Tag Archives: #gamefullife

Some of Our Ideas Might Be Nothing Else Than Misconceptions

Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash


It can be enlightening to revise our thoughts and ideas occasionally. We can discover some interesting misconceptions when we look closely and without judgment.

I discovered such a misconception for myself regarding blogging and newsletter marketing, which are essential for all entrepreneurs. I had this idea that I didn’t like doing either. In general. And that it was always that way. That I did it because I thought I had to.

But recently, I became aware that it was not the case. There were many times when I enjoyed doing both — blogging and writing newsletters. And indeed, there were times when I didn’t. But the latter didn’t mean I hated doing them in general, as I thought for quite some time.

The actual reason for my reluctance turned out to be that I didn’t enjoy what I thought I should have been writing. Not blogging in general, but the things I decided I had to blog about or write about in the newsletters.

So, a couple of days ago, I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to write something new on Medium and here on my blog. I wanted to experiment with different topics and be gameful and playful with them.

As I became aware of that, I realized that having short little projects for blogging on Medium and my website and writing newsletters will satisfy the so-called “shiny object syndrome.”

The New York Times and USA Today best-selling and self-publishing author Joanna Penn addresses the “shiny object syndrome” in her acclaimed book How To Write Non-Fiction: Turn Your Knowledge Into Words. This syndrome essentially describes being distracted from, and therefore procrastinating about the project you want or need to pursue by other things that pique your curiosity.

So, by exploring something new in my blog posts, say twice a month (once for Medium and once for my blog here), I would give myself a breather from the long book projects where I play the perseverance game, and with that satisfy my curiosity for something new and “shiny.”

Another author I gladly learn from is Rachel Aaron. In her brilliant book 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, among many other great things, she said the following (the emphasis is done as in the original):

If you are not enjoying your writing,
you’re doing it wrong.

“A book is not a battle, nor is it a conquest. A book is a story, and telling it should be an enjoyable exercise.” —

Rachel Aaron, 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love

A blog is not a battle either, and I am glad I took the time to remind myself to enjoy the blogging exercise and write about it.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, too.

I wish you joy with your writing or any other endeavor!


“[W]e can only bring joy with what we love and enjoy doing.”

This quote is from a parable, Gameful Writing, which I wrote on turning writing (and life) into fun games.

I invite you to check it out:

Image by the author

Check out or buy the book here:

Gameful Writing on Amazon.com
Gameful Writing on other online bookstores



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If you want to follow me outside Medium, join my mailing list here.

Blogging Here Again

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash


It’s been some time since I blogged here. I started blogging in April 2013. You can read my first-ever blog post here. So, it was over ten years ago. I didn’t stop blogging altogether after my last post was published here on October 12, 2021, but I did it on Medium.

My blogging on Medium also slowed because I love spending my creative time writing books. But I am not stopping to blog entirely. There is something that keeps me here. I guess this is the possibility to connect with you, dear reader, and let you know what is happening in my writing life and life-gaming.

On Medium and for some time, I have been sharing excerpts from my books. Here and from now on, I will share various of my self-motivational games with you and my thoughts on turning life into fun games. Some new material might find its way into my books or to Medium, and some won’t. I will let myself explore and find out.

The frequency of the blogs will be relaxed and sporadic. My guess is about once a month or once every two months. Our lives are busy, and I don’t want to bombard you with too many blog posts.

And now, I will have a little game called “coffee break” and then return to my other real-life games. I wish you a wonderful summer!

But wait! Before you go, I have a little something for you, and it is an excerpt from my latest book on living gamefully called Self-Help and Self-Care Games.


Our lives are never static and always evolve, often in surprising and unexpected ways, even if we often try to label them with one word or phrase.

A single recipe for self-help and self-care can never satisfy our needs in the long run.
Drawing parallels with and inspiration from games can help here.

Successful online games get regular updates and new features. Or maybe some older and forgotten features, but reinvented and shown in a new light. Even board games get extensions, expansions, and new releases. Some card games carry blank cards for the players to create their own extensions.

One of the reasons lies in the following wisdom:

[T]he destiny of games is to become boring, not to be fun. Those of us who want games to be fun are fighting a losing battle against the human brain because fun is a process and routine is its destination.” — Raph Koster, Theory of Fun for Game Design

This awareness is fantastic, isn’t it? Both the understanding that there are many perfect ways to do the same thing and the realization that games or gamified systems (such as apps for maintaining healthy habits and others) or all those self-care, self-help, and self-love recipes are not a one-off solution for all our troubles and a one-time pill to regain our happiness. They are the stepping stones on our way to identifying what is fun and joyful for us at any given moment.

Here is a follow-up thought from the same book by Raph Koster:

“Many games, of course, seem to become more fun as you learn more about them. This has a lot to do with the nature of the challenge presented in those games; they tend to present problems of a certain complexity level that reveals more subtleties the deeper in you go.” — ibid.

Many successful games (such as chess) are multidimensional and have a deeper, changing nature.

Our lives have this changing nature. We usually resist it, but seeing and treating anything in our lives as games can show us how fun they can actually be.

And if we have learned everything from a real-life game (or at least think so), we can either add fun elements to its design to keep ourselves engaged until the end of the game or until we achieve a specific goal or level, or leave that game and go on to another. And if we want, we can come back to it later.


Turn Your Daily Practices into Fun Games — Gameful Habits Will Show You How


What habits can be turned into fun games?

Any project or activity, and any habit representing or comprising it, can be turned into fun games. The best candidates are those you procrastinate about but want to pursue. You can also turn the behaviors you want to avoid or do less often into fun games, by limiting the rewards you give yourself for them and increasing the rewards for activities you procrastinate over.


To find out more, read Gameful Habits: How to Turn Your Daily Practices into Fun Games (a standalone book and Book 7 in the “Gameful Life” series).

Here is the link to it on Amazon.com, where you can read the description and read the free sample:

And here is the link to the book’s page on my website, where you can find links to the book on other online stores as well:

See you on the book’s pages.

Join the Gameful Habits Launch Team


Habits are both visible and invisible threads, sometimes representing and always connecting the projects, activities, tasks, challenges, or anything else we want to master or tackle. — Gameful Habits


I will soon launch my book called Gameful Habits: How to Turn Your Daily Practices into Fun Games.

Since habits are always present in our lives and (often) minds, I decided to do the following. I invite you to participate actively in the launch of this book. It will be a standalone book in a collection (series) of books I call “Gameful Life.”

You will get:

  • A review (i.e., free) copy of the book in e-format of your choice (you can choose between epub, mobi, or pdf) as soon as the book is published or even a little earlier (as soon as I submit it to the online shops).

I’ll need your help with (depending on your preference, one or both of) the following:

  • Spread the word about the book on social media and/or other places (e.g., your blog or per e-mail) by using the marketing materials (visuals and quotes) I will prepare and share with you. You can also post thoughts of your own.
  • An honest review of the book on Amazon, other online stores online, and/or Goodreads.

Join now:

The book will be published within the coming two, three weeks. I will self-publish it without using a pre-order scheme. So, it will be available as soon as the retailers verify it and make it available for purchase.

Since the publishing date is only two, three, or maybe even less than two weeks away (I only need to make one more read-through), there might be only two handfuls of days (or even less) to join the team. Therefore, don’t wait, join, and learn how to have fun while turning habits into fun games.

Here is the description of the book:

Description of the Gameful Habits

Turn your daily practices into fun and exciting games.

Many people struggle to motivate themselves to start the day, work on a project, or maintain a healthy or otherwise beneficial habit. They consider many of their daily routines to be a necessary chore that they will never enjoy.

The pioneer of Self-Gamification — a unique approach to turning life into fun games — Victoria Ichizli-Bartels, has discovered another way for herself, and offers this possibility to others by sharing her experiences.

In this unconventional book on habits, Victoria shares the Super Sleeper game she created to ensure she got enough sleep, and how this success was extrapolated to the other habits and daily practices she wanted to develop.

Read Gameful Habits, and you will learn the three skill sets required to succeed in your self-motivational games, i.e. any habits, projects, challenges, tasks, or other activities turned into fun games. These skill sets are:

  1. Seeing yourself, the world around you, and your thought processes non-judgmentally, as an anthropologist would do;
  2. Identifying your dreams and goals, and taking action, one small and effortless step at a time, the kaizen way;
  3. Applying gamification; that is, seeing and treating whatever you are up to like a game, and learning to appreciate every step on the way with gameful rewards.

These skill sets, which you can easily put into practice immediately — along with the awareness that when you turn your life into fun games, you are both the player and the designer of these games — will help you turn happiness into a lifestyle, and health and other beneficial practices into exciting games that you can’t wait to design, play, and continue developing.

Join here:

To join, please send me an e-mail to vib@optimistwriter.com using the Subject line: “I want to join the Gameful Habits Launch Team” and let me know which e-mail address I should add to the team’s mailing list. Please note that I will also add your e-mail address to my general mailing list (Optimist Writer mailing list). You can unsubscribe from either or both at any time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

With best wishes,


One Minute Read from the Gameful Blogging on Medium.com


Here is another blog post in a series featuring videos on YouTube, where I read from one of my motivational books for one minute.

In this video, I read from my new book Gameful Blogging on Medium.com: Thirteen Levels in the Epic Adventure of a Top Writer and Super Creator on Medium (Book 6 in the “Gameful Life” series).

I am reading the first section of the chapter “Level 11. Being Clear about the Goals.”

Here it is if you want to read along, prior, or afterward.


Excerpt from the Gameful Blogging on Medium.com

What happened before

The previous article (chapter) I wrote about turning writing and publishing on Medium into fun games was about enjoying the breaks in publishing there, such as during the holiday season. I referred to those breaks as cooldown phases, well-known in sports and games.

In that story, I recommended not worrying if you notice yourself watching your stats and earnings. In fact, I even mentioned that it might be fun and enlightening, especially during a cooldown phase.

But at the end of the article, I also recommended looking less at the stats and earnings during an active phase, that is, while writing and publishing on Medium.

There is another important aspect to the stats and earnings:

If you connect your goals to the numbers in your stats and Medium Partner Program earnings, you will not really be turning your time on Medium into fun games. Instead, you will be chasing a fantasy, a Fata Morgana.

Here is why.


The next step

If you want to find out more about gaining the feeling of success and fun while blogging on Medium and also how to persevere writing and publishing on Medium in fun and gameful ways, then I invite you to read Gameful Blogging on Medium.com. To look at the book and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or this image below:

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

I wish you a beautiful and gameful day!