Hitting a Slump
Well this last week has been hell. The company in total had maybe an hour combined to actually work on anything game related, and didn't get nearly as much done as we had planned. To make things even more fun, after a week of not working on things, we seem to have hit a slump (well, I have. I probably shouldn't talk for the rest of the company... but I'm going to anyway).
So, a week with no work, lost as to what we were doing, and in a slump. Where do we go from here? Well, clearly the first thing we do is write a blog post. Actually, it doesn't matter what gets done first. What matters is that you pick yourself up out of the slump, dust off your jeans, and get back to work. Life doesn't always go well for anyone, it's not about what happens to pull us down, but how we pick ourselves back up.
I would also like to talk about the difference between motivation and discipline. Motivation is a wonderful thing, motivation is how we're able to come up with ideas, start writing things down, and get people hyped for our games. The problem is, motivation is fleeting. What do we do when the motivation inevitably runs out? This is where discipline comes in. The ability to do something we may not want to do at this exact moment. While it may seem like it would be more fun to pick up a controller, or turn on a movie, we instead want to focus on the reward of sticking with our game until the very end.
I won't sugar coat it, discipline is tough. It is a skill I am only now learning for the first time myself. Some of you may be good at it. Weather you learned it from school, sports, martial arts, or even piano lessons, it is a very useful skill to master. Others of you may not have been so fortunate, or so willing. Some of you may be in a boat similar to me, where you didn't see the point in school, and weren't interested in taking up music or anything that would make you train. I wish I had better advice for you, but unfortunately the best I have is sit down, shut up, and write.
I say this harshly because I don't know of any better way to say it. As shown by the last week, I'm not good at discipline either. I'm not good at forcing myself to do something that I don't want to do in that moment, and I'm also not good at telling myself to not do what I desperately want to do. And, as much as I wish I did, I don't have a solid answer for you. It's easy for me to say suck it up and just do it, but it would be hypocritical of me to do so when I can't do it myself.
In the end, the best I can offer is stay focused on the long-term goal. You may feel overwhelmed, or beaten down, or exhausted. You may feel like you're the only one who cares. You need to remember that because you care, others will care. Also keep in mind why you started. You started for a reason, even if that reason was as simple as "I have an idea". Tell people, talk about your game, and remember the passion that got you started, and in time the motivation will come back. Remember, in the meantime, to keep working on your game until it does.