Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Get Rid of Your Backlog Now!

 The backlog, the pile of shame, the mountain of grey plastic.  There are many names for it, but we all know what I am talking about here.  We have or have had a hobby backlog in our lives as we get over-ambitious about our projects, having a strong FOMO over that new release, and many other reasons to be sure.  Having more models unopened than you might ever get to paint or play with is nothing to be proud of in my book nor is it passion.  It is a lack of discipline and requires a change in our thought process as a community.  Regardless of how your backlog came to be and how you feel about them, I am here to tell you today that you need to get rid of it one way or another.  Doing so is a favor to yourself and one that will give you more enjoyment from this hobby we all love.

It is no secret that it has been a tough year for most, but a lot of us have discovered a lot more time on our hands.  I found myself with plenty of spare time this past year as well and in truth, it has been a blessing in many ways.  One of those ways was knocking out my entire backlog of minutes and hobby projects.  It was not easy, but it was immensely satisfying and very liberating.

When the world went into shutdown, I pounced on the opportunity to finish many of my half-done or new in box kits and armies.  From repairing my 40k army to finally painting up the beautiful and classic Dreadfleet kit that had been on my shelf since its release years ago.  There were a few one-off models here and there I have collected from various events over the years as well as some terrain that had sat unpainted on my gaming table.  I wrapped up a Slaanesh project and even had a Drukhari army primed and ready for my next project.

However, before I began that Drukhair I suddenly lost interest in painting it up so chose not to start it.  I told myself to set it aside and keep it and do it whenever I felt like it as opposed to forcing myself.  I agree with this decision as forcing your hobby is never a good idea.  I had another voice appear in my head though and one I never heard before.  That voice told me to get rid of the project if I had no interest in it anymore.  I had all the free time I needed to paint it up quickly but wasn’t wanting to use that free time.  Ultimately, I was able to exchange it for a few new gaming mats for the club.  While I quickly felt, and still occasionally feel, a bit of remorse in sending it away I quickly remind myself of the lack of desire I felt for the project suddenly.   

A few weeks later I walked into my FLGS having no models left to paint in my possession.  Normally this is the part of the story one would you’d expect me to rebuy that Drukhari army or any other new army to keep me busy, but I did not.  I grabbed a single kit of models and a few pots of paint and headed on my way. I felt free at that moment and I have held on to that feeling of freedom in my hobby.

Since that moment I have limited my backlog and I watch it like it is a mischievous child who is waiting for me to look away to enact its plan to grow.  I won’t be letting that pile grow.  I have come to love only buying a unit or a single box release at any given time as I don’t feel pressured to get through my backlog nor do I feel guilt at having spent money for models to sit idle for me to hopefully paint one day.  I am sticking well to the plan of having an active kit/unit on my painting desk and my next one lined up and still unwrapped nearby so I can immediately jump into it when the current one is complete.

Being free of a backlog is truly a blessing and I feel as if I am back in my early days in the hobby where I walk into my FLGS and can look around for a kit that I might not normally have painted if I don’t already play that army.  I can let my mind wander to converting kits or painting something because I feel like it.  There is no fear of a deadline or a sense that I should only spend my hobby time painting for my current armies only.  I can finally paint whatever I want knowing that when event deadlines begin to pop back up, as they are beginning to do, that I am never too deep in a backlog that I cannot get that new unit ready in time.

Be free and get rid of your backlog no matter what it takes!

Happy Hobbying!