Ooh, this is where I would put one of those cheeky “is this thing on” jokes, or maybe a meta-humor reference to making such a joke.
Blogging has always been tough for me, even when blogging was the hip and cool thing to do. I have a half-dozen very fancy bullet journals and diaries and little notebooks that deserve to belong to someone more keen to record their daily thoughts. However, I want to try and reach out to anyone who cares to read this.
I’ve often read outpourings of developer honesty during the making of projects I care about. I’d often see the term ’emotional roller coaster’ used. Before starting this project, I really thought I understood what it meant. After all, I have my Bachelor’s degree. I know the stress of deadlines, and I have done the slow grind toward a distant goal. I know thrilling highs and crushing lows.
What I didn’t understand before starting is how the process of presenting your creative passion to the world puts you in a vulnerable place that you then spend every moment in. I am a fairly anxious person on the best of days, and the uncertainty of all this has weighed on me heavily. What will you all think of The Delver’s Guide to Beast World when it’s released? Will there be anyone in the seats when my work hobbles out on stage to give its solo? These questions repeat in my mind all day.
Another thing I didn’t understand is my own reaction to getting unsolicited support. Throughout the process of making this thing real, there have been so many people who have reacted with enthusiasm. At first, I was able to come up with excuses for why they acted this way. ‘Oh, that’s a personal friend,’ I told myself. ‘That’s a friend of a friend. This is an artist who is trying to get commission work, so their support isn’t sincere.’ During my worst days, these excuses still creep up in my mind.
However, these excuses have thinned out. People have come from every corner of the internet to take a look at what we’re doing here. Every new person who expresses some interest in the project leaves me with this energy and motivation that I didn’t know existed before I started all this. It’s what keeps me coming back to my desk on the days when I’m filled with doubt otherwise.
These two conflicting energies, uncertainty and support, have become a filter for every setback and every achievement on the road so far. Minor inconveniences kill me on some days, because what if this is the first domino that dooms all this work to obscurity? Conversely, when things fall into place and we make new friends in this space, I’ve never felt more like I belonged somewhere. When it goes right, this experience is gratifying on a level I don’t have a word for. I can foresee some disappointments or successes, but because of the vulnerable place in which I live, I can almost never foresee exactly how they’ll affect me.
It’s a real emotional roller coaster, I tell you.
What I do know is that this is silly book is important to me. It’s melodramatic to say, but to speak my voice in this way feels like a culmination of what I’ve spent my life doing until now. Win or lose, popularity or obscurity, I am glad to have tried at this. Soon it’ll be available, and you can decide for yourself whether the ideas worth your attention. In the meantime, I hope you’ll come on the rest of this journey with me. You make it all the better.
Long live love, delvers.