On the old HTML version of the Ztrains.com website I’d usually try to write a new editorial article once a week, Sunday evening was my time of choice to write. On the old site these writings were never archived, the new editorial was simply written over the old. There was something kind of liberating about that as since nothing was saved… there’d be nothing I’d look back at in a year and regret writing, every Sunday night it was like starting all over.
Here on the new site every article, every post and comment is automatically saved and archived. I was sitting in front of the keyboard tonight thinking how this process is similar to building a layout or diorama.
Putting a plan for your layout on paper is a great idea but at some point, you’ll want to commit to your ideas and get building! This can be a scary time… strange as that sounds. Armchair modeling can be a lot of fun as you can change your track plan over and over, starting fresh on a regular basis… like my previous Sunday night writings. The problem with this exercise is that it’s just that, an exercise, and you’ll never get a layout built this way.
This week I’ve been working on a pair of desktop layouts as well as a small diorama and for a couple of days I found myself in the armchair modeler category, I couldn’t quite make up my mind on the basic shape and feel I wanted for these scenes. I kept drawing and redrawing ideas. About mid-week when I saw my progress had slowed to a crawl I thought, if I can commit to having my weekly editorials completed and saved, I can do the same with these new scenes.
It’s strange but that single thought gave me a kick in the pants and I’ve began worrying less and less about making every little decision perfect and more and more about creating full, rich scenes. If you work something over and over and over, I think there’s the chance of losing that little spark of inspiration we all have.
I’m hopefully going to take this lesson to heart a bit, both in my work on Ztrains.com as well as in my Z building projects. I think making the commitment to creating, with the occasional misstep, is a better choice than planning a project to death and risk becoming stale.