Personal Development

Celebrating My Own Personal Independence Day

On this day in 2010, I quit my day job to work on my indie game development business full-time.

Even though a few short years later I was back on “corporate welfare” after getting a job again, I still mark it on my calendar as my own personal Independence Day.

It wasn’t the first time I had quit a job. I’ve had part-time jobs as a cashier at a pharmacy chain and a grocery store that I’ve quit, but those were either for scheduling conflicts or inconvenience with my schooling. This personal holiday is about celebrating the first time I quit because I decided to put my full-time efforts into my own business.

To this day, it’s also the only time I’ve done so. In 2012, when I was getting my new day job that was at once familiar and foreign, I remember thinking that I’d quit within a few years at most after saving up some money to try again.

So it’s been almost a decade since then, and I am still working at a day job as my primary means of income, my indie game development business is still making almost nothing, and my overall strategy of slowly building up something on the side might be too slow to make work.

Last year I wrote about my worries about not having much to show for it all these years.

It’s a bit melancholy.

In it, I talk about a lot of other responsibilities I had, and with the COVID-19 pandemic last year, I found that a lot of extra-curriculars kind of fell off my plate. I was able to work the day job from home, which meant I didn’t need to commute. I didn’t need to drive a kid to a club or sporting event every day. I rarely left the home, in fact.

It was an opportunity to think about what I prioritized in my life.

Last year I did get back into game development, putting out multiple updates to Toytles: Leaf Raking, and eventually starting what would become the still-in-development Toy Factory Fixer.

And even though it was still slow, it was steady, and it was attention spent more on my business. It’s only a few hours a day at most, and I think nothing has changed much since last year in this regard, but somehow I’m enjoying the process more.

I’m still worried about going too slow, but somehow I’ve let go of an attachment to a need to be faster or arbitrarily productive. I no longer stress myself out or lament what could have been. I just accept how things are, and then I try to make it better.

After some back and forth, I finally decided a couple of days ago to take the day off from my day job. I really should make it a permanent work holiday for myself rather than questioning it each year.

I expect to spend the day mostly on game development, something I usually put off until my day job hours are done.

But I plan to do some journaling and planning, too.