Thursday, October 13, 2011

Combating Complacency

I think everyone has the dream of doing what they love for a living. For those that can keep their heads straight and objective in sight a professional passion is an attainable goal if the dreamer has the talent and the drive. However I think most people are afflicted by the same plague that keeps me from seeing most of my grand schemes to fruition, the chronic vidjagametittiosis (legit).

Save the ta-tas

Losing focus on a project is an ailment that has afflicted me since I discovered video games and boobs. So, since second grade every time I set out on a project that takes longer than an afternoon to accomplish (Lego's, trapping lizards, climbing a tree) I tend to get sidetracked by the most basic of distractions, the two most common offenders being already mentioned.

semper gumby

When I start a project it is usually because I've been inspired by something, a movie, a book, a video game, a person, or just seeing something and going, "dammit, I can do better that that asshole." So I plan it out, I talk about it with my friends and maybe get a small support network going, tell people about it and start cranking out the framework and then maybe a week or so later, I just forget all about it. My vidjagametittiosis kicks in and I'll start playing a game or reading a book or pick up a weird hobby like wood burning or didgeridoos and get completely side tracked. All that planning, all that ground work is gone. If you know what I'm talking about by this point then hold on, because I may have some help for you that's better than anything prescribed by a prick in a lab coat.

That cure I was talking about? Oh, I lied I don't actually have one, that's what I'm talking about. But I do have a few ideas in mind which I will discuss... now.

Notice how it is blank.

1. Schedule - A routine is something that is tough to break. If you masturbate every night before you go to sleep for a week, chances are it's gonna be hard to break that routine, you may not even be able to sleep without doing it. I am aware that masturbation may not be the most common example of this but it's a human habit and it seems to work for what I'm getting at. The best time to set up a routing is first thing when you wake up in the morning and your brain has a chance to distract you from your goal or right when you go to sleep so you have a steady time slot available for whatever it is you are working on. This is all based on crap I've read but I know that it works because it's how I programmed myself to exercise 3 days a week. If I don't do it I go crazy, and if it works for flexing the gluts it's gotta work for a writing a novel. For further reading check out


2. Support Network - A lot of professionals claim they never could have gotten where they are today without having a support network. Stephen King talks about it in his book On Writing and so does Robert Rodriguez in Rebel Without A Crew. Having a group of like minded individuals whom you can count on and share your passion is a huge plus to any project. "But Draco, what about the fine gentlemen of Raptor Inc.? How can you be so lazy when you have such an amazing team of professionals supporting you every step of the way?" you may ask. Well my answer to you is this: We're all lazy fat people on the inside if not on the outside. The fact that we have weekly meetings is a miracle. You should have seen the time we tried to make a video game LOL.


3. Self Discipline - You can't do shit unless you force yourself to do it. Even if you feel awful and there is nothing you would like more than to NOT work on your project that day you HAVE TO. Why? Because if you don't you will start writing articles about growing complacent because you lost your pace. It's just like running a 10k, you have to find your rhythm and once you get it you have to keep it. You can't charge ahead and burn yourself out but you can't go so slow your 56 year old XO beats you (personal experience).

Working on the movie has taught me a lot about where I want to be in life and how I want to live it. So many people out there have found a way to make a living out of what they love, and a damn good one at that and I'll post some examples after I conclude this article. After 4 years of service in the Navy college is looming right around the corner. Do I focus on my passion and get an art based degree or do I play it safe and go for engineering and keep my loves on the side? Do I take a risk or cheat myself? I don't know. I know that 'starving artist' isn't a euphemism and I know that the economy is rough and if I can't even get off my ass to crank out and finish something that I know I love with all my heart, how am I going to convince others to take a trip through the worlds and with the characters I have created? Thus the dilemma.

Here are those links (keep in mind there are tons of crap like this, these are just the few that seam to have the biggest impact on me):

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