative Process

Being sick allows you to consider possibilities you've dismissed previously. The desire for the brain to do something pitted against the body's call for resources to battle the invading sickness can provide desperate creative output. Desperate? Yes, let me explain a bit.

I called in sick at 5 am after managing some semblance of sleep. I couldn't stare at anything with a screen until about 2 hours ago. I avoid getting sick and when it does happen, I attack it viciously. I get delusional when I get a fever. This is beyond bad decisions, this is all five senses of hallucination. Mix in a bit of over-the-counter cold medication and you get a whole lot of things happening simultaneously.

There are the hallucinations and fever dreams, sure, but there is also no sense of time passing, boredom, and the brain repeatedly asking, "why don't you watch TV like normal people when they are sick?" Desperate creative output is the brain throwing out all sorts of random things in a vain attempt to get me to zone out. Today it was a back-and-forth that went something like this:

Brain: Here's an idea for a chase mechanic for your Open D6 Lite game. Now can we watch TV?

Brain: Rought is what the English word for 'bear' would be if the original Anglo-Saxon word evolved like most other English words with Indo-European origin. Use it instead of ursine for your bear-people in D&D. Now can we watch TV?

Brain: Ribbons of Time can be literal ribbons that can be cut, stretched, and combined in a similar way the Greek Fates measure the threads of time. You could even have loops like a Moebius strip. You constantly move in one direction, but you're in an endless loop. This would make a good trap or an interesting short story. Now can we watch TV?

Me: Quick question. Would the people on the Moebius strip age? Maybe they would progress and regress in age depending on their position on the Moebius strip. Maybe the main character realizes that she is in a loop.

After a few down more ideas, I found I could finally watch a handful of videos to pass the time. I mean, I wasn't aware of six hours passing, so what's a couple more?

I happened upon a Yu-Gi-Oh episode where Seto Kaiba is fighting some guy named Diva. I remembered enough of the original cartoons to have some cold-medicine-addled idea of what was going on. Near the end of the video, Seto Kaiba called an Egyptian God card without drawing it out of a deck. He summoned it by sheer force of will accentuated by dramatically smacking the ground with his hand and many things breaking behind him.

Me: I have an idea. There is a feat for Clerics or Wizards that allows a character to cast a spell when they are out of spell slots. The spell slot can be any level, but cannot be higher than the highest spell slot the character has. I call it Indomitable Will

Also Me: What if chess had battle monsters as pieces. Better yet, I can take an old chess idea and make it into a battle monster type of game. Better better yet, I could make a new 5e class called the summoner that depends of calling beasts and contraptions of all kinds. They wouldn't have to be all combat-oriented, some would be useful for chases, investigations, and stand-ins for various 5e toolkits.

Also Me: This would make a great Dice Throne character. Oh wait, there's already the Artificer and the Treant. Maybe you could homebrew the Mad Artificer. Bwa ha ha ha.

Brain: Is your generic Dayquil wearing off? Wait, did you say Bwa ha ha out loud?

That's been my day in and out of awareness. I really hope I feel better tomorrow. It was really hard to drag myself to a keyboard to type out all this stuff before I forget it.

I hope for something more useful next time to put up here on the blog.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Loading Facebook Comments ...

4 thoughts on “How Disease Affects the Creative Process

  1. says:

    I find the same creative process can be sparked by grief, the worse and more heartbreaking the more my brain goes into overdrive. Perhaps as a way to block out the void of despair I don’t know but it’s happened over and over as I get older.

    1. says:

      I get that. I feel the same way. It seems my brain is looking for relief from the pain through a creative spark. Maybe it’s for the endorphins.

      Anything you working these days?

Whaddaya Think?