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Perfectionism vs Procrastination – how it affects our articles!

LTDR: I’ll be adding articles about ALL my hobby work on the website and working on them/updated them as I continue working on them.

I hope everyone has had a great weekend! Mine has been good, not a lot of hobby work but enjoyable all the same … my wife beat my daughter and I twice out of 3 games of Cluedo! Maybe we’ll play a wargame next time and see who’s the winner! Probably my daughter, she’s beat me the last two times we’ve played Tribal together, hehe.

Anyway, for a long time now I’ve really struggled with my hobby work versus vs ‘work’ work in relation to where and how I share things with people online. Do I post this on my RubbishInRubbishOut page, should I put in the KoD Community Group, what about the Axes & Ales Gaming Club, or that random group someone added me too?

I’m also hyper-aware of the lack of articles that are posted on the Knights of Dice page, something I posted about in October last year when I said we’ll be working on our articles (not a lot happened after that, hahaha) and I’m constantly saying to Scott “we need to take pictures all the time so I can write articles”.

I also know that my ADHD is worse than it’s ever been and my article completion vs start ratio is absolutely shocking … well my ‘start anthing/complete anything’ ratio to be precise! Consequently not a lot gets posted on the KoD blog on the website.  I just don’t have the time to sit down and work on one thing, and one thing only until it’s completed … there always seems to be 50+ things to do at the studio at the same time.  I know this is not the case, and it’s just that I’m very bad at prioritising and focusing but that is how it feels.  Thus, nothing gets posted because things take time to complete … and by the time I’ve completed it I can’t (or don’t think I can … we’ll get to this bit soon) write an article because I didn’t take pictures.

Something ‘clicked’ today though.  I realised that my work life and my hobby life are inextricably linked.  I’m one of those lucky and very fortunate people who have made (or is trying too at least!) a living from a hobby that they are passionate and excited about.  This certainly has it’s challenges but the two are the same, my hobby and my work.  Whilst I thought that me painting some Space Marines might not be related to Knights of Dice … it 100% is!  I haven’t painted a Space Marine for over decade, but all of a sudden I’ve finished the marines from the new Indomitus box set in 10 days (and here’s the kicker), and we’re now working on new terrain sets for 40k!

So all this got me thinking.  When I paint miniatures, sometimes (not all the time) I like to keep a record, or painting log on my RubbishInRubbishOut Facebook page.  As much for me as for anyone else.  If I need to be reminded how I painted something I know that the log is there and I can reference it.  Quite often those logs develop over time, as I work on those miniatures … I generally batch paint and don’t often complete things for quite some time, unless (like above) my ADHD is tripping and I paint 40 miniatures in a weekend with 4 hours sleep and update the log every hour!  As I make progress I snap a few pictures and update that post … and if I don’t update the post at least I’ve got some pictures somewhere.

Sometimes I share those logs to other groups on Facebook so that people who don’t follow my RIRO page can see that content and being completely honest, my ego can be boosted which motivates me to continue working on something.  Slight tangent here, but I read something the other day that was talking about how certain types of people (and it might be all people, I don’t remember) crave feedback, good or bad.  And that that feedback is what drives us to (ahhh .. I remember, it was about perfectionism!) continue striving and working harder.  Here in lies part of the problem (my problem specifically), is that I generally don’t post anything related to work (in this case Knights of Dice) unless I think it’s ‘perfect’.  Whilst I’ve posted a lot of un-edited, shot from the hip kind of photos over the years, I’ve got a hell of a back log of articles I started and never published because “I didn’t take a picture of this step, or that step” etc.  I don’t film videos because “there is noise in the background, or the light will change between this scene and that scene” etc.  I’ve tried telling myself for years that “it doesn’t matter, some content is better than no content” … but that doesn’t work.  I always think I need the next best thing … more lights, another camera for that extra angle, a different microphone setup because this one is too complicated etc etc.  All that has lead to is zero (or close to it!) things happening.  If I do want to post something that isn’t finished I usually post it on the KoD Community Group as that feels more ‘group’ orientate and ‘casual’ … it’s not the ‘hard professionalism’ of the main KoD page.

But I realised something today.  Years ago when my YouTube channel was in full swing … I very rarely made a complete tutorial in one video, unless of course if it was something simple and could be filmed and completed in an hour or two.  I can remember examples where I’d work on something, film and post some content and then come back to it.  Just like I do with my painting logs on my RIRO Facebook page.  Why don’t I do that here, on the Knights of Dice page?  Perfectionism?  What does it matter if an article or tutorial isn’t finished straight away … I can always come back to it and update the article/blog post as I make progress, right?

Coming back a few steps to what I was saying about my hobby work not being directly related to KoD.  As I said, it is, it 100% is.  After all, most of the ranges of terrain we have we’ve made are because either Scott or I wanted something for a game we played, or a new collection of miniatures we just got … or because it was something we were personally interested in!  This was a ‘eureka’ moment.  What does that mean?  It means this quandary I’ve had for many years (about where to post things) has been solved!  I post everything I do related to my miniature wargaming hobby right here on my own website!  And then if necessary or compelled to do so, I can share that on any page on Facebook I damn well like!  It solves so many problems for me … except of course my problem with the perception that everything I do here at Knights of Dice “must be perfect”.  After all, posting an incomplete article is an example of un-professionalism right?  Well no, it isn’t Viv.  All of a sudden, I get regular content for my website (which hopefully helps drive traffic and therefore sales), I get a place a can reference my work when I need to repeat something, and I can share my hobby (work or personal) with people on the internet!

Now it’s true, I start way more things than I finish and from a personal hobby perspective that’s perfectly fine … after all, that’s “my” stuff, it’s not really important to anyone else other than me.  But from a Knights of Dice perspective, it can be a bad thing.  I’ve probably got over 50 different MDF kits that I started working on, many very close to completion and then got distracted by something and never finished them!  So from that perspective (developing new products to sell so I can continue earning a living), that’s a bad thing … but from the perspective of building, painting and playing with those kits and products it is absolutely not a problem.  Why?  Well, coming back to that article I was reading about perfectionism (oh yeah, it’s all coming back!  It was about perfectionism and procrastination … hehe) and procrastination and the inherent need for, feedback, praise, justification etc etc.  If I start working on something and share that with people, and get feedback I’m far more likely to finish it.  If I don’t get feedback then that could mean (not necessarily, but it could!) that what I’m working on is of little use or no interest to people and I’m therefore wasting my time and can move onto something else, no harm done!  I got a lot of this from my YouTube channel, the ‘feeling’ I mean.

I’d always get a buzz when I’d start seeing comments come in on a video … it drove me to make another video and another video and another video.  Over the years, I’ve not (hahaha, here’s something related to that article again), “had the time” to make videos.  But you know what, I don’t need to make a complete video from start to finish.  I’m just not one of those kinds of people.  My file management is crap and I get distracted easily … I’ve lived my whole life like that, it’s just what it is.  Maybe I can’t film a full tutorial from start to finish but does that mean I shouldn’t at least share what I’m working on to the people who are interesting in seeing what happens at Knights of Dice?  No!!  Absolutely not!  Who knows, if I start sharing things more frequently I might develop better methods and pipelines of working, of improving my file management so I can film things over a week or two and edit together an amazing tutorial!

So what is this long rant about anyway … well, as I said.  I’m going to start sharing everything I do right here … and update those articles as I get more work done.  I’ve setup a new Trello board to help keep things organised, that doesn’t necessarily mean things will get finished any more quickly (I still get distracted easily), but it does mean I can keep my notes, comments, checklists etc ‘somewhere’ so when I get the time or motivation to work on something I can check that board and say “oh yeah, I need to do this thing, or that thing, I need to snap a picture of ‘this or that'” etc.

With that said, I’m off to find something to work on … or maybe go to bed, I’m not sure.  Work on something is more likely … who needs sleep right?!  😉

All the best.

3 comments

  1. chromedog (@chrome_dog)

    I was taught a long time ago “Never let perfect be the enemy of done.”

    It was kind of a motto in the FX shop where I worked for a time (sure, we had modelling failures, but some people in that shop had a gift for taking that thing that “didn’t quite turn out like expected” into something that worked entirely well for another purpose. ).
    I focus on getting the job done. Tidying up and adding cosmetic touches can be done later as needed.

    “True art is never finished, merely abandoned.”

  2. Yass! Done is better than perfect (I literally have that written on my desk!)
    You have sooo much greatness to share Viv. People don’t want perfect, in fact the research all leads to the opposite for engagement. We want authentic and that means imperfect but present and taking us behind the scenes. Can’t wait to see more imperfect action from you!!

    1. Viv Chandra

      I’m actually feeling really excited about it. There is LOADS of stuff I’ve wanted to share with the KoD community at large (both on the website here, YouTube, Facebook etc) but not thought it ‘worthy’ enough to post. I think that has lead to ‘me’ feeling a little unworthy (or worthless if you want to get a little dark) and it’s a very freeing feeling understanding that things don’t need to be perfect (or indeed finished) to share with people. Obviously it’s nice to see things through to completion, but there is nothing wrong (and in fact it’s actually rewarding) to see (and show!) a little progress now and then.

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