If You Are True to Yourself, It Will Be Sustainable; You Can Do It Forever.

To Be Everything and Nothing

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
, Hamlet

In , Kristoffer Balintona interviewed Protesilaos Stavrou (Prot 📖). In that interview, Kristoffer asked “Unlike other YouTubers, your channel seems unconcerned with growing its following. Is that accurate?”

I find Prot’s response much in line with my long-time thinking.

You’re right, I don’t really care about the channel per se. For me, the channel itself, whether it grows, whether it makes money, or whether it becomes popular, is not really of interest. In my opinion, if you put something like that as your number-one goal, then, whatever you do, you will instrumentalize that motive in order to pursue that end. If you have to conform with expectations then you will become the embodiment of those expectations and you will no longer be yourself. Instead, you will become someone that conforms with those expectations which will inevitably dilute what you have to say. Whereas, if you are true to yourself, you don’t need to do that. It will be sustainable; you can do it forever.

I want to reiterate what Prot said: “Whereas, if you are true to yourself, you don’t need to do that. It will be sustainable; you can do it forever.” The title of this post is a rewording the quote from Prot.

In years past, I was often asked why I didn’t design and develop analog games. I have a love and passion for them as well as what I think to be a pretty good eye for both fun and “balance.”

My response was often “I don’t want to make my hobby my day job and primary source of income.” I felt that it would lose it’s luster and appeal.

I did publish a few Role Playing Game (RPG 📖) suppliments for Dungeon World 📖. After the success of Take on Magic Items 📖, I started writing others. And I felt the luster and appeal leave; in part because I found myself chasing that sense of success as well as the extra income. In the 10+ years since publishing Take on Magic Items, it has grossed $1,182 in sales.

If you look at my Posts by Years you might notice, in the years that followed, a drop off in the number of posts. Some of that drop was related to the “chase.” I was also helping my wife start-up Soapy Gnome 📖. And had kids who were in high school and junior high.

But I also had made my writing almost exclusively about games. It wasn’t until writing Divorce - A Personal Experience in that I really considered writing about more than games.

It took a few more years to come to terms with expanding what I wrote about. If you look at posts tagged as Personal, it was in which I really expanded the scope of my blog.

In stumbled upon the idea of the “Everything and Nothing” site:

The website’s content means everything to the publisher, but it could mean nothing to the rest of the world.

That quote deeply resonated with me. You can see in my website’s publication history an explosion of writing.

In I removed Google Analytics, in part because I found myself in the years prior chasing the analytics. Looking to repeat those moments in which I saw traffic spike.

Over the years people started asking to guest write for my site. I wrote about that in To the Ghosts, Haunt Elsewhere. I always chuckle at those requests.

First, the very process of building my website is personal and idiosyncratic. All of it is done on a local machine and then pushed to a Virtual Private Server (VPS 📖).

In theory, I could give them access to my Git 📖 repository and let them write a post and submit a pull request. Or take their copy and format it for my blog. Yuck!

Second, guest posts is not the purpose of Take on Rules. My website is a world-viewable by-product of the integration of my love of writing and programming.

And so long as I love writing things down, I envision always maintaining a world-viewable blog.