The 2015 incarnation of the annual Newbie Blogger Initiative event kicked off… um… about two weeks ago. Time flies. Better put up the logo and move on.
During May of each year we encourage our fellow travelers in the gaming world who have just a bit of free time to give up that free time… and some of their gaming time and some time they probably need to be doing other things… to write a blog. Many are chosen, few will survive for even a year… really, 3 out of 4 blogs started during the event will be dormant by the next one.
What can we do about that?
Since I expended all of my actually useful advice during the 2012 event, my one contribution to this year’s event… aside from a post summing up and listing out of the new blogs at the end… will be to try to tackle one of the questions I get regularly.
And by “regularly” I mean “almost never” because clearly people who chance upon this blog learn quickly never to ask my advice on anything. But it has come up a couple of times in the last eight and a half years. And the question is; how have I written so many posts and keep going for however long it has been?
I can prove I have been asked this. Liore asked me once about it on Twitter… sort of. It was implied! Roll with it, dammit!
My response was:
Years of MUDing made me a very fast typist. Not a very accurate one, just very fast.
And there are days when I clearly spend more time writing about games than actually playing games.
And Low standards. I cannot emphasize how much just wanting to write something, versus wanting to write something good, helps out.
That last bit was the key. I’d rather post crap than nothing at all. That explains much that goes on here now doesn’t it?
But that is not all of it. No, there is another key to what I refer to as “my success” in an off-handed way while trying not to make eye contact.
The other key factor is that when I play games, I often do it with an eye to turning whatever I am doing into a blog post. Sometimes that manifests itself as me simply making sure I take some screen shots. But at other times I undertake whole new trips through MMOs just because I think they might make for a decent blog post. I am pretty sure, as an example, that I wouldn’t have bothered with LFR or the Molten Core event earlier this year if I hadn’t also seen the possibility of a blog post or two in the venture.
So there exists this two-way feed between my game play and my blogging.
I blog about my gaming as a memory book sort of thing, as well as to enhance what I have done in game by recounting it which gives it additional life. And then I game with the blog in mind, which makes me push on the boundaries of what I do and explore new things.
And it works.
Sure, it probably doesn’t lead to some of the most exciting content at times. I know I have done more than my share of “spending three hours flying from point A to point B in EVE Online” posts. But I post, and have done so nearly every week day for eight and a half years, because my gaming and my blogging are pretty much a combined activity at this point.
It took a while to get there. The alleged Wilhelm-style blogging machine didn’t come into being over night. I had to find my way and combine the two pieces together over time. And there have been points… usually on Sunday night when I am sketching out what the next week’s posts are going to be and I’ve got nothing, no screen shots, no notes, and nothing in the backlog… where I have thought about dumping the whole thing. I would clearly spend more time gaming if I did.
But blogging and gaming work well together for me, to the point that if I gave up blogging I am not sure I would find as much satisfaction in gaming.
So that is it, for what it is worth.
Meanwhile, other things are going on with the NBI. They have had a couple of blog challenges, neither of which I could really warm to. One felt a bit too much like feeding the trolls while another I have covered ad nauseum, but that doesn’t mean other people didn’t have things to add. You can find it all at the Newbie Blogger Initiative site.
And, finally, I want to call out the new bloggers participating this year. This is what I could glean from the NBI forums and site, so I hope I got them all. Not as many as years past, but that just means less of an excuse for not visiting all of them.
- Aspect of the Hare
- Chaotic Pixels
- Gamer Girl Confessions
- Gaming Adventures
- Imperial Intelligence
- In Character
- Knifesedge Adventures in MMOs
- Lair of the Wolf Dragon
- Light the Beacons
- Pleasant Gamer
- Ramblings of a MMO gamer guy
- Randark’s Review
- The Balance Force
- Waiting for Rez