Negotiations

negotiation

I’ve been feeling really tired. I’m not sure whether it’s the weather, shakeups in my day-to-day life, or just another goddamn random mood swing, but right now it’s hard to get the things I want to do and need to do done. This doesn’t worry me, exceptionally, because I’ve gotten through worse funks than this one, but it is worthy of being addressed.

It’s important to me to keep this blog running, but right now it’s incredibly difficult for me to maintain the format I’ve had going before. Trying to put together 1000 cogent words each Sunday to describe in analytical detail some aspect of the process of making or of playing games, while deeply rewarding, is something I’m not sure is within my grasp right now.

So I won’t.

Instead I’m going to be doing something else. And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to be. Basically, while I can commit to writing on the same schedule I have been, I’m not sure I can commit to the same degree of discretion and restraint. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: Indeed, as far as I can tell, my less academic and more emotional pieces seem to get more readers – interpret that as you will.

If there’s one thing I’ve had to learn to do to be consistently productive, it’s to negotiate with myself. I’ve learned through hard experience that it does me no good at all to set myself lofty goals only to get depressed and shut down when I fail to achieve them on the first go: The lofty goals are fine in principle, but I really have to accept that those goals are lofty and I won’t necessarily reach them right away.

“Here’s what I want you to do,” I tell myself, rattling off a list of tasks that need to be done, either on my game, on this site, or attending to other necessities. I usually tell myself this when I’m feeling pretty good, ambitious, high energy, caffeinated, so I respond “Can do, boss!” in that chirpy happy attitude I’ve learned to loathe deeply over the long years I’ve worked for myself.

However, when I come in to work, the next day, or the next week, or the next month I’m feeling less wonderful. “Jeez, I dunno boss” I say, in that sniveling attitude I have come to dread of myself over the long years of my servitude, “I’m feeling pretty tired. Do you think maybe I could take today off?” “Well, ” I say, “I know and you know that you deserve it, me, but if I give you today off then what if you still feel lousy tomorrow? Shall you take that day off as well? And so on, and so forth, until we are eating pork chops from the dumpster behind an Olive Garden?”

Well, I’ve got no answer to that, and just sit in the corner and sulk. Thus, taking pity, I say to myself: “Here, me, I’ll tell you what: I had you scheduled to work for four hours today, but if you could just work for one, maybe two if you felt good about it, then we’ll have still made some good progress, you can get back to whatever the hell it is you do when I’m not watching, and we can hope for better progress tomorrow.”

And that, boys and girls, is how blog posts get made.

How practiced I am at this skill, at managing my motivations and expectations, my ambitions and enthusiasms, is the main determining factor behind how much I can achieve on any given day. Being able to gracefully give up the ground I cannot keep, and then aggressively reclaim it when I am feeling more capable, is what has allowed me to progress this far. Being tough on myself, but fair, and understanding, allows me to march day after day, even if on certain days I can only march a few steps.

Slow and steady wins the race is what they say, and while I’m sure that fast and steady would be preferable I am forced by my own personal reality to live those words. Maybe, if I practice being steady for long enough, I could manage to maintain that steadiness while keeping a fast pace: Or, maybe, in the future my environment will be structured such that I no longer need to maintain this kind of strict supervision over myself and there will be others around to keep me honest. Maybe, maybe maybe: For now, concessions must be made.

And, for now, the first concession: I’m going to write whatever I want for a while.

This could be fun.

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2 comments
  1. Ashley said:

    Are there pork chops at Olive Garden? Perhaps you should double check those aren’t emaciated rat remains from the exterminator before gobbling them down. ^_^ Greatly enjoyed the blog as always.

  2. Tertia said:

    Love the description of inner negotiation. In my case I struggle with conflict between the part of me that wants to blog well-crafted pieces that will be useful to someone and the part of me that just wants to write what’s going on in the moment…and, like you, I’m finding that the less crafted pieces sometimes take on a life of their own and are better received. I’m glad you are going to keep writing, regardless of what.

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