Wednesday, March 23, 2016

RM Update #8

Truly, there can be no finer an image to encapsulate
 the concept of economic horror
So...this happened.

In addition to all the work I did last week preparing for playtests that didn't happen (both got cancelled and rescheduled, but time spent in preparation wasn't spent on content creation), this happened at the beginning of the week. Stopped at the light, then quickly found myself being thrown towards it.

I'm fine. It was about as amicable as fender-benders get. Still, it was not what I was looking for in my life right now.

I've spent the last 16 hours dealing with various garages, car rental services, and insurance companies just so I can get back to work and continue one of the busiest work weeks of my life. And my troubles are nothing compared to Ross and RPPR's. The hosting service decided to downgrade and throttle the bandwidth without warning, and now they're trying to hold the site hostage for a higher price. It's not something I have any capability to help with, but Ross is my friend...a friend who happens to run the primary promotional tool for the game I've invested four years of my life in.'s stressful, and I feel like a jerk for being stressed about it at all because my anxiety has to be NOTHING compared to the pain this must be in Ross's ass.

(By the way, for the few people that criticize Red Markets for being unfair to big business and unrealistically assuming corporations would not have the best interests of people at heart during a zombie apocalypse...might I direct you to the company currently trying to bilk a one-man small business for more nonexistent money? I mean, I know Ross is quite the fat cat, what with all that RPG podcaster cheddar. Perhaps they couldn't resist their own rational self-interest in the zero-sum game of high-yield podcast brokerage.)

"First we take over RPG Actual Play podcasting, then the model
train miniature sign production industry, and then...THE WORLD"

This is a roundabout way of saying I've gotten nothing done this week. Nada. Fuck all. And it's extremely depressing.

If you freelance write for any amount of time, something happens to your brain. It doesn't happen when you're writing as a hobby or as a side business; I felt stressed when parts of No Security were late, but I still felt like a worthwhile human being. But, the second you start linking your creativity to your very survival, the change is something you can't shake. Even after heading back to the day job, a pillar of your identity remains chained to your productivity.

You measure your worth in words per day, in pages drafted or revisions made. Zero progress means zero worth. It's not rational, especially when so few have invested in the product, but that connection can be haunting. I can work a sixty-hour week, clean my entire house, take care of my family, and answer a library's worth of email...and I still end up feeling like some useless sloth that's been sitting in front of the TV for a month, naked and covered in Cheeto dust.

I hate wasted weeks like this one. They drive me nuts. It would be enough to make you quit, if another wasted week weren't going to drive you that much more crazy.

Anyway, that's the update...for whatever it's worth. They can't all be winners. Here's hoping next week goes better.

Thanks for reading.


  1. It happens, man. Good luck with the car. I know how weeks like that can feel. We're all pulling for you.

  2. This too shall pass. Hang in there.

  3. So that's what's been going on to the podcast. I'll have to look into the hosting company so I can never use them.

    And yeah, I don't get the unbridled optimists who apparently think human nature is too good to put up with shit like this after the zombie apocalypse. Rent-seeking has been a core human behavior for thousands of years, it's not about to go away.

  4. Caleb, you'll have to change the tagline at the top of your site once Red Markets comes out. You'll be publishing more than another supplement at that point.

  5. The "no progress to report" type updates always feel like the hardest ones to write. Especially when it's due to circumstances outside your control.

    Here's hoping that both the weeks and the progress reports get easier from here on out.

  6. If there's one thing I can relate to as a writer, it's the pain of not getting work done. Seems like there's not enough hours in the day, and I'm not in a relationship or in a job where people depend on me to give 110% every day. Still, gotta focus on the road ahead, cause the past and the failures will just weigh you down (I know this, I'm a Cleveland sports fan.) We're all pulling for you Caleb! We got your back! On to the next one!