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The Creators Curse

This blog post is almost perfect. But I can improve this section just a little bit. And rewrite this other one. The same happens in all creative work and it's one of the greatest pitfalls of becoming an indie developer.
 

It's Perfect but...

This blog post is almost perfect. But I can improve this section just a little bit. And rewrite this other one. The same happens in all creative work and it's one of the greatest pitfalls of becoming an indie developer.

 

Our intrinsic desire for Perfection

Most of us human beings occupy ourselves with some sort of creative process. As such we grow emotionally attached to them. This leads to ever increasing requirements. We end up stalling the process in our pursuit for Mastery. 

It's not just you. We all share the same flaws. I went back and edited the same text ten times, I checked the spelling, I also did a minor research on how should I phrase or compose quite a few things. And I still have the urge to reformat and redo half of what I've got. And I'm only 144 words in already and I even spent the time to find a website to count them. I want to create the most helpful articles and the most rewarding games. I apply myself. And most of the time I overdo it and it starts pulling me back.

Realizing the problem

Producing great content with high value is great, so what could go wrong with making it better? 

We often fail to realize that even though we have great ideas and our products have the brightest future, that is just us speculating about the stuff we create. And we have a certain affinity for our creations - after all we gave our heart and soul for them. And that brings us to one important issue - other people never look at our creations the same way as we do. 

 

Share your creativeness

We have different opinions. And we may never be able to look outside our box unless we get an outside opinion - Another developer, a tester, a reader, a player or ten or one thousand. And the more we keep the project in the beta stages of our mind or on our desktop PC or even inside the small indie company - the less output we get on it. Getting out there is a good thing, getting outside opinion - unbiased opinion, unbiased opinions. The more, the better.

Some people will like the idea. Some will hate it. Some will have ideas of how to improve on their own. But overall we will see the fruits of our efforts - good or bad. Nevertheless the result - it's all experience and experience could be used for improvement. But improvement based on several opinions, not just ours.

And sometimes improvement isn't the way to go. Sometimes ideas are bad. Sometimes they simply can't be done this way. Sometimes they somewhat reached their limit and could hardly grow without dimming the core concepts. At these times we should let go. Weight the odds and quit improving something bad, while we could spend our time creating something entirely new and better.

I know it's never absolute, but usually because of that reasoning we fail to do creative tasks and we get stuck up on a bad idea or an impossible project or something that generally won't work for one reason or another.

 

What could we do
 
There are several ways we could get out of a creative rut.
 
For our games we should always remember - we are creating Games. Games. Not game engines. Pick the best tools you could, find the best engine and best plugins. The best IDE. But after all that don't try to remake the whole engine because one button or small thing doesn't suit you. Don't try to do everything alone to make it perfect. Use plugins. Do not try to rewrite all the plugins so all the code would be up to your standards. After all you want to create a game, yes? So do that. Create many games. Focus on quantity.
 
Focus on quantity - the more you make the better the overall quality will go. Focusing on the quality will drag you towards the planning for the perfection rut. And it goes nowhere while actually focusing on creating More will absolutely improve the quality of your creations. Remember Practice Makes Perfect - not planning. 

Plan ahead - Spending all your time on planning is bad, but spending none at all is worse. Create a good plan in the beginning. Than follow it. You can tweak it, but don't redo the whole thing 15 times. Create a set of goals and deadlines and focus on following those. Completing goals is a great morale boost - do it! Follow schedule and use the lability of your human brain in your benefit. We are great at following schedules. We are great at having habits. Make habits and schedules.

Make Small Steps - The smaller the steps the better. The more steps you finish - the better confidence and the better you will feel about yourself. Make everything manageable, so you will avoid seeking shelter at perfecting some working thing while running away from all the tasks you have to do. Make a deadline for each step and try to keep it. Get in the habit of doing that and you will do great.
 
Make it Public - The more people know, the more people will help you. You will not want to disappoint them. You will not want to look bad for them. Some of them will support you. In every way possible keeping things for yourself is bad. Share. No one is going to steal your magnificent ideas and you can only benefit from sharing with other.
 
The greatest Reward
 
Complete your creation! After finally seeing your creation completed it will be the greatest feeling of all time. The more you get there, the more you will be able to experience that! And even though it needs bugs 233 and 321 fixed pronto, they're not that important - it's complete. You can patch and upgrade it but this one is done. And it's awesome. Someone liked the status or sent you a positive feedback - it can be intoxicating. Get there.


Good Luck!
-JD

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