Inspiration vs Distraction

Posted by Louis Brandy on 14 December 2009

When the bug of inspiration bites, what do you do? Do you drop the old project and go for the new shiny one? Or do you ignore the urge?

I am one those of people who is constantly switching between my personal projects. I will work tirelessly on project A, and then on a certain Tuesday when the wind is blowing just right, I’ll suddenly lose all desire for project A and find a sudden and insatiable urge to work on project B. When inspiration strikes, it tends to be very difficult for me to ignore. My hard drive is consequently littered with half-starts, rough outlines, notes, and various ideas, bad and good, in various stages of completion.

This brings up the interesting question as to what the preferred state of affairs is. Should I be more disciplined and learned to ignore the grass-is-always-greener syndromes, or should I go with my own fickle whims? Am I perpetually distracted by these flirtations of inspiration, or is this, in some way, healthy? Given that I almost always chose to drop the old clunker and work on the new thing, you could certainly read into my character quite a bit, if you wanted. Maybe I am too fickle. Maybe I am easily distracted. Maybe I’ll never actually accomplish any of these things. Maybe. I see it another way.

Most projects get exactly one burst of effort before permanent abandonment. Some problems though, I find myself coming back to time and again. I view this particular mechanism as healthy. It’s a natural selection of my ideas. May the fittest survive. This is why I don’t really feel guilty for dropping yet-another half-started project and starting something new. If the idea survives a few months off, it’s probably worth keeping. If it doesn’t, so be it.

Embrace the distraction

So in that vein, I’ve put on hold several slightly boring personal projects for a shiny new one. I’m writing a game. Oh this will end well. I’ve spent the last three weekends tearing apart the UDK to learn how it works and over that time I’ve put together this spectacularly early prototype:


So here’s to another distraction.

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