On Writing and Quarantine

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It’s been some time since I wrote an update. A lot has changed in the world, and that has naturally affected my work, as well. After a difficult winter, during which I was sick more often than seems entirely necessary, March brought the Covid-19 crisis to my doorstep. Since March 13th my part of the world has been under the onus of social distancing, which has gradually affected more and more parts of my life. Although it may superficially seem that my normal routine is not much different than what I’m doing now, the constant barrage of news and the worry for myself and those around me take an emotional toll, which can make productivity quite difficult.

All the same, I continue working on Turncoat Chronicle, and am making steady progress with chapter three. When this chapter is complete, I will post another update. After that, my next goal is the small mountain of feedback my hard-working beta readers have supplied, for which I promise I’m very grateful, despite the amount of work it entails. The beta stage of the game is difficult but rewarding, and I know that it will make the game that much better, in the end. Regretfully, sometime during the long and irritating winter, I had to let go of the idea that the game would be complete by spring. With the stability of my routine upset, it’s hard for me to assess when that might actually be.

Through the last three weeks or so of the crisis intensifying on a daily basis, I’ve been surrounded by hard-working and resilient people, all doing their best to fight the apathy and panic that threaten us. It is only too easy to succumb to one or the other, and nearly impossible to fend them off alone. Writing is a lonely and complex pursuit at the best of times, and the enforced solitude of shelter in place only makes it more difficult. Despite my anger and frustration at the circumstances that led us to the current level of crisis, I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who is working so hard to fight the tide of indifference.

I’ve found that spending too much time on social media makes me both anxious and restless, and for the last three weeks my tolerance level has dropped dramatically. It’s hard to balance staying informed versus not allowing myself to sink into a downwards spiral of animus without target. Accordingly, I’ve limited my exposure and have tried to focus myself on my work, and on the basic tasks of living.

On the other hand, when I do limit my exposure, I have greater tolerance for these long-form updates. That’s why I’m here writing this blog post, even though I ostensibly don’t have much to update you with. Progress on Turncoat Chronicle is steady but slow. A second ChoiceScript project has been on hiatus since fall, but I’ve dedicated some time more recently to contemplating what I want my second game to be. Editing TC has provided some useful feedback on the mistakes I made early in the development process, and I’ll be feeding those directly into the design phase of my second game.

Until the uncertainty fades, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, as I have always done.

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