Mind Cauldron is two years old! What now?

written by long rest, mental health, milestones, news, opinion

Mind Cauldron is celebrating 2 years since establishing in 2018!

Taking a Long Rest

To kick off the celebration, I’m taking a holiday!

When I began my business in Autumn 2018, I decided that I would “make the call” in two years time to decide if I want to continue running my own business or pursue another means of employment. It’s already over a month past that point (what is time?) and I have not taken the time to really consider the future of things. There is a lot to consider here, as I feel I have just begun my journey, and I have a few medium sized projects that show promise. Also, a pandemic was not factored into my business plan – so that has to be considered heavily. I currently have a few important commitments that I plan to keep going regardless – but I do feel I am at a cross-roads. Do I continue as a freelancer, or do I develop my own products and services? (I just rolled a 2, but the dice was an MTG spiral-down counter d20, not your standard equal weight d20 – so I’m going to reroll later instead…)

We often hear that you must look after your mental health – and well, it’s been two years since I had a proper break from running my small business and side-projects. It’s also been a tough year for everyone too. I survived on my savings as business dropped off during the lockdown and after – a lesson learned there!

While I could chew up my dwindling mental-health resources into dust to keep going forward at a snails pace (I don’t want to offend any snails), it seems silly to keep going like this.

I believe putting my tools down for a while will let me recover to a better state of mind and gain some much needed perspective. It has been very difficult personal challenge for me to take this holiday, even though I know I need it! I put it off by a week already. I guess I have to accept the old addage “work can wait” – even if I personally feel a strong anxiety about how the work will never wait and I will get left behind (You have unlocked the Second Recession of 21st century achievement, thanks capitalism!). My efforts to stay in the black have resulted in me neglecting my closest relationships with family and friends – it really sucks!

Only a few weeks ago I had a short conversation with my sister on her birthday and it was the best scheduled few minutes of this year. I nearly didn’t do it because I was back-to-back with meetings. I clearly need some time to relax and reconnect with my life outside of work! I’m sure you would agree. (If you are a robot, I suppose I could forgive you for thinking I am one too!)

To complete the Dungeons and Dragons analogy of a long rest, I’ve got some magical items I want to attune to – an irish bouzouki and pair of hiking boots. (Actually, I might run a game or something, that would be nice!).

Adding a freelance art service

As of August 2020 I have also been taking on a new type of freelance work – 2d artwork for games!

Specifically, Pixel Art and Concept Art for two very different projects – one is a 2D adventure game about a childhood summer, the other a 3D dark fantasy RPG set in the underworld. I can’t discuss more than that at this stage, but I am excited to work on both of these projects on and look forward to eventually sharing some fun artworks with you.

Such freelance art projects are exciting for me because I can focus on one job – I’m an instrument of visualising someone elses vision through my own lenses. Having such a focussed role is very rewarding experience, especially when given a wide range of creative freedom. I am able to tackle the problems with my full creative energy – instead of having to divide my attention across many aspects of a project., as I do with my own side projects or more complex setups.

Delivery programming tutorials and workshops

In the coming months I am running online programming grinds for students and adult learners alike. If you are having difficulty with your programming assignments or are interested in learning how to code but are confused about where to start, this might well be for you!

You can sign up for my newsletter for updates regarding programming tutorial registration and Mind Cauldron related news: http://eepurl.com/gINKQj

Tutorials designed to teach total beginners the basics of computer programming. While many people are content to take courses online, there are many who feel intimidated by the lack of support. In these virtual tutorial sessions, you have access to a professional programmer who can guide your solutions and answer any questions you may have.

The future!

It’s a strange time to be alive. 2020 so far has been a wild year – we all know the story. Right now I am doing my best to keep on going. I have learned to trust my ability to survive, and it is an important comfort that I hold close to my heart at times.

I am developing more skills and adapting all the time. There are many projects that I am excited about, from web development to game development to personal music projects. One thing is certain – I will never be bored!

As a small business owner in the West of Ireland, as a community member of the game development scene, and as a musician, all I can say is that I will pledge to make this little corner of the world a better place in whatever ways I can manage. Together we can get through any adversity the universe (or other people) can throw at us.

Take care of yourselves folks!

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