I Hope This Video Doesn’t Suck – Razbuten

I Hope This Video Doesn’t Suck by Razbuten on YouTube

I made this mostly for myself, but you can watch it too.

I have been in a creative rut for most of 2021. That may sound odd, especially with my launching two podcasts, but all I’ve really come up with are those podcasts and blog posts. And I feel frustrated because I, too, have a list on my phone full of little ideas. Not only a list, but a notebook, and the back of my office door. I may not be out of ideas, but I am definitely beginning to feel overwhelmed by them and thought of executing them.

I need to reign it in. My brain is bouncing all over with plans to work on this and that. Projects get started and then stopped. Ideas are stuck in creative purgatory.

Recently, I played through Chapter Select Season 2’s first game, Death’s Door, and earned the platinum trophy in Castlevania Requiem (aka Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night). I was so zoned in on these games, with clear goals to collect and do everything each game had to offer. When I finished the platinum trophy hunt, I realized I didn’t have the next project/goal/thing lined up and fleshed out. I’m waiting to begin post-production on the first episode of season 2 before I dive into the second game. Finding a guest for The Max Frequency Podcast has been tough these past two months (although I do have some ideas for September).

Chasing the Stick, my history of Naughty Dog, is its own self-contained nugget of too many ideas. I have been paralyzed by ideas and “if I just got this piece of equipment.” The project has been filled with its own amount of failing to get interviews and make progress.

I feel paralyzed to make a real decision.

After watching Raz’s new video yesterday after work, I’m pretty sure my subconscious began working on my problem. I intentionally left the house last night and helped Abby with her own tasks. I did it because I needed a break from sitting around trying to decide which mole hill mountain to climb. We ended up watching Back to the Future and Part II. Despite bringing along my notebook for working on my ideas, my brain was totally not swimming in the Idea Sea.

It was right before bed that I think I came up with a solution, which I understand is fundamentally another idea. My subconscious found an answer and brought it to the surface.

My ideas are big. I need to break them down. I need to build up into the big ones. So, I’m going to try and break them down. I’ll create smaller pieces of them, publish them, and move on to the next one. Sort of like when I was hung up on a name for The Max Frequency Podcast: I wanted a great show name before I started. That small element was stopping me from doing the show. I ended up picking the simplest name and then actually began producing the show.

Instead of ideas that take months of work and skills I haven’t fully developed, I need to tackle shorter turnarounds and develop those skills. Honestly, that’s the approach I’ve mostly had with Chapter Select. I suppose I’m adopting that across all my projects.

To semi-quote Raz: I wrote this mostly for myself, but you can read it too.

Craig Mod’s “Where are all the Nightingales?”: A 30-day Kumano Walk and Newsletter

Where are all the Nightingales? Day Two by Craig Mod

About twenty minutes into my walk today, I saw an old man leading a group of even older women in front of a small temple. Come come, he motioned to me.

Placing his head uncomfortably close to mine we peeked through the temple window, and in pidgin English he began to explain the dark interior. It wasn’t making much sense, so I cut in in Japanese saying, Oh this is the famous jizo temple, yes? And just like that he flipped to fluent Japanese, breaking down the various bodhisattvas and buddhas enshrined along with the jizo.

Damn, I love this road, I told him as his gang of ladies listened from a safe distance. I’ve walked a bunch of Japan and this road is so quiet and oddly well preserved.

And he said, Yes yes, this wasn’t firebombed during the war like the industrial areas north of here. So this road — the Ise Kaidō — is in good shape.

Craig started this walk just two days ago as of this writing. Even this short into the journey, I have found these daily newsletters stirring. There is warm nostalgic glow for a place I have never been to. The way Craig is using technology to bring the quietness of Japan is comforting. His photos, to me, are finding subtle beauty in what is likely just background noise to local people. 

Day Two’s newsletter in particular reminded me of A Graveyard of Fireflies, which is quite a way to start my morning. Not in a somber way, but in grounded, realized way.

If you’d like to read, see, and watch (he’s doing binaural 4K videos too) while Craig is on the walk, you can sign up here. Once the walk is over, Craig is just deleting everyone’s email from this list. One and done.

This particular project of Craig’s has me thinking about the world of newsletters and how they have reemerged (not that Craig is new to this at all), but that’s a post for another time.