I’ve spent this morning procrastinating and reading Jordan Mechner’s old journal from the mid-eighties through to the early nineties. Mechner is the creator of the original Prince of Persia game and also the writer of the newer games and the film coming out with Jake Gyllenhaal.
His journal was incredibly inspiring and captivating, taking me through his life starting work on Prince of Persia as a hot young game developer and screenwriter with massive confidence and all the way to starting work on PoP 2, after having been humbled by almost not even finishing PoP and then having it struggle for a year in the market despite rave reviews. There are many auto-biographies and regular biogs out there where you get the idea that the person was a machine of perseverance and couldn’t be held back by anything in the world. In many cases here, Jordan is his own worst enemy through his sprawling areas of interest and his lack of focus on the task at hand, but he gets through it in the end.
Sounds familiar to me, except the last bit. The one thing that really seems to permeate my life’s history is an inability to leave things unfinished. Finishing my stageplay (well, the first few drafts, at least) was a huge step for me, but it’s time to do something about the rest of my life.
I’m going to start writing in this here web journal about what I do and what I avoid doing. It’s a semi-full disclosure approach that I hope will help me to keep myself accountable. I will not lie about my progress, I will not lie about my reasons for not making progress. It’s frightening, but that’s exactly what I might need.
When I was a kid, the most effective way to make me clean my room was for mum to say “If you haven’t cleaned your room in an hour, I’m doing it for you!” and if you think that positively wonderful, you haven’t had your room cleaned by anyone like my mum. During one of her “rampages”, my trash can would quickly fill up, and all my little secrets laid bare. Fear is a powerful motivating factor, especially when strengthened by the gratification of a job well done by the end.
I need to frighten myself, it’s as simple as that.
Magnus! If you don’t do anything today, you’ll have to write about it on your blog tonight!