Maybe it’s important to hate what you do?

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Kind of hate v r 3 these days, just so you know. It’s not an uncommon experience for me with any project that takes longer than a week or so, and I think it’s probably not uncommon for many of us working on any creative project. There’s only so long you can sustain unbridled enthusiasm for your own ideas and work – perhaps especially if you work alone and thus don’t have anyone else possibly on a different oscillation of love and hate who might offset you.

One way I’ve found helpful for dealing with this, especially for v r 3 actually, has been forcing myself to kind of fall in love with all the problems by finding them “interesting”. So you may have noticed I’ve written quite a large number of words here, but also in my development diary, about how things are going wrong constantly, but how that can be seen as a kind of insight into the nature of making a videogame, or the nature of the engine I’m using, or the idea of virtuality, and so on.

That strategy worked very well for quite a long time for what has been a deeply frustrating and humbling project. But at some point you can’t keep finding all your fuckups fascinating. Sad but true. Which is where I find myself now, so it’s pretty grim folks. Now it just feels like the ground truth here is that I’m a bit of a bumbling incompetent trying to do things that aren’t very difficult and failing. Le sigh, etc.

However, some small encouragement came the other day from the excellent episode of “Abstract” about Christopher Niemann. He’s generally inspiring (and I guess daunting), but at one point he talks about how he always feels at his most unhappy working when he’s working on something important. That could just be yet another nice psychological trick, like finding hardship interesting, but it’s cheering to think that maybe if you hate what you do it’s because what you do is just SO IMPORTANT. Too important to stop doing, for example.

But then, if we’re being brutally honest, you can’t stop even if it’s not all that important, can you? You’re making the stupid thing because at some level that’s just what you need to do right now. Throwing it in the trash would be glorious, but you’d just be back a few minutes later fishing it out.

3 March 2017
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