What the fuck am I doing? Oh right, I’ve decided to rewrite a nearly 400 page book using my rules… because I’m an idiot and like torturing myself. Why can’t I just be into self spanking or something easier? Nope- gotta do what the muse tells me to.
The other day I posted some random thoughts as to why I’ve decided to do this and today I wanted to go a little more in depth on shit because… I dunno, maybe others are going through it or will go through it and it’ll help to know someone else out there is feeling this way. Or maybe it’s ego. Fuck all.
This might be a longer post but I guess it’ll be therapeutic to get it out there.
Werkin’ Werkin’ Werkin’
So this is a two-fold issue here… First when I started writing my blog and working on Hubris, I was working as a receptionist at a hospice. Great company and it is what gave me my first taste of nonprofit work. I was there for 5 years and the job had many opportunities to write throughout my shift, read RPG blogs, etc. It was great.
Now, 13 years later, I don’t have as much time to do that shit. When I moved to Rochester, I was hired at an early childhood education and development center and ended up being promoted to Director of Operations within 6 months to a year (I can’t remember). It was a great organization for kids but the atmosphere was toxic as fuck and I worked about 60 hours a week under a paranoid and narcissistic Executive Director. Eventually I was hired at Ronald McDonald House Charities and oversaw the Household Sale (think Goodwill on steroids) and about a year and change in I was promoted to Director of Operations. Again- toxic as fuck environment with cliques and all that shit… Working 50-60 hours a week and all that. COVID provided a good opportunity for my boss and I found myself laid off. Luckily I was only unemployed for a week. I was hired as the Executive Director of the South East Area Coalition. So far I’ve had a wonderful time and am very thankful for the opportunity.
So what’s this got to do with everything..? As I’ve grown and gained bunches of experience and been promoted and all that adulting shit, my free/not exhausted and just need to zone out time has greatly diminished… and my writing time takes a hit.
Additionally, while I am extremely thankful for the experience I’ve gained at my first two jobs when I moved to Rochester as they have armed me for the future, they were not exactly enjoyable years and when I was laid off in September, the dam burst and every fucking thing I’d been suppressing and bottling up just kinda flooded out and I found myself facing PTSD, depression and anxiety.. I paralyzed at the thought of doing pretty much anything. Oh and I got the job at SEAC and had a bunch to learn (yay stress!)- but like I said- getting hired at SEAC has been a wonderful thing…
So yeah… Basically I FORCED myself to keep writing because I was using it as a crutch/coping mechanism and my perception of relevancy (more on this later) and I think mid-November the last dying ember of my passion for it went out…
My Pour Old Motherfuckin’ Bones
Basically I’ve been in pain for about the last 13 years. I’d go do the doctor and chiropractor and all of it had been treated as separate issues. About 4 years ago I finally challenged my doctor that this shit was all linked and I wanted to be tested for arthritis. We did and yup, I have it. I have psoriatic arthritis- and not localized in one spot, like in my knee, feet, or pecker… no no- I have it throughout my whole body. That’s right ladies, I’m quite the specimen of humanity that is PRIME for mating. Arthritis AND anxiety, hop on this sex train! Lol- why is my wife with me? Oh it’s because I’m delightful and we ain’t having kids, so shit’s good.
ANYWAYS- so I have arthritis, couldn’t walk more than a mile without my foot, knee, ankle or whatever swelling up and hurting. It hurt to do anything… and so I didn’t do anything. I’m in the worst shape I’ve ever been in and hate it… After tries with a few pills which did NOT agree with me and had horrible side effects, I got put on Embrel, which has helped immensely. Additionally I use weed for the pain and to ease some of the tension in my tendons, muscles, and joints. So that’s good- but I ain’t no Ernest Hemmingway… I’m not writing Old Man in the Fucking Sea when I’m stoned- so that’s also affected my writing motivation/creative juices. However, thanks to weed and Embrel, and not being in a toxic work environment, I’m healing. I’m working out finally- not feeling like a lazy/in pain piece of shit- so that’s doing wonders.
Disconnect And Social Media
Since the death of Google Plus, I’ve generally felt more of a disconnect with the gaming community. MeWe, Facebook, Twitter, Discord, Reddit, and a plethora of other social media sites saw a great nerd migration as G+ was being taken of life support… so I tried the ones listed (all at the same time) to keep DIY RPG Productions relevant and engage with supporters and all that and it was just… exhausting. I didn’t like most of the platforms and on some of them… met some real assholes.
Getting to the point where I could barely drum up the slightest fuck to give, I decided to nix using all of them except Facebook. And I HATE FB but it serves it’s purpose and the UI is the one I find the least annoying.
Then there is the constant pressure to engage audiences, be seen, and write shit at a break neck pace all to be current, viable, and relevant.
Speaking of Relevancy
Social Media companies pretty much have us by the preverbal balls don’t they…? People who post more frequently have a higher percentage chance of their content being seen. Additionally, posts that get more likes and/or use trigger words like, “Can you BELIEVE that they didn’t think of THIS!?” are seen more frequently as well… so what we have is millions of people constantly posting shit to be relevant and to be see because it is easier now than it has EVER BEEN to get exposure and highlight your craft/the shit you’re selling. But what I see more and more is “look at me look at me” type shit than actual conversations. Constantly enticing or begging people to follow, like, subscribe, comment, review, etc. because you need the metrics to move up the popularity ladder. Links to blogs, storefronts, deals and sales, Kickstarters, etc. “Oh I’m really sorry your mom died… Btw, if you check out my new Kickstarter, can you be sure to share it on FB?” I’m doing a gross over-exaggeration here, but I’ve experienced conversations that were in a very similar vein. And I’ll admit it- I KNOW I’ve been guilty of of doing the share train on all the various SM platforms… but I’m trying to be better about it.
One- pulling back and realizing that I honestly don’t fucking care about being relevant and learning exactly where I want DIY RPG Productions to be… I don’t need to be Goodman Games, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, or Tuesday Night Games.
Two- Not flapping my gums and waving my arms trying to pimp my shit as much. I’ll take the hit to my sales, popularity, or whatever the fuck it is just so I am not posting every little thing I do on every group I’m on… it’s fucking annoying, I’m being better about it, and sorry I got caught up in it. My posts will be limited to my personal FB page, Barbarians of the Ruined Earth group on FB. Occasionally I’ll post on the DCC and OSR community pages because they are fun groups and I love the games.
Note: I do plan to talk about this whole thing at greater length and it will most likely be a YouTube video just because I think it will be fun to shake things up.
Don’t Hate The Playa… Hate the Game (that’s still hip, right? I’m relevant!)
This was a weird one… but it happened so I guess I should bring it up. Around the time Matt Hildebrand had just finished the layout for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, Chris McDowall and David Black both announced new versions of their games (Into the Odd and The Black Hack)*. Within a few days of each of these announcements, I got emails and private messages (this was when I was still on a variety of social media networks) asking when I was going update my books with the new rules, which honestly stressed me out. I do this shit by myself in my free time and I barely have the time and energy to get new shit out let alone go back and update shit. And I don’t fault Chris or Dave in the slightest- their rules are fun and wonderful and if they want to update them, awesome! My concern was, I’d do the updates only to turn around a year or two later and have to update again…
So the weird part was when certain people got nasty with me when I said I wasn’t going to update Barbarians or DitNP. A couple said that I was stupid and it was bad for business. Another comment was something akin to, “I only play the newest version of a game as it’s the official version.”
Not gonna lie- that level of stupid hurt my brain… Amazed blood didn’t shoot out of my nose.
Anyways- I got enough random in my face comments or passive-aggressive comments that I was like fuck it. I don’t want to have to go through this shit every couple of years, so I started writing my own rules. Taking shit I like from all the various systems I’ve played and boiling it down into knock knock jokes so casual players could join in and not have to learn shit.
So with all the above stuff I’ve bitched about, I set to writing my rules, hating them, starting over, tweaking, testing, and sometimes crying under my bed where no one can hear my sadness… but after a year and change of development, I had a version people could look at for playtesting.
*Barbarians utilizes TBH and ItO for Death is the New Pink.
Dealing With The Same Shit We Are All Dealing With
COVID, Trump, overt, embolden white supremacists and extremists boasting about being racists and ignorant, an insurrection where said nutballs broke into America’s capital building, climate change, buildings collapsing, Trump (it was a LONG for years, ok?!), and more… if you’re breathing into a paper bag after reading that… it’s ok, just breathe and remember, “you’re doing great.”
So with the world being the wonderful dumpster fire it is mixed with all the stuff I mentioned, I got…
This is an interesting little video and dammit if I don’t have nearly every one of the symptoms.
So yeah… I’m burned the fuck out. But the good news is I’m getting better. I’m actually writing for the first time 9 months, I feel like I’m enjoying things. I feel like I want to write again and or fucking even just gaming. It’s been really nice to finally feel some semblance of being human again.
I’ve started writing the new version of Hubris and changing some stuff. I’ve got the base rules done, chargen, equipment, and the species. I will be running a Western Marshes style game in the Unsettled Expanse from time to time for peeps on Zoom for playtesting.
I also want to state for people that I plant to continue to support the original version of Hubris and DCC. Orcs! A High Octane Adventure! is coming out soon (a 3rd level module) and I plan to write more stuff. Also Kane Cathian and Donn Stroud have both started writing DCC Hubris stuff…. so if my new rules/version isn’t for you, the original will be there- just slightly different.
Kinda like how Prince John’s mole kept moving around in Robin Hood: Men in Tights…? yeah like that.
I plan to release dev blogs on the Hubris rewrite along the way.
Anyways, thanks for tuning in.