Posted by Bettina Tizzy
One of Second Life®’s greatest creators wrote me an IM a few days ago - out of the blue - that read simply “SL is killing me.”
I knew exactly what this person meant. Whatever you do in Second Life, whether you are creating or building community, if you do it with passion and long enough, you are bound to feel consumed by your own creation at some point.
Bloggers will know what I’m talking about. It’s 1am and your blogpost isn’t anywhere near ready and you promised whoever you are writing about that you’ll have it up in time for the opening of their installation or event.
Artists, architects, scripters, builders… often find themselves working against impossible deadlines to have something ready for a show, but the dog needs a walk, the pantry is empty, and your sister’s birthday is tomorrow. Worse yet, the curator hasn’t set the land permissions right, your client keeps crashing, and your Real Life client is expecting that paper in 8 hours.
Is it a midlife crisis? If we abdicate, will we have missed the opportunity of a lifetime?
About a year ago, I shared my feelings of burnout and my inability to satisfy everyone’s expectations with my virtual sister Tayzia Abattoir. My own little success had become a monster that was eating me alive. Tay, who rezzed in 2005 and has seen many friends go and also die, gave me two sage pieces of advice:
* Set yourself to "busy" most of the time (particularly good advice if you lead a very public life).
* Don’t “quit.” Just leave if you have to for a month or two. Second Life will still be here when you come back. Tayzia was right.
A few more thoughts:
* Go to edit > preferences > communication and set your IMs to go to email. Encourage people to communicate with you via email so that you can handle their requests or information at your own pace.
* Give yourself a break and realize that you don’t have to answer every IM as if it is a house on fire. Think of it simply as if someone is adding a file to your in-box.
* State your preferences and limitations everywhere possible: in your profile, your notecards, your profile picks, your blog, and all your social networking sites. Then, if people choose to ignore them, it’s their own damn fault. You can’t please everyone all the time.
* On his blog, ArminasX Saiman wrote about his fatigue and an unexpected resurrection when he shared the story of how a simple animation and his willingness to surrender to it RESET his view on things. Surrender to the fun again.
Speaking for myself, I need to find ways to cut myself more slack and reset my own Second Life. I need to stay focused on the big things and stop letting the many distractions steal my energy and love for what I do. As for my friend who wrote to say that SL was killing them? I shared Tayzia’s advice but added one more thought. “If it really is killing you, it’s not worth it. You deserve better.”
I also have to admit that I need all the advice I can get in this regard. Balance is something I'm not good at. How have you rebuilt the fire of your passion? How do you cope?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Posted by Bettina Tizzy