Oh noes, I missed my Blogiversary!
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.
Right now my frustration is that I can’t blog as much as I want. I have finals to study for, assignments to write and other hair-tearing out IRL things to take care of. Even when I do take a break from school stuff, my mind is still there and I can’t concentrate on writing a blog post. I know there’s such a thing as filler content, but eh, what’s the fun in that?
Of course, you can be sure that when I try to study, all I do is narrate potential blog posts to myself.
There’s also the niche thing. When I was asked on TNB to describe my blog, I was speechless for a few seconds. I wish I wrote a good paladin blog. Oh, I have a few paladin posts I really like. I have a bunch of half written ones sitting in my draft bin too, laughing at me. I hate them so much. Not because of the content, but because attempting to write theoretical stuff in a stylish, passionate, exciting, engaging way requires a lot of patience.
I tend to misplace my patience all the time.
I know, I know, no one reads closely enough to appreciate my beautiful, subtle, stylistic efforts, but no matter! What I like about blogging is precisely the act of tightly wrapping myself up in a topic and rolling around in it. When I can’t do that, I don’t have fun. I do write about social/interacting stuff a lot. That comes easily. I hate to admit it, but I’m a total voyeur, I love people watching and talking about people watching. Your secrets are not safe around me.
Writing about people does have its price to pay. Well, sometimes it’s a price to pay and sometimes it’s a blessing. “People stuff” is so subjective and open to interpretation. Leaves so much room for discussion, and we all know I love my long arse discussions about nothing, but leaves so much room for misunderstanding too. Being misunderstood is the MOST ANNOYING AND INSULTING AND FRUSTRATING THING IN THE WHOLE WORLD. But as I see it, if I’m misunderstood, then I’m the one who did it wrong. I didn’t explain something the right way, I didn’t present my example as clearly as I should. It’s a learning process, though, and I enjoy learning.
The misconception that gets to me the most?
“You wrote 3000 words about this, you must be very upset by it.”
I don’t write about unpleasant stuff often, but when I do, it’s kind of, not exactly exaggerated but, um, forceful? I don’t lie, but I like to add, um, colour to my writing. I like to lay the emotions on thick. I try to do it while avoiding cheap sensationalism, but I do fall into the trap at times. I’m a pharmacy student, not a professional writer, I have to learn in the delicate art of being engaging without being emo. Still, caricature is fun for me to write and I’m positive it’s more fun to read as well (and even if it isn’t, this is my blog. My blog, my fun.). I like to use specific situations as starting points for a larger reflection, but it seems difficult for readers to get over an example and look at the bigger picture. I know this is a lack of skill on my part. I’ll work on it. (But dammit, I hate not being perfect.) And yes, I know blog readers don’t read blogs to appreciate deep, earth shattering symbolism, but I’m sure there’s a way…
In the meanwhile, to those who fear for my sanity, I appreciate your concern and rest assured that when I write 3000 words about something, I’m savoring every one of those 3000 words. I really am. I may be psycho but it’s a happy psycho.
I’m being sneaky here! I’m fitting in this week’s Shared Topic, suggested by Anea of Oh Look, an Alt! Her question was whether comments prevented us from speaking our minds and thus making us mediocre bloggers. You can find everyone elses response in the appropriate thread at Blog Azeroth.
I’ll confess that, while I don’t necessarily write to be liked (I did when I first started, but I don’t care so much anymore), I do love a reaction, good or bad. And I will pick my topics and how I go about them based on “will this get a reaction?“. As I mentioned earlier, I try to avoid cheap sensationalism, but I still have a long way to go.
I’ll confess that reactions take me by surprise. A few times, in doing Shared Topics, I put out posts that were, in my opinion, quite shitty. I was embarrassed to publish them but I would force myself to do so anyway. Then I would get the most ungodly comments. Comments such as “So funny!”, “Hilarious!” and so on.
I love to brag that I have the best readers ever. You guys rock. You’re kind, you’re funny, you’re so supportive of my self indulgences. But if I have to reproach you one thing, that you’re too damn nice. When I post shitty shit, it’s totally ok to think it’s shit. Because it is shit. (But of course, if you want to keep thinking shit is wonderful and hilarious, feel free, I can’t complain too much about having my ego stroked. My ego is very cuddly.)
Would not getting those reactions I’m dying for make me a better blogger? It would make me less of an attention whore, but not a better blogger. I probably wouldn’t be blogging very much if I didn’t get any reactions. I like blogging for the act of blogging, yes, but the comments are what make it addictive. They’re why I have trouble going two days without hitting that publish button.
As well, comments that point out highlights or mistakes in my posts are the ones that teach me to write better. If not for the feedback, I’d still be writing like I did in those early days, like in those posts I’m too embarrassed to dig up and link to.
The Thank Yous
Ok, I’m a cheezy, sentimental suck up, get over it!
This year of blogging has been so much fun and it wouldn’t have been like that without all of yous. Thank you all so much for putting up with my outbursts, my pitiful attempts at humour, my bragging and my mental masturbation over the past year. I never, in a million years, thought this lesson in creative writing and in self discipline would be the crazy, exciting hobby it’s become.
Some personal thanks to Andrew Gordon, who welcomed me warmly at Blog Azeroth the day I timidly decided to come out of the blogging closet. To Larisa, the first person to leave me a comment. I’ll never forget how giddy and star struck I was that day. To Jaedia, Windsoar, Anea, Naithin (who doesn’t blog anymore that I know of) and Miss Medicina, the first fellow bloggers I came to think of as friends. To Saresa, who single handedly kept Blog Azeroth alive for so long and thanks to whom I had a warm, welcoming place to go when I became tired of being too shy to admit I had a blog. To Jong and Wrathy who linked back to me immediately and helped me come out of my shell. To Rhidach and Antigen and all the other paladin bloggers, for just being plain awesome. And of course, Matticus, who, for whatever unfathomable reason, one day decided to link to me and convinced me to guest post on his blog. It gave me nightmares at the time, I am a very SHY and QUIET person!, but it was the boost I needed to really get excited about blogging.
Of the non WoW bloggers, a huge thanks to Will, my first regular commenter. To former guildies Wild, Scar, Maddi, Kaiti and Lala, you guys are awesome and I miss you like crazy! To Conquest (and former Conquest) guildies Matt, Kaldora, Kimbo, FPS, Fungi, Hempia, Vik, Nediah, Ash, Evan, Tessah and anyone I may have forgotten who’s ever left a comment or tuned in the time I was on TNB. I can’t stress enough how lucky I am to have guildies who not only tolerate my blogging, but who play along with my whims and stupid ideas.
The Next Year
I can’t wait for school to calm down so I can get back into my normal groove. Over the next year, I REALLY hope to make my site prettier. I’m sticking with free hosting, I could not put up with the crap self hosted bloggers deal with, but I’d like to make a few changes, maybe pay for CSS modifying abilities. I’d like to do collaborations with other bloggers, like 2-man a blog post or something (if anyone is still awake this far into my post and is interested, feel free to get in touch with me).
Subscriber/commenter/hits-wise I’m quite satisfied and hope to stay at about the same. Big numbers are nice on the ego, but I really enjoy my freedom of speech. Um, I want to promise more paladin posts. Note I said “want”.
Overall, it’s been a crazy, fun, adventure so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.