Guardian Acorn | Continue, Don't Quit

Site Progress & Personal Update: April 2019 + Patreon Revision (again)

I need to confess to those who may not have caught on, but the last few months have been a major struggle for me. I have suffered from major burnout after having posted the largest piece of writing I’ve ever written and then dealt with the revelation that a close friend of mine was a manipulative sex pest so things were not going smoothly. It seemed like I was finally started to get back into the swing of things in March as I had a consistent schedule throughout that month until around the 20th where I stopped… almost permanently.

CW: Depression, suicide.

I’ve talked about my depression and suicidal ideation and I’ve made it known that they have been quite intense. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I attempted to act on them though. The closest I came was when my ex girlfriend cut off all contact with me and I called 911 to prevent a suicide attempt, and that happened in late April of last year. I was taken to the ER for a few hours then but this time, I was admitted to a psyche ward where I had no access to internet and thus could not talk to most of my friends or work on writing.

So there, it’s not just me being lazy this time. I was legitimately unable to do so. I should probably talk about my experience at this psyche ward but first let’s recap.

Amazing VGM: World Map Themes (Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line)

Banjo-Kazooie (N64/360): Rareware’s Masterpiece (Detailed Review)

Steam Greenlight Landfill: Cube Master: Light Adventure

Fangame Review: (Mario) The Music Box – ARC

Amazing VGM: Spiral Mountain (Banjo-Kazooie)

Standard Review: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode One (PC/360/PS3)

I can definitely say I put out more new content in March than in February. While the amount of pieces posted is similar, there was more original content that I actually wrote that month than there was re-edited older reviews of mine. I quite like my reviews of Banjo-Kazooie and (Mario) The Music Box – ARC. I likely would have gotten more done if it weren’t for that suicide attempt which I should probably explain.

I will just say flat out that my suicide attempt occurred as a result of one of my medications. Normally I’m able to stifle self harm urges and the worst that happens is me me feeling like shit without the drive to actually go through with it. One of the meds I took though… it worsened my condition significantly. What triggered my suicide attempt was something that would just be a typical argument, yet it was bad enough that I needed to be physically restrained by my family while they called 911 and the police took me to the hospital.

Given my left wing audience, most people likely assumed the worst when they heard the the police were at my house, but things went surprisingly smoothly. I was treated with dignity and respect and the officers and nurses were mostly respectful of my pronouns. I wasn’t mistreated at the psyche ward either and with the exception of not having my meds for the first day of the stay, it was a peaceful experience. It was exactly how it should be and I am thankful for that considering I’ve often heard how some of my peers are treated. It’s sad that I’m genuinely appreciative of people doing their job the way that they are supposed to because the status quo is so fucked up, but nonetheless I am glad this was the case.

The important thing is that I’m no longer taking the medication that resulted in this suicide attempt (but am taking the rest of my medication, just to avoid any unnecessary concern), and this stay has given me time to reevaluate ways to not only prevent this from happening again, but to overall improve my mental state as to minimize the risk of any future harm.

My plan going forward is to emphasize self care and to make improvements to my life as a whole. This has made me think of just what I want to do with my life and how I will go about pursuing it. What I know I want is to be a writer. Not just someone who writes reviews for a small corner of the internet but someone whose words mean something to a lot of people. Perhaps my biggest flaw is that no matter how I can think about it, I’m always aiming for something bigger.

If a year ago I was shown just how much I have accomplished and effected people’s lives, I would be absolutely floored. Despite this, I have a constant feeling of powerlessness in my inability to help everyone that truly needs it. I also know fully well that I will never be able to do everything no matter how powerful I become. I could become the President of the United States and I’d still be frustrated by the amount of shit I’m powerless to help others with (plus there is no way I can take the immense stress of such a job in my current mental state so I’ll almost definitely crack).

While it is normal to pursue success in life, I don’t think it’s normal to constantly feel like you’re not doing enough. So it begs the question of how one becomes more comfortable in their current position? I don’t hate my current position. I’ve already accomplished a lot more than most people will with less given to me to start with, but I also really don’t want to be stuck here forever. I want to accomplish more and more, and I want to become more and more well known for my achievements. I can push myself forward by envisioning this future, but there’s the lingering fear that it will never happen; that this is as far as I’ll get and it’s only downhill from here.

It’s a game of constantly juggling these states of mind until it wears me down and I become depressed that I even think like this in the first place; and that is won’t stop. It leads to a cycle of me being depressed…. that I’m depressed. Thankfully I am usually able to outlast this state until I just start feeling better, but what happened a few weeks ago was not like the first time I was hospitalized.

When my ex left me, I lost all hope and fell into a deep state of grief and depression that I couldn’t see myself sinking out of. Despite the fact that I only spent one night in the hospital, that one was a much more harrowing experience that I still have not gotten over even though a year will have passed since then later this month. I still miss her dearly and wish there was a way to undo my mistake. I’ve grown immensely since then and would not make the same mistake again, but I also can’t change what I’ve done.

Thankfully I have a reason to be optimistic since it took a year to fully get over my first GF to and the deep gaping wound left in my soul is now nothing more than a slight scrape that still stings from time to time, but never hurts like it once did. In another year or so, it may not even sting any more. Also another ex of mine that I thought I’d never see again messaged me and we both reconciled. We are not only friends again but we are back together. Both of us have grown significantly again and I am looking forward to what the future has for us (I haven’t forgotten about Liz by the way, we are still together; we’re just poly).

Anyway I have decided that I would make a few revisions to the way I do things from now on. In the past I have avoided schedules for updates and simply posted new pieces on a basis of “whenever the hell I feel like it.” I have decided that I will now will have a set schedule of posting a major piece of mine (a review, political piece, countdown, etc) each Monday and will put up a new poem each Wednesday. For smaller pieces like Amazing VGMs, I will aim for on Fridays but are not guaranteed weekly.

I do reserve the right to not meet these 100% of the time but I will post an update on my Patreon page if I suspect I may not meet the schedule. I am also revamping my Patreon in accordance with this new system of mine. In the past I have basically put a piece up the moment I finished editing it. From now on I will post my Monday and Wednesday as a patron only piece as soon as I finish it and will post it publicly on Guardian Acorn the next week.

There are a few reasons for this. The first one is to provide an incentive to become a patron considering that no one else seemed interested in the prior rewards and most pledged to support me and my work personally. There is another reason beyond “I need to make money somehow” though and I believe it is more significant than the one I just mentioned.

The second reason is because of how shaky my update schedule has been as of late. I’ve been trying to return to a normal schedule but I’m often prone to having my productivity decreased due to outside circumstances. These past few months have had a lot of these but I think there is another reason behind this. For almost two years I’ve been able to ride a wave of forward momentum in regards to my content, and I’ve constantly put everything I can into it. Such a thing is not easy to keep up, especially for someone who is also working on other things. I just finished the script for the Bloody Chronicles DLC episode and might work on the full game.

If that doesn’t work out, we never know what changes might be made to my life. I’ve considered going back to college and I know if I do that then there will be less time to work on this stuff. The same if I ever get a “real job.” I was able to focus on this much content primarily because of the fact that my dad provides for me and I have all the time in the world. That may not always be the case, so it’s best for me to get prepared.

That is why I plan to have my upcoming pieces temporarily serve as patron only content. If I don’t have a new piece written and edited then I will touch up an older piece of mine that I still have yet to post here and post it. The current plan for me is to re-edit my review of Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Two and post it this Monday and Likely PAA Episode Three the following Monday, while I work on writing and editing my review of Luigi’s Mansion, posting it to my Patreon page the closest Monday, then posting it to GA the next Monday. Poems will work the same way, although I have more than enough in stock before I actually decide to start writing new ones.

If one is dismayed that they need to wait longer to see my content then it may be a relief for you to know that viewing my posts early will only require $1.00 a month. I want my work to be seen by as much people as possible so I don’t believe in requiring a high costing pay wall to see something you can see for free in about a week. There will be two other patron tiers and I think I know what they will be for.

The $5.00 tier will allow input on patron only polls that I will set up to influence future content. I will attempt to have at least one poll a month and I will follow the results of these polls closely. it is not a 100% guarantee that I will be 100% accurate to the polls but I will give them special consideration.

My third tier will be $20 a month and the reward will be that they will pick a game for me to review and I will review it… provided that I agree to the game. I also reserve the right to cancel the request if they cancel their pledge after 6 months. Note that I am making this tier intentionally strict for a few reasons.

The first is that doing reviews by request has…gone pretty poorly in the past. I allowed patrons to dictate reviews in exchange for pledges when I first started out and have had three games requested via this method. Two years later and I have only reviewed two of those three games. The two of those I have reviewed were Worms Reloaded and Contraption Maker. I had virtually no interest in either of those two games to begin with and the latter I couldn’t bring myself to play much of despite the fact that I put off the review until long after the patron who requested these two (and gave me Steam codes for them) long after they unpledged.

The problem with it the first time is that I did not give myself the option to say “no” to a game I genuinely was not interested in and I didn’t occur to me that having less of an interest result in my writing being of lower quality. This does not explain why I am requiring the patron to pledge for sixth months just for me to review a game though.

I am well aware that most would not want to pay that much money for a review when they could most likely afford the game itself for less. The reason for this isn’t to nickle and dime my patrons out of every last nickel and dime they have because capitalism, but rather because of the exact opposite; I don’t want an overabundance of requests. I don’t want too many because, as I’ve already established, I’m terrible at keeping to my schedule.

The reason WHY I’m terrible at keeping to my schedule isn’t because of a simple “I’m lazy,” but rather because following a strict schedule of what you will and will not play and review is boring as hell. Anyone can tell you whether or not a game is good or whatever, but I clearly offer something that most other reviewers do not have. Otherwise no one would have a reason to regularly read my stuff.

I’m not an IGN writer. I don’t aim to be a generic faceless goon writing “objective” assembly line reviews about how well games function as commercial products. I instead want to focus on how they function as art, but one’s entire perception of art is shaped by their own values or interests. The way I write about games that really touch me like EarthBound, Euphoria, NieR Automata, Persona 3, Saya no Uta, Undertale, and LISA: The Painful, as well as games that truly disgust me like Starless or The Interview, cannot be applied to every game I play.

By limiting the amount of pledges I get for review requests yet still leaving the option open, this means that the games in question will have a personal enough connection to spark a piece with genuine insight to it. It also ensures that those who do go through with the pledge must REALLY like my stuff. This is my own way of compromising between “patrons cannot directly affect future content” and “I will review whatever the hell they say.”

Also of note is that if someone pledges for the purpose of a review request and is genuinely serious, but unpledges because of unforeseen financial circumstances, it does NOT automatically mean the request is canceled. As I said, the content I create is heavily based on my own interest. Anything that I won’t outright reject is something that I want to cover on my own already, the request just bumps it ahead in the schedule. Also with future requests I hope to complete them before the sixth month limit in the first place, but this is there as insurance; for both myself that I get at least some significant financial gain and the patron in that their game will still be at the forefront contender of scheduled games and will be ahead of every other game that I have not been paid to cover.

If any patrons of mine didn’t get access to their rewards of the Q&A piece (available for anyone who has had a pledge of $3.00 or between December 20th of 2017 and the date this update is posted) or the video chat (available to anyone who had a pledge of $10.00 or more between the aforementioned time frame) then they are still eligible to receive them and feel free to message me if you want them. It just occurred to me now that I listed the monthly live stream as a reward in my last Patreon update piece and never deleted that section despite making the reward category unavailable. I also never got that stream going because I’m am enormously incompetent in regards to a lot of technological matters. Also if someone has already pledged over $20.00 prior to this update then those months will be counted for the eligibility of a review request, although only one person has fit that category and she’s such a sweetheart that I’d fulfill her request even if she canceled right now (but I’d be sad if she did that for any reason other than her own financial difficulties).

On the subject of Patreon, it is time for patron shout outs once again! Special thanks to Alice Frances Timawa, Allison, Beverley Martin, bluedesolation, Cesar Zamudio, IceTheRetroKid, Jennifer Hogueison, Kelly Gallagher, Meiastra, Molly, Rinnie S, and Tammy Solomon. I immensely appreciate the support you all have offered and I hope to create content that you all continue to enjoy for many years to come.

Anyway this is probably the lengthiest site update I’ve made next to a certain one that I have deleted and will never be reposted because it was about a relationship that i should not have gotten my readers involved with. I am confident that things will continue to improve from hear on out. Thank you all for reading.

If you would like to support me or this site, then please support my Patreon if you would like to see higher quality content with more resources to put towards it. If you don’t want to spend any money on me, then you can also help out by simply sharing my blog on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, or anywhere else where others will see it. You can also follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date on my stuff, or you could follow me on any of my social media pages (listed at the bottom of the page) and could stop by The Guardian Acorn Discord chat if you would like to talk to me and my homies.


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