Followers of the site will know that it’s been quiet for some time in posting news or much other content beyond the truly excellent Glynn Seal’s maps on Map Monday. This has mostly been down to the fact that OSRToday is mostly operated by one person and is one of the operational parts of InfiniBadger Press. Now, InfiniBadger Press (like much of the OSR community itself) is just a small one-man creative-production shop for the most part, so when life gets really busy, it has a habit of having a knock-off effect into everything going on. OSRToday, as well as other InfiniBadger projects, suffered from some major life events that happened over the last quarter of 2015. InfiniBadger generates revenue, but like many small companies, it’s only part-time revenue, and it’s not enough to support me full-time. This means that I run it as a secondary concern to having another job. I’m not alone in that. Now add in family and other commitments. Things get busy. Sometimes too busy.
Back in September I returned to academia, taking a position within my alma mater and the university where I had been completely my Masters degree. Just to give some context, I ended up not getting my Masters degree and am “all but thesis” because in 2014 I ended up almost dying from a blood clot that materialized from nowhere; the drug I was placed on to treat it ended up making me very sick for three months and ended up causing me to have long-term health concerns with a disorder called post-thrombotic syndrome. The short of that is that the blood clot situation was put under control, but I ended up suffering bad physical side effects that I still today suffer from. This all happened at the same time as I was completing my Masters and led to my non-completion.
Fast-forward to September and my new job allowed me to leverage everything I was doing in my Masters as well as leverage many of my other skills and allow me to get back on track with a number of things. The problem though is that the project I was coming on board to take charge and run was basically almost 18-24 months behind schedule and had some challenges. There were some major deadlines that needed to be met and some major work that needed to be done, all within a short span of time. Basically 18 months of work needed to be done in about 3 months. It wasn’t easy, but it was done, deadlines were met, and the project is now back on track and will be stronger. My job is not only secure there, but is going to grow in scope in the future, allowing me to return to finish my degree in the near future as well as continue on to complete an even more advanced degree.
But that three months at the end of last year was hard, and I had a number of projects on the go at the same time, projects that suffered, including OSRToday. When you’re involved in a number of projects, even if you’re a good project manager, sometimes you don’t manage them all well. You only have some many resources that you can manage and allocate, and this includes you (which project managers often forget). If you’re lucky you’re only managing the project, but in academia and in the tabletop roleplaying community, the chances are that you’re not only managing the proejct but doing the bulk of the work involved in the projects as well. This leads to a lot of stress as you try to juggle lots of roles and responsibilities, and eventually leads to burnout. So you mitigate this as you go by prioritizing the things that take importance. Sometimes communication doesn’t go as well as it should. Sometimes you drop the ball on a few things. Sometimes you burn out and need to recover.
That’s where I ended up just before Christmas: burned out from juggling lots of cats and working lots of hours to meet deadlines. I’m not as young as I used to be any more. I’m still suffering from the effects of being ill last year from the blood clot (although I have strategies for dealing with that and it’s not usually too bad unless I push myself too much). I got overwhelmed. Some things suffered.
The really good news is my main job now has normalized. The crunch period is mostly over (with just one major deadline to meet this week that we’ll do) and then we get to have things back under control. This means that I can return to the other projects that have suffered, including OSRToday, and can begin regularly posting here (which actually takes up a fair bit of time to source content and post it, which is challenging when you’re already overwhelmed).
I’m looking to bring on additional help to grow and develop the site further, but just need to work out the details for that. The site does offer compensation for contributors through a royalty program, but that may need some revision to support others posting news and links, but that’s something that the site has to be able to financially support. It also needs some additional documentation to enable this, as well as some new protocols and processes. That takes time to not only work out but also to put together.
Various in-progress parts of the site such as The Mountains of Kaban Hexcrawl will be updated shortly, as soon as I’ve got some other projects under way, including releasing the Zero Issue of Old School Quarterly, which is terribly delayed, as well as some other InfiniBadger projects and some external projects that are running a little late. These need to be placed under control before other projects start. New project management processes are being put into place to handle this. Mea culpa, but I’m going to get it fixed.
As the site returns to normal posting over the next week or two, I’ll be reviewing what needs to be done to make the site not only thrive but prosper and will be posting more details on that, so keep your eyes peeled.