21 Dec

Harness the Spectacular Productivity of WIBBO(X)

Productive Writers - Kevin J Anderson quote

Productive Writers - Kevin J Anderson quoteI love WIBBOW. It’s an acronym coined, from what I’ve read, by writer Scott William Carter. WIBBOW = Would I Be Better Off Writing?

But that’s not what the title of this blog post says. That’s because it’s a wonderful question to ask in every area of your life. Would I be better off doing X? WIBBO(X).

And it all falls back to what your dreams are. Read More

09 Nov

Danger: Are you Fungible?

You are unique - James Altucher quote

You are unique - James Altucher quoteFungible is a wonderful word. It means that something is able to be replaced by something else with no loss of function or value. A bag of flour is fungible. It is fundamentally the same in function and value as any other bag of flour. If you’ve got a bag of flour you can exchange it for another bag with an equal amount of the same type of flour and still be able to bake the same cake.

Wheat is fungible. Oil is fungible. Money is fungible.

Art should never ever, Ever, EVER be fungible. Read More

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

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

31 Jul

Stop Gaming and you will be a Better Designer

Challenge: forbid yourself quote

Challenge: forbid yourself quoteThis is one of those insights where you’ve either figured it out and it’s perfectly logical or you haven’t thought about it before and it sounds absolutely preposterous.

Me, I force-figured it out by reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron Amazon . It’s a guideline to getting your creative juices flowing and writing/painting/dancing/what-have-you-ing with joy and immediacy. In effect it’s a workbook where Cameron takes you through a week-by-week course in, well, finding the joy in creation. Yeah, I’ve used joy twice. That’s what it feels like after you’ve followed the guide for a while (and if you’ve followed this blog you’ll notice how I keep harping about it – it really did change my creative habit, my self-image and my willingness to show courage).

Now, most of the chapters deal with stuff like finding the strength to follow your dreams, or the persistence, or feeling safe with your creativity. But one deals with silence. Specifically the silence of not doing any creating. And it’s the most glorious feeling ever. Read More

17 Jul

Beware Burnout! A Survivor’s Tale

Burnout: I couldn't do anything quote

Burnout: I couldn't do anything quoteIt happens. One moment you’re steaming along, juggling ten full time projects, you game designs, family life and your Game of Thrones fansite and the next – BAM – you ram your head into that red brick wall.

It happened to me. I was rocking along, getting a pretty decent career going, and – BAM – one morning I couldn’t get out of bed.

It wasn’t as if the bed had suddenly grown fences but it might as well have. The very act of pulling my leg from the covers and putting it on the floor was too much. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t finish my work, I couldn’t do anything. Read More

22 Jun

Leave Your Desk Messy and be More Creative

A messy desk is more creative

A messy desk is more creativeI love productivity tips. Reading them makes me feel supercharged, ready to take on the world. If only I’d work out for fifteen minutes each morning, if only I’d wake up earlier or always wear the same type of shirt or talk in clear, action oriented sentence.

If only I’d kept my desk spotless.

That’s one of the classic ones: keep your desk ordered and you’ll be productive. Then I look at my own desk I see, right now: a pile of papers, a half-empty 20 ounce/0.6 liter thermos tea cup, a “world’s best dad” teddy bear, a tipped over picture, an entrance pass to a conference I attended half a year ago, an entrance pass to a party I attended a month ago, another pile of papers, an ergonomic wrist support, a mouse mat stacked on top of a pile of printer paper to get it to the right height, a note with an out-of-date password to an account that was shut down months ago, another pile of scribbled papers.

Yet, somehow, I manage to write. Imagine how productive I’d be if my desk was spotless.

Except that I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work. Here’s why. Read More