16 Oct

The Easy Way to Productivity: Habitica RPG Review

Habitica quote

Habitica quoteI’m in love.

I’ve always wanted to be more productive. I’ve tried ”GTD”, The Artist’s Way, a dozen others. But not once have I thought about the importance of the tools you use for your system.

Until now I’ve used Evernote, storing to-dos, projects and tasks. Yes, it’s serviceable (there’s even the Secret Weapon for doing it) but there’s been something missing. I’ve dutifully entered my tasks into lists and notes. I’ve dutifully checked boxes, dotted i’s and crossed t’s. I’ve dutifully followed my plan.

With Habitica I’m doing it for fun. Read More

12 Oct

Have you found your Long, Lonely Hours?

Long, Lonely Hours - Ben Bova quote

Long, Lonely Hours - Ben Bova quote

In the end, it is those long, lonely hours when there is nothing in the universe except you and your writing instrument that will determine how successful a writer you will be.
– Ben Bova

I’m tired. My head hurts, I’d like to talk away from the computer.

I don’t.

This here, right now, is where I decide my career, what I’ll be doing in ten years time. The seconds tick away, the Bollywood music plays in my headphones. My hands clatter on the keyboard. That is the sound of my future. That is the way that I create what I want to be.

There is no one stopping me. There is no one stopping you. Time? Money? Stress? Those are excuses. You can excuse yourself. You can excuse yourself from all your dreams. Just make sure to take a good look at them for tomorrow they’ll be gone. Not because you can’t fulfill them anymore, but because you chose to ignore them. You chose the way that didn’t lead towards your dreams and so you walked away from them. I know. I’ve been there. Read More

28 Sep

The Opposite of Fear is Curiosity

Fear is the seed of regret Bob Mayer quote

Fear is the seed of regret Bob Mayer quoteI’m a scaredy-cat.

I don’t like to be put in situations where people can yell at me, where I can be in the wrong, where I can be blamed for failure. I don’t like to lie, to cheat or to up-sell. I’m a lousy salesman.

Quite simply, I’m too scared.

Everyone understands fear. If only we weren’t so afraid we’d sky jump, get married or sell our sofa and go live in a tiny monastery in Tibet where bald monks would teach us how to kill a man with our pinky toes.

If only we had the courage. If only we’d be fearless then we’d go, do, learn, live.

Sorry to burst your bubble, kiddo. Being fearless does diddly squat. Read More

18 Sep

What Kills Your Dreams or The Dreaded Plateau

Do the work Douglas Smith quote

Do the work Douglas Smith quoteFor quite some time I was heading straight up. My writing became steadily better, my game designs were continuously more interesting. I liked where I was going.

Then I failed.

See, no rising curve lasts forever, no breakthrough is endless. At some point you will come to the dreaded plateau.

What happens is that as you start in on something your skills will rapidly increase. You’ll be learning new things by the simple method of never having experienced them before. The difference between never having been fishing and casting that lure into the water for the first time is huge. But then you cast it and cast it and cast it and you don’t catch anything. You curse and spit and decide to go home. You’ve plateaued. And you’ll never catch that fish. Read More

14 Sep

What’s Stopping You?

Work on it, James Altucher quote

Work on it, James Altucher quoteI’ve got a friend who designs games and his games are good. I don’t mean good as in “hey, dude, good game”. I mean GOOD. I like his games and I’m not even close to their target audience. If I were I’d be drooling at the opportunity to play again. And yet…

And yet my friend doesn’t do anything with his games. He pulls them out occasionally on game nights. He tinkers with them, making small changes that he sometimes reverts. Sure, he’d like to have his games published but…

Maybe he doesn’t know how. Maybe he doesn’t know anything about the business side of game design and he’s scared to find out. Maybe he doesn’t even know where to start finding out.

Perhaps he’s afraid that he’ll be rejected (that’s a given, everyone, even brilliant designers with brilliant designs, get rejected). Perhaps he’s got bad experiences with money, or authority figures or showcasing his work. Whatever it is, it’s stopping him from moving on.

Me, I’ve moved on. Read More

11 Sep

3 Effective Ways to Get Started

Shut up and write, Kevin J. Anderson quote

Shut up and write, Kevin J. Anderson quoteI have a great idea. I think it over, twist and turn it in my mind. It’s good. No, it’s brilliant, it’s freaking amazing! It’s something that could actually take off, go somewhere. People would enjoy it. I should totally do this.

I think about it. I jot down notes. I look for free slots of time when I could do this.

And I don’t.

My name is Filip and I’ve got procrastinitis*. I’ve got trouble getting started. Once I get going I can crank out a thousand words no problem. I can whip up a game prototype in no time flat. I can transcribe interviews, sort notes, fold laundry, anything and everything.

If I get started. Read More

07 Sep

Do. Create. Live.

Believe in yourself - Kris Rush quote

Believe in yourself - Kris Rush quoteWhen was the last time you sat down to write and came to, night turning the first shades of dawn, and you still in front of your computer, doing what you love?

When was the last time you sat down to work and came to, realizing that no matter what you did it wouldn’t matter?

When was the last time you followed your passion to create, to make something new, to live what you love? Read More

04 Sep

How Ignoring the News Made Me Happy

Undisturbed by violence quote

Undisturbed by violence quoteWhen I was 20 I went to Amsterdam. They had an exhibit in the Science Center Nemo where there was a machine that flashed images on a screen. There were calm images (a beautiful flower, a still lake, a pair of bunnies) and mixed in amongst them were disturbing images – a decapitated chicken, a pair of naked men, a hunter pointing his rifle at you. You’d put your fingers into a pair of electrosensitive cups and the machine told you how disturbed you were by the various images. My reactions were right on track for all images. All images except one.

I didn’t show any reaction to the man pointing a rifle at my head. No reaction at all. Read More

03 Aug

To Publish You Need to Give Up Control

Control your attitude Brian Tracy quote

Control your attitude Brian Tracy quoteRight now I’ve four games and nine short stories under review, that is, a publisher has them on her desk and is considering whether to publish them. Or more accurately: a publisher has them in her slush pile and hasn’t taken the time to go through it yet.

It’s not much but I’m a traditional one-submission-at-a-time kind of guy (that’s suboptimal, but I’ll can of worms that topic for later). I know writers who’ve got literally dozens of submissions out. I know game designers who have tens (game design tends to have a somewhat lower turnover and longer lead times). But numbers aren’t the point. The point is that every writer or game designer, including me, had to do one thing in order to get their works into the hands of publishers:

Accepting a loss of control. Read More