Double Vision and Contest Motivation
All of us live in a busy world (whether we’re a part of it or not is another matter, for the purposes of our discussion, let’s presume you do). When juggling a lot of projects, it is important to do two things and do them well. What, might that be? You must take into consideration both the broad view and apply laser-like intensity to particular items as needed. Let’s see how the two intertwine, shall we?
The broad view is necessary whether you’re working on one project or multiple projects. You have to take the holistic view and see how all the disparate parts work together. Will Eric be turning in Ravaged Earth materials at the same time Dave turns in an Old School Fantasy adventure? What are the potential obstacles to overcome? You don’t have to be negative, but it’s essential to efficient workflow to eliminate any potential logjams early on. Prioritization and common sense are critical at this juncture. Which one is coming out first does not always predicate what should be looked at first. A larger project is going to take longer to review, plus it’s more likely to require edits and rewrites (sometimes extensive). These have to be factored into the overall equation. On the other hand, you don’t want to have people sitting idly by awaiting something and then be hit by everything all at once. While I’m taking about managing multiple people, this same sense can be applied to one project. You can break it down into component parts, such as introductory text, rules, setting materials, and the GM Section (which can be further subdivided down into orientation, adventure generators, tips, plot point, adventures, and the bestiary). Once you do a number of these, you’ll be able to recite the parts as though it’s your favorite litany. Organization is key to getting things done, regardless of scale.
On the other hand, it’s essential to be able to view things at the molecular level, to really know each part of the equation, so you can most accurately evaluate your allocated time frames. In simpler terms, you need to have a sense of how long it’s going to take to do something and do it well. You need to know all the people on your team and trust them implicitly. There is no time for hesitation. You must be fearless. You will do what needs to be done and you will do it to the best of your ability. Don’t think. Act. Thinking is not going to get you where you want to be. That’s the broad view stuff. The narrow view is mastering technique and digging up the words and planting them on paper. Make them your own.
Putting this “double vision” into practice creates a synergistic effect. You have your hand on the pulse of one thing, thereby you have your hand on the pulse of everything. These do not guarantee success, but you can rest easily knowing you have done everything within your power to prime the pump for success. Some folks think certain people are lucky–they happened to get a recording contract, they happened to land a television show, or they landed a writing gig. It’s not just a matter of knowing people (though nepotism is alive and well in the RPG industry), you have to be able to deliver. You have to be ready to seize an opportunity. You have to prepare yourself. Dedication and preparation can help you achieve your goals. I’ve said this before in other ways, but I want you to know your pedigree doesn’t matter. It’s your ability, right now, in this moment, which can help you achieve your goals. If you want to write, write.
If you want us to see your material, don’t tell us, maybe next contest. What if this is the only one? What if we have more? It’s better to get your stuff before our eyes. It’s better to show me what you can do now instead of some hypothetical future. Some of you say you’re not familiar with the source material. Get familiar. It’s a one sheet. This is like bumping into me in the elevator and giving me a pitch, but better, because you know I’m coming and you know I’m in the mood to see what you can bring. If you don’t excel the first time, big deal. You aren’t going to be nuked for having something substandard. I’m not going to not like you. I’ll respect the fact you’ve tried; in fact, the whole team will be delighted to see what you can come up with. Who knows? It could be awesome. Or we might run another contest down the road and remember your name from a previous (this) contest–we’ll respect your dedication and we can see if you’ve improved or not. If you continue to write, you have to get better. That’s the way life is with pretty much anything you want to do.
Those are my words for the day. The deadline for the contest is Friday. I believe in you. Believe in yourself.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!