People ask me—even I ask me—how I am able to keep up my motivation for game-making, and how I make so much time for it.
Not scary in the way that it’s weird and eerie how I have more hours in the day than most people.
Not scary in the way that I’m neglecting important things to work on games.
It’s not even scary in the way that I’m paranoid of my games failing and falling on their faces.
To be fair, I am scared of all those things. But they don’t take anything away from me. The worry that my games will fail is always in the back of my mind. I constantly overfill my schedule and neglect schoolwork. And I do have more hours in the day. (I have about 4.6 more Earth-hours than you.)
Yet all these things don’t matter. They don’t matter at all to me, and they don’t motivate me nor demotivate me. It’s just background noise.
It’s scary in the way that I’m afraid I won’t be myself.
I’m scared of being consumed. I do not want to be another web developer, making websites for products and services I do not care for. I know I can, and that I can get a comfortable, somewhat relatively luxurious life. Hopefully this doesn’t sound entirely too self-indulgent and narcissistic, but I am completely certain my skills can get me a high paying job in the tech industry.
But I don’t want to.
I’m afraid of being that person. That’s not me. There’s something carnal in my little brain that screams every time I consider going down that path. It’s not a bad path, not at all! I am not criticizing anybody who works in that line. But it’s not for me. It’s not for me. And that’s fine! It’s not for me. I want to make games.
It’s scary, the fact that I could be forced to stop making games. People ask me, “Do you make any money off your games?” No. I’ve made precisely one dollar and fifty cents, from advertising money off GameJolt. Zero copies of Zarvot have been sold. Zero copies of anything I’ve made have been sold. My meager income comes from teaching workshops and middle schoolers. You do not go into game development for the money. You don’t go in it for money, for women, or men, for fame, or for altruistic reasons.
You go into games because you love games.
(Okay, fine, you can go into games for altruistic reasons. There are lots of awesome games that better society!)
My motivation comes from this fact. I don’t want to do anything else. Other things are not for me. Sorry—maybe they’re for you, but not for me. We can have preferences, right? To be absolutely clear, I’m extremely grateful for the amount of opportunity offered me, and am not denouncing any other field of work. The very fact that I am able to even try and do games is something I am immensely grateful for.
When you figure out something is a thing you want to do, you can make time for it. Sorry if you actually read the whole way, expecting something more revelatory. That’s the bottom line. If you love it enough, you can make time for it. Barring extreme situations of course, such as if you are homeless and starving, anything you love enough will get time from you. This applies to everything in life.
The thing is, I believe in most situations, a “lack of time” is a terrible, lazy, and unimaginative excuse. You can always make time. You can always make time for the ones you love. Do not tell me you don’t have time to do what you love. I will be upset with you, and try to convince you otherwise. If you don’t have time for it, you don’t love it. If you don’t love it, maybe it’s not for you.
If a beautiful man/woman wanted to go on a date with you, would you say you were too busy? A date is at least two hours! You could work through at least three CodeAcademy lessons in two hours.
You have time. Giving time to the things you love. If you don’t want to give time to it, you don’t love it.
Again, other things can take priority over this… if you are in a serious situation, such as lacking funds, or issues are arising, this advice obviously does not apply to you. I know some of us are legitimately very very busy, supporting family members and dealing with situations that seem to be spiraling out of hand. I’m very sorry if it is happening to you. Please keep at it, you’re doing a good job.