click here for do it yourself sound effects (*1)
According to my son, I am involved in time travel on a regular basis. I go through old game material. I do it a great deal of the time actually. What material might you ask? I go through old GM Journals. I go through old old chronicle packets and chronicle blurbs. I read through old character sheets that are mine or from chronicles I have run. I also read game rules for games I have played, games I want to play, and games will never play but are neat for some reason.
Why might you ask?
Because many times in the past I went "Oh, brilliant"! Because some times in the past I was really clever. Because sometimes I wrote something down in the past I that I can use today in other games. I can remember a creative bit. I can remember some plotlines or scenes or elements that are applicable to new situations.
(Plus knowing rules is cool like a bow tie.)
This is just feeding the beast. Feeding the beast is supplying your subconscious (or conscious) with material for your creativity (or muse) to work with. Creativity is a skill and you can train yourself to use it. The more you take in by reading, watching, listening, especially things related to what you want to be creative with, the easier being creative will be.
Reading your own personal material is different from the regular recommended material for feeding your gaming beast: watching a lot of educational TV, looking through your Creative Black Book, reading contributions to idea collection/ 101 threads, and looking through electronic scrap books. That feeds your mind with information and ideas to use for new forms.
Working with your own past materials make the process better.
Looking at things you have done before allows you to pick up on things you had forgotten, learn from your successes and your failures, and help you use your own experience to learn more about gaming, gaming techniques, and remembering.
Reviewing your own material, helps you learn your own process, refine said process, and use your "Best Bits" again in the future.
By reviewing the material again, also generates "flash card effect". You will remember the details of the gaming elements more easily.
Okay, so now it is time to change the polarity of the neutron flow and warm up that time machine.
What? You don't have a time machine?
Start the search for them or the parts. Find out where you put all that old game stuff. Character sheets, other people's character sheets, NPC sheets, plot notes, scenario notes/ write up, official write-ups, and all the GM scratch paper you can find. You probably have it around there somewhere. It may be on a legal pad, in a folder, on a computer. If it is on the computer, you may or may not have to print it out to review it. YMMV
Review it at your own leisure. I try to feed the beast a little each day, but some Saturdays I just spend hours doing it. I end up looking through my own stuff once every three weeks (or so), sometimes once a week. (*2)
There you go, every few weeks you travel back into your gaming time.
Keep calm.... it is for your own gaming good.
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*1) Yes, I am a Whovian. I have been since Doctor 3 and I don't mean Matt Smith.
*2) This also leads me to send emails and texts to gamers I used to play with. It is that "oh I remember when..." moment. Some of this is social. Some of this is "what do you remember about this..." Your social needs may vary.
Yes, I do give the rpg net search engine and tags and that robotcha check a big work out as I look for my notes and work online.