On Impossible Standards, Failure & Success

It’s been a very long few weeks.

If I’m being honest, it’s been a very long few months.

It all started with some fairly large misses on my end on the production of Tiny Dungeon 2e. In fairness to myself, I’m working two jobs, while conducting a job hunt.

But fairness to myself isn’t something I’m good with. That’s just an excuse.

I screwed up. And then I screwed up on something else (a few somethings). And then tonight, again. It feels like a trend lately. And when I mess up, I start to read into conversations through the lens of failure. It’s almost impossible to get around it. Every email is a job I’m losing, every conversation is someone wanting to quit working with me.

Logically, I know that it’s a byproduct of two cons in 6 weeks, two ongoing jobs, two ongoing fulfillments for Kickstarters, and no breaks and no vacations.

I know that GKG has a pretty good reputation and most of our customers like us. At least I think so. Most people would call my career at this point successful. I’m really good at ignoring bad reviews. But my own mistakes? Not so great. I mostly feel like a failure.

I can’t remember the last time I felt recharged and ready to go.

But like I said. I’m not good at fairness to myself. I hold the work I do in the game industry to a very high standard. I mean, the idea of asking folks to give me money for a game is based on a level of ego that I have to have, and I’m asking them to trust me. I take that very seriously. Trust is a sacred and important thing.

So when I mess up, I take it hard. Very hard. I don’t like messing up, and I especially don’t like making mistakes I feel are stupid.

Self-care and self-forgiveness are hard. I’m very aware of my weakness, especially as they relate to bipolar. What I’m bad at is letting stuff go when I make mistakes and failure hits.

I’m not sure how to get over this hump. I realize I’m holding myself up to an impossible standard of no mistakes, and experienced and veteran companies make these same mistakes (or worse ones), but that doesn’t feel better. I’m not them. I’m me. And I made the mistakes.

I don’t have some grand illuminating point to this. I don’t have some solution or reference, or quip that’ll fix it. I wish I did. But I know doesn’t work that way.

I do have a few days off where I’m not bringing any electronics, no work, just quiet, the wife, books and movies, and recharging myself.

I hope it helps. I need something to work here. Cuz I feel like I’m not.

2 thoughts on “On Impossible Standards, Failure & Success

  1. You’re the standard to which I aspire as a game designer and publisher. If anyone in our industry deserves a little leeway, it’s you. You and the missus fly down here for a few days of fine cigars, aged whiskey, grilled steaks, and some sweet gaming!

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