Here I Am!

February already?

The run up to Christmas and the New Year was busy in our house, and then it was straight back into work. Except that work was not the way that it is regularly. I’m trying to add to my business, or rather my outputs, by being a publisher of role-playing games and materials. Unpacking that is a post for another day, but I found myself working on that business a lot in the quiet days of January – when universities are less likely to hire a skills trainer for workshops and the like – but also feeling secretly like that was something I wasn’t supposed to be doing.

I earn a living and support my family by doing workshops (and sometimes selling books!), not from games. It felt wrong to spend my time on those things. And yet I wanted to be working on making zines, developing games, commissioning artwork and laying out text. So what was wrong?

My problem was that I had moved on, but my sense of self was lagging behind. My actions had moved me forward, and I had plans for the future, but still I was clinging to this idea that I was “just” a skills trainer. I don’t have an answer yet for why that was, but I am starting to build a solution to it.

I’m beginning and ending each day with a notebook, emptying my head of thoughts about future projects (something which I might write about in a future post). I’ve done an audit of my time, which has helped me to accept that I don’t need to spend every minute of every day working on delivering workshops. Don’t get me wrong, it would be good to do some more workshops or have some new clients – I’m still very passionate about helping PhD candidates prepare for the viva and figure out how to do their PhD effectively – but I don’t need to do that every day.

While being a role-playing game publisher has, to-date, earned a tiny profit of £17.71, it’s a business that I want to develop and I think I have some traction there now – I have my first followers and fans. It’s also a great area for me to work on small projects, which is a topic that I might talk more about in another post in the near future, and has also opened me up to collaboration. It’s something I’ve not done for some time, working with others in this way to develop something.

It’s sparked something else in me: so while I’m developing this new venture, I’ve begun two collaborations in my main business, both of which I’ll talk about closer to the time, both of which I’m very excited about. And I’ve finally pulled my finger out to work on a print-on-demand version of Fail Your Viva, a project three years in the making and hopefully something that will be realised next week!

“Here I am!” – but who am I? I’m this changing self, aware enough that change is happening, not always aware what that change is, but very happy to be challenging myself more and more.

Where are you? And what do you do?

Thanks for reading.

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

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