Posted tagged ‘writing’

About my Policy Fiddling Hobby, Part 1

December 5, 2010

I’ve been swamped with Cataclysm and finals preparations…despite what Kurn may say, for me, Cataclysm preparation has very little to do with in-game stuff and a lot to do with pre-studying for finals so I can actually play the expansion without ruining my GPA. However, like Kurn, I’m a team player and I did contribute to my guild’s Cataclysm preparation by pitching in with policy updates.

That’s right, guild policy update. This post is going to be about guild policy updates.

I know the term policy has a tendency to trigger an irresistible urge to sleep, especially if guild politics aren’t your thing. Just grab some coffee and I promise I won’t be too dry.

As a matter of fact, I think this is such an exciting and fascinating topic that I’ve split it into two parts! The first part (this one!) is about my experience and my attempts to convince you that guild policies aren’t horrible, scary things. The second part will go into specifics with some examples of how I handled the wording. (I freely admit part II exists for the sole purpose of showing off quotes I’m proud of.)

I like knowing what’s expected of me, don’t you?

I volunteered to update our guild policies. I’m not an officer, heck, with my crazy lifestyle, I struggle to keep my raider status. But I’ve disliked my guild’s website since day 1. Rules, details about guild functioning and culture, loot system explanations, etc., were scattered throughout individual threads in several forums, mixed in with regular chitchat threads. Some information about the guild wasn’t available at all.

Had I not heard and read about the workings of Conquest from Matticus (our GM) and Sydera, had this been a random guild website, I wouldn’t have applied. (And I would have missed out.)
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Oh noes, I missed my Blogiversary!

April 13, 2010

So my blogiversary came and went. On April 7th, 2009, I made my two first blog posts. Two first highly crappy and embarrassing blog posts that I will not dig up. I completely forgot about the date and now I have to buy myself flowers and chocolate to be forgiven. (I need to upset myself more often, love chocolate and flowers.)

Anyway, because I didn’t do it then, I totally get to indulge in a retrospective post about blogging now. (What’s with the snarky looks? Every excuse is good for indulging in some blogging about blogging! So what if most of my posts are about blogging these days?)

This is a New Agey Blog, I tell you!

One of my favorite posts to write was the one on blogging about ones guild. Overall my message was that while I have my more aggressive moments, for the most part I’m very careful about what I say out of respect for my guildies and because blogging shouldn’t be an alternative to direct communication. I received several comments from bloggers mentioning that blogging had a therapeutic value to them and served as an outlet for frustrations they encounter in game.

My blog is therapeutic for me too, but more in the personal growth department than the outlet department. I know I’m really weird, but I learn a lot about myself from my blog, and I mean a lot. Sure, I write about video games, but taking several hours a few times a week to really ask myself, “what do I think of X, Y, Z?” has some surprising results. 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.
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Of Guilds and of Blogging

March 4, 2010

Note: This post is crazy long. That’s what happens when I’m away from my blog for more than a weekend. The words build up and come out all at the same time. I wrote this for myself because I’ve been thinking about the topic quite a bit lately and it’s driving me nuts. I considered splitting the post into two, but it’s too personal to be worth it.

I hate getting into hot blogging trends. Unless it’s an official Shared Topic, the more people talk about something, the more I write about everything but. I’m special, unique snowflake dammit!

I do, however, love thinking about blogging. I also love talking about anything guild-related. I’m somewhat of a closet amateur social anthropologist. Anything that has to do about how people interact with each other, about cultures, about communication, about influence, about social behaviour just gets me giddy. And the young, diverse, strange, ever changing social world of the internet? OMG! Just thinking about it makes me want to jump up and down in excitement.

What can I say? Some people are big into birds, others into sports, I’m a geek for social anthropology. I have no training for it, though, (two level 100 courses I took while on student exchange don’t count) so I kind of fumble around topics in hazy bliss. May real social anthropologists forgive me.

But anyway, I talk a lot about guild stuff on my blog. As a result, I’m constantly worrying about crossing the line. It’s important to me to show respect towards my guildies and to have respect for the work the officers put into the guild. I don’t want to censor myself, yet it’s not my place to criticize others, or be the cause of hurt feelings.

So, to make myself happy, I’m going to jump onto the bandwagon and bring up the very topic that’s been discussed on bit on Twitter, and posted about by Cassandri, Tam, Larísa, Anea, Pugnacious Priest as well as my own guild master, Matticus. Besides, I’ve been very good lately and put my schoolwork before my blogging for FOUR (4) WHOLE DAYS! (OMG IT WAS SO HARD TO DO! Blogging is such a drug.) I totally deserve a self indulgent post.

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Thinking back on this blog: 2009 Edition

January 2, 2010

I say “2009 edition” even though it’s really a first edition. First of several, I hope! I’ve been wanting to do a meta post for such a long time but never dared. After all, this blog is still very young, too young to deserve a deep, thoughtful meta post.

BUT! I’m going to use the changing of the year as an excuse to pretentiously write about my blog. I wanted to follow the trend set by Matticus by going over my favorite posts of 2009. However, it would really be my favorite posts of the past three months. Which would be silly.

So instead, I’ll do K’s Pretentious Blogging Meme. I have a lot to say, so my apologies to those of you who’ll be reading this via reader. For everyone else, I’ll use a cut.

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Coming up to the end of the year

December 13, 2009

This is actually flagged as a Shared Topic for December 21, but pretty much everyone is answering it already. I’ve been thinking about my answers to the questions a lot (because it’s way more interesting than cramming for finals) and I can’t wait 2 weeks.

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Oh my! 2009 was such a busy WoW year! At the beginning of the summer, I took the game to the next level and worked on my 10 man leading skills for a few months. Which is a funny story for another question. I also started a WoW blog! And, if anyone reading this has followed my adventures over the past month they’ll be very surprised to hear that, I switched guilds in early November, which, for me, IS A HUGE DEAL.

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

The beer garden in Dalaran. I mean it. My first reaction upon stumbling upon it was: OMG WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THERES A BEER GARDEN IN DALARAN??? (Because, clearly, if I’m not aware of something, it’s someone else’s fault for not informing me.) Since that fateful moment, it’s been my logging out zone for most of my characters. I take all my gimmicky screenshots there. I go there when I’m waiting on something. If a /whois Rykga query shows me in Dalaran, I’m most likely hopping on tables in the beer garden.

Sure, Ulduar was lovely. Sure, the penguins near the Argent Tournement area make good buddies. But the beer garden is my quiet little corner of WoW and I almost always have it all to myself. Which is good because I hate sharing.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

I don’t know! 2009 was such a good WoW year that it’ll be hard to beat. I kinda wish Dragons would be a playable race though. I want to be a Dragon!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Eh… I could be a bitch and say “Well, it would be Loremaster but I’m so obsessive when I level that finishing up those last 50 quests I missed really wasn’t a big deal, teehee.” Oh wait, I just said it. Oops.

Awkwardly, I have to say this blog was my biggest WoW achievement. I started blogging because writing stuff was my weakness. Not that I was a horrible writer, but I hated writing. As much as I love narrating stories to myself, words don’t come easily to me. In school, any class that included papers was doomed to be a nightmare. I can’t tell you how many papers have triggered epic sobbing fits. So I thought to myself, hey you like to talk about WoW, how about you practice writing about it?

Well, this semester I had a class with a paper to write: in 2000 words, criticize the accessibility and readability of a drug information patient handout of your choice. I’m proud to say that after barely an hour, I had a draft submitted to my shocked teammate. I had so many ideas and the words were flowing. The feedback we got on that paper was glowing. Even though it has very little to do with page layout and wording of Reactine information leaflets, I totally blame WoW blogging for my success in that course.

Another ah-ha moment was when I wrote my Insecure Nervewreck post. I was really worried about publishing it. Super personal posts are hard to pull off. Too much goofing around distracts from your message, but seriousness gives an impression of woe is me. Would people “get it”? I buried the post with a theory-oriented paladin post as fast I could to bring attention elsewhere. Oh, but they got it. The feedback I received was incredible, both from people who could relate as well as from people saying “I can’t relate but I understand”. I can’t think of anything more flattering.

What was your biggest failure?

Someone once told me that the difference between people who get far in life and those who don’t isn’t necessarily how many successes they’ve had, but how they view failure. I don’t know if that has anything to do with video games, but I don’t take chances. I’ve trained myself to erase the notion of “failure” from my mind, regardless of context. I wanna get far in life dammit!

I replaced “failure” with “things I can learn to do better”. Since I enjoy learning, I figured it was a more productive outlook. And the WoW thing I can definitely learn to do better is raid leading (SEE! this is the question that story was for). I had no problems with the logistical nightmare it was to organize two nights of 10 man raids in a guild of people with extremely limited schedules, but I’m way too nonchalant to have any authority once we’re inside an instance. “Um, kill stuff, don’t stand in crap or we’ll laugh at you. Um. Um. Pay attention to DBM.” I answered questions with “use your common sense”. Yeah. It was still fun, but thankfully I don’t think I’ll be needing to raid lead any time in the near future.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Um. Cheezy to say, but the guildie meetups I had this year were amazing. (As those I’ve had in past years have been as well.) I know I’m weird, but I love meeting people off the internet. I get crazy excited whenever I’m traveling near the hometown of an online friend. I think there were only two this year, one in San Francisco and one in Toronto, but both were exceptional. Yes, I know I’m supposed to get excited about game stuff, but what make the game so much fun are the people you play with. (Awwwww :))

What do you wish you’d done less of?

I don’t know! I don’t think I overindulged on anything in game this year. I’m a very disciplined person, I am, I am.

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I don’t like “or”, I’m going to say “and”.

I read so many WoW blogs for so many different reasons. Since I discovered the WoW blogosphere, I’m continuously amazed by the quality of writing that is out there. I hate to play favorites (which you can tell by the outdated blogroll) and rarely give link love or participate in circle jerks because I feel bad for the 4953489723 other blogs that I adore.

I do have to say Snottydin has a dear place in my heart because I can, like, totally relate. I’m, like, totally a grl irl lol n i can, like totally solo heal wow lol w/ my like holy pala lol rofl. I believe Tamarind is the initial mastermind behind Snottydin, but it seems that every post is contributed by a different person. I hope to see much, much more of Snotty!

If I was to name a non-parady blog that gets me giddy whenever there’s updates, it would be Forbearance. And not just because they were one of the first blogs to send me traffic (I’ll admit I squealed like a little kid the first time I noticed incoming traffic from dpspaladin). Jong and Megan have given me writer envy since the very first day I discovered their respective blogs. Them working together is just OMG. They’re both brilliant in their own way and the chemistry they have when they share the scene is second to none. They have this clever knack for covering up wisdom with hilarity and I know I’m in for some thought provoking laughs whenever I notice they have a new post up. While they don’t really cover paladin information per say, they capture “the essence of paladinning” so well (in my opinion of course) that Forbearance should be required reading for any new paladin.

Podcast, Twisted Nether Blogcast, hands down. I don’t think I would have caught the blogging bug if not for TNB. I try to make it to the live shows, but they usually record in the middle of the friggin night, which makes it hard to be in the chatroom. While the large scale podcasts are great too (and I’m a podcast junkie, I listen to all the ones I can find), I love hearing the voices of people I read every day. I’m also way more interested in the people behind the blogs I read than the actual subject matter of said blogs (yeah, I’m creepy that way). To me, a good blog post is like a letter from a dear friend and listening to TNB is like listening to dear friends telling you a story.

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

It’s not exactly a WoW lesson, but I learned it while playing WoW. When it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll stick around somewhere they don’t belong because of the familiarity. Being stressed out, whiny and miserable feels like a small price to pay to avoid a change in scenery.

I’m not going to lie, it was hell for about a week. I don’t do well with goodbyes, with new people, with new situations. But I’m my own worst enemy. When the whirlwind died down, there was only relief. Had I known I would have felt this great afterwards, I wouldn’t have thought twice before jumping.

AND ON THAT NOTE

I’m not going to tag anyone by name because I’ve played enough favorites for tonight. If you read all my answers to all these questions, then clearly you are awesome and so I tag YOU!

Doing a little tidying!

October 16, 2009

Quiet little me decided to come out of the blogging closet and openly admit to writing a blog. Ever since then I’ve been feeling a little naked, but no worse for the wear! To my greatest relief, I’ve been treated very gently. Until now, I had been holding off commenting on other people’s blogs out of fear that they would find mine (shyness isn’t logical, okay?) and I’m really looking forward to being more vocal in the future. I added a couple of blogs to my blogroll, the more informative paladin ones as well as the ones that I find would interest anyone who happens to pass by my site (including those who are just looking for my giant spoon picture). Eventually I’ll have to make a links page, since I tend to have a blog and an article to link to for every occasion, but that will be a project for another day.

Based on kind feedback, I changed my theme to one that would let me personalize my heading a bit. My experience in graphics editing is limited to drawing clumsy circles in MS Paint, so after many, many hours of tampering, I managed to produce something I’m rather proud of. Sure, it screams amateur, but at least I managed to do it.

I’ve been having so much fun with this whole customization thing that I’m even considering private hosting so that I can mess around some more with the layout… Originally, I started blogging to get some writing exercise as my every day writing consists of summarizing textbooks. But between then and now, I’ve learned to flex more than one side of my creativity. Which is great because I’m all about learning.

And now back to our regular programming!

[EDIT] Ok, maybe the dress in the header wasn’t the best option for a chilly day (it’s either the spring dress or the summer one, I can’t remember) but lets face it, 1) none of my gear covers my belly any better 2) my gear changes all the time, I keep festive clothes forever 3) the colour is pretty


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