Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dealing with Inevitable Setbacks #IWSG

Big news: I worked out how to open and close a door. Pretty awesome, huh? Okay, so I'm not talking about a regular door. I'm talking about a door on a skyship hovering above the clouds many years from now. Sound slightly more awesome now?

As some of you know, I've been working on a Mystery Project. I can now tell you I'm diving head first into the indie games industry. It's both exciting and challenging all at once. As I've mentioned in a previous post, the learning curve is massive, even though I have a background in 3D animation.

I had hoped to show you some polished screenshots by now, but I hit a monstrous setback. Testing revealed I needed to change my processes. That meant tossing most of what I'd done so far, setting aside everything I'd learned and focusing on a whole new way of achieving my goals—like opening doors. Sigh.

When faced with setbacks like this, it's easy to wallow and whine, to think it's all too hard. The same goes for when we're faced with massive rewrites to fix our manuscripts. Or when we're faced with the possibility that we can't go any further with that particular story and it's time to put it in a drawer to clear the way for a new story.

I'm a firm believer that no writing is wasted writing. No art is wasted art. No learning is wasted learning. While initially I did feel like I'd gone backwards with my indie games project, I soon realised I'd only go backwards if I gave up.

What setbacks have you had to face lately? How have you overcome them?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month.

To join the group or find out more, click here.



Picture: One of my unfinished corridors. No texture on anything except the door so far. But the door does open. Woot!

 

145 comments:

  1. Nice doors.;-)
    Setbacks are ok, depending on how many steps it takes to get back!

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    1. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess :)

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  2. "No writing is wasted writing," I like that phrase. Congrats on your new project, sounds challenging but exciting, I wish you all the very best with it Lynda.

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  3. Inspirational Lynda. Thanks for this blast of positivity, and of course you're correct. Nothing is a waste as long as it provided pleasure, was a creation, or offered us a chance to learn, etc. I learn far more from mistakes, which is jolly lucky with my track record! :)

    Best of luck on what sounds like an exciting project. X

    shahwharton.com

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    1. We might have similar track records ;)

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  4. Hey Lyn, when you master this project, you will be an awesome game creator. Thanks for your post. I'm busy with rewrites so I love this:
    "...no writing is wasted writing. No art is wasted art. No learning is wasted learning." AGREED!

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    1. Thanks for your faith in my creative abilities. Best wishes for your rewrites.

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  5. Congrats on learning how to open a door! My setback that moved me forward started with writing 50K words for NaNoWriMo then deciding a different course of action was the better option. I am 30K into the current novel and everything is falling into place. Some things are meant to be.

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    1. It's that moment when things start to fall into place that makes the struggles and initial setbacks worth it.

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  6. I have had a bit of the 'it's all too hard' feeling lately. Maybe I need to work on something different for a while?

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    1. Working on a new project helps me when things get that way. Even writing short stories helps.

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  7. Good for you for figuring out those doors. When I encounter setbacks, yep, I'm a whiner. I am trying to get to terms with all the aspects of self publishing, but at the moment I feel like I am in over my head. Good-luck with your project.

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    1. I'm all too familiar with that feeling. In time it passes because you get into a rhythm and learn tricks that make it all easier.

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  8. A computer game! That is awesome. And assuming a company that doesn't require you to work eighteen hours a day?
    Sorry you had to toss so much work. But it will be even better the second time around.

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    1. I started my own company, so I set the hours. I write in the morning and early afternoon, and work on the game in the afternoon and early evening.

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  9. Wow, this sounds so exciting, even with the door issues!

    It's true that no writing is wasted - I've written too many manuscripts to count, and each one has taught me something new about the novel-writing process and the publishing industry. I'm revising my 10th manuscript and hoping that this'll be the one to get me an agent, which would make all the years of rejection worth it!

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  10. This sounds like such an intriguing project! As far as recent setbacks, dealing with my auto insurance company in the wake of the car accident makes me realize why people loathe car insurance companies :)

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    1. I feel for you. It's never easy dealing with any insurance companies--unless you're giving them money. ;)

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  11. I am impressed with your skills! learning everyday how to deal with setbacks.

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  12. You're working on a game - how fun!

    Setbacks are only permanent if we give up. So are mistakes. If we learn from them and keep going, then it's not really failure.

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  13. We learn something new each day and from them we acquire setbacks. How we handle them means a lot. Good Luck, Lynda!

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    1. Yes, how we handle them makes all the difference to whether we succeed or fail.

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  14. Good for you! I love this part - "I'd only go backwards if I gave up."

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  15. Totally agree! Setbacks are opportunities to stretch and learn and grow!! :) Good luck with what's going on behind those doors!

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    1. Thanks. I think I need as much good luck as I can get ;)

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  16. Well, yes, rewriting does often feel like going backwards when you feel like you can't find the right angle on a scene. Only we know it's the best forward progress because eventually a new path opens up and a better scene emerges. Sigh.

    And congrats on this big gaming move. Sounds incredible!

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    1. I hear your sigh and second it. Sigh. It would be nice if it wasn't such a struggle sometimes, but then I doubt we'd appreciate the end product as much.

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  17. well those are some nice doors!

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  18. That's a fun challenge to overcome. Good luck with it!

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    1. Yes, it's definitely fun. You should've seen me when I finally got that door working!

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  19. Games! That's such a great combo of story and art! I think you'll be awesome at it! Like learning writing-craft (or anything), it can take time to get a handle on things. Yes, you've had a set-back, but you've learned from it, and going forward will be much easier now. Congratulate yourself on what you've accomplished and plow onward. I wish I had your talent - I'm really excited for you!

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    1. Thanks, Lexa. I'm really enjoying the story side of the game too. It's a different kind of writing, but just as satisfying.

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  20. Those doors are awesome! I love your line about only going backward if you give up. So true.

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  21. Congrats on getting your door to open! You definitely went forward. I agree about nothing being wasted.

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    1. At first I kinda felt silly for getting all excited about opening a door, but then I realised it truly was a milestone worth celebrating.

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  22. 3D animation. Argg! I've tinkered around with some of that, and boy is the learning curve ever steep. Glad you're facing your obstacles and plowing forward with your project. I'm anxious to hear more about it. Good luck.

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    1. It is a super steep learning curve. While I have worked for many years in the games industry using 3ds Max, I've had to learn a new 3D program for this project and I'm back on that curve ;)

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  23. That is awesome indeed. And very true, not wasted time because you learned a way to do it, even if it is wrong in the end, you learned it and can use that going forward, either incorporate it into something that works or just avoid it and never do it again.

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    1. I'll likely incorporate it in a smaller way. So it's not all lost. Yay.

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  24. Inspiring Post. I have been job hunting non writing related for a year now without any luck. It is discouraging in some ways, but the only thing you can do is just keep putting yourself out there. The same applies to writing. Forward motion is your only option. Never give up.

    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  25. I spent most of May debating a path I wanted to take and then made the decision. Still not sure if it will work out but it was closing one door and opening another, I hope.

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    1. Sounds like you won't know unless you try. Best of luck with it.

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  26. Congratulations and best of luck with your new project. It sounds very exciting! I'm sorry about the setback but admire your attitude. Onward and upward. :)

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    1. Hear, hear! Onward and upward!
      Thanks, Julie.

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  27. Laughed when I read about the door! How very true, I battle on either living in the 800's or the 1780's and tie myself in knots.

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  28. Congrats on figuring out how to open the door. It's a great feeling! My recent setback was that one of my main characters was lacking something, and that's pretty vague and scary when you're the writer. Thanks to a chat with one of my CPs, I figured out what that "something" was.

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  29. Good for you! I like the idea nothing is wasted. I remember my piano teacher told me when I played the wrong note, I learn from that and that I won't do it again. Exciting news to be into indie. My setback is the learning curve on making a slide show presentation with audio. I am just beginning the steps in figuring out how to do it. I've read several places that video is and will be an important feature to use in book marketing, so I don't want to be left behind. Best wishes!

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    1. Sounds like you're learning something both interesting and useful. Very exciting.

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  30. Aw, hugs! So sorry you had to start over, but you're working with something massively complex, and I'm impressed that you can do it at all! Awesome. Cool to see an image of your door!

    And yep, setbacks. You know about mine and how I had to start over with my novel. We just...keep plugging away.

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    1. To keep plugging away is all we can do.
      Hugs

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  31. That's excellent news, Lynda. I knew it was something big. Hope you're damn proud of yourself. This hurtle is nothing. You'll ace it in no time. My hurtles are getting smaller, thank you.

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    1. I love shrinking hurdles.
      Thanks, Joylene.

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  32. That's awesome. And yes, as long as we learn something from it, it's not wasted. Just gotta keep trying.

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  33. "No writing is wasted writing. No art is wasted art. No learning is wasted learning." I love this!.

    Congratulations on your new project, how exciting (no matter how challenging)! Best of luck with it. :D

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    1. Thanks, I need all the luck I can get :)

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  34. I think it’s awesome that you’re working on a game. Sorry about your set back, but with your outlook, you’ll be back inline in no time. I agree that there are no wasted experiences; some may be more valuable than others, but you can learn or benefit from almost anything if you have the right mind-set.
    Thanks for letting us in on your project and sharing your door. It’s an amazing door.

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    1. It turns out the new way is easier... so far.
      I'm so glad you like the door.

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  35. First off, let me say how impressed I am! WOW! As for setbacks, my writing life is full of them. Publishing is not at all what I imagined it to be, and everyday, I seem to hit another roadblock. Some I overcome, others, not so much, but I always move on and figure out a way to go forward. Giving up is simply not an option. Good luck with your game and it's so nice to see you again!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your roadblocks. It's good to hear you say that giving up is not an option, though.

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  36. Wahoo! We're gamers, so you've got my attention. That's an amazing alternate direction and I looking forward to learning more. Yay!

    Setbacks... Um, moving. Yup. Selling a house. (BIG TIME.) Taking summer rather than continuing with the kids school. Believe it or not, the loss of structure is killing me. It takes some mental stress off, but then what to do with these malleable minds?

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    1. Gamers Unite!
      And wow you have so much on your plate. I do understand the problems of a loss of structure. Structure can be so... productive and peaceful.

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    2. SECONDED. We're getting through it. I think I've found a productive alternative. (Only took 1.5 weeks.) We creative types, we rock, eh?

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    3. Yay to productive alternatives. And yes, we rock!! ;)

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  37. Cool new endeavor, Linda! I see setbacks as opportunities to learn these days.

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  38. Setbacks are inevitable but I look at them more like 'step backs.' When you step back and look around, stop concentrating so hard on the single door in front of you, you might see more doors, big and small. To the right. To the left. Father down the corridor. Go exploring. See where those doors lead.

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    1. 'Step backs' is a good way to view it.

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  39. You're creating the details that will be important to making the story zing! I love that. A also agree, setbacks are only opportunities to reassess. While your in Setback City, you have a chance to make huge discoveries. Congrats on the new project.

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    1. Exactly right, Lee. I've already made some amazing discoveries and wish I'd taken this new route sooner--but then, of course, I wouldn't have learned everything I'd learned so far, which can be used for a different game.

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  40. Congrats on your new creative venture. It sounds awesome. And yes, it's all in how we view those inevitable setbacks on what happens in our lives as we go forward.

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  41. Congratulations on the games venture! I sort of guessed it when you'd said earlier it was a mystery project. One of my other Australian friend is a games consultant.

    Nas

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    1. Hehehe, well done with the guessing, Nas :)

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  42. Bravo,Lynda, on your new venture. You are correct in that no learning is ever wasted. Like Edison, you have just discovered another way how NOT to do something. That's all. In your case it is have doors open and close or how not to move forward in your new game. You are braver than I. I don't even know how to play these games.

    As far as writing setbacks, I try not to dwell on what's lacking in my memoir about attending college with five children in tow and just move forward as best as I can in my first revision. Then I begin the second revision...and possibly a third...and...well you know.

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    1. I've had both feet firmly planted in the games world since I can remember, so really it's no surprise I've taken this route. The bravery helps, though, when I'm faced with how much I stilll have to learn.

      And yes, moving forward is the best way to go.

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  43. Now that does sound exciting. I didn't realize there was in indie component to the games industry. Congrats on the progress you've made so far. I know you're not a quitter, so you'll get to where you want to be.

    When I have setbacks, I may whinge for a bit, but I get up and move forward. Always.

    Have a great day,

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    1. Whinging is only bad when we allow it to stop us. Getting up and moving forward is crucial.

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  44. I'd only go backwards if I gave up.
    Perfect.

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  45. Whether I've scrapped a manuscript or had to majorly rewrite it, I understand it's part of the learning process and I can make my work stronger. It's cool that you can make doors open and close like that and can work graphics like that.

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    1. Not only is it part of the learning process, but it's part of the writing/developing process. Thanks, Medeia.

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  46. Set backs are tough, but lucky for us you're tougher. For me that would be a huge character builder, and I'm not talking about a player in a story. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  47. On a slightly similar theme, I messed around with a bit of editing a few months back, just to give myself a basic education. My first try was an absolute mess, but the process was surprisingly easier than I expected once I got my head around it.

    Your screenshot looks really good - did you have to design the corridor from scratch, including the curved walls?

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    1. Yep, designed and modeled in Blender (a 3D program) by me.

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  48. Setbacks are part of the course. We learn and persevere. Good luck and have a great weekend!

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  49. Good for you that you decided to take a positive direction with it and not get defeated. I've been working on a mystery novel that was chugging along just fine. But in our trip to Portugal recently (where it takes place), visiting the actual sites I'd researched meant vast changes to scenes I'd already written and liked. Sigh. Killy your darlings, right?

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    1. Yep, sometimes those darlings have to die for the greater good.

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  50. Setbacks are so commonplace in my life - in fact a friend recently said my life could come straight off of the script of a soap LOL! But, as one of the many hundreds of positive affirmations say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger :) Glad you sorted your opening door out - as long as I have the knowledge to turn my computer on and off I am happy :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe
    x

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    1. Ahh, what would we do without computers? ;)

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  51. Wow, that's so cool:) Its great to push writing into new directions, and I think this is a good one. Sure it's a lot of work, but I'm happy for you:)

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  52. I agree, nothing is wasted. We just get better (hopefully). Fun, fun, fun on the gaming!

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    1. We do get better. If we stick to it.

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  53. Wow. Nothing is wasted. That is an excellent reminder. It all goes to make us better. Thanks!

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  54. I'm still coming to terms with no writing is wasted writing. Good luck on your mystery project!

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    1. It's taken me a while to learn that one.. and sometimes I need to remind myself too ;)

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  55. You sound. SO. COOL! When you talk about indie games and 3d animation an' stuff. Srsly, I'm all, 'Hey guys, she's my friend. *goofy grin* Yeah.'

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  56. It all sounds wonderfully awesome to someone who struggles with computers, Lynda! You'll get there! You're only defeated if you give up! I can't wait to hear how this all turns out!

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  57. Inspirational. Just what I need right now ;-)

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  58. I really just have the same ol' drawbacks in the form of wasted time and lack of time (but I often waste the time I do have). Fantastic that you had a breakthrough! Continued good luck with your project.

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    1. Yep, it's all too easy to waste time. And it never seems to matter how much time we have. It's never enough.

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  59. Hi Lynda .. congratulations on stretching yourself - the games industry is where it seems to be .... and what an amazing learning curve - good luck ... but better to learn now than later .. cheers Hilary

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  60. I recently purchased a book by CS Lakin who wrote about the 'heart of the book' and provides excellent advice on taking your novel to the 'great' level rather than just good. The result is that I'm rethinking the first few chapter and doing more revisions of my manuscript. It's doable. Just frustrating to having accept the delay in getting to the publisher.

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    1. That delay might make all the difference. Best wishes for your revisions.

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  61. I'm finally in the know. 3D animation and no ducks. I'm very impressed, Lynda. Well, my main setback since 2011 has been my health. Other than that (ignoring some wrinkles), it's all good.

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    1. There are a couple of ducks...
      And yes, poor health can be a major setback. It's when we need to be extra kind to ourselves.

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    2. Here I am.... and I'm kinda hungry ;)

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  62. A computer game, Lynda, that's super. The games industry is the place to be in now. Its wonderful that you are stretching yourself as a writer.

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  63. Congratulations on the new venture! All the best!

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  64. I thought my manuscript was perfect, ready for the scrutiny of agents and publishers. It had been thoroughly edited and polished - or so I thought. Then I purchased CS Lakin's book, Writing the heart of your story. http://www.livewritethrive.com/2014/06/30/writing-the-heart-of-your-story/
    Thanks be to all the gods that I hit that site before it was too late. I can see how I give Forbidden more depth and find its soul. It's going to take a few months to do the rework, but well worth it. I'm glad to have found your site as well, Lynda. Blessings.

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    1. That's so fantastic to hear about you finding a book that has set you on the right path. You sound excited and I believe that positivity will show in the quality of your writing.
      Thanks, Feather.

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  65. I am so incredibly impressed! Congrats on getting the doors to work :) And best of luck with the rest of the project!!

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    1. Last night I finally got the lighting to work the way I want it to as well. Happy days!! Thanks, Meradeth.

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  66. how exciting!!! setbacks, sdhmetbacks - they are part of the process, in everything. keep going! can't wait to see your work!

    and thanks for supporting my broken branch falls blog tour!

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  67. That is so cool, Lynda! Good luck to you!

    I had a recent setback with a project and needed a small breather. Now I'm climbing back up on the horse.

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    1. Those little breathers can be good for creativity.

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  68. Lyn, you impress me more each time I visit. Cool doors. Cool. I'm walking down long corridors, checking doors as well. One will open. :)

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    1. Knowing your talent and dedication, I know one will open for you too.

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  69. Hi, Lynda:
    Just wondering if I might join the Insecure Writer's Group. Am I correct in understanding that I must post on my OWN blog about my insecurities once a month and connect the post to the Insecure Writer's blog and then respond to at least 12 new people each month who are part of the Insecure Writers group?

    I'm so insecure, I'm afraid of messing things up.

    Thanks, Lynda! ~Victoria Marie Lees

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    1. Yep, you got it right. Just pop on over to the IWSG website and sign up: IWSG sign up page

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  70. Great blog and comments on this subject, Lynda. I have only been at all this for a couple of months, and being a bit "senior" this has really been a challenge...learning the blog layouts, getting everything ready for eBooks, then finally uploading a document. Now there are questions about where best to publish for the best marketing. Sigh

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