Status Update

A tough ask. I’m only checking in because I feel bad for leaving this site neglected for two months. This has been a strange period. Although I’m constantly doing stuff — writing and drawing — I feel like I’m getting nowhere, and I’ve nothing to show for all the hours sank into my hobbies.

I would love to blame this on Real Life Shit, but I can’t. Real Life has been equally slow and unremarkable.

The true culprit is Baldur’s Gate 3, which I still play daily, and which still occupies my mind pretty much 24/7. Unlike my other fandom experiences (I’m looking at you, dear Darksiders), BG3 seems to be… well… not so good for me?

For one, the game is so complete in every sense that’s relevant for my own creativity, that I feel like whatever I do, I’m just rehashing canon. The blanks usually left for fanfiction to fill are just… not there, or not large enough to breathe in freely, or overly daunting (like a full-out sequel, or lifting the curse of one-dimensionality from poor Cazador).

Then there’s creative envy. I used to think a niche fandom is bad for being noticed, but now I think being in a popular one is worse. There is so much amazing art and — I didn’t think I’d ever say this — amazing fic too, that I feel even more like I’m screaming into the void than I did with Darksiders. This has never stopped me before, and it’s not stopping me now, but it’s a factor.

Another factor is my laziness/reluctance to actually interact with the fandom in any meaningful way. I don’t have the spoons for it. I remember the days when I shamelessly messaged strangers on various platforms, desperate to find likeminded Darksiders fans, and I wonder, where did I find the energy for it? It’s undoubtedly the most worthwhile thing one can do in fandom — I made two lasting friendships over Darksiders, which was, and remains, a tragically obscure franchise. It stands to reason that I could make new friends with ease over BG3 — but it never seemed less likely and less… attractive.

Perhaps this is related to not having any outstanding ideas of my own. In Mass Effect, I developed a somewhat unique interpretation of Saren’s character, and Nihlus had so little in canon, literally anything I did for him was “new”. In Darksiders, I had the War/Strife ship sailing against the mainstream. Having specific interests allowed me to seek (and find) people who shared them. But in BG3, I’ve managed to fall for the most popular character and a canon ship (hard to avoid, when pretty much any ship between the main cast is canon). Many neat ideas that I came up with in isolation, while I played the game for the first time, scribbled in my notebooks, and kept well away from the fandom, avoiding spoilers, turned out to also be either canon or fanon. It’s hardly a surprise — world-endingly beautiful vampires have been the favorite subject of collective imagination for centuries — but it’s still disheartening. And the sheer volume of fans interested in the same character and the same ship is disheartening too, because, one, it makes the prospect of finding friends hopeless; and two, it makes me feel all the more anonymous. It’s like standing in a crowd at a train station. Sure, we’re all there for the same thing, but everyone’s too busy with their own shit to even notice the other people milling about.

Overall, I’m going through a rough patch that I can’t justify with anything solid and objective. I find it hard to stay focused, I’ve managed to lose some good habits, my time is fragmented and I can’t account for large swaths of it. Playing the game daily has had a hand in this — it’s something like 2-3 hours I would’ve mostly spent drawing a few months back. The writing hasn’t suffered that much because I do that in the mornings. But with writing, my confidence has taken an unexplainable hit, maybe because I started so many things and haven’t finished a single one. I’ve also been reading less, and my latest picks have been uniformly uninspiring.

I’m trying to think of something uplifting to wrap up this post with, but my mind’s blank. The way forward from this slump is obviously to play a little less, to draw a little more, and to finish one of the half a dozen WIPs I’ve got going. Sounds easy enough. So why haven’t I done it yet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.