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Great Things Only Happen with Adequate Priority -or- Sacrifice is a Virtue

January 7th, 2017

Hail all. Please allow me to share with you a recent difficult (but important) decision I made and how it affects The Hearth of Britannia.

Some of you may know that I recently started studying the longsword at Forteza here in Chicago. I started this for several reason. Firstly, I missed my days as a fencer, specifically the learning aspect. As I find modern fencing generally to be ridiculous, I was excited to learn something more "realistic" through the study of historical European martial arts (HEMA). I also jumped into this because Jouten Asero, Beard Commander here at The Hearth, joined last year and wouldn't stop talking about how fantastic it was. In late October last year, I joined Forteza and fell in love immediately.

This past Wednesday, I quit longsword fencing.

As I approached the door Wednesday, before I even got inside, I realized that something was amiss. I had an overwhelming sense that I didn't want to be there. I couldn't shake it. I experienced the classic adrenaline symptoms of tingling teeth, tunnel vision, and dulling of hearing. I sat by myself for a while, wondering if it was just anxiety, but the symptoms didn't pass. I called my fiancee, Aleks, and we discussed it. It turns out that I didn't want to be there not because I didn't enjoy it, I did enjoy it! It turns out, I wanted to be elsewhere more. I wanted to be in my kitchen.

For those who don't know, I am paying the most rent I've ever paid by over 50%. I pay this high rent so I can live somewhere that has a kitchen adequate for the experimentation necessary to write my cookbook. Unfortunately, this kitchen is just over an hour from my current job. My job also requires one more hour daily than any job I've had previously. That extra hour plus my commute adds up to a full fifteen hours per week gone that I'm used to having. Fifteen hours per week is 3/4 the amount of time I want to be spending on the book!

While it was convenient for me that Forteza was only a ten minute walk north of my workplace, it didn't change the fact that classes ran until 8:30 or 10:00 p.m. Given that, I wasn't getting home until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. three nights weekly. I realized when I was talking with Aleks that this was a huge part of why my apartment still isn't fully unpacked and why I was becoming more anxious and frustrated daily. I simply had zero time outside of weekends to get anything at all done. Additionally, longsword isn't free. I told my fiancee...

I'm paying nearly $200/month for the privilege of not spending time in my kitchen that I'm already paying $1,600/month for!

...after I said those words aloud, my decision became obvious.

When I moved to Chicago, I decided that my two main priorities for my free time were to finish the cookbook and develop HoBLARP (HoBLotHs are part of HoBLARP in my mind). While becoming a fantastic swordsman is super cool, it doesn't advance the cookbook in any way and only marginally contributes to designing a LARP system. It also doesn't do anything for the community at-large. The only way to create anything quality is to ensure that it is a priority. Thus, I have redoubled my efforts toward my main projects.

While a full State of The Hearth address will be made during the Dragonsmeet on January 19th detailing plans moving forward, I want to publicly state that all rewards for Patreon backers (e.g. one on one live streams, birthday cards, etc.) will start in February.

I feel good about this decision and I am eager to make tangible progress on the cookbook.

The cookbook (and the community it has built) is the single most important project of my life.

It is the project that started it all and will become my legacy, for better or worse. I am now laser focused on it and HoBLARP/HoBLotH for 2017. Thank you for your support, understanding, and time for reading this message.

Forever at thy service,
Rustic Dragon

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