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Not a Fan of Hard

I’m working on making a game, and it’s really hard.  It’s hard to find the story in something that isn’t linear.  It’s hard to write in code.  But mostly, there is something I want to do with the game that would make it better for a larger audience, but it’s really hard to do, and I’ve been trying to give myself permission to not do it.  Because it’s hard.

And I’m not a fan of hard.

Lifehacker had an article about making doing hard things a family affair, and I assume the same would go for forming a “hard thing” group of adults and promising to each other that you’re going to stick with what you decide to do.

But here’s the thing: Those articles never tell you “how” to stick to that hard thing.  Just that you need to push through and stick with it.  I get that the specific answer will be different depending on the project, but I’ve yet to find a good piece of advice that helps me get past the realization that I could trim something down and do it in an easier manner but stick with the harder route anyway.

Currently, I’m still pushing through because it feels like the right thing to do, and I’ll always wonder if the game would have been better if I had made it the original way.  I’ve reached out to friends to set up a “hard thing” group so I have people to talk me out of quitting.  But damn, it’s hard to stick to something hard when you know that there is nothing stopping you from choosing the easier route.


1 Cristy { 06.14.16 at 9:13 am }

I think that last line is key. I aspire to doing things the hard way often. Mainly because “good enough” doesn’t always feel right. But I’m finding as I go along that the easier “good enough” route is often the best as the product we put out there isn’t truly final. That doing it the harder way only becomes easier when it’s clear we have no other options.

Basically, I have no advice on how to get over the hump because I’ve been embracing the easier a lot more. But I still do the hard, motivated by there being no other choice.

2 Ana { 06.14.16 at 9:15 am }

Oh yes, that pretty much sums up my life/career right now. HOW do you just “make yourself” do it when there is nothing stopping you from NOT doing it. And the not doing is so much easier than the doing, and ease is my natural state of being….how to overcome the draw of ease and force yourself to be disciplined?

3 Karen { 06.14.16 at 11:05 am }

This is so relevant to me. Right now, writing is hard. Really hard. I’d literally rather be doing anything else – dishes, laundry, playing candy crush, shopping, wasting time. But I’m not getting anywhere. So I’m imposing rules on myself. Today? I set a timer and showed up at my desk and forced myself to write for an hour. Then I give myself a break and went for a run. I’m hoping that if I can continue doing this, it’ll become easier to do – or I’ll just get better at not allowing myself an out. We’ll see if it works that way, though.

4 mijk { 06.14.16 at 3:05 pm }

I Just don’t know! How’s Truman?

5 Infertile Girl { 06.14.16 at 5:28 pm }

I often find that I’ll take the easy way out on something and then it’ll come back to bite me in the ass (not always), but the times I work harder and give it my all, I feel better and am happier with my work. I need to keep that in mind when I don’t feel like putting in the work.

6 Mali { 06.14.16 at 7:29 pm }

Hmm. For years I felt I had no option but to do the hard thing. Yet, it wasn’t always the right thing for me. So more recently, I’ve been giving myself permission not to always do the hard thing. The trick is balance. Figuring out when the easy way out is just a cop out, and when it is the right thing. If you learn the secret, tell me!

7 Lindz { 06.14.16 at 11:06 pm }

Would it help to have another set of eyes? I can’t help with the story stuff, but I can do the code part. My actual specialty is writing algorithms, so if it would help to give you a recipe to follow for your code, I’m happy to chat.

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.15.16 at 7:27 pm }

You can do it 🙂

I just did a hard thing. And by that I mean a scary thing that I thought I’d never do. I’m writing about it now. Getting through it was private, though, not something I shared much with others. I was thinking, “I’ll feel so good when I’m on the other side of this.”

And I did.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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