Thursday, 2 January 2014

No Year's Resolution

I was a little surprised to see that the post count here for December was the lowest monthly total for nearly two years. I knew I'd been slacking off a bit but not that much.

Partly it's the time of year, of course. December is hectic for everyone and especially so in a bookshop, where it's the busiest month by far. Still, in December 2012 I managed nineteen posts compared to just a dozen last month. It can't just be pressure of work and present-buying.

It's clear from the nature of some of the posts here recently (the repetitive nature, some might say) that there's a degree of marking time going on right now. Most of what I'm doing is more of the comfortable same, which is entertaining and satisfying for me but doesn't necessarily make for the easiest material to work with when it comes to column inches.

It's not just me, either. Reading through Feedly these days there seem to be fewer and fewer posts on MMOs. Bloggers I follow are wandering off-topic to discuss a whole slew of other online and offline games, everything from current hot numbers like Starbound to ancient artifacts like Darklands. Some people are even reading books and watching movies. More worryingly, quite a few are posting less frequently or going silent altogether.

I try to avoid blogging about about blogging but another part of the problem specifically for me is that more and more of my posts seem to take me longer than I'd like. It's one thing to spend a whole afternoon on a post when I have four days off work, but if every post is going to take four or five hours to finish then during the working week it comes down to a straight choice between playing and posting.

Strangely, given the current MMO doldrums we're passing through and even though I was saying exactly the opposite not all that long ago, at the moment, when it comes down to a choice between playing and writing, I go for playing more often than not.

All of which navel-gazing brings me to something I am going to resist calling a Resolution. It's more like a Statement of Intent. I'm not going to attempt anything as ambitious as Rowan or Keen and Graev. No attempts to post every day, but I am going to try to throw in some shorter posts in between the longer essays to keep things moving. Posts that take half an hour to put together, not an entire evening. Maybe with just the one screenshot.

It's not the first time I've given myself this pep-talk but I'm hoping that by putting it down in print might just force me to listen to what I'm saying for once. There's always a first time.

8 comments:

  1. I think that's a good idea. I would hate to see you burn out and quit!

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  2. Waaaayyyy off topic is where I like to go! Then again, I did try give myself some leeway to not just blog about MMOs. ;D

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  3. Enforced posting schedules are so last season :) write when you have things to say, ideally about what you love! my new year's resolution: 1920x1200 ;)

    happy 2014 to you!

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  4. I quite liked your 24 December posting, for example. So there ya go.

    -- 7rlsy

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  5. Don't torture yourself. This blog never disappoints. It's thoughtful and measured. Ten of your essays a month would totally satisfy and is more than I deserve :)

    How many journalists produce this kind of quality more than once a week? Not many.


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  6. Thanks for the kind words everyone. Much appreciated!

    I wasn't really having any crisis of confidence or motivation when I wrote the above. What actually happened was that I had a couple of ideas for posts but when I started to think about writing one of them up I realized it would take quite a while to do it properly, especially if I went the whole nine yards and started logging into various MMOs to take relevant screenshots.

    I couldn't see just when I was going to have time to do it properly and still have time to play anything as well, or at least not during the working week and I ended up writing about my frustration over that instead, which I was able to knock out in a fifth of the time.

    I've always wanted to do more, shorter posts in-between the lengthy ones but somehow once I start writing it always seems to end up longer than I intended. Going to try and work on a mix of both and see how that goes but as even my comments end up longer than some people's regular posts I don't really hold out much hope :P

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  7. "Always ends up longer than you intended" is a huge problem with me too. Not quite MMO blogging (usually) but there's always something more to say, some detail you don't want to skip, an anecdote that just -works- and you've half forgotten but push on with anyway...

    At some point you just have to resign yourself to verbosity.

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  8. Agree with everyone here =) Just post when you feel like it. I went from 18-20 posts a month back in the day to 6-10. It can be hard to post when the industry feels so blah indeed - I love visiting here so just enjoy yourself =)

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