As you probably know by now, I'm taking a hiatus from GMing for an indefinite amount of time this year. I discussed my reasons in detail in my 2013 reflection post, but it boils down to this: I needed to take a break because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my constant, all-or-nothing, full-speed-ahead approach to GMing. Basically, I'm GMing all the time. It never stops.
What do I mean? Well, when I'm not at the table actually running a session, I'm usually doing something pertaining to GMing in my head. All the time.
This can be great...a real joy to have my imagination churning...the creative spark aflame! Or, it can burn the hell out of your brain, and exhaust you utterly, because (at least for me) it's hard to shut off. And the line between awesome-ness and crispiness is razor-thin most of the time.
If I'm reading a novel or even non-fiction, I'm mining for plot hooks, ideas for NPCs, etc. I've been doing this for decades, even during the very long periods of time I wasn't roleplaying...as if my subconscious mind knew that someday I would return to the table-top, even if my conscious mind wasn't even considering a return to roleplaying.
If I'm watching a movie or a TV show, I'm doing the same thing as when I'm reading a book.
Then there's the reading of actual RPG materials, be it game systems, campaign settings, GMing advice, modules, etc. This often conflicts with novel/non-fiction reading time, which can be something of an internal dilemma. I've got a huge library of books that I own (some for years now) but I haven't yet read. But when I go to the library with my kids I can't seem to leave without a book or three, which distracts me from my own personal library. So, I'm way behind on reading, in general.
And don't even get me started about all the blogs I want to read...
But, it seems I'm not alone in my affliction. This here post was really inspired by a post at Gnome Stew the other day called "The Constant GM." I, of course, can relate in spades. Then there's the Rather Gamey post (from another GM on hiatus) about always having GMing on the brain. And then there's the great post on Not the Singularity that is basically an ode to GMing, and a pretty good read...an sort of pep talk for GMs. I needed that.
It's good to not be alone. This is one of the reasons I enjoy being part of the blogosphere: the reminders that there are like-minded souls out there with the same challenges.
So, I'm sure there are others of you out there who are constantly GMing, either at the actual table or in the table of the mind. Please, if you are also so afflicted, share with us!
In the meantime, I'm holding on to this hope: that this hiatus will culminate in a glorious return to the helm, and will result in one of my best campaigns yet!