Don’t Burn Yourself Out

Matthew and I were leaving a writer’s meeting for the module we are both working on with Will.  As we are standing in Will’s driveway Matt says to me, “Don’t take too much on, don’t burn yourself out.”

Knowing Matt is a good friend and I know how he looks out for those around him I did a quick inventory of the things I am doing in life, and this is the list in no particular order and not including items like marriage, family, leisure time:

  • WombatCast
  • Protocol 5 company
  • Websites for WombatCast and the company
  • About to start RolePlayDNA podcast (with Ron, Vern, Ed, and Lee)
  • Trying to get another game podcast going
  • Writing a module for Savage Worlds

After listing all those items I wondered if Matt was correct.  Around December I decided that WombatCast needed a hiatus mostly because I was getting fried with doing the show.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the work, but my record of being on every episode of WombatCast still holds!  But December didn’t turn out to be much of a break because the stuff we had recorded to fill December with content didn’t work out so I still had to hustle around and get some interviews.  So my break was short lived.  But I’ll be honest, the time I wasn’t working on the podcast I was still thinking about it.  My burnout didn’t last long.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching since Matt made the burnout comment and I keep coming to the same conclusion:  For the first time ever I am doing work, all of it for free, that I really enjoy doing.  This is the kind of stuff that if one day someone pays me (please let this happen) I would feel like I had won some kind of cosmic lottery.

Every single one of those items I listed is a thing I would love to do for a living.  Right now I do them out of the love of doing them.  In fact I flirt with the idea of taking on more projects, just so I can get the experience and make in roads with people in industries that might want to hire me one day (I work for cheap).

I think for the first time I could give you a few answers about what I want to do when I grow up.  I could never answer that question before because all the normal jobs sounded horrible to me.  But writing a module for a game sounds like good work to me.  Podcasting is just fun.  Giving people a website where they can do creative things, that is just awesomesauce.

Will I need breaks?  Hell yes!  But would I quit my day job to do these things for the rest of my life?  Just tell me where to sign.  Is it quite possible I am doing all this and none of it will ever make me a dime?  Yeah…quite possibly, but I am ok with that.  For now it gives me work I can be proud of, and that is payment in itself.

-Justin