I’ve taken extended absences from blogging on occasion, but I’ve never had so much trouble getting back into it before. So I decided to spend some time figuring out what my problem was. The other day, I read through the first 100 posts from when I started this blog. I did indeed discover a difference in what I was writing about, then and now, and I think I’ve identified the core of the problem.
Apparently, I’ve been letting other people (and how they do things) subconsciously influence how I thought I should be doing things. But, consciously, I didn’t want to emulate those folks. With my conscious and subconscious at odds in this manner, it took extreme effort for me to sit down and write anything.
I started this blog in order to document my reentrance into the hobby. I detailed how I identified what supplies and resources I would need in order to prepare and run a game, my thoughts on various aspects of DM’ing a campaign, the development of the house rules I chose to adopt, etc. When I found something cool in the way of specialty dice, useful books, etc, I would share those as well. It was all very personal and focused on my game and how I do things.
Some time ago, in order to increase exposure of the blog, I joined a number of RPG blogging networks. Naturally, I regularly read many of these other blogs to see what they were doing and possibly grab some ideas.
There are some really good blogs out there, and I did find a number of great ideas. But one thing I noticed right off (but didn’t give much thought to until now) is that the vast majority don’t do things the way I do. I don’t mean that they don’t run their games the same way (well, they do but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here). They approach blogging very differently. Most blogs seem to be externalized; they focus on what is happening in the world around them (movies, books, kickstarters, new rpgs, etc) instead of what is happening in their own game.
I have no interest in writing that sort of blog. But seeing so many people doing the same thing was apparently subconsciously making me think that maybe I should.
Now that I am aware of where that nagging little voice is coming from, I can silence it and get back to work.
Defining My Focus
When I started this blog, 4e was in full swing. I didn’t know anything about 4e (and fortunately had missed out on the edition wars) so I decided to embrace it. Therefore, my early posts (for most of my first year) were very 4e-oriented. Eventually though, I came to the conclusion that 4e just wasn’t something I was interested in.
I think I will revisit many of those early articles and put them within a framework of the ruleset I do use (much more 1e-oriented).
Another thing that I noticed in re-reading my old articles is that they are no longer current. Maybe a better way to say that is that my vision has changed. In either case, I will be writing some new articles that will revisit ground I’ve covered before. I’m sure I’ll be contradicting many things I’ve said in the past, but perceptions change over time so that really can’t be helped.
I don’t plan to make any “community service announcements”. I don’t note the birthday, or passing, of authors, artists, or celebrities (I chose to celebrate or mourn such events in private). When a new movie or rpg is released, there are already endless sites announcing such things (imo unnecessarily since in our niche hobby most readers of our blogs already know about them from other sources). No one needs me to add to the noise. Similarly, I rarely engage in speculation regarding upcoming products. Whether 5e turns out to be an amazing hit or a spectacular flop doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t plan on playing it. I’ll simply buy it to see if there is anything I can steal to use in my own game.
I do, however, plan to continue doing product reviews from time to time. In fact, I’m in a hurry to finish this so I can talk about some cool dice I saw this morning.
One thing I do plan to stop doing though is reading other RPG blogs (forums too for that matter). As I said earlier, I did find some wonderful blogs that I enjoy following. But that leads me to the whole blogosphere and that much outside influence has too much negative impact on what I want to do.
Most people have probably lost interest and clicked the back button in their browser by now. I realize I’m just rambling here but after coming to the realization that other people had been influencing my blogging of late, and committing to a bit of a change in my future articles, I thought I should mark the occasion with a post of its own.
Happy New Year! I hope to continue to hear from you all throughout the coming year. Cheers!