I was invited by another geek therapist, The Mindful Misfit MFT, to attend this book tour. She messaged me on FaceBook and asked,
"Do you know Felicia Day?"
In my head I was thinking, "Uh, yes?!" (I've followed her since her YouTube days with The Guild, and it empowered me to be more of my geek and gamer self at the time. It was so relateable, and sad and funny to see a script based on the lives of online gamers.)
So it turns out, Felicia Day wrote a memoir. And in this memoir is very personal things about growing up with home schooling, acting, and being a professional creative female. She also talks candidly about her depression and gaming addiction when things got overwhelming for her.
Even though she lived with her brother and home schooled with him, it seemed like they never connected until they gamed together. I resonate with this statement because my brother also introduced me to World of Warcraft. We didn't have much to say to each other in person, but gaming and having goals to accomplish as a team really connected us.
Bringing people together is one wonderful aspect of gaming.
Some tidbits that I wanted to share from the talk she had with Wil Wheaton are the following:
Collaborate & Seek Others:
Both Wil and Felicia talked about how isolating it can be as an artist with depression and/or anxiety. Sometimes it feels like a burden to share so much emotion with others. Wil disclosed how he felt so bad that Felicia was going through this pain and didn't have anyone to share it with. He was right there and didn't even know. And that's how depression can be for many of us.
Self-worth and Pressure on Achievement:
Perfectionism is a curse for many creatives, and it limits the enjoyment of creation. Both paired their self-worth and ability to be liked by others with approval and tangible outcome. Wil and Felicia are both working on this self love and acceptance, and shared that it is enough just being you. You are enough without the accolades and accomplishments.
How to Balance Work/Life as an Artist:
The practical advice came as learning what your baseline is. This is in terms of one's depression and anxiety. Each of us has a baseline that we stray from in times of stress or high emotion. Taking time to acknowledge what we look like without any stress can help us work towards maintaining the ups and downs closer to this baseline.
o Coping Skills: Figure out what works for you, and what doesn't work for you.
o Self-Monitor: Sometimes we're so busy, we don't take notice of how we're feeling and our body's internal state. Start noticing what's going on when we feel certain ways can help bring us back to that baseline.
"Find a place to perform for the love & joy of performing." -Wil Wheaton
A part that struck a chord with me is the overall society view of art. It's seen as something as a hobby, something that couldn't really be compensated well until one becomes a celebrity. Being in the middle of unknown and well-known has its financial and emotional consequences. Both Wil and Felicia touched on this topic of money, and said,
"Make art...creative outlet for the sake of creativity." -Wil Wheaton
"You do it because you want to get your voice out there."-Felicia Day
(on whether her YouTube series would be successful now, and advice to others thinking of making work on YouTube)
Felicia advocated for seeking a therapist as an artist or geek. Her writing of this memoir helped sort through many of her life's moments, gave herself permission to fail, and acknowledge that she has accomplished so much. She encourages more of us to write that memoir to see how healing telling our story can be.
Thank you so much, Felicia!
Felicia gave me one resource, Anxiety Gaming, and it is a nonprofit that connects gamers with therapists. The nonprofit can help pay for services. I hope to work with them soon.
If these tips from Wil & Felicia are difficult to implement or maintain, give me a call! I'm in the OC area and love to help fellow artists, geeks, and gamers level up. (949)381-1894
Purchase the Book here:
Connect Online Gamers With Therapists | Anxiety Gaming
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Links on Creativity | Organized Messes