I was out for a walk tonight with my lovely wife Meredith and chatting about Live Geek or Die and what I hope to accomplish with it. I spent the weekend at a conference talking about new media and came away from it re-energized about this little piece of the internet and what I want to do with it. Over the past few months I have allowed myself to come up with excuses as to why I couldn’t post instead of just posting. And when I get right down to it, there really is only one reason - I don’t want to suck.
I spoke with Cliff Ravenscraft at the conference this weekend about how to get the energy to pursue writing on this blog. I was feeling worn out from a particularly long week at work and asked him “How do you find the energy to make things happen in between the time that you get the idea and the time when you can work on it full time?” Cliff told me “I don’t want to discourage you, but if you have to force yourself to work on it, maybe you’re not that passionate about it. You really have to want to do this, to the point where someone couldn’t pay you to stop doing it.” Cliff told me he was paraphrasing Gary Vaynerchuk when he was giving me that advice, but he shook something loose in me when he did it. I realized that I really wasn’t giving Like Geek or Die the attention it deserved.
I mean, I can easily come up with a bunch of reasons why I don’t have time or energy to blog. I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I just want to turn my brain off and game. I need to get to work early. I should read. I want to watch this funny video. I don’t have anything to add to someone’s reporting. No one is reading anyway.
All those reasons are just excuses though - I burn more calories coming up with them then actually pounding out some article.
Bottom line is that I don’t want to suck. I want to create something original and fresh - I don’t want to just add to the noise.
I think not wanting to suck is what drives a lot of geeks. We all have certain passions, and we feel that in order to honor those passions, we have to take things a step above the average. We have to know every character in Star Wars and what their backstory is. We have to have a considered opinion on whether Picard or Kirk was the better captain, and be prepared to defend it. We have to be able to know all the various status effects in the Player’s Handbook without looking them up. We have to get that final achievement in the game. Our toon needs to be the best geared on the server. We can tell you the batting averages of every Red Sox player from the 1967 season. We can tell you how to do an engine swap on an STi. We want our website to have more pageviews than someone else. Our product shouldn’t be just good, but insanely great.
I think that is one of the wonderful thing about being a geek - wanting to rise above the average, the run-of-the-mill, the mediocre, the same, the “good enough,” the boring. I think that when a geek enjoys something, it is with a light inside them that burns a little brighter than others.
So I’m going to continue being a geek, but I’m not going to let my fear of sucking get in the way of delivering excellent content. Stay tuned.