Winston Churchill

Just don’t do it. You’ve come so far. Don’t believe that just because you’re stuck you can never make it through.

Part of my work at the moment is as a solo indie developer. I’ve built Sol Trader on my own with the help of an artist and lots of encouragement from friends and family. It’s been incredibly tough. The Kickstarter campaign I spent so much time working on didn’t reach its goal, despite tons of interest. But the very same week the game was greenlit by Steam - imagine if I’d thrown in the towel a day earlier?

If you’re a indie developer like me, remind yourself of why you got into this in the first place. Look at what you’ve achieved so far. Look at the old screenshots of your game, and compare them to what you’ve got now. Copy/paste encouraging comments and notes from forums onto your computer somewhere and read through them regularly. Ignore haters. There’s no way they could achieve what you’re going to achieve.

Don’t know how to continue? Try the formula for motivation:

  • Break the task down into smaller more manageable chunks
  • Raise your confidence you can do it. Read this post twice each morning. Get a mentor to help you with the tough bits.
  • Remind yourself why you’re doing this. Every day, if necessary.
  • Aggressively reduce distractions: Turn off twitter, facebook, news sites, news in general, everything. Use the pomodoro technique if you need to.
  • Commit to do a small part of the task today, or a tiny part before the hour is up.

Creativity is hard. We get the first 90% through, then we hit the second 90%. It’s so easy to give up, but we might miss our greatest achievement.

Sure, if you need to make a positive decision to move on from something that isn’t working, that’s fine. But most of the time I’m kidding myself when I give up on things. If it’s the courageous decision to move on, move on. If it’s the courageous decision to keep going, keep going.

Never give up. You can make it. It is possible. Don’t listen to me: listen to Churchill:

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

– Winston Churchill

Now close this tab and go and achieve something amazing.