Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Game designers, publishers, and writers: Treat yourself!

Map by: James Lee
For: Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock

Map by James Lee from the soon to be released 5th edition adventure,
Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock.  (Early version of the map)

You wrote your book, illustrated your comic, created a great game, funded your project, managed your printing and production, marketed your product to garner attention and now people are reading it and/or playing it.  Congratulations!

Your work is far from over, as you'll be fulfilling orders (or overseeing such), promoting, managing the money (and taxes that follow the money), and going through all those processes which govern the business end of your work.  In other words, you're managing your sales pipeline and working a LOT.

During all this excitement it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed.  The problem this causes is that it can discourage you from creating new projects.  After all, who wants to add to their work load?  Stop!  Don't let the specter of more work dissuade you.  More work simply means that more people are reading your material, playing your games, and that you're making more money.  Don't be a one hit wonder.  Take a moment to recharge your energy, and to encourage yourself and your creative process.

The following are some things you can do, which I have found useful in re-energizing my creativity and in encouraging me to step up and tackle the next project:

1) Personal promotional appearances:  Book signings and speaking engagements (small panel or whole room).  It is great fun to discuss the work of writing with other writers, to talk about games and game theory with other game designers, and to encourage others who are aspiring to produce their work.  Take some time to speak with others who are experiencing the same labors you are.  Whether you develop a sense of camaraderie, friendly rivalry, learn, or mentor others; you'll find that the socializing your experience is quite refreshing. 

Making these appearances can also be quite productive for your business as well.  By building community, making connections, and providing the benefit of your own experiences you can learn others.  I would also encourage you to assist those in your community in their endeavors where possible.  You may have noticed that I maintain a link to featured crowd funding projects on this page now.  Doing so has yielded a tangible benefit to each of those projects by helping to expand awareness.  {As a side note, I want to convey my gratitude to those of you who have supported these campaigns. I don't receive any financial incentive for this.  It does benefit those creators whom I network with and there is a certain amount of reciprocal aid from those people as they share my project links around too.}

2) Physical activity:  Take a walk, go to the gym, or otherwise undertake some form of physical action you enjoy.  This doesn't have to be a life changing exercise.  It is healthy to get up from your desk, get your muscles moving, to take a break from your work.  Of late, I've fallen into the trap of toiling away at my desk.  Don't do that to yourself.  Get up and go for a bit.  I like to play with my children until they go to sleep then work after they are down.  If you have children this is a good option, but do make certain you are getting some physical activity through the day too.  It will help clear your mind and reinvigorate you.

3) Invest in yourself and your business:  This is very important.  Once you have revenue coming in from your product, use the money purposefully.  Do you need a new camera for your podcasts and social media activity?  Do you need a scale for your mailings?  Is there a tool or software that can increase your productivity, streamline your operations, or otherwise alleviate some of the burden of work?  If so, invest in it!

Hard work will get you far.  Working efficiently and completing your work with less strain, cost, and labor will afford you the ability to do more.  Whether you are investing in a better scanner/printer, subscribing to a fulfillment service, or otherwise optimizing your operation; you will improve your long term market ability by investing in your operation.

4)  Take a break:  Make time for family and friends.  Take a day off to rest and recharge.  This will help you to maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life.  Don't let your work overshadow your happiness.  You owe it to yourself, and to your fans/customers, to have joy in your life.  It WILL show in your work product. 

Take care of yourself, treat yourself, and live a little.  Use your time and money wisely to grow your business in an efficient way.  Refine your processes to ease your work load.  Make a point to enjoy yourself so you don't burn out.  Use these simple points to keep yourself motivated and working toward your goals.


Thank you for joining me today on my adventure into writing, game design, and self-publishing.

I am presently working to complete the fulfillment of the Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock  Kickstarter campaign.  The map above was created for that book and the image is used with permission and under contract.  All rights are reserved.

In May of 2018 (next month) I plan to launch the KickStarter campaign for The Steel Road, a source book containing fifty exotic weapons from far flung parts of the world.  Each weapon is illustrated, described, and contains an illustration and description of an enchanted "legendary" version of each.  I hope you'll check that on KickStarter when it goes live and support that fantastic book!

As always your comments and questions are most welcome.

I hope you'll join me again next time!

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