In the past two weeks two favorite hobby-related bloggers, “Der Alte Fritz” and Phil Olley of “The War Cabinet” have both changed gears. What makes this noteworthy is that both men are devotees of the idea of “forever projects” and have written posts about how to avoid hopping from project to project.
This isn’t an “ha ha” delivered with the voice of Nelson the bully from the Simpson’s, the triumphant gloating of a hobby dilettante who is constantly changing gears from one project to another. No, instead I am intrigued by the notion that “eternity projects” don’t really last forever. Fritz has moved from Seven Years War to Napoleonics. Olley has moved from the Seven Years War to the other direction; he is now focusing on the Thirty Years War. Olley wrote a concise but detailed rationale as to why he was making the switch. The short version? It’s different enough from what he is doing to spark interest, but similar enough to allow him to capitalize on his existing resources.
I don’t have an “eternity project” and perhaps never will. But I’ve realized that I have spent much of the year building terrain. Late last fall I finished the ruined fieldstone pieces, then the sci-fi pieces for my friend, and the ranch house for my other friend. And finally there’s the pieces for the End of the World convention. I need to finish the ranch house by the end of August, a task that really needs most of my attention. Following that I need to hammer away at the EOW pieces. EOW is in mid-October, though. Once it is done, it’s done. I could continue building those sci-fi box-like pieces, but I don’t know if I will. What I really would like to think about is not “hey, pick a project you’ll do forever” but instead just thinking of what I’d like to do between one EOW and the other. I will make this promise, or at least this firm assertion: I will forego doing any projects for other people. I don’t regret making the commitments to my two friends–and I’m not just saying that because both people read this blog. I enjoy building terrain and not having to store it in my own home is a bonus. But, like DAF and the Napoleonic project, my mojo tends to wane while doing it. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is my own dismay when I make mistakes in their pieces.
No, I’m thinking in the next October-to-September year I’ll just stick my own projects. I’m also thinking that whatever the project is, it should probably not be something particularly bulky either. I am running out of space on my shelves in the worktable; I either need to relocate some of the terrain I’ve built or move in another direction. I may even consider getting rid of the EOW pieces when I’m finished, perhaps giving them to a local gaming store. I would consider selling them, but the project’s size and weight would be discouraging to eBay bidders. Anyone in the Ohio area who might be interested in the terrain and who might be willing to work out picking it up, feel free to let me know and we’ll see where I am after October.
But I really don’t know what the Oct-Sep project might be. Stick to the roleplaying games (which could entail painting minatures, etc.)? Finally start the SYW imagi-nation? Something else entirely? Just thinking out loud.