As with any activity that requires you to perform in front of other people, GMing can be nerve-wracking. Some amount of nervousness is to be expected, but when your fears overwhelm you and you consider canceling the session at the last minute, you can unwittingly put your entire campaign in jeopardy.
Many of us creative types know how anxiety and depression can interfere with the way we want to live our lives. If you haven’t already heard Wil Wheaton’s powerful talk on anxiety, depression, and recovery, you owe it to yourself to have a listen. Our inner demons are insidious, but you can empower yourself to mitigate their effects on your game.
Arm Yourself with the Tools You Need
It’s natural to worry that you haven’t prepped enough for a given session, but have you ever felt so unprepared that you wanted to cancel the session outright? If you feel this way often, it’s time to take stock of your current prep habits. Maybe you need to try a different method (I’d recommend Engine Publishing’s Never Unprepared for ideas). Can you devote more time to prepping, or can you switch to an adventure that requires less prep, such as a published module? Alternatively, you might investigate improvisational techniques for RPGs (again, check out Engine Publishing’s Unframed) or games that are designed to be run with minimal prep. If you have the time to prep for your game, yet you still find yourself falling prey to procrastination, perfectionism is probably rearing its ugly head.