This week, the game I’ve been working on since joining King launched worldwide: Pepper Panic Saga.
It’s available on Facebook: https://apps.facebook.com/pepperpanicsaga/
In the spirit of renewal, I’ve cut down this blog from 133 to <100 posts.
Gone are those which were either:
I may cut more as the new shape of this blog emerges. But for now, this is post #99.
I’m looking for a new outlet. A new way to communicate. A new form, style, point of view. I’m looking for more space.
Writing a blog is not like writing a book. It’s a process. There’s no definition of done, no deadline. So it tends to shift shape as you go. Read a couple of my early posts, then read a couple of the more recent ones. I think my writing is snappier now, but the topics have changed too.
The shape-shifts take time and tend to emerge gradually. A blog is the sum of its posts. Over time more and more posts accrue of a certain type or on a certain topic, and that accretion defines the direction the blog has taken in the past.
But it also defines the direction that the blog will take in the immediate future. The accretion of types and topics sets the vector for the blog – its trajectory.
I do intervene periodically if I’m unhappy with the trajectory; e.g. my recent decision to write more short-form posts. But the combination of these gradual shifts in trajectory + my occasional interventions is unlikely to bring about a radical change of direction. The process of accretion defines a directional spectrum which limits the degree to which the blog can change course at any given moment, or even over a given period.
So this post is an attempt to shift direction more radically. I don’t find this blog as creatively fulfilling as I want to. And I feel a tension between privacy and revelation: the most powerful posts are the ones in which I turn myself inside-out, but there are some people with whom I am uncomfortable sharing those stories, and (since I am naturally rather shy and prefer to be self-effacing), my personal stories tend towards sadness rather than celebration.
Time to slow down. I’ll post less, and experiment more.
So this post marks a hiatus; and perhaps an end to this blog in its current form.
It also means a new beginning, both for this blog and – perhaps – for a fresh project.
What does the next version of this blog look like?
The answer will lie in the trajectory of the next set of posts.
In a world of to-do lists, the hardest thing is to ignore them all.
Splendid interview in The Times on Saturday with Dennis Bergkamp, an absolutely sublime footballer.
What Bergkamp cared most about wasn’t scoring goals.
He cared about control. Beautiful control might lead to a goal – but without the control, there could have been no goal.
He took delight in the process. Sometimes that is hard to do.
Slides from a talk I gave to the 3rd-year media students at Regent’s University in London a few days ago. Lots of examples from TV and from my own experience.
Aim is to offer advice to anyone who is working in / wants to work in a creative industry.
In short, data is important.
I was ten and at the county tennis trials. All the kids were lined up on the side of the court.
“Bounce the ball across these three courts, turn round when you reach the fence, then come back.
“But you can’t use the strings. You have to bounce it with the edge of the racket, on the side of the frame”.
Uh-oh. Never done this before.
“Ok – go!”
The other kids threw down their tennis balls and started bouncing them across the the courts.
I dropped mine, twisted my racket on its side, and tried to knock the ball down and forwards so that I could set off too.
Ding! My ball hit an edge on my racket and shot off to the left.
I chased it, grabbed it, and tried again.
Bing! This time I’d hit it squarely but too far back on the frame – it bounced back into my stomach.
The other kids had already crossed the first court.
Ok, and again – thock! I caught it too far forward on the frame and the ball whizzed ahead of me up the court. Phew, at least now I could move off the starting line.
The charade continued for what felt like an hour until someone merciful called a halt. I hadn’t yet made the fence, never mind turned around and come back.
Twenty years later, I still feel embarrassed about it.
You can’t prepare for everything, and you won’t always have the talent to wing it first time.
But that’s ok. I can bounce the ball with the side of the racket now.
I got there in the end.
Being messed around in a relationship is normal, until you meet someone you love and who loves you back.
Being in a job you hate is normal, until you find a job that’s interesting and fun.
Being in a miserable flat in a crappy area is normal, until you find a place you call home.
What’s normal changes – faster or slower, sooner or later.