And like that - my gaming ceased.
I'm not entirely sure what exactly happened. I know that my gaming friends had moved away, become too busy or had conflicting schedules and my main gaming partner Andy had moved a couple of hundred miles away for a new job. It suddenly stopped and I was left in RPG limbo. I still socialised with my non-gaming friends and had fun at weekends, but my weeks were primarily made up of me designing lots of stuff for RPGs and then ultimately binning the ideas. That was pretty soul-destroying as I was having some great ideas, some of which I have or am hoping to replicate in upcoming campaigns, and they were being discarded or forgotten about. My initial enthusiasm for the projects was being extinguished by there being no game to give the idea an outlet. I became incredibly frustrated.
This led to finding other avenues of creativity. I joined the British Science Fiction Association and became interested in submitting work for their writer's journal 'Focus', I delved into more script writing and I wrote setting bibles for different projects. Now my ideas were being given flesh outside the RPG hobby and it was amazing how my years of gaming aided me in my endeavours. I was pretty fluent in story and plot creation, characterisation, dialogue and even art that helped me visualise my ideas. I then started reading books on writing and filmmaking and world creation by established and famous authors and through those I learned a lot.
But even though I was learning new skills that would utlimately lead to publication I still wasn't gaming. All that year the same thought burned through my head - could this be the end of my hobby?
Don't be daft.