If you’ve never read any of the masterpiece that is Hyperbole and a Half, then I’m afraid you just sealed the next two hours of your time by clicking that link. Both her blog and XKCD are massive influences on the way I tend to write and present things here.
I always wondered how on earth it could take Allie months (occasionally over a year) to post an update. The combination of short personal stories and MS Paint seemed like it surely couldn’t take more than a week or so to write.
But holy heck I can’t imagine a more naive thought now.
Even the simplest of posts take a bundle of time- and that’s not even accounting for the psychology of putting a piece of one’s self on the internet. For some reason the difference between a Facebook status and a post on here feels enormously out of proportion.
Allie has posted openly about her depression and mental blocks several times now, and while I certainly do not suffer from depression by any means- the anxiety problems I can completely empathize with. Writing and drawing and editing and over-analyzing every little detail of the post until just getting sick of it and committing to Github anyways- And then continuing to read through the post over and over after it’s gone live, obsessing over everything I know is wrong or badly phrased or could have been much better illustrated. It’s the exact same cycle I go through while video-editing and painting and pretty much anything I make and release to be seen by any number of the terrifying “public”.
Allie releases posts to literally millions of people. I write for six on a great day. So this should not even be a comparison I’m allowed to make:
And yet, that crippling doubt over the most insignificant of things is still an enormous factor. In several ways, I think it’s healthy and good for my work. I am committed to only putting out quality work. I don’t like releasing anything attached to my name that isn’t perfect.
But the much larger implications mean that I rarely display my work. I’ve scrapped many personal projects after days or weeks of effort, only for no results to ever see the light of day. One of my favorite animations I’ve ever worked on was made over many weeks for my campus job- and in the end I trashed the entire thing because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere.
I often hear that one of the largest factors in game design and other creative endeavors is being able to cut out the parts that just aren’t working. No matter the amount of time invested into them. Killing your darlings. I feel like I tend to fall on the opposite extreme of this. I serial kill darlings.
The point of this all comes down to the following: I will be posting the results of this current Unity project- no matter the outcome. This self-sabotage cycle ends here.
This is less of an announcement to you, and more of a binding contract between me and the internet.
It’s an easy promise to make at this point- since I am still early on and generally like what I’ve got so far.
But I know me. And the bin already beckons…
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