Welcome back to GGAL (doesn’t that sound cool, makes me feel all established and whatnot). Anywho, today, what I’d like to talk about is projects, or more specifically, how to get into them. Now, I’m not a guru and I definitely haven’t taken a year out to master the art of productivity. On the contrary, about five minutes before I started writing this post I was actually dabbling in a bit of Darkest Dungeon, which I can’t recommend enough (though it is harder than… on second thought I’m not gonna finish that joke). Now being in my final year of grad school, I’ve got a metric ass load of projects that I’m gonna have to do and it kinda makes me wanna cry just thinking about it, but that group therapy sesh is for another day (or another post). But what’s worse than any individual project is the part that comes right at the beginning; starting. It sucks. Like I don’t know about you, but I am definitely the kind of guy who would want to spend an hour getting the right font just to avoid actually getting to work. Now if I were just blessed with incredible focus or were able to convince my doctor to give me some Adderall then none of this would be a problem. In fact, rather than talking to you about my trails of procrastination (or just procrastinating by playing Trails, I’ve done that too), if I were HYPER-PRODUCTO MAN (trademark pending), then I would just write a really demeaning post about how great I was and that you should be more like me. But unfortunately, I am not HYPER-PRODUCTO MAN, I am just man man (Manbearpig for short).
So rather than tell you how to be perfect at starting projects, I thought I might share with you a practical example of a project that I have started; hint hint, it’s looking at you. That’s right! I’m talking about GGAL (not some creepy spyware that’s staring at you through your webcam, I realise how that last sentence could be misconstrued). See, while I may have only just written my first post a couple of weeks ago, I actually started the WordPress page about a month before that. Back then I was feeling this incredible wave of enthusiasm to start my own writing project and so decided to create GGAL. But then the Power Star’s influence on me petered out, and all that was left was this unmotivated kid/Italian plumber if we’re continuing that reference. You see, after the excitement was gone, my mind began to flood with thoughts: it’s too hard, you’ve never done anything like this before, you won’t be any good at it.
But don’t worry kids! This story has a happy ending (or beginning, or whatever). And in order to illustrate how I got out of this pre-writing rut, I would like to turn your attention to Exhibit A: a game so, brutal, so unforgiving, but most importantly, so much fun; Dark Souls. That’s right! You don’t really believe that a blog with GIT GUD in the title was never gonna talk about the granddaddy of kick-your-ass-gaming, do you? Now, why exactly is Dark Souls such a good example of how to start projects? My answer is twofold; firstly, the game itself represents this journey so well. You start as no one. You may be unkindled, or perhaps even ashen, but you are definitely not a hero. There was nothing predetermined to say that you are guaranteed for success. Everywhere you reach, you do so through grinding and pushing on, even if it requires a bonfire or fifty along the way. Everything you gain is gotten through beating enemies that you may have believed you weren’t tough enough to beat. The second reason and the one that truly influenced me to start writing is the fact that as gamers, we dive in head first more than we may realise. I knew that Dark Souls was gonna be tough before I played it (it has “prepare to die” on the box for crying out loud) and yet I still played it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been stricken with “paralysis by analysis” before starting a project or essay, and yet when it came to games, it felt so simple; just play it. And yeah, I died. A lot. But it didn’t matter, I learned to Git Gud at those games by playing, and I’m going to Git Gud at this blog by writing. Sometimes, we as gamers just need to remember what we’re good at, getting stuck in and pushing play.
But that’s all from me for this week, GG everyone and remember to always Praise the Sun!
Oh before I forget! There’s a rumour, on the Twittersphere! GGAL is now on twitter! Follow me @gitgudatlife