Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

[Navel Gazing] Practical effects of mood

Having largely snapped out of that depression that had lasted at least a month (and possibly quite a bit longer: I'm honestly not sure now when it started), it's interesting to note how it affected me in practical ways.

On the one hand, it had surprisingly little effect on my productivity at work. Since I view so much of programming as a discipline, deep mood suckage didn't change what I really did very much. Indeed, it may well have *helped* my productivity at some times, because I wasn't as distracted as I often am -- when I'm cranky with everybody and everything, hammering code is sometimes less painful than dealing with LJ. (God knows I couldn't stand the idea of posting most of the time.) I don't think it even hurt my code quality much, since so much of that is driven by refactoring processes that are automatic by now. I just turned off my brain and did craftsmanship-coding, and the result was okay.

OTOH, my creativity suffered terribly. Coming up with new ideas for anything was like pulling my own teeth. Coding was fine, but the initial design process was dreadful. And my non-work creativity vanished entirely. By comparison, since the depression really snapped on Wednesday, I've come up with the full game design for Tabula Rasa 2.5 (a microgame that I'm incorporating into learnedax's metagame next year), plus two more microgames that, if I can get all three to work together, should make an artistically kickass LARP trilogy one of these days. (Not to mention a computer game idea that, while a bit derivative, if I could get the intellectual-property equation right, could do quite well.)

None of which is really astonishing, but may help me recognize the next time this happens, before it gets quite so bad...
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