I think that one point that gets hammered in by veteran bloggers tossing out advice to new writers is as old as the ages: Write for yourself first and foremost. You simply won’t have fun otherwise and you won’t succeed in anything. This extends to gaming as well. I mean, I’m not dumb; I know that if I just played and blogged about the most current and popular MMOs, I’d probably rake in a lot more hits than jawing about LOTRO and Space Freaking Quest.
But I almost never look at my hits. I used to obsess about them early on — they and comment numbers meant so much as a concrete measure of whether I was doing well. Somewhere along the line, I stopped caring because whether ten or a thousand people read my post, I want to write it because I want to write it. It’s an outpouring of my enthusiasm and interest, and if it connects with fans, great.
I sometimes wonder whether Bio Break readers get annoyed at my retro gaming posts. I try to do a standard (usually MMO-related) post early in the day so it’s not just retro gaming wall-to-wall here, but I can’t shake the impression that I’m making a fool out of myself to some people who might come here for serious gaming talk. And here I am, gushing about EGA-era titles, a rapidly-approaching-middle-age guy apparently attempting to relive his childhood. But it’s fun and I’m quite used to feeling foolish, so why not write about it?
Documenting my journeys through both MMOs and retro games have given me a greater sense of purpose to gaming. Some people may whinge that blogging is dead and aren’t we dabbling in an archaic medium, but I call wet blankets for what they are. You may express yourself through art; I do it through writing and occasionally stammering on a podcast. It’s a format that lends itself well to thought-out, detailed, and flexible articles that can be written and self-published easily. You can read faster than listen or watch videos, so I think that blogs and articles will always have an advantage with people who value their time.
Through blogging, I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth from those titles that I binge-purchased over at GOG.com. How many games do you have sitting in your digital libraries that you’ve barely or never played? Blogging’s provided ample motivation and a weird sense of public accountability to engaging with them.
MMO video game music? Aren’t we just insane for taking gobs of time to put together a podcast that reviews such a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche interest? Battle Bards will never sweep the globe and we know it, but the numbers and fame aren’t our goal. We do it because we feel we must, because it’s a hoot to do, and because those who appreciate what we do share their gratitude and perspectives.
I can’t not write. When I started MMO blogging, I publically stated that I’d be posting three times a week. I broke that by day two and haven’t stopped since. Writing pours out of me because I want to share these nutty thoughts and to entertain and to hopefully become better at this one skill that’s better than most that lies within my vaults. Recognition? Acclaim? Money? Connections? These are all perks and are nice, but they’re incidental. I’d blog no matter what and I will probably keep doing so for a long time to come.