Rediscovering the joy of gaming

Gaming has always been a pretty big part of my life. It may have started with Spider and Solitaire as an innocent way to kill an hour or two, but now RPGs have taken over my free time and my mind. Series such as Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, Fable, and Witcher are among my favorites.

For a long time, I despised myself for loving videogames. Queue all the stereotypes: they are getting in the way of my productivity, it’s a waste of money and time, and they are dumbing me down as a person. Eh, nothing like some good old self-loathing to keep me “motivated”, right?

Wrong, oh, so wrong. The truth is, videogames gave us some amazing storytelling and inspired thousands of people to create art of their own. Be it illustration, fanfic, or ships no one has ever asked for, people got influenced by the games and went on to express their creativity in amazing and unique ways.

Take one’s game house building capabilites, add ambient sounds and some amazing instrumentals to get 1 Pure Magic 😀

Now that I’ve said it, I won’t be addressing the stereotypes anymore. The way I see it, people who are frowning upon playing videogames are just barring themselves from some of the most awesome stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s like refusing to watch TV on principle. In any case, you do you, just please don’t judge others for spending their time however they like.

So, back to the sense of joy I discovered in videogames. For many years, I’ve been enjoying lovely storytelling, roleplaying, and seeing the world from different points of view.

Last year, I started wondering how I could feel more comfortable about my love for videogames. I made my peace with it, but isn’t there more to it? Like, can I genuinely enjoy my games without getting jabbed with the inescapable sense of guilt every now and then?

As I turn thirty this Friday, I want to spend my time doing things that I truly enjoy. And even though I don’t expect this particular passion to provide me with a full-time income, I still just want to give myself a chance to do what I love for work. It’s not a job, but it’s something that I’d like to commit to and pour my heart and energy into. My biggest dream right now is to build a friendly creative community where people can share their passions and support each other along the way. I’ve gotten so many eyerolls over the years whenever I tried talking about videogames, roleplaying, unconventional storytelling, and cosplay; I just want to have a circle of people where these things unite us rather than give someone a reason to judge.

And of course, this is bigger than just videogames. I want to uplift people pursuing their creative passions. I’d like to encourage people to be their creative selves, be it for work or pleasure. They say you’re a sum of the people that surround you; I want my online circle to consist of wild, passionate, and creative people.

This is my North Star for the next decade of my life. I hope that I’m strong enough to see it through.

If my vision aligns with what you’re into, welcome to the club! Please feel free to reach out, share your work/hobbies here in the comments, and let’s keep in touch! Feel free to share your preferred method of communication, and links to your socials ok to post here. And when it comes to connecting with me and the rest of the community, you can do it on Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Discord, Youtube, and of course, here in the comments! 

I have a vision and goals that may be too big for me. But the bigger the community grows, the more realistic they sound.

Pets And Plants: Why Taking Care of Others Makes You A Healthier Person

Taking care of physical and mental health seems like a lot right now. We’re all scared, be it of getting sick or being broke. And yet I still think that we are better off having something or someone to take care of.

Taking care of something or someone else is a luxury – it requires time, money, mental health resources and ability to focus on someone else’s needs. But you also appreciate it so much more now that you’ve invested all this effort into it. A plant that you’ve had for 2 years is not just a piece of greenery in your house. It’s now a living and breathing part of your family that has needs, whims, and memories associated with it.

Also, a lot of us find it easier to act adult-like and feel responsible when someone depends on us, be it kids, spouse, pets, or plants. They help us cling to sanity when the world is as crazy as it is nowadays. That’s why so many people went out of their way to adopt a pet at the beginning of the pandemic.

And while being stuck with other humans inside a tiny apartment may sometimes cause more issues than pleasure, having company is still something to be grateful for.

On a personal note, I’m still struggling with keeping my plants alive over the long-term. There’s a beautiful tree that’s not doing too well right now in my living room due to who knows what reason. After all, it could be too much or too little water, not enough light, or just plain it could be the wintertime that’s getting it down (oh how I can relate to that!).

Cats, however, are warm and fuzzy all year-round. Cuddling with them is better part of my day no matter how amazing my day is. And while having pets certainly has its costs and certain inconveniences (like having a harder time moving and traveling), I still think that marrying the guy who had 2 cats was the best decision of my life. And of course, it helps that the adorable cats are not the only reason that makes me feel this way 😀

Overthinking How We Treat Content Creators

As I browse online spaces, it seems like many people seem to be utterly confused about what it means to be creative. Creativity, as well as art, gets divided into two categories – good and bad, worthwhile and a waste of time.

Honestly, it breaks my heart. So many creative people choose to stay inside a safe lane, showing less than they could have. If you’re not sure what I mean, let me give you an example.

A successful portrait artist may stay away from publishing pictures of herself because her online presence is typically all about her art and drawing techniques. Showing her face or, god forbid, her body will lose her followers and gain her a dozen of comments like “I subscribed for your art, not for the bod”.

I didn’t just come up with that story. This is exactly what happened to a fashion illustrator Victoria Kagalovska when she posted a more revealing than usual picture of herself in her Instagram stories. There were hundreds of unfollows.

Before I talk about this case in-depth, let’s take into assumption that no one ever owes anyone a follow on social media. Also, likes and follows on Instagram are not just vanity-driven. These numbers translate into income, a sense of fulfillment, and exposure to new opportunities. This blog is also not about featuring one’s body or not; rather, it’s about accepting that there’s a living human on the other side of the screen, the mastermind that has birthed the works of art that people enjoy (or used to enjoy) so much.

In my opinion, we are now living in an era when there’s a ton of free content available to you at the snap of your fingers. Do you want a free drawing tutorial? You got it, just find a video on Youtube or IGTV. Do you want to ask an artist you’ve been following for years a question about their unique technique? You can now slide into their DMs or ask them in the comments. No problem, easy-peasy. After all, artists want people to know their work and follow them, right? So they’ll do whatever it takes for their audience.

The problem is, the audience… is not exactly loyal anymore. Of course, there are still people who are so fond of their favorite content creators, they’ll follow you across various platforms, and they’ll be your loudest cheerleaders months and years down the line. However, not everyone by far is lucky to have that kind of fans.

Many followers view content creators as a function, for the lack of a better word. It’s fine and it’s understandable, to a degree. After all, you don’t really know this person anyway, right? You’re not attached to them in any way, you just consume their content. And if you see something you don’t like, you can always unsubscribe. Chances are, you’ll find many new content creators that you’ll vibe better with.

And while the paragraph above is factually correct, it is just so… consumerist. You consume artists’ work, you use their content for inspiration and ideas, and the second you don’t like something, you walk out on them. Possibly, after dropping a spiteful “Unsubscribed” message to show how disappointed you really are.

To me, it seems like it’s all take and no give. Instead, there should be a balance or at least something that resembles it. In the ideal world, followers on social media are meant to engage with the content they subscribe to see (i.e. likes, comments, shares, etc). In the perfect world, followers realize that they’re communicating with another human being who gets happy or hurt just like they do. And while I solemnly believe that we’re all responsible for our own reactions and emotions, I still see no good reason for people to openly provoke others by writing mean things online.

And if the content creator decides to come out of their shell just a bit more and show off their personality in a different light, I feel like their audience should be a little more understanding. People should remember that you’re dealing with a person, and a human cannot be simplified down to one function, one type of art, one tiny tight niche. We’re all more complex than that. We have multiple facets: hobbies, music preferences, type of humor, and even alter-egos. A content creator doesn’t owe you to be what you imagined them to be. Just like you don’t owe anything to them, really.

But we don’t live in the perfect world. Internet trolls drop their loads in people’s social media profiles, haters hate, and consumers consume. Gratitude is rare but priceless, and it’s always heartwarming.

Content creators work hard doing what they do. And just like everyone else, they are looking for appreciation, attention, and kindness in return for their work. Money’s also a great perk, but that’s a different topic entirely.

My point is, please remember that content creators are humans. Again, I’m not asking for devotion or following for life, but please don’t treat them like a vending machine either.

And just because you don’t consider selfies worthy of a serious artist (whatever that may mean), they don’t need to evoke a spiteful public response. Just because you hate reading a 500-word essay on the origins of the recipe you’re about to use, doesn’t mean that all food bloggers should stop doing what they’re doing (and what seems to be working well from the SEO standpoint since you have, in fact, found them through a search engine).

All I’m asking for is some slack. If you see a fashion blogger who inspires you to recreate their outfits, let yourself accept the fact that someone will want to advertise products with them. A painter may come out with a line of brushes under their own brand, and even use them regularly in their paintings and how-to videos. And if you have subscribed to an all-around creative person, don’t be turned off when they decide to explore a totally new field. Give the content creator a chance. If you really like their art and trust their judgment, you might actually get exposed to something different and wonderful.

ways to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Ways To Cope With The Coronavirus Pandemic

Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everybody out there is an introvert like me. It’s a funny concept, yes, that people are indeed different and that they behave in different ways. Shocking, I know. Yet we always get surprised when another person refuses to comply with the rules. That is especially true if those are the rules that you had no problem following. Also, it’s dreadful to witness how something that you manage to ignore triggers the living light out of another person. As humans, we often don’t get it. We start coming up with various explanations of how another person decided to act one way or another, completely overlooking the simplest and most universally true reason of them all: we are all different.

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This is a post about taking responsibility for how much money I make

How I Took Responsibility For How Much Money I Made

I’ve been making my own money for years. I had my first official job when I was 17. I was cleaning the streets of my hometown for a month to earn $200 (that was a standard entry-level salary at home). I made my very first money when I was 7, when I was in second grade.

My school gave me $10 for finishing the first semester with top grades only. It felt so nice! There were only 5 of “scholarship” receivers that semester, and I felt super proud of myself to be one of them.

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Now you know what I did last summer. Enjoy this view of a lighthouse on Long Point beach of Cape Cod

Now you know what I did last summer

Happy Labor Day everyone! Now that the summer is officially over, it’s time to tell what I’ve been up to, and why I’ve been away from the Creative Overthinker blog.

On top of having my seasonal retail job (hello, #CapeCodLiving ), I started a writing business. I write blog posts, product descriptions, and any other website content for other bloggers and small businesses. I’ve also done ghostwriting (fun topic which I really want to analyze once I have a little bit more first-hand experience) and copywriting, which is quite exciting. That was my summer, thank you for your time, like and subscribe!

Continue reading “Now you know what I did last summer”