I've had a lot of little things annoy me lately and, as we all know, the best time to write a journal is when you're annoyed. I could probably dedicate a journal to each of these thoughts, but that feels a bit pedantic. So here they are in list form and I'd love to hear your thoughts in return.
1. By and large, we focus on the wrong metrics. If you a run a community group, there's a heavy emphasis on growth. I think that's the wrong metric and, not only that, but it's a dangerous line of thought to get yourself trapped in. Instead of focusing on getting more members, think about how you can make your existing members happiest. Happy members do your outreach for you, because they want others to know about how great your group is.
2. Leaders need to lead. It sounds absurd that it'd even need to be said out loud, but, somehow, it does. If you're a leader, you need to drive your team. Don't sit back and expect others to step up and do things you want. Assign tasks, keep calendars/schedules, and stay in constant communication. If you need to back away from the project for a bit, make that abundantly clear and come up with a strategy to fill your absence. Nothing is more frustrating than bad leadership.
3. This is related to 2, but don't go overboard. This is something I do and it's annoying as the dickens. I get a little manic when it comes to thinking up ideas for cool projects. More than half the time, nothing comes of them. So if you've got cool ideas, commit to one, try it out, and decide if it's worth doing. Don't pile too much on your plate at once, especially if you're trying to involve other people in your efforts.
4. Having empathy is so worth any extra effort it may take on your part. It's sometimes so easy to make a snap judgement and be unkind, but practicing empathy is the best thing we can do. People are so beautifully varied that we're bound to find lots of people different from us. Being empathetic leads to such wonderful things - charities like AbleGamers or Operation Supply Drop, the difference between someone feeling isolated and unloved or feeling welcomed and supported, and friendships that last a lifetime.
5. This whole "socialized to feel in competition with women" thing is absolute bull hockey. I did not sign up for it and I hate that I find myself doing it. This may be the hardest thing I will ever have to unlearn, but my God will I try. I want to support women (and other minorities) because we have it hard enough as it is without any internalized crap trying to change our perspectives. Let's hold each other up, not tear each other down.
6. The game industry has its ups and downs, but I am so grateful now to be part of it... Well, in a more official sense anyway. The environment is so fun and I feel myself finally surrounded by equals. I just passed the 1 month mark at my job and I cannot begin to describe how awesome it is. Now to start thinking about what I want to do with my hair... Turquoise is cool, right? ;)
So... Whatcha thinkin?