Earlier this week, I hosted the weekly Gamestorming livestream with my lead artist and guest, Vika Fajardo. She shared some of the key aspects of finding success on creative projects, and one she emphasized really resonated with me: enjoying the journey.
Too often, we get stuck in the moment of a really neat journey. This past week, Vika and I had a complication with our small print run of cards, delaying our submission. We’re so excited to get our board game, Gamestormers, out into playtesters’ hands, and this was another setback on our timeline. It was frustrating.
However, her comment about enjoying the journey made me reflect on how far the game has come. When I made the first prototype of Gamestormers, it was on a dry erase board, had way too many pieces, and featured an absurd number of cards and unique abilities. My wife generously played it and gave me some much-needed feedback. Now, Gamestormers is a much more streamlined, simple, and better game printed on premium card stock with laminated playmats, stickered dice, and no more dry erase game board (thank goodness).
Sloane is no different. She is beginning her teething, and so she gets fussy easily. Even after a number of calming teething toys and plenty of snuggles, Sloane can be restless. In addition, she’s begun rolling in her sleep, often waking herself up in the middle of the night.
Sure, these new developments are inconvenient, but when my wife and I reflect on how incredible the journey has been, it helps keep everything in perspective. Sloane still wakes up with a smile on her face when she sees us. The first time she laughed gave me absolute chills. And I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of her burying her head into my chest for a good cuddle.
Both parenthood and designing Gamestormers has been full of stressful, sleepless, and frankly humbling moments. But, if I step back and take the long view on each, the journey has been well worth the low points. The highs are so rewarding, and the lessons learned are invaluable. It really helps to look at the growth from the beginning to the current state, but I would also say that digging into those incredible memories is the best part of the journey.
If you can, consider the journeys you’ve finished, the ones you’ve just started, and the ones you’re on right now. What can you appreciate about each? Remember those facets when you hit a roadblock or a valley – it will help you keep your head up.