Getting back to the thing

I've been traveling for the past couple weeks. I spent seven days in Dublin, doing the day job thing, before heading out to Copenhagen to catch up with family and enjoy a much-needed vacation. I've documented the trip on Instagram if you're interested in following along.

I'm really grateful to be able to leave the country for two weeks and get out of my head a bit. There's been a ton of change in my personal life over the last few months, so I think there really couldn't have been a better opportunity to get some physical distance and mull things over. Which indirectly leads me to writing here.

Look, it's pretty clear that I haven't been making games nearly as much as I want to lately. I kicked off a "One Game per Month" project without much forethought, and I barely stuck with it through January. I've been paralyzed by indecision and laser-focused on maintaining my status quo, which boils down to "do well at your job, get exercise, don't make bad decisions." That doesn't leave much room for creativity, or relaxation, or having fun, or any of the things that ought to be apportioned in tandem with the necessities that get us there.

Turns out I've been living an all-work-and-no-play lifestyle for way too long, and for the wrong reasons. I've been convinced that I need to work harder, to save everything I earn, to delay fun and to put off passion projects. That's really not true, though. I'm lucky to be in a sustainable place right now, and it's honestly been the ideal time to focus on personal pursuits for months now. What's really been holding me back, as usual — as always — is fear of failure.

The real opportunity cost of doing nothing now is far higher than the risks of following through. The only reason I didn't see it is because of that knee-jerk reflex that steers me away from potential embarrassment.

I don't really know yet how I get past this and start making things again consistently, but I'm starting by scheduling time for myself to work on things. It's probably just like running — godawful at first, but easier to get going the longer you stick with it.

Nick CummingsComment