I write jokes for a living, I sit at my hotel at night, I think of something that's funny, then I go get a pen and I write it down. Or if the pen is too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain't funny.Mitch Hedberg
I spent a couple of months last year working on a small book. Now that the initial version is pretty much ready to go, I'm starting to struggle on getting it launched. I hate it and think it should just be deleted.
This follows on with a chat I had yesterday about game jams and maniac weeks - why do I find building games during jams easier than creating them over a longer period of time? I've written half a dozen games during jams, but haven't completed any other game projects outside of that.
A few different theories came up:
- Game jams force me to focus and cut out distractions. When time is limited to 48 hours there isn't really time to mindlessly browse the web or watch Just One More EpisodeTM.
- Jams force me to focus on one project for duration. I'm a project butterfly and often skip between them during the week. This gets worse as things get closer to completion and the inevitable "why did I ever think this was good?" thoughts start cropping up.
- Entering a jam forces me to stick with an idea and release it rather than squishing it because I think it's bad.
They're all valid theories, but #3 definitely hit close to home.
I'm not sure if I actually think these are bad ideas, or if I'm afraid to release something into the big, scary world. When you publish anything, there's always the risk that nobody will like it.
But if you never release it, you can guarantee nobody will like it. After all, how can someone like something they don't even know about?
As an aside, the initial idea for this post came in the shower about an our ago. In the time it took me to finish showering and dry my hair, I went from "that's something interesting to write about" to "what a terrible idea".