I don’t even know where to start with this one. Blaugust ended earlier this week, but I’m not done with it yet. I usually write my closing thoughts on something after I finish it. That’s part of why my game of the year lists come out in January rather than December. I want to actually be finished with something before I reflect on it. Regardless, it was fun to participate in Blaugust, and I have a few takeaways I wanted to share with all of you reading.
I Hate Deadlines
I’m going to be perfectly honest: I hated having to post on a weekly schedule again. It got me writing more regularly, but constantly having a deadline felt awful. This wasn’t terribly surprising as I dislike the death march that happens at work when we’re approaching our drop-dead date for development. Having something similar in blogging just doesn’t work for my mental. Instead of writing because I had something to say, I was writing because I had a deadline to hit. That’s no bueno.
So, where do I go from here? I don’t like deadlines, but they’re a great motivator when I’m feeling lazy. Well, I think I’m going to take a page from fighting games on this one. I have played Guilty Gear Strive almost everyday for the past year. Before that I was doing the same with Them’s Fightin’ Herds, and Fantasy Strike. I’ve been playing fighters daily for so long that it has become a habit, albeit one that I enjoy immensely. It’s through regular engagement that my understanding of the genre has improved, and so too has my enjoyment of fighting games. There could be some value in adopting this same mindset with blogging.
Going forward, I’d like to spend a little time on blogging everyday. That can manifest as writing, editing, or getting the art assets sorted for a post. What’s important is that I consistently find time for blogging until it becomes a habit. My hope is that, like fighting games, I’ll stop thinking about blogging as a list of things to do, and will instead begin doing it as a matter of course. I don’t expect this will happen overnight, but after months of practice I’m certain I can get there.
No Idea is Truly as Stupid as You Think
I wish that title was snappier, but it’s true. Some of you may recall the opinion piece I wrote from a few weeks back about reviewing games. I conceived that idea at the last minute as I was stumbling toward that week’s posting deadline. Despite this, it was both the most viewed post I put out, and the one which had the highest level of engagement. The entire time I was writing it I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, “this is the stupidest shit you’ve ever written.” Well jokes on me because it really struck a chord with a lot of people. Take that inner monologue!
I don’t know if other bloggers run into this, but I scrap a lot of post ideas. There’s no short supply of them that never make it out of my notebook, and even more that never leave my head. I’m very quick to criticize an idea for being without merit, but perhaps I’m not the best judge of that. Thing is, I don’t know exactly what will, or won’t resonate with folks until I put it out there. As such, there might be value in adopting a no idea is too stupid policy to prevent myself from killing a post before it’s even written. That might result in some weirder content, but it’s my blog so I should be able to write about whatever I want.
Let Your Ideas Die (when they’re not working out)
This might seem like a contradiction to what I just said, but I also need to get better at letting post ideas die. Do you ever get fixated on an idea because it seems so great in your head, but then when you try to write the post you just…can’t? It happens to me all the time. Thing is, I’ll get so focused on trying to make the post that I’ll halt work on all other posts, and that is a huge problem. There’s no short supply of other ideas oozing forth from my brain, so instead of getting stuck on something that isn’t working out I just need to move on to something else.
I will admit, it sucks to get super excited about an idea only to throw it away. It’s kinda like that drowning child meme though. If you are super focused on an idea that never pans out then other ideas that could work might not get the attention they need. Or worse yet – they’ll drown and you’ll never give them a second thought. Perhaps if I’m moving toward a schedule where I do blogging work daily, I can decide to drop an idea if I’m spinning my wheels for two days in a row or something. That way I give it a chance, but if it isn’t working out I can move onto the next thing.
Well that’s it for me. I’m glad I participated in Blaugust, even if my participation was limited. I did manage to post in every week of August outside of the requisite introduction and summary posts, so I’m pleased with myself. It also got me writing again with enough regularity to identify some pain points. I enjoy writing, but I don’t want my own laziness to prevent me from engaging with it. While I don’t know what the next 12 months will hold, I’m hopeful it’ll be better than the past 12 months. A big thank you to Belghast for hosting Blaugust, and thank you for reading.