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