There are a lot of things that led me to make this decision, but I’ll start with the first one: this post about Doctor Who. I don’t often like peeling back the curtain of Mark Does Stuff. I am happy letting y’all come to my sites, enjoy the discussion and the community, and go about your way. Because I don’t often talk about logistics, I tend to feel weird whenever I have to. As far as I’m concerned, I’m perfectly fine with each of you thinking I’m basically a robot who can somehow write 15 reviews in a week and do commissions and other bonus posts and write books. Honestly! I know that I do a lot, and as long as you’re not being rude, entitled, or demanding, I am totally fine making it seem like my sites are updated by magic.
So writing that intro to that Doctor Who post was incredibly difficult for me. The first version of it didn’t even include it! It wasn’t until a day or so after I posted it that I went back and added it. My perception of how it would be received was skewed negatively, and I worried so much about opening up about how I go about doing what I do. But the lovely, supportive, and generous response from thousands of you made me feel LOVED, y’all. For the most part, the vast majority of you don’t take me for granted, you understand that I’m just one person, and you enjoy this little community we’ve all built in this corner of the Internet.
Just a warning, as I have to talk about depression and health issues below.
I do feel weird about being this open, but I trust that you will understand why I’m making this decision. As of today, Mark Plays is going to move towards being an infrequently updated side project. I will play The Walking Dead and the Mass Effect trilogy, and I’ll include periodic updates about what I’m doing, but I simply cannot sustain this project as a daily blog. I spent a week in Palm Springs with my boyfriend on a much-needed break from my hectic life, and my boyfriend asked me, point blank, if I thought I was doing too much. As fun as this is, and as satisfying as it’s been to do it, I have gotten to a point where I have no free time. The amount of stress I have in my life is so severe that I’m losing sleep, suffering from insomnia, gaining weight despite that I’m eating less, and for the first time in YEARS, my depression is flaring up constantly. I think we can all agree that THIS IS A REALLY BAD THING. I mean, I think that actually might help some folks understand that depression isn’t about being sad. I have nothing to be sad about. But my brain just flips a switch and BAM. Day ruined. And it’s been happening like three times a week since September, and I can’t keep hurting myself.
Truthfully, Mark Plays takes the most time to complete per week. It takes me about 20 hours to write five posts. This takes into account the fact that I don’t time myself if I have to repeat a section because I died, formatting the posts, setting everything up to record, etc. And I love doing this, especially since it’s making me a better gamer. But commissions have been more likely to get backed up. It’s hard making time to write my ebooks. It’s damn near impossible to work on my first novel WHICH IS FULLY PLOTTED AND EVERYTHING OH MY GOD, and I really want to finish it this year.
But damn, y’all, it’s been a rough three months for me. And in this case, there’s a solution that will help me continue to enjoy what I do, be more efficient, feel better about my own mental and physical health, and go full-speed ahead with all these little things I really want to get done. I can’t say I’m joyous about dropping something, but it’s relieving to have the strength to say that I simply cannot do this right now. At least not at the same level, that is!
I’ve already emailed everyone who commissioned Mass Effect videos from me. If I’ve missed you, please let me know! I’m actually still going to honor those commissions when I do get around to those parts of those games, but I’m offering either a refund or the chance for me to do something in the meantime so that you don’t have to wait for your commission. I think what I’d like to do is put up a weekly log and discussion post for what I’m playing at the time, how far I am, and what the game is like. I just can’t sustain a daily update anymore. I do have a one-off commission that’ll go up this weekend or on Monday that I’m doing regardless. It should be pretty fun. :)
I am sure that some of you are disappointed or saddened by this! I realize it’s very sudden, but I only came to this decision just a few days ago. Honestly, I’d never even considered dropping Mark Plays as a full-time thing, but I can already tell you how much easier it’s going to be for me to avoid burning out on Mark Does Stuff. You can certainly expect a quicker turnaround for commissions, way more double features, and the third Mark Does Stuff tour this spring.
I’m super stoked for all your support for a project that was shaky (at best!) at the start. I’m particularly thankful for those at Kotaku who wrote about me and sent me so many new fans and friends! I hope you’ll stick around on Mark Reads and Mark Watches. You can follow my Twitter account @MarkDoesStuff if you want to know when Mark Plays posts go up. I’ll tweet them there!
Again, thank you. I know this sucks, but I promise it’ll have positive repercussions! I appreciate all of you who have taken the time to comment every day as well. <3
Mark (Who Does Stuff)