Today I’ve been thinking about GMing.
I have not GM’d much. In fact, it’s been fewer than 10 times. A large part of it is anxiety, some of it is just lack of time to invest.
When I ran at Gen Con, the first session was one of the worst experiences in my entire gaming history. There were a lot of things at work:
- general anxiety
- lots of ambient noise making it hard to focus
- forgetfulness about the rules and scenario
It all added up to misery.
The second session went okay, but I still came out of it feeling drained and miserable. Not to the degree of the previous day, but still really bad. I felt sick to my stomach, more tired than I’d felt in weeks, and I felt defeated. The players seemed to have a good time but I didn’t.
What this tells me is that I’m not meant to GM. I tried it because I wanted to and because I was afraid to, and I always try to do things I’m afraid of. I just didn’t like it. There’s nothing wrong with not enjoying an activity, right?
However, it still makes me feel like a failure. Like, why can’t I do this simple thing? I know it takes creativity but I always thought that of all things I would have that. I know it takes organization but organization is like my entire day job. I know it takes enthusiasm and I thought I had that, but know I don’t.
I’m also frustrated because I have ideas for stories but no idea what to do with them. I want to experience them but when I’m just a player, all I can do is sit back and hope that someday someone else will run something similar. I hate being reliant on other people to tell stories that approximate stories I want and that I wish I could tell.
There has been a recent push for women to GM, taking the lead so that we’re more visible and bring in more women to the hobby overall. This is great! That’s part of why doing this was so important to me. But, I failed.
I just guess I’m disappointed. I had wanted this, but now I feel like I’ve not only failed myself, but also failed other women by being incompetent at something that people want more women to do.