Sometimes I can work on one single thing for a very long time. For example, I’ve been designing and developing new character classes for 4e D&D regularly since April when I produced 1st-level builds for the Lurker, Captain, and Jester. Then sometimes I find myself rotating through multiple projects simultaneously.

I’ve been at odds with this practice for a long, long time.

I have no intention of coming across as vain — but I identify very strongly with some of the more recent interpretations of Sherlock Holmes being something of a puzzle- or challenge-junkie. I feel like very little of my brain is engaged unless I’m working through a game design quandary, and I’ve come to fear boredom.

What I would like to do of course, is nail one project after another in rapid succession. Make a video game. Write a novel. Illustrate a comic. And of course play any of a million different characters in my favorite roleplaying games.

Sometimes I hit a wall in a particular project and I just can’t see a way around it. And I know better than to leave my brain idling while I try to work my way around the problem. Even if I’m juggling multiple projects on “simmer,” I have to have something active, I have to be working. That drives me to research.

But that’s a relatively recent development.

About seven years ago, I realized that I was at war with myself — I still needed multiple projects to shift between, but to that point the projects I worked on had little-to-nothing in common with one another. I might make progress with one project, but I would start from scratch again with the next project.

So I made a plan.

I chose one thing — one thing that would be at the heart of all my projects. And I decided that everything I did had to somehow feed back into that one thing.

That one thing is The Seven States of Magic.

My projects are more organized and I feel like I get more accomplished. When I hit a wall, I still shift projects but I find myself coming back to them more often, more quickly. When I begin a new project, I find myself “starting” with more.

“Someday I’ll finish something,” I tell myself.

–Dithering Idium