Goodbye Blaugust, hello Restember! Well hopefully not.
Yesterday marked the end of another successful Blaugust. Thirty-one posts in as many days. Unlike last year when I apparently hit a speedbump after the first week, this year I didn’t start to struggle with topics until around the 12th or 15th. Even then, I just stopped worrying about having a topic and just started writing and figured a topic would show up. Some times it did. Some times it did not. That for me, was really the point this year. I basically relearned last year’s less of “just write and publish” don’t worry “is it ready.” That’s not to say I published anything I wouldn’t normally publish, it’s more that I would’ve just not sat down to write or I would’ve saved it as a draft thinking I needed to come back and proof it, and then deleted it three months later.
My favorite thing about Blaugust this year besides just getting back in the habit of writing, has been the success of my multitasking experiment over the last week and a half. Needing something to write about daily, and having a bout of nostalgia for a couple of games that I always mean to get back to, gave me the push I needed to finally pick LotRO and Champions back up. Even better is the fact that I’ve seen other people get interested in those games as a result of posting about it here.
Last year, I trailed off in September posting eleven times in the first half of the month. Then only twice in October and nothing until January. Unfortunately, it seems like if I’m going to be consistent, I have to do it every day. That certainly has been true for Blaugust, and was also trued for me during Nanowrimo. But daily blogging full-time feels like a huge commitment. Weekends especially are difficult to make sure I sit down and write. It might be enough if I schedule a daily task in my organizer that just runs Monday to Friday, but I think that’s what I want to try starting out, along with a reminder to check in on the blog and see how I’ve been doing after a few weeks.
Blaugust 2015 Day 16
Guilt and Joy
About two or three Saturdays a month since March, I’ve been heading down to my local gaming store and playing Golem Arcana. Usually I feel a little guilty because I’m gone for about five hours and leaving my wife to deal with Thing 1 and Thing 2 solo. This weekend though, my dad was taking Ting 1 for the day, and Thing 2 is much easier to handle without his older brother winding him up. So I was able to have a nice guilt-free wargaming visit yesterday.
I got three games in, didn’t win any off them but they were still fun. Afterwards while we were packing up and chatting I realized that everyone was thrilled to be there and playing. It seemed like a stark contrast to what I usually see in MMO forums and chat.
So far the only downside to being part of an active group is that it has finally pulled me into using Facebook regularly. I’ve had an account for years but used it very little, like nearly never.
August is now half gone, and while I’ve had a few days that were tough for me to get something written overall I’ve been totally happy with my writing. I have seen posts from some people that aren’t joining the event or have already dropped out. It’s understandable. I’ve certainly considered it myself a few times, especially when I sit down and think I’ve got nothing to say. But for me, that’s really the point of this. I start writing and after getting a few hundred words of drivel out of the way, something usually comes out that I didn’t realize that I’d been thinking about. I find that experience pretty cool.
So if you’re participating and worried you run out of steam now that we’re halfway through, I think you should look at it as a good thing. It’s a chance to see what happens when you sit down and just start typing. Even if you don’t actually post it.
Wow, I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for six years. I don’t stop to appreciate it much, but even though I don’t blog regularly in any sense of the word, I need to cut myself a little slack for maintaining a blog for six years, no matter how sporadically I post. And it’s definitely been sparse outside of Blaugust. Speaking of, I haven’t kept up with the “post every day” thing, but I hadn’t intended to anyway. I have been getting one or two in a week though which has been great. After looking at my archives, I don’t think I’ve been this motivated to post since 2011.
Anyway, I wanted to send out a big “Thank you!” to everyone who stops by to read and comment. Onward to year seven!
Today’s the last day of Blaugust. I’m pleased to say I haven’t missed a day, which around the 7th or 8th I wasn’t sure I would be able to manage. In part I think it just took a few weeks to knock the rust off of the mental gears needed to post something everyday, but it was also a matter of having the courage to cover more personal topics than I usually do. a final piece fell into place around the middle of the month when I stopped worrying so much about “was it ready” and got to the point where I started to think “good enough, publish it.”
This last change was the most valuable part of Blaugust for me. I have long had a bad habit of writing up a rant or opinion piece on whatever the current big issue was in the MMO space and then saving it as a draft with the intention of coming back the next day to proof it and then publish it. Except I rarely ever came back to it the next day. Writing provides enough of an outlet that I don’t have the same need to get it published unless I do it right when I’m done.
I know a lot of bloggers struggled this month and maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this on and off for years. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been through the NaNoWriMo experience a few times and that was much more difficult. But I really enjoyed this and having a daily deadline was necessary motivation for me. I hope either Belghast or someone else takes up the idea next year.
Beyond the writing challenges and growth that I’ve enjoyed this month, I’ve also enjoyed the community aspects. I’ve added a few new blogs to the blogroll and my RSS reader, and picked up some new friends and followers on Twitter.
Day 31 of Blaugust
This has been, by far, the roughest year for me with blogging. I’ve been on a hiatus of sorts since April and only last week really started to feel the need to start writing here again. Really I don’t feel like I’ve missed too much as far as topics or news. It seems like it’s been a really quiet year overall for MMOs. Not that I’ve really been playing them anyway. I had a brief stint with Defiance before I got burned out on the clunky UI and severe lack of any social environment in the game. I also spent quite a bit of time with Star Trek Online this year, Cryptic did extremely well with their Romulan expansion, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t actually like Romulans much. No, what I’ve been spending most of my time playing this year has been Minecraft, specifically modded Minecraft. I mentioned back in April that I’ve found the Feed the Beast mod pack and since then have move on to customizing my own mod pack.
Anyway, I want to thank anyone that’s still stopping by to see if I’ve gotten off my lazy butt to write, and hopefully you’ll be hearing more from me for the rest of the year. It’s best not to make any promises, but I will say that I’ve finally managed to get into Dwarf Fortress after many failed attempts and that it’s unique among the single player games I’ve experienced in that it makes me want to write about the events that happen in the game. Beyond that, I’ve recently dropped back into Champions Online for more than a brief check in, so you all might finally see origin stories for a few more of my heroes like what I did for the Silver Hunter.
Thanks for reading.
On Friday as I was leaving work, I looked at the calendar on my phone to see if anything was planned for the weekend and saw that Sunday was my blog’s anniversary. I nearly missed it.
I hadn’t realized that it’s been almost exactly a month since my last post, but I guess it’s not that surprising to anyone who follows me on Twitter. Things usually get quiet around here when I’m in the obsessive honeymoon stage of a game affair. For most of the past four weeks that’s been Guild Wars 2, but the last few days have also seen Torchlight 2 take up some of my game time.
I keep intending to sit down and write up all of the notes I’ve been taking while playing GW2 but I always end up playing instead, which is a bit of a review in itself. Obviously I need to work more on easing up on the self-editing.
Anyway, thanks to everyone that’s stuck around over the last twelve months to read my ramblings and leave comments. Even after four years I always get excited when I see an email saying there’s a new comment.
Today marks three years of blogging!
I have to say, I never expected to still be writing this long. I hoped I would be, but I don’t think I actually believed it. I’ve lost count of the number of abandoned writing project I’ve started over the years and despite my best intentions, a part of me didn’t expect this endeavor to be any different.
Like I did last year, I wanted to mention a few numbers (for my own reference later on if no other reason). I’ve published 309 posts and 1,724 comments (doubling last years numbers for both). My Red Dead Redemption post is still the most popular post on the site by a ridiculous margin (7,674 hits versus 1,170 for a Minecraft post) and I wish I knew why. My final hit count for 2010 was 21,939 (up from the YTD of 12,284 on last year’s anniversary), and 2011 has already busted that at 23,177.
Not bad for someone who vacillates between daily rambles to sporadic rants.
I wanted to send out a special “Thank you!” to the people who stop by regularly an leave comments: MMOGamerchick, Yeebo, Anjin, Longasc, xXJayDuBXx, Tesh, and Rowan. While the recognition is nice, it’s the chance to engage in conversations that I really enjoy.
Thanks for reading.
Today’s the big day! I now have two years of blogging under my keyboard. That’s 158 (counting this one) posts written with 800 comments (likely half of them mine).
Last year I had one goal: post more. I barely managed 50 posts during my first year, so for my second year what I really wanted to do was double that and write 100 posts. I’m pretty happy that I managed that and a few more, I started pretty strong in January with 15 and did pretty well most months.
Even better than meeting my posting goal, has been the new connections I’ve with readers and other bloggers this year. I’ve had some good discussions in blog comments, on Twitter, and in game chats. I have to say that the new friends I’ve made has been the best thing to come out of blogging for me.
Since, I mentioned stats last year I figured I should again. I hadn’t been paying much attention to them this year and there were some surprises to me. Hopefully none of these come off as bragging. I’m know that there are other blogs get a lot more traffic, but for someone like me who is sporadically productive (if improving), I feel pretty good about them.
- Traffic jumped right at the start: 537 in December to 1,449 in January (I imagine because I was fairly regular about posting for a change)
- Monthly hits for the year haven’t gone below 1,000 (except for February at 943)
- June was the biggest month ever with 2,005 hits (due to the LotRO free to play announcement)
- Three most popular posts (both this year and all time): LotRO F2P?!? at 1,246, Red Dead Redemption at 1,246, and LotRO, Cosmetic Gear, and the Wardrobe at 366.
- The total hits for 2009 were 2,504. Year-to-date for 2010 is 12,284 (um what?).
I can’t think of anything else to add at the moment (and the twin siren calls of Civ5 and Minecraft are getting a bit too enticing), so here’s to two years passed and more to come.
Thanks for reading.
This is my 100th post for the blog. While not a huge number compared to some, it is significant to me. First, because it’s 100, that’s just a big round number. Second, I did fifty posts during the first twelve months I had this blog and one of my goals for 2010 was to hit 150. I figured if I could hit 100 by July, I would be doing good, and it’s March. That’s much faster than I expected, and I’m wondering now if I should up my goal to 200 instead.
Scarybooster had an excellent post yesterday where he thanked game developers for all their hard work and made an effort to look on the positive side of MMOs. Today, he had an even better idea and declared next week is Developer Appreciation Week. To join in, just pick a day and post something that a developer has done that you enjoyed.