What I’ve been up to: 8th Julyfeatured

Just before I left Failbetter, our editor, who’d been a long-time freelancer before she joined Failbetter, cautioned me about the freelancer’s disease. “You will,” she said, “end up with more work than you can comfortably handle, because you’ll worry about the future. It’ll happen. Don’t try to stop it, just prepare for it.”

I’m trying hard to prove her wrong, but I haven’t really done so yet. My chats with other freelance / consultancy types suggests this is a thing, especially when you’ve recently given up a salary. I can live indefinitely on my stored grain, but every time a possible project lead falls through I worry, and every time one comes through, I worry again – that I’m not going to have enough time to work on my own projects. I imagine the oscillations will slow and I’ll calm the hell down. But any advice is welcome.

In the meantime:

  • My Eurogamer piece is about the misery of choice and the further misery of loss of choice. 
  • Inevitably, Cultist Simulator has gone from being a tiny quick project to a small project. It’s still a Javascript prototype rather than, like, a thing I can sell. I’m going to try resisting the temptation to let it turn into a medium project. I just want something out there so I can iterate. It’s turned into less of a pure incremental idle-game, and more into something combinatory.
  • I have a chunk of project that I mentioned last week for a favourite developer that I am waiting on tenterhooks to talk about, when their marketing dude/ss gets back from holiday.
  • I’m on the Advisory Board of the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation.
  • I ran a movie night for Failbetters and others. Why do I think you would care? Because this was strategy. I’m an introvert who’s worked from home before, and it may be that you are, or aspire to be, something similar. I remember last time how I let my natural tendency to solitude curl me into a little ball of hyperefficient surly isolate silence, and I’m determined to keep lunching and hospitabling to resist that. I recommend it. I also recommend that you watch The Beast of Yucca Flats – but only in a crowdful of hooting enthusiasts to keep the mood in ‘so bad it’s good’ rather than ‘so bad it’s unwatchable’ territory; and that you should watch The Quiet Earth, a tiny, earnest, bleak, rather wonderful New Zealand SF film with a great soundtrack. Especially if you’re in a reasonably cheerful mood.

READING: Justin Cronin, City of Mirrors
WRITING: Cultist Simulator
PLAYING: Hadean Lands, Neon Struct
DRINKING: Tequila sour, garnished with a chilli

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