Finding Inspiration

Inspiration is a wonderful thing, when paired with determination, hard work, knowledge and passion it can lead it amazing results.  It can lead to the creation of amazing art and amazing products.  If you’ve been reading the past few posts I’ve written you’ll know that right now I’m working at teaching myself programming.

I’m doing this partly because there is a videogame I want to make, it’s going to be primarily story driven and will be a fusion of gaming and a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel.  I want to experiment with a new medium.

I’m also learning to program because I want to get more involved in various cryptocurrency communities and because I want to build something that can help people.  I’m enjoying learning something new.

It’s hard though, I’ve never felt this lost and stupid in a long time.  I am following along with a few quality books and I’m enrolled in an online boot camp but I find myself still getting stuck and having a hard time wrapping my head around stuff.  It’s pretty new to me and when I hit these points where I get totally lost I get a little discouraged, that is where I find inspiring people.

The game “Stardew Valley” is an indie darling, with pretty huge sales and a loyal fan base.  I own a copy and have to say that I enjoy playing it every now and then (it’s actually pretty addictive).  It was on a bunch of top ten lists at the end of 2016 and really is a great, massive and deep game.  What is even more impressive is that it was built from the ground up by one person.

This solo Indie dev, Eric Barone, not only built the game, he did the sound, music and artwork.  He worked ten hour days for over four years to launch the game and refine it to what it is.  The amount of work and risk he put into something he believed in is inspiring.  Spending four years out of school, living on a shoestring budget while working on a complex project that could fail takes a special kind of person.  The game is silly and light with surprising depth, but the amount of work that went into it is nothing to laugh at.

So I find inspiration in Eric Barone, and in other successful independent developers.  I know that for every success story there are thousands of failures you never hear about but it still gives me a little bit extra drive.  I just wish I could believe in myself enough to actually take the risks they took.  I wish I had started down this path sooner.

Stephen King

I do the same thing when I need a little motivation to keep writing.  Most authors have amazing stories similar to Eric’s.  Stephen King was working part time and living in a mobile home, J.K. Rowling was an unemployed single mother, most authors start this way.  I look to where successful people started to get inspired.  Most successful people started as failures, and all of them failed along the way.  I need to remember that as I embark on this new adventure while still working on my old one.

J.K Rowling

The one thing that sets me apart from these successful people though is that I don’t believe in myself.  I think if you read this blog on the regular, or if you follow me on Twitter, you can see that.  I can’t take the kind of risk these people took because in the back of my mind I know I will fail.  I’m not scared to fail, I just know, with 100% certainty that I will fail if I take a chance on myself.  So I keep everything hedged, I keep my job and spend my free time writing and learning.  It makes the process slower but at least I won’t end up destitute.  It’s not for fear of failure that I do this, it’s because I know for me failure is the only possibility.  I keep trying, I just can’t put all my eggs in one basket.  You wouldn’t try to fly by jumping off a cliff.

I try to draw on the confidence these successful people had and I can’t.  I do try though, and that’s why I keep at these things.  That’s why I sacrifice all my free time for these things.  Not because I believe I’ll succeed but because I’ll hate myself if I never even try.  I guess that’s a start.

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