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I'd Rather Go To The Moon

Thinking back about neglected projects and self-criticism.

| Perspective

Around the start of summer, I gave myself the objective of finishing projects that I had previously started. My plan was to focus on one project at a time, writing down any bottlenecks I came across. I had thought that highlighting those issues would give me focus on what exactly I needed to fix. I'd approach each bottleneck individually, rather than trying to take care of them all at once. It was supposed to be a sustainable way to approach development.

That plan didn't work out. In fact, I ended up with more projects on my plate than before. I've finished some long overdue projects, sure, but I also began concepting and/or actualizing new ones. Some of those projects I would manage to finish, but some would remain just as concepts; often I would begin to flesh them out before setting them aside. Those unfinished, neglected projects would find themselves in a growing pile of other ideas that have also been left for a future date.

I have a love/hate relationship with this pile of ideas. On the one hand, I can pull something from it and be garanteed it will be of interest to me! On the other, there are some projects that have a magnettic pull to them from either how long they've been shelved or how complete they are. And as the pile fills with more ideas to realize and skills to develop, it's gotten big enough that I occasionally get distracted by it when doing things for either school or work.

It's also worth mentioning that this summer has given me more long-term projects I'll be working on alongside Covalria Sow and Catalyst, both of which I've been doing writing for. As their stories have become more developed, I've been feeling more of a pull as I get closer to writing the scenes I've been thinking about for ages. While I appreciate the motivation that gives me, it still adds to the chaos of figuring out what to work on.

Another long-term project that also happens to involve writing is this website. Emotionally, it's one of the oddest projects I've worked on since I've felt it was neglected while actively developing it. My mindset was that since I wasn't updating the blog spesifically, the changes I was making to my site were pointless. As much as I value the “Perspective” tag, the root idea of most articles with it up to this point is "I'm neglecting the blog."

In thinking that, I forget about everything else I'm doing at the time. The collection of completed projects fade from my sight, and the weight of the other unfinished projects begin to take their toll on my shoulders. I put all my worth into this one single project, which becomes a representation of all the other projects I've failed to finish. It's a pretty irrational perspective, especially when you consider how I'm overloaded with things to work on!

I often find myself falling back into this self-critisim again and again. It always presures me to do something, downplays my accomplishments, or punishs me for missing the exceedingly high bar I set for myself. When I said “you are your own worst enemy”, this was the mindset I was making reference to. In the case of this website, that self-criticism was telling me "you should be writing articles."

In reality, I'd rather be doing other stuff. I didn't do video editing for the longest time just because I lost confidence with it; I had other projects and ideas I was invested in. I had stopped video editing towards the end of my senior years at high school, which were a time where I was engaging more with level design, music production, and programming. We only have so much time we can spend, and somethings get sidelined for a while to make room for others. None of my neglected projects are tossed into a trash bin, they're set aside to be picked up later.

This website is due for a renovation - its backend needs to be reorganized to allow for a better editing expirence and to simplify the codebase. When I get around to it, one of the things I'll be thinking of is the importance I put on blog posts. I get that blogs are important. They're a independent vessel to spread a message, to speak your mind freely, and a useful tool to teach others. But to be completely honest, I'd rather work on whatever's catched my fancy; even if that project may be a moonshot.