Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's resolutions

It seems that most resolutions posted on game blogs are about getting more done, driving oneself to bigger and better, etc. While that's admirable, I post my own this year to aid in keeping my many hobby obsessions in check, mainly so I have some room to get other kinds of projects done. The short of it is I've accumulated too many miniatures and started too many projects in recent years. Since it's my leisure time we're talking about I don't intend to go hard on myself to finish more, but rather I want to start at the source and stop any potential new projects in their tracks, and have the little boxes of lead arrive at my door with a bit less alarming frequency. And then work smarter, not harder, on the existing projects in the works.

Here's what I came up with:

  • A set figure budget, and it's only for "emergency" purchases—opportunities too good to pass up
  • No kickstarters
  • No new projects
  • Work on a project until it's done. no more than five active at a time, except for sculpting sessions when unused putty can go to whatever's near at hand. Shelve the rest (my project management software, Asana, has easy means to shelve and unshelve).
  • Only work on projects I'm excited about. No pressure to work on projects as a obligation.
  • Either it's hobby time or not. This is a big one for me, and by way of explanation, I often find myself on a Saturday or after work slip into a kind of ambivalent hobby limbo, chipping away at this or that but not really applying myself and feeling vaguely guilty to boot. I plan to cut this out and either go whole hog or stop and do something else. Hopefully I can be both more productive with the time I do take for it as well as leave more time for other things like reading, outdoors, other creative projects etc.
  • Priority projects have priority. I tend to instinctively know which projects are a bigger priority to me, in the sense that finishing them would yield more satisfaction or I'd like to use the figures in a game, etc, but I bet you've experienced how it's often whatever's closest at hand or most visible that gets undue attention.
  • Sell off/give away. I have a lot of stuff earmarked for this, but the business of selling stuff and even just finding a good home for things is no fun, plain and simple.
  • Try not to research new projects unless there is potential for entrepreneurial venture or fulfilling creative expression outside the gaming realm
  • Manage all hobby projects in Asana. I'm already well on my way here.
  • Discard projects (pass on to others) I don't want to finish. Projects are hard to give up. You've invested skill and energy and money, and your return on investment is going to be pittance if not nil. But keeping them around often takes a toll in the long term and sometimes its better to cut your losses.

These won't be easy for me to follow, but they're my bid for a more restrained, organized, and in the end, rewarding year of games and miniatures. I'm also curious if you have or plan to make resolutions of the sort aimed to keep a potentially overwhelming hobby in check, and please comment and link to your own resolutions!


  1. I kept my resolution a bit simpler. "Don't buy stuff for a planned project when you are still working on your current project" Largely to stop me from buying gear for a project planned quite sometime away, speaking months away here. I was buying 2nd edition Bloodbowl Goblins and Stone Trolls while not even half way through painting the Squig Bloodbowl team. Which is being played as Goblins...

    Your ones have a bit more flexibility if you are bored with a project.

  2. "Since it's my leisure time we're talking about I don't intend to go hard on myself to finish more" A sensible approach to the hobby, although I'm loath to admit it while fighting the urge to make unrealistic projections about what I hope to achieve in the coming year.

    If I had an ounce of sense, I'd at least consider adopting your Kickstarter prohibition.

  3. I'm reading this as I look at my 4 tier shelf of miniatures and projects in various States of completion. Some only need but an hour or so to finish but I lack direction when painting for myself. Your list is well thought out but when painting for myself I, like Finch don't go so hard. I do have to limit my purchases though, but have a hard time resisting getting presents in the mail. Although I miss the days (before the internet) when my local Hobby and games store had whole pegged walls devoted to my lead see them live and to scale not just on a Lcd screen...but I digress;)

  4. Yours looks like a well thought out plan. While I don't have a formal resolution this year, I am trying to focus on getting certain projects done and plan to make a list of some sort to help keep me roughly on track and get things done.

    I hope your old school lead pile is on your active project list for the year.