Shared Topic: Your Autoblogography

From Look Ma! I made a WoW Blog, April 7, 2009

A bossy pally can only chase people around to talk to them about WoW for so long before said people become good at getting away. Then, all thats left is the internet. You can still run away on the internet, oh yes. But sometimes you unknowingly run towards trouble and accidently read things.
[...]
So I started a blog because I wasn’t getting enough WoW talk. I’m not yet sure where I want to go with this or if I’m going to go anywhere at all. Only time will tell, I guess?

We were running short on Shared Topics at Blog Azeroth (so you should all totally go and suggest some) and it was therefore my turn to come up with a Topic. And what do I like reading about? That’s right. Big, fat, juicy, behind the scenes blogging stories. Hence the Topic: Your Autoblogography.

The Topic starts next week and you can prepare for it by reading this post and by checking the thread at Blog Azeroth.

The Beginning

From Thinking back on this blog: 2009 Edition, January 2, 2010

I was an avid blog reader and it just seemed like those writers were have so much fun. While bloggers will usually tell you they started blogging because they loved to write, I followed a different route. I hated writing. Hated it! But I loved WoW. Maybe I could use WoW to teach myself to write semi-decently. Maybe it would help me write those pesky school assignments.

Ok, whenever I tell people that, I immediately get showered with kind “oh, you’re not THAT bad” compliments. I love compliments, so by all means… ;D

I really have been fortunate in my education: my parents and my teachers have always encouraged (read: forced) me to write a lot, so it’s not like I was illiterate before blogging. But I disliked it, it was so much work. After a year and a half, it’s still a lot of work to me, but I do find words and structure come easier and I’ve developed a voice of my own. A voice that can be tough to suppress when trying to write something formal…

I was really shy when I started. Really shy. Like afraid of commenting on other blogs lest they find mine shy. Granted, going over my first posts I can’t blame myself.

We finally decided against establishing a formal motivational system, but I made a point to remind everyone that informal recognition can be very motivating as well.

Personally, I find that a formal system (such as a guildie of the month) is a little childish. It reminds me of when I was 9 and in Girl Guides.

- From Positivity, July 12, 2009

*shudders* I guess we all have to start somewhere.

I introduced myself at Blog Azeroth about 6 months after I started blogging. With the support of Shop, Miss Medicina, Jaedia and Windsoar, to name a few, things started to pick up. I practiced a lot, made friends and gained a lot of confidence.

Being a Blogger while being a Guildie

After insulting many in this fantasy blog and your attitude in guild the past few months… Seriously?

You dump the people who nurtured your aspirations to be a healer and then tank and put up with mini temper tantrums. Plus the ones who were willing to go with you last night as a send off you left in the lurch and then flipped the bird too with a EMO g quit because things did not go your way.

- Anonymous Commenter, Shared topic: Relationships within Azeroth, November 4, 2009

I started playing WoW without caring at all that there were other people in it. I tried the game, it was fun, so I used it as a substitution for the solo RPGs I loved so much. It wasn’t until a more outgoing friend started playing that I was introduced to my first raiding guild. I had no idea how to play, but I like a job well done, so I learned. I became an officer pretty quickly. While I’m not much of a natural leader, I have this overwhelming need to know what’s going on the behind the scenes and to fix anything that seems suboptimal. Whenever I find myself in group with a leadership I don’t trust, I take over very, very quickly.

I don’t care what you say, no one does things as well as I do.
Me: THATS NOT HOW YOU POST A TEN MAN RAID! YOU’RE DOING IT ALL WRONG! NO ONE WILL SIGN UP, NO ONE!
10 man raid person: There are signups.
Me: THEY DIDN’T SIGN UP PROPERLY DAMMIT

- Life After Leadership: a Control Freak’s Nightmare, October 19, 2009

Starting a blog coincided with my becoming more serious about the game. The friendly, casual guild I was in at the time didn’t fit what I wanted anymore and I didn’t fit what they wanted.

From What goes on in here stays in here. Or not?, October 10, 2010

One of my concerns with starting a blog was that I love talking about how people interact with each other, how I interact with people and about people in general. But where do you draw the line between discussing a hot topic and betraying trust? What is safe to talk about publicly and what isn’t?

At the time, I was writing quite a bit about the different challenges faced and discussions raised within a casual guild. In retrospect, while I still agree with myself, the way I wrote was clumsy. With the exception of dickhead quoted above, no one ever complained, and I even got a fair amount of support from then-guildies, but it does take awhile to figure out the best ways to write about your teammates.

Summing everything up in a few lines goes kinda like this. How I blog about guild stuff:

* Emphasize on the good.
* Use the bad constructively
* Be respectful of guildies
* Communicate directly, not through the blog

- Of Guilds and Blogging, March 4, 2010

One of my favorite posts was How I Met My Guild, written on August 4, 2010 because I got to tell two of my favorite stories: how I met my best friend and how I joined Conquest. The post itself turned out quite nicely too, if I do say so myself.

I remember when I applied to Conquest, I was so shy about my blog. I disclosed having a blog (but used the “URL available upon request” cop-out) to avoid criticism and “you never told us” later on
[...]
one of my former guildies got really aggressive with me on my blog. I had never received nasty comments before. I had no idea how to handle it, so I handled it poorly. The next 3 or so days were awful. It wasn’t the words that bothered me, but rather knowing that my new guildies, who I was trying to impress, were seeing me at my very worst. I was convinced I would be written off as a drama whore and left stranded on a new server without a guild security blanket.

- Of Guilds and Blogging, March 4, 2010

In the end it was a non-issue and they weren’t having any of my modesty either. Right from day one, the then-raid leader (whom has since entertained many of you in my blog comments as Kimbo), out of nowhere went “you should all go read Rykga’s blog, it’s hilarious“. (Even since, I’ve felt a pang of guilt every time I publish an unfunny post.)

Matticus, grand pharaoh of Conquest and apparently well known guy among WoW players, linked to me on his blog and encouraged me to guest post. Traffic gradually increased at that point. I was ambivalent about it: on one hand, I’m fiercely independent and wanted to stand on my own, plus I wanted to write about my guild without people immediately thinking of Matt, yet on the other hand, I was deeply flattered to receive a nod from someone who knows WoW blogging inside and out. The nod earned me a few accusation from then-strangers of being a fangirl. Despite my best efforts, I also once got labeled “a coattail blogger who can’t write worth a damn, but who expects everyone to read them because they’re affiliated with a big name blogger.” (At least I assume that was directed at me…) But in general, the new people I met far were less scary than I expected.

Having an established blogger for GM makes a difference. My guildies are used to the idea of guild stuff made public. They’re familiar with blogs, know what kind of stuff might be blogged about and what’s off limits. Plus, whenever I’m not sure about whether or not I should talk about something, I can ask and get an honest, straight answer.

- Of Guilds and Blogging, March 4, 2010

I’ve yet to have someone complain that I’ve written about them. I have received, however, a few complaints from individuals feeling left out when I didn’t write about them. When your blogging world and your guild world coexists peacefully, it’s a fantastic feeling. My guildies are incredibly supportive: reading, commenting, cheering me on during podcasts; and lately, a few of them have become involved with WoW media themselves, as you can see from my blogroll.

Another advantage to having an established blogger as a GM is always having someone nearby who really understands blogging. Matt’s given me advice countless times, and there’s a huge comfort in knowing that I have a shoulder to cry on should blogging matters become overwhelming. The irony is that I wasn’t a fangirl at the times I was being accused of it, but I totally am now.

Blogging and Gaming

If you think you’re a good player now, try blogging about it. You’ll discover all sorts of things about your class and/or the game.

This is a writeup I’ve been meaning to do for my guild because I do encounter this situation with some new 80s. As a small, casual raiding guild, we often barely scrape by to get enough people for 25 mans – and can’t always afford to exclude someone “who’s not quite raid ready”. Even if their combat rogue is specced for daggers, swords and maces all at the same time, and shows up wearing unenchanted, ungemmed casting leather. Or cloth. Plus, such players are often the most laid back, kindest people in the guild, which make them well loved outside of raids.

- I would like to begin being a raid beginner, June 19, 2009

My first guide was about getting ready to raid. Like all my posts, it’s a bit on the wordy side, but for a first guide, I’m not too ashamed.

I’ve always done my best to make most of my “how to” posts accessible to players of all levels. It’s hard to get feedback on accessibility. I’ll frequently receive feedback on facts, omissions and even spelling (all of which is very appreciated! Providing accurate information is a group effort), but no one will ever say “the only people who can understand your writing are people who don’t need a guide in the first place.”

It’s a shame really. When it comes to criticizing guides, I wish the blogosphere was harsher. The harsher the critics, the more reliable the information.

Over time, I’ve found myself a niche for discussing individual abilities over the general picture. I love utility and us paladins have a generous, and too often neglected, toolbox at our disposal. Divine Sacrifice, Beacon of Light, Hand of Protection and Aura Mastery were some of the abilities I scrutinized and even learned a few things myself in the process.

Tying Blogging and Playing Together

I think I would still play if I didn’t blog. I’d play, but I wouldn’t be very good. Writing about my paladin, facts checking, comment answering and discussing with other blogging is what really fine-tuned my understanding of my class. And to this day, I’m still learning.

Blogging has also brought me closer to my guild. It gave quiet, little me a means of expressing my personality and coming out of my shell.

New friend: Hi! How’re you doing?
Me: *starts typing then erases*
Me: *types than erases*
Me: *types than erases*
*5 minutes later*
Me: Doing good.

- Introducing the Insecure Nervewreck, November 11, 2009

And overall, it has helped with my writing. Words come easier and faster, text outlines form in my head almost effortlessly and sentences just fit together. The more I blog, the more I realize exactly how important good writing skills are. Being able to write gives someone a voice. Writing well allows you to be heard and understood via a permanent communication mode. When you can’t write, you lose a tremendous amount of personal power.

I started writing this blog as a way to develop my writing skills and what I’ve discovered is that writing a blog goes way, like waaaaay, beyond simple word typing.

It fits right in with my zen bamboo plants, my incense sticks, my fancy candles, my sounds-of-the-ocean music and complicated yoga positions.

- Oh noes, I missed my Blogiversary!, April 13, 2010

* * *
Anyway, here are some other random quotes from the archives.

I don’t know how I died to Legion Flame on Jaraxxus. I ran and everything. I even used my mouse to turn! But after my face ended up on the floor, I checked my combat log and sure enough it read “pwned by legion flame u fail n00b” (I have the settings on my combat log set to “illiterate arrogant bastard.”)

- Thank you, May I have another?, December 2, 2010

I chose the Madagascar Calender since it matches my bedsheets.

When in doubt, always choose the item that matches your bedsheets. (Unless you have the option of something that matches your Happy Feet Pyjamas, in which case, just flip a coin.)

- The curious case of the Authenticator, or how I fail at shopping, November 16, 2009

Me, I love pretty things. I’m all about beautiful dresses and flowers. Apparently most guys are not all about beautiful dresses and flowers. I also have no problems candidly talking about my feelings. Apparently the guys do have problems candidly talking about my feelings. Talk about culture shock!

- Of the Treatment of Women in WoW, Part 1, December 29, 2009

When meeting up with guildies who live on the other side of the country, all of the following will occur:
– I will get a rash on my face from the climate change (yay makeup)
– My new eye makeup remover will make my eyes red and puffy
– I will knock over a table
– I will spill coffee all over myself
So much for trying to not be a stereotypical geeky chick.

- 15 Things I Learned from my Vacation, May 12, 2010

I’m the kind of person who says please before telling you to move out of the fire. With a shaky voice.

Luckily, things have been working out so far, the group is fairly disciplined so I don’t really need to be authoritative. I raised my voice once. Immediately, I got 4 whispers:

Four people: Lol, you got mad!

- I Don’t Want to Write Something Useful, so I’m Going to Talk About 10 Man Raid Leading, March 23

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11 Comments on “Shared Topic: Your Autoblogography”

  1. Larísa Says:

    I’ve written SO many meta-posts on my own blogging, that I thought that I couldn’t really make another one without feeling silly and self obsessed, just repeating myself. But the way you dealt with the topic was very elegant and enjoyable. It must have taken quite a lot of work to put together those samples. Well done! (and a good read ofc!)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you.

      It did take a lot longer than expected, but I had the day off and needed a good break from studying, so it’s all good!

      I tend to do a lot of these meta posts too, and my readers probably do think that I’m silly and self obsessed. But I put so many hours into blogging, and because I use it as a learning experience, I frequently stop and to self evaluate or consider my progress. I figure that if I’m going to be writing these down anyway, I might as well share.

      Plus, I love reading about other bloggers’ experiences, so any chance I find where I can encourage others to write about their blogging, I jump on!

  2. shopshopshop Says:

    Well shit, this is going to totally dwarf my autoblogography when I get around to posting it. Thanks a lot! :P

  3. Brangwen Says:

    Thank you, May I have another?, December 2, 2010

    ZOMG! IT’S A PROSTITUTE ROBOT POST FROM THE FUTURE!!!
    (sorry, couldn’t resist :P)

    Can I save my autoblogoraphy shared topic for my 2 year blogiversary in like, a month or so? Yeah – whodathunk I have been around that long?

    • Ophelie Says:

      2 years! Wow! I didn’t realize you’d been around for so long!

      You can do your autoblography whenever you want! The compilation post usually goes up on TNB on the Sunday of that Topic’s week, but nothing stops you from commenting with a link to your post after the event.


  4. [...] EDIT: Here’s an example post: http://bossypally.wordpress.com/2010/11 … ogography/ [...]

  5. theerivs Says:

    You had me at hello ;)

    This is a very interesting post, I really don’t look back at my old posts. I’ve always been shoot from the hip, and fire and forget…much like my love life.

    Anywho like I said very interesting, maybe I’ll take a look back and realize that my writing is still…crap. ;)


  6. [...] Ophelie from The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon [...]

  7. Matticus Says:

    Soooooo are you coming back yeeeeet or should I get a half dozen more paladins somewheeeere?

    I also like how there’s apparently some negative stigma about being my fan girl. What’s wrong with being a fan girl? I LOVE fan girls. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Is it my deoderant? I mean I just switched to Old Spice. It’s so funny :S. It’s not like I’m blogging for women or anything (actually, there’s another blog idea. I should call it haveyoumetmatt.com).

    • Ophelie Says:

      MATT THA PLAYA!

      I was starting to wonder whether you guildies still remembered my existence. One of the parts for my computer is on back order and I’ve been yelling at Stables daily, but there’s only so much they can do (am considering ordering a really cheap laptop off the internet… no WoW but I could hang out on vent and stuff). I’ve been really sick lately anyway so I doubt I’d be playing much even if I had a computer.


  8. [...] was awesome to read about; the stories behind the blogs are great. As per usual I really enjoyed The Bossy Pally’s post, it kept me amused and motivated my thinking… and writing. So I figured I’d add my [...]


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