Hobby Thoughts: The Pressure To Be Good

April 29, 2019 by brennon

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The pressure to be good enough...


We all share an amazing hobby. There are so many aspects of it that we can choose to take part in at any time. That could be painting miniatures, creating a new adventure for your gaming group, competing in tournaments or just a quick play of a board game. However, for those of us who join in with online communities like Beasts Of War, we have another aspect of the hobby that we can engage in, sharing our enjoyment.

The Wider Community

From project logs to discussion forums, the online world allows us to share what we do, get feedback and be part of a much bigger community than gamers have ever really had before. When I started wargaming, second edition Warhammer 40,000 had launched and my gaming community consisted of my small group of friends who I used to play Heroquest with and whoever turned up at my local Games Workshop on a Thursday evening!

Old GW Store

The wider communities we have now brings with it so many benefits. Through Beasts Of War, I have discovered a world of other games. This includes the game I play more than any other now, Infinity. Without that first Infinity themed week, I would never have found such a great game.

The Pressure

This is all great but a large community can also be a problem. With a bigger community, made up of people of all backgrounds and located all over the world, there is a much broader range of skills, ideas and opinions. This can be a wonderful thing, learning new techniques and being inspired by the work I see from the community has been a highlight of my time here. However, with such a diverse range of abilities, there can be problems.

Angel Giraldez Main

How many of us have looked at a new miniature, with its professional paint job, by someone like Angel Giraldez and fell in love, then started to think about how it will look when we get to put our brushes on it? I do. Sometimes I even convince myself that because I can’t paint that well, I shouldn’t even try. In fact, I have quite a few miniatures that I keep putting off starting because I always want to get that bit better to ‘do it justice’. I don’t think I’m alone in doing that.

It’s not just paint jobs. Making new terrain, creating an adventure, even Warren’s Gaming In The Gaps; some people are just better than I am at all those things. This happens in the community too. I would be that many of us avoid contributing because we’re not sure that our hobby is good enough. There are some amazing people on this site who do astonishing things in the hobby, and for me, and I’m sure others, the first time I put my own work next to theirs, I felt a bit embarrassed.

But we shouldn’t be.

Enjoying The Journey

Here’s the thing, whatever we do in life the chances are someone, somewhere, is better at it. Our hobby is no different. None of us should ever think that we aren’t ‘good enough’, because the important thing is not that we reach standards set by our friends, but our own journey.

People Painting

I love this hobby. I run a business in real life and it takes up a lot of time, especially in the last couple of years with the political and economic uncertainty so it can get stressful too. Painting is an escape, where I can just focus on my toy soldiers and relax. I like to try my best with painting, to be as good as I can be, however I also know I’m never going to win awards. However, for me, it's all about the journey and understanding that the time spent enjoying myself matters.

We all have a hobby journey we are experiencing. For some of us, getting the paint only on the bits we intended to is a result! For others, it could be creating the perfect piece of terrain, winning a Golden Demon, even turning the hobby into a career. Whatever our journey is, every milestone is equally important for every one of us. When you see the amazing stuff being awarded a Golden Button, that doesn’t mean that to be involved you should reach those standards. Work to what your standards are and every time you do something that you are proud of, that is an achievement worth sharing.

Get Involved

We have an amazing community here, but I know that a lot just read articles, watch the videos and never get more involved. That’s great of course as we should all be enjoying the hobby our own way, but for those of you who have never posted an opinion, never set up a project log or asked a question in the forums because you think that maybe you are not ‘good enough’, please get involved. It won’t just help you, it will help the whole community.

OTT Projects

Start Your Own Project

Personally, I would describe myself as an average painter. I’m lucky in that in a former life I used an airbrush professionally for smart car repairs, so I have the equipment and know a few tricks. My hobby output is, I would say, a little bit above tabletop standard most of the time. However, every time I post my work, I always get positive feedback, the community always offers encouragement, and never once have I felt that I was not good enough. It has been a great experience, and for someone who ends up painting much more than playing these days, an important part of my hobby.

Share & Grow

By now, you may be wondering why I’m telling you this. It’s simple. I know I am not the only one who has felt like they were not good enough.

People Painting 2

The more of us who join in, the better it is for everyone. I have learnt so much from people on this site, and maybe you could teach me something too. We all have our own ways of doing things, and yours may be just what I am looking for. We won’t know until you share it!

We can all help each other. Encouragement, positivity and recognition help keep everyone motivated, even an upvote to recognize what someone has done can give confidence. The more people that participate, the more of us encouraging each other; that is how our own hobby journey progresses. There is a community full of positivity that wants each of us to enjoy what we do.

For those already joining in, we can all help newcomers to take part too. Being positive about the hobby, answering questions and sharing techniques really does help others. I know because all those things helped me. Our amazing community is now an intrinsic part of my hobby.

I encourage anyone reading to get involved. You will find help and guidance, encouragement and anything else you need. Collectively, we can each help our community to enjoy whatever aspect of the hobby they like even more. Whether this means you are browsing the project logs, reading ideas for games or something else it’s important to remember, just saying well done can help someone on their way.

We are all good enough, and I hope I learn something from every one of you.

By nogginthenog

"Work to what your standards are and every time you do something that you are proud of, that is an achievement worth sharing..."

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"...just saying well done can help someone on their way."

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