I am very fond of saying that life is a journey, and every journey has significant stages at which the nature of the journey itself transitions. I have reached such a point.
As a context for the last 6 years I have tried to make the most of the new and exciting social media opportunities and combine it with my music. I have tried to conduct discussions on forums about the video game industry (fruitless activity, but useful for learning a few things about the way people behave in online communities). I have experimented with Wikis, Radio shows, Blogs, Twitter… I have performed live gigs on Second Life. In the real world, I started a band and we played every Monday down at Mr. Wolfs in Bristol. I ran an open mike night in Bristol. I once played at 12 open mikes in a week. I have been to jazz jam sessions, have learned to play the trumpet and violin. Yet, outside of my own personal development, nothing has grown, nothing has developed. I am nothing more than one of millions of people who blog, tweet, make videos, write songs and play instruments. Recently I even tried a music collaboration site, but the it just felt like more of the same, in a different form.
I started wondering why I keep exposing myself like this, and invented in my mind all kinds of justifications. There might be some grains of truth in them, but mostly it’s a delusion. I keep on with this almost masochistic display in the hope that it will result in something meaningful, but it never does. And that’s my problem. It’s just like busking, spending most of the day watching people walk by as if you are not even there.
There’s nothing really wrong with it, except that I have fallen foul of the biggest error that one can make in life, which is to seek validation outside of oneself. Such a road is a dead end, because the only true validation is the one that comes from within. And so, having realised this truth, the time has come to stop.
Until I have fixed the real problem (me), I am cutting way back on my online presence. My youtube channel is scaled right back with almost all the videos now private. I have hidden (with the exception of this post) all non games related posts from this blog. My Facebook page is now private, and the only thing I will use twitter for is notifying when I make a new blog post (maybe with the occasional lightweight comment or retweet). I will continue with this blog, but strictly on video game development topics only.
This has some advantages; it will free up more of my time, which I will use to continue development of a new soccer management game, and to work on prototyping new ‘quicky’ games. I will also continue working on my music, but just for me and without any purpose beyond that. I think I am going to be a lot happier, and who knows by working on my own personal bottleneck, it perhaps can only improve my options in the future.
Finally, thank you to any who have, over the years, offered words of encouragement. They have always been gratefully received. It’s simply that I should not need them. Ah, the paradox…