It's been said before and will likely find itself repeated all over the blogosphere from every other aspiring freelance game designer, but what the fuck, eh? Being able to balance your workload with your personal life is a significant key to your success. And last week was a major test of mine.
For details, wander over to this link and then come on back. (P.S. I'm still not going into any details on these personal issues, but I will say things are in full swing to get back on track.) Those of you sticking with me and this blog may remember my current projects include the Adventurer gamebook, Fires Across the Plains, Killshot: Reloaded, the newly announced Optional Core, and the next issue of Killshot Files. Add to that my desire to submit something for Kobold Press' Valhalla Calling open adventure call and it's already a hefty workload for a relative newcomer. Plus I'm juggling weekly articles for Broken Ruler and Under the Hood, running online demos, and creating promotional videos for said projects.
Of course, there's no way I can continue with this topic without using some form of analogy to simulate the upcoming point, so here goes. A freelancer's life is much like carrying water in cupped hands. Too much and you'll lose half of it. Not enough and you'll never be able to quench your thirst. And to complicate matters, you have to keep a tight seal between your fingers and palms or else by the time you make it to your destination, there won't be anything left to drink.
While I've been dealing with serious personal issues, I have been reflecting a great deal on my current strategies and whether or not there are any major flaws in the forecast. More importantly, how can I arrange my work flow so that I can handle these last minute and unexpected changes, including additional work? (Hey, it can happen and a true professional would be prepared for such an event, right?) It's a process that's taken months of trial and effort, success and heartache, to get to a comfortable and reliable point. It's not perfect and remains constricted by other factors, yet has given me enough confidence to start taking on a decent workload.
This is where the topic gets a bit interesting and I want to stress a vital fact. Due to the accident, I have some severe problems with concentration, memory, and multi-tasking. This changes the "hand of water" analogy to carrying the water in only one hand. It brings up a valid question, one that has lead to some unexpected reactions: How the fuck do I expect to do the work with these problems? Read on and I'll tell you.