Whoohoo, I made it!!! 😀
*does Snoopy happy dance*
This is where I mention I 100% feel anyone who attempted Blaugust should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. Offline life happens, and no matter what you’ve had a chance to experiment and learn. I’ve added a Blaugust Blogroll as a submenu up top there, under the About section. I encourage any of my readers to check out the blogs on the list, we have so many talented writers!
After I signed up, I made a list of topics I’d been meaning to cover. Some of them I never got around to, and some came up organically, but it gave me a base to work from. When I heard gaming news, I took a few minutes to consider whether I had anything to say on it. I also tried to read as much as I could (not nearly as much as I wanted) since that often gave me ideas, or at least got the gears moving. I made use of our writing prompts, though I tried to do so sparingly so as to only pick topics I was sincerely interested in exploring. I had notes for a few that I later scrapped because I wasn’t feeling it. I made sure to allow myself a few out-of-the-norm posts, both for fun and also because some days I just didn’t have anything else in me. I decided to try to alternate my posts, if I’d just done a research-heavy post, I planned an easier one for the next day.
I prefer writing in the evening, which works pretty well since I can spend time during the day mulling my topic over. This also makes it difficult during long work stretches, but I managed. (Though I did sleep through my alarm one morning, eep!) I tried to write any time I was home and had a lot of ideas – this meant sometimes I started an extra post after my required one, but it also helped me take advantage of the times I was super motivated on a topic.
Other than that, I kept an eye on my schedule and tried to plan for days I knew I’d be busy. I knew it would be easier for me to keep going with one a day than to catch up, so I made every effort to do that. The hardest days were when I was sick and the night I posted so late. If I hadn’t written part of my post before the podcast and surprise dungeon run, I don’t think I would have made it. Or I would have had to bow out of the dungeon which would have sucked. I had to be careful planning my Holosuite articles as well, since I try to keep them longer and more complete than I necessarily do for my regular posts.
The Dungeon Bosses
Writing a blog post daily is not an easy task, much less trying to keep them interesting for both myself and those reading. I still needed to get to work, do the podcast, take care of the dog, and all that other fun offline stuff. (Super props to the parents who participated, I know you’ve got even more to juggle!)
In my case, this was also a huge time investment for another reason. While I applaud folks who can dash off a post and publish it quickly, I always have to send mine through multiple edits. Not doing that leaves me feeling sincerely uncomfortable in a way that cancels out the time benefits. I can make myself stop trying so hard to find the “perfect” words, but I can’t help trying to make sure I’ve at least chosen effective words. I play with the image layout, check to make sure my links are working, read the post out loud to see if it flows, and double check facts and spelling if I’m unsure. I usually do more than one set of edits. It comes to me naturally, and I find a certain enjoyment in polishing my work…but still, it takes extra time.
I’m beginning this post the night of the 30th, after I’ve already worked, and written my post for today. Tomorrow I need to bring a cat to the vet (nothing serious) and take care of day-off chores like errands and laundry. The next day I need to have my article ready for Holosuite, but I also have an out of town doctor’s appointment. If I start this tonight, I can do most of the HS article tomorrow…you see where this is going!
Oh, and I usually work 9-10 hours, and the job is usually very physically demanding. So, there’s that.
Participating has very noticeably cut into my game time. While I don’t mind occasional breaks, this has gone further than I like – not just for my own enjoyment, but also to have current gaming stories to tell. Even though I posted on a variety of gaming topics this month, and covered many games I’ve been meaning to mention for a while, there’s been very few posts about what *I* just did ingame the other day.
With all that said…I still feel this was undeniably very much worth it!
For starters, my blog’s layout is exponentially better than it was before I started. Blaugust kicked me in the rear to make changes and additions I’d been putting off, and inspired me to do things that hadn’t occurred to me before. I’m always a tinkerer with site design, but I’m incredibly pleased with how this one looks.
I’ve set up a Facebook page for the blog, linked it to my previously unused Tumblr, and will likely continue posting on Anook. I hadn’t bothered branching out like that before, but I can see from my site traffic posting on multiple platforms makes a huge difference. When doing so is either automatic or just a quick copy/paste, there’s no reason not to put my work where more people can see it. Just this week, I’ve seen site traffic from the Steam review I’d done, where I posted a link to my Fran Bow “Gryph Plays,” so I’ll be trying to do that more often as well. (Not just for the views, either. 😛 I didn’t think anyone would care to read my thoughts on Steam games, but since they ARE I’m happy to share. I very much value player reviews when I’m considering a new game.)
I’ve made some great friends, and feel like I’m part of a blogging community for the first time since…I don’t know, maybe back when all my friends and I were on LiveJournal. It’s a comfortable feeling, and I only wish I’d thought to reach out sooner. I’m hoping to keep up with the blogs I’ve discovered (hopefully it’s easier when everyone isn’t posting daily!) and followed them all on Anook last night. I realize not everyone will stay on that platform, but it’s the easiest way for me to make sure I’ve got everyone. While Feedly is a great option, I haven’t been using it nearly as much as I’d expected.
Even though I didn’t have much time for gaming, I had motivation to change up my gaming more than usual. I tend to very easily fall into comfortable habits in gaming, which is fine until I’m tired of my one game and decide to not play anything for a bit. I miss some of my old games, and have plenty of Steam backlog to go through. I never would have found games like Salt and Fran Bow without being a part of this community.
Blaugust helped me open up my writing more, and have fun with it. Topics I’d ignored before, like my job, were not only great to write about but clearly fun for others to read. I’m still happy with this being primarily a gaming blog, but I’m not nearly so hesitant to change it up once in a while. And even with my obsessive editing, the actual writing part is flowing much more smoothly. Before this, I’d always done my first draft in LibreOffice, edited it, copied it to WordPress, edited it again…I’m now writing directly to WordPress, saving me time and hassle.
I’ve started to be more actively involved in blogging TSW news. I always wanted to be someone who kept up with Issue announcements and the like, but with posting once a week it wasn’t happening. By a few days after the announcement, it was no longer news. I love anything that brings me closer to the community, and I also want to be able to promote this game I absolutely adore.
I’d previously been a bit nervous that if I posted too much TSW stuff, I’d turn off other readers, but if I erred too far the other way I’d lose my own gaming community! This is something else that’s less worrisome when I post more often.
Blaugust trivia: My most often edited out “unnecessary word” is “that.” As in, “the thing that I like,” instead of, “the thing I like.” I’ve overused the word since high school. 😛
With Blaugust over, I don’t think I’ll continue to write daily. Even though I honestly enjoyed it, I’ve cut myself short on sleep more than once. As much as I love writing, I need to balance it with the rest of my life. I do intend to post at least a few times a week, though, and I think I’ll enjoy following through on that very much.
[Edit: Also, blogging daily means I’m not writing fiction at all. Nada all month. Since that’s also important to me, I need to leave myself space and time for it!]
I’ll be posting to Holosuite tomorrow, and may take a few days off after that; but I’ll get back in soon enough. 🙂
Thanks and internet cookies and gold stars and rainbows to Belghast, Void, and all the Blaugust participants. You’ve helped me become a better and happier blogger, which is a wonderful gift! ❤
#Blaugust has wrapped up for 2015, but there’s still plenty to read! Visit the Blaugust Initiative page to learn more about it, and then head over to the Nook or my Blaugust Blogroll to see what we’ve accomplished and find some awesome new blogs to read.