My first piece for Mermay!

mermaid_stars_web

I’ve been planning to draw more this month, Mermay seemed like a great idea, but it took me a week before I sat down and actually did something (lol). Anyway, I’m going to interchange between writing blog posts and making art. I really missed drawing and it feels good to finally break the tablet once again!

Grind in your own dungeon

I think we can all agree that one of the hardest parts of creating something is getting started. Dreaming up a project is so much better than actually making it. And I can understand that. There’s a magical feeling lost in the translation of apparition to physical thing, the fairy dust swept aside, the treasure chest unlocked to reveal the enchantment for what it is. And it is… *drumroll*

… dirty, sweaty hard work.

On all my readings and scourings on artists, musicians, creators, business people, authors, etc. It’s always the same thing. They worked their butt off. That is the secret sauce. Sweat. Yum. Well, I personally don’t mind that at all. It’s a relief to know it’s not an elusive unicorn like PR and Marketing (h-ha…haha… *nervous chuckle).

So we got the beginning part down. What about this long stretch in the middle, a.k.a. the “journey” itself? The “hard work” part? How do you get over the overwhelming feeling facing insurmountable tasks? That stone wall golem’s looking pretty darn indestructible.

During the little hiccups of time between work, my brain (thee I dub the mistress of pain), starts introducing little needles of torture in my system. Thoughts of stuff I still need to do, things I should be doing, things I should be doing better. Apart of the game itself, I gotta start sketching character concepts, preparing the programming, contacting musicians, making promotion materials, thinking of a kickstarter, putting money together to pay for assets, merchandise?, email youtubers??, make a website???

It just goes on and on and I… I’m only one person… It gets overwhelming at times, and I just can’t help but retreat to that usual dark corner of despair.

…But a wise person came along and slapped me with the best advice I could ever hope to receive.

“Grind in your own dungeon,” he said. “There’s no point grinding in Level 20+ if you’re Level 5. You’re gonna be taken out in one hit. You think you’re being cool, but you’re really just wasting time. Strive to be a little better than what you are now. Go for Level 7 instead.”

It’s a very good metaphor for the common knowledge “cross the bridge when you get there”, but with a little more sophistication. The advantage of working hard over a long period of time is you improve everyday, and with it, your tolerance for difficult things increases as well. I realized I was getting overwhelmed with things way out of my level and stressing out on things that I obviously don’t have the capability to solve. Of course I’m gonna get depressed. But I must see it for what it is. It’s simply another form of distraction away from work. No better than a twitter feed or a cat or a funny gif (Cats are pretty good tho gotta admit). It’s highly indulgent and requires ego stroking to appease. If I were really busy, I wouldn’t feel the need to gratify this craving.

So, every time I feel like I’m way over my head, I’m going to remember to keep grinding in my dungeon level! Gain better items, make friends with my people along the way. Little by little, chugging down that sweet level up juice. Gotta work towards that next level y’all (and maybe bang a couple elf dudes along the way)!