January 9, 2024

Last year I had an interesting journey with my professional career and with my relationship to creativity. In some ways I really felt lost, a bit defeated and unsure of myself or my abilities to make decisions. It had me start to question why I even bother pursuing this idea of living a creative life. Wondering often, what that even means.

I needed a win, a reminder, a recalibration.

Which I got.

A book I was reading about creativity, along with a video I watched about taking an artistic approach to work, prompted a deep dive into answering a simple, yet profoundly complex question for myself...

What's true for me?

In an attempt to answer that question, I ended up deciding to produce a short film about my journey with creativity, because, apparently, that's what needed to happen. And why not? Seems doable, even though I've never done anything like that before.

In full disclosure, I proudly identify as what you would call a 'Jack of all Trades'. I have no formal education in film, other than having been in the creative industry assuming various roles from design, production, communications, strategy and management. Let's just say I know enough about a few things to be dangerous and can easily find myself in way over my head, which I was.

The Fog of War in the Battle for Creativity

The fog of war is a metaphor that's been used as far back as the 1800's. It meant to capture the uncertainty of any outcome, like that of a war. In today's world it refers to the difficulty of making decisions in the midst of (insert conflict here).

If you would indulge me on a tangent...

This connected me to one of the biggest reasons why I love to play certain video games, the irony that comes from how I tend to feel about that same struggle in the real world and a shift of perspective this experience is unraveling for me.

I've played video games for well over 35 years or so. I love playing video games, so much so, there is a space on my calendar dedicated to that activity alone.

In the virtual world there is also a fog of war

It's actually a primary mechanic in many games. It reveals what I've discovered on my journey and what i have yet to uncover. With every new discovery, comes a boost of confidence and courage to continue to venture forward into the unknown.

And I do so, eagerly and with a virtual pep in my step. EXCITED by the prospect of what new thing I might discover along the way.

Sometimes I'm ready for what's next, basking in the glory of a well deserved victory, other times I'm back at home base licking my wounds and preparing for the arduous journey to retrieve my stuff from a place I'm clearly not ready for.


With this new clarity and perspective, I can return with a level of readiness and preparation that simply didn't exist up until that moment where the fog of war lifted and I was face to face with an unexpected adversary.

I produced a short film (watch here). Now what?

This is what I asked myself and again. I am in way over my head. A few conversations with some inspiring people here in town how has me hosting a screening of my film at the end of this month.

One of my characters (I talk about that in a previous podcast), can't help but shake his head in disbelief as he comments on me "doing it again".

But here's the thing I am realizing...

I have an interesting relationship with the growth and grind of leveling up in the virtual world, and by association to certain games I play in the real world too.

I always enjoyed the game...

Regardless of the grind, when it was the game I CHOSE to play.

And even though there are some IRL games that I wished I didn't have to play, the simple truth is that fog of war that has been forever revealed is a good thing!

It will always be a variable I must navigate, but there will be ways for me to go around because I know it exists.

The Lesson?

You might now know what you'll uncover in the creative game you're playing, but you can ALWAYS choose which game you WANT to play. So if you don't like the game you're currently playing, pick a different one.

Just remember, with every new game comes a new fog of war.



Every month I share a personal perspective about the challenges and discoveries we/I face as human beings on our journey to live a creative life. The process we go through to uncover, distill and be recognized for the original value and point of view we bring.

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