Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dropped Projects: When the Old Shiny Becomes New Again

What's this!?
I know I'm a day late, but this is my post for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group

Old projects, why can't I quit you?

I have noticed that my behavior pattern when it comes to creative projects/hobbies tends to run like so:

  1. Discover new and exciting activity
  2. Get really enthusiastic about and put a lot of effort into activity
  3. Get frustrated or bored with the imperfections that become apparent in activity
  4. Drop activity in favor of newer, shinier activity that looks more promising
  5. Time passes
  6. Notice old activity again
  7. Get that old excited feeling
  8. Remember how the excitement wore off
  9. Hem and haw about whether to pick up old activity again
  10. Repeat from step 1

Seriously, it is the exact same pattern as an abusive relationship! I can point to many specific activities that I have picked up, danced with and discarded in this fashion, including the following:

Project - Shininess - Problems

  • Papercraft - Adds awesome 3D elements to my games! - Takes up a lot of time, space and printer ink
  • SCUBA - I can explore under water and once I had the gear, it was CHEAP! - Wet suit stopped fitting, gear needs inspection, sort of an excursion to go
  • Flash Animation - I can be like Terry Gilliam! - Time consuming to make even short pieces and my software is way out of date
  • Minecraft - Legos without the mess! - Gets sort of boring making stuff just for myself
  • Skyrim - Awesome videogame RPG! - Get lost among the side plots, feel like I need big blocks of time just to pick it up again
  • Kerbal Space Program - Design and launch your own rockets! - Alpha is still really glitchy, Orbital mechanics is HARD!
  • Painting gaming minis - I can custom paint awesome little beasties to supplement my game! - lots of mess, priming requires a sunny day, painting a single mini takes an afternoon, still not perfect at getting the right paint consistency
and this brings me to two old projects that have reared their heads again after more than a year wallowing beneath the detritus of my life...
  • Obsidian Portal Wiki - Create a cool online resource to share my D&D world with like-minded nerds! - capacity to customize is limited and/or time-consuming, more public but less efficient than just using OneNote
  • Digital Mapping - Make really cool maps for my game world - Much more time consuming than just sketching things out by hand, when using them for a game, I often don't finish until the relevant session has passed, can't decide on a style
The glimmers that caused me to once again notice these last two, and which have me tied up in creative knots at the moment caught my eye after I realized Obsidian Portal had implemented customizable CSS for each campaign wiki (meaning I wouldn't have to hard-code every page!) and when I got a couple messages from folks at the Cartographer's Guild asking for permission to use maps that I had drawn

This! I was proud of this... once. Still not finished!

I really loved both of these activities when I was into them, and right now I am possessed of strong, even primal urges to re-engage, but my time away has me nervous about re-learning the ropes and about the revisions necessary to bring something like my OP site up to speed with the new CSS... (I have a lot of hard-coded pages to unwind! I am also concerned about cramming more activities into an already crammed schedule.

But... I want to do ALL the things!

What is a Spork to do?

1 comment:

  1. I glad I could contribute somewhat to steps 5-7 :) And I'm really glad I'm not the only one who goes through that


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