|Actually listening to your own good advice: Priceless.|
[WARNING: Personal Post. Proceed with Caution]
There are days when writing is akin to cycling up a steep hill towing a large trailer full of bricks: slow, painful and potentially dangerous for anyone in your wake. A lot of that has to do with expectations: not what your audience is anticipating from your latest insights, but what you consider is acceptable. Most days, it must be said, I write about a game in which my emotional investment is very obvious. Then there are the moments, like today, when I know full well as soon as I call up the 'Create Post' screen I'll be at a total loss for words. Nothing's changed with the game since yesterday: the problem is me.
It's not that I'm hung up on the lack of weapon, or the grinds, or any of the other various niggles that have haunted of late. These things are all part of what the game has become, and although they frustrate me they are not enough to make me throw up my hands and stop playing. However I should admit, in the interests of full disclosure, that there was a bit of a flounce a few weeks ago: a proper 'screw this I'm off' moment. I have previously established that playing the stroppy teenager is something I'm really bad at and should be avoided at all costs. Although it would be easy to blame the game for what's afflicting me, that's not the reason. I know what it is, and you will be pleased to know I'm not about to launch into an in-depth dissection of my psyche.
When you write about something, whatever it is, there also needs to be a level of emotional investment. If there isn't people will soon see through your game and expose you for the fraud you are. Most people, when they fall out of love with something, simply stop talking about it: others will go down the path of destructive hatred... there are lots of options. Personally, writing has always been about making me happy, because I realised long ago that mattered far more than the business of getting other people to do that job for me. I am notoriously difficult to please, after all. I'd never really given thought to the possibility that my writing COULD have an effect on others, but I know now that it can. That in turn has inspired me to try and extend my reach, and I think it is fair to say that without the events of the last 18 months I would be considerably less of a person than I know I've become. I have a great deal to thank writing for.
However, what is more important than your subject matter is the motivation to keep people reading and hold interest, and in that regard I feel of later I've been letting you guys down. I've let my irritation with the little things cloud the bigger picture. What I really need to do is stop worrying about everything as much as I know I do and just try and relax into this new year with my own advice in my ears: everything you need is here to make you happy. If that is something you can attain then your happiness will show through in what you write, and that will be enough. It may seem pretty basic stuff to those of you (like my husband) whose never had to grasp issues like personal motivation or struggled with self-image before. Needless to say I know I'm not alone in that regard.
Things could be far, far worse than they are, and it is easy to forget that fact when you're at the bottom of a hole you've dug yourself. What you need is the love of people who care about you, gloriously cold and sunny mornings, the understanding that this moment will never happen again and that the knowledge that best motivation never comes from without, but always from within. Therefore, I'd like to apologise for the interruption in 'normal' service: if you could bear with me while I find my smile again, I'd really appreciate it. Hopefully it won't take long at all.