Emerald Specter 122: Unbeholden

I’ve just finished writing a gargantuan article explaining why this and that haven’t been done. The article took three days to write (more so because I didn’t get a large chunk of time to sit down and write it) and after I finished it I looked it over and wondered why the hell I wrote it. Yeah, I doubt it’ll see publication on the site, although it was very cathartic to write. 

So what’s the issue?

I listened to Adam Conover’s new podcast Factually (it’s replacing Adam Ruins Everything, the podcast) recently and the topic was “how to do nothing.” I was expecting the show to be about something that it wasn’t and when it was over I came to a realization about something. 

Being beholden to anyone is life draining. 

There have been lots of things that I’ve promised to get done, and while I do realize BuJoRPG related things are very popular here, I have felt like I’m pushed to be creative (and pushing creativity rarely ever works well). I’ve put those deadlines on my head but I feel like I should have them… or rather, felt like they should have been there. 

As of this post, I’m reevaluating things here at EmeraldSpecter.com. I’m going to be doing things for me, which will include lots of bullet journal related stuff, but will also keep me from having a deadline of any kind. 

Life has been stressful. I work for the US Postal Service and we are currently sitting on the edge of mail volume skyrocketing for the season (until late January, early February) and that is headache. While I have some hourly restrictions this year (due to a degenerating hip and bursitis in the same hip), I’m still a little stressed out. It’s an annual thing and I’ve dealt with it for 13 years… this is the first year, though, that I’ll have hours so restrictive. Those hours may get tighter as the year goes on, too. 

Last week, my wife broke her foot (calcaneus bone, it’s the big bone that makes up your heel). I write this as we are sitting in the waiting room to see if she needs surgery (Update! She does NOT need surgery). Where I’m going with this is that I’m already doing more at home, daily, than I’ve ever done and it’s the primary reason I’ve got so little free time. Since she comes first, literally everything else comes second. I won’t rattle off what I have to push out of the rotation or reschedule because I don’t need to justify anything to anyone. 

I have four (maybe three or five) players ready to go on Emerald Nights A Vampire the Masquerade Chronicle, which will start broadcasting September 12. Links will be given on this website, but YouTube is likely where you’ll see us live. We only have three sessions scheduled because we didn’t want to schedule too far ahead. I’m aiming for 8-10 sessions per “season” and that’s assuming everyone is all about this story. If they aren’t, I’ll run something else. 

The one thing I wanted to talk about above all else is BuJourneyRPG. I do have a plan to skin and expand BuJoRPG V1, but my focus has really been on the new version. I have scattered notes, rough sketched schematics for stuff, and the framework for what BuJourneyRPG will be all made up… I just can’t get time to write the instructions, the first adventure path, and the basics of how to use it. With everything else above, I just want to put it out there that I will finish what I started on this and I’ll keep making BuJoRPG related things as long as I continue journaling. 

I just need to make my new digital journal so I can get organized again (my physical journal supplies are in the process of being sold off because I’m moving to digital… which in typical Facebook fashion, I got a bunch of people interested but they basically want me to GIVE the stuff away… some of it is STILL IN THE UNWRAPPED PACKAGING. Greedy freeloaders). Hopefully I get the chance to do that sooner rather than later. 

The idea of what I envisioned as the “end game” for BuJoRPG related things is an app that can be a companion to whatever version will be the “ultimate” version (as opposed to the penultimate, which is 2nd to last). My goal is to advance it to a place where I really can’t improve upon the bulk (about 75%) of the mechanical portion and just build adventures out from there. An app would take care of all the calculations for stats and run ins and so forth… yes, it isn’t “simplified” bullet journaling at that point, but anything beyond Ryder Carroll’s original concept is technically more complicated at that point. Aren’t we all just adding the BuJoRPG layer on top to enhance our bullet journaling experience?

A roleplaying game is a set of rules to help tell a story. BuJoRPG is a set of rules to gamify your self improvement. BuJourneyRPG is an enhancement on BuJoRPG. Whatever version 3 ends up being will be as close to “roleplaying” as I can get us without completely excluding the bullet journal portion of the equation. If I’m not including the bullet journal, why not just publish a roleplaying game, right?

That isn’t outside the realm of possibility. I do have a set of rules from a game I was working on about 10 years ago, I’d just need to build a setting around the rules. But I digress. 

So, to get back on track, I’ll be doing things at my own pace. I do have a Patreon set up in order to see what people would support me doing most but I only have a single donor so far, so he’s just generally interested in keeping me moving forward. If I can’t offset cutting my hours at work down, I can’t cut down my work hours to work on anything. 

Maybe I need a “BuJoRPG” specific tier, or a threshold that will allow me to cut out the hours. As I get older, I’ll cut hours down anyway but I’m just afford to right now. 

I think it’s time to stop writing this one… maybe I’ll pop in with something regular again in the future but I’m sort of treading water with all of life at the moment.