I hope to write a post about Wowotu later today, but as it is still morning and I am still working the creaks out of my body, I'd like to discuss this from yesterday's post.
Perhaps the biggest lie about creating a milieu for an RPG is the notion that you, the creator, can make "anything" you want. This is simply not true. Your mind is not an autonomous, isolated functionary machine; it is limited by what you have been made to be, by your culture, your experience and your steady accumulation of habits. You cannot will any thought into your mind; you are imprisoned by the thoughts you happen to have. These are thoughts that surface from the compiled, biological construction of your neural net; there are trillions, perhaps quadrillions of thoughts that might potentially rise, that don't, simply because the outward circumstances around you do not foster any of those particular patterns over the one that does.
From this, we should recognize that all notions we have that we are not thinking as well as we should, or that we our worlds are not imaginative enough, come from a judgmental place where we are comparing ourselves with other people ~ most likely faceless, nameless, imaginary people, whose skills or abilities are inconveniently superior to our own due to a fear of shame and social expectation. This comparison is meaningless. If we set out to fabricate a world, it is not because we willed ourselves to do it, it is because we feel a desire to pursue this particular surfaced thought. If there is any value in the process, it is the pleasure we receive its pursuit. It is not a competition. It is an act of seeking happiness.
We cannot create a world except from those thoughts that happen to surface. Therefore, if the surfaced thoughts seem to produce something "cliche" or "common," what of it? Why concern ourselves with it? We have no power to force ourselves to be more creative than we are. Creativity is not a goal, it is an investigation ... which sparks awareness through trial and error, which causes new thoughts to surface, which furthers our investigation, producing new avenues for trial and error and so on. We must give ourselves to the process and realize that "art" is a by-product, a manifestation of the work we happened to commit ourselves to completing at a given moment in our progress.
To put it in a nutshell: world-building is not world-finishing.