By the end of 2008, my honeymoon with avatar existence was definitely over. After nine months of daily blog posts and a continuous stream of comics and machinima, the work of putting together a one-bot art exhibition finally pushed me over the edge of endurance, leaving me strung-out and exhausted.
A year later, I'm happy to report that I've transitioned to a sustainable approach to leading a creative virtual life. Since many who read this blog are also challenged by the demands of active dual identities, I thought I'd share some of the changes I've made this year that have been most beneficial:
- I stopped fighting the fact that there will never be enough time in a day to realize every creative vision. When I fail to consciously accept this truth there is a part of me that must be dragged kicking and screaming away from any creative work. This is still something I wrestle with. Fighting reality is the main cause of any unhappiness I experience. It's a relief to pause from the battle.
- I gave up pseudonymity when its wings became an anchor. This was an important lesson for me about the need for courage in a creative vocation. Although evolution can gently lead us through a series of small adaptations, there are times when it demands that we leap through the ring of fire into a new and unseen state of being. Those who do not heed this call are doomed to become self-plagiarizing caricatures of themselves.
- I realized that I can soothe my creative hunger by snacking on Tweets. There is a unique joy in the art of fashioning and sharing pithy gems via social networks. No matter how busy the day, I can almost always find five minutes to go to the creative well and come up with a thimbleful of refreshment.
- I finally grokked that small is beautiful. Although I have a number of grand works on the back-burner, I've learned to love taking a small concept and giving it enough life to make it worthy of sharing. Offering food for thought can be just as valuable a providing a fully fleshed-out work.
- I learned that adversarial engagement is a no-win game. After a few unfortunate skirmishes earlier this year, I finally figured out that it is best to reserve debate for those who seem to be more committed to discerning the emerging truth than defending their fixed ideology.