As usual with these kind of rewards there are certain rules involved. Here they are:
- Thank the wonderful person who nominated you and leave a link back to their blogs.
- Explain your blog’s origin story or its history.
- Hand out two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
- Nominate other bloggers and hook us up with links to their blogs.
The blog’s origins
Shards of Imagination is hardly my first attempt at blogging. My first attempt goes back to… two decades ago, already?!? Maybe more?!? Sheesh, time flies by anyway. It was back in my teenage years back when blogging was still a novel idea and my friends were getting into it. I was still a teenager back then and thus my blog was a personal one and just as cringe as you can expect of someone of that age range. It was on Live Journal which had some cool stuff that I still miss to this day.
Obviously it didn’t last long. Later on I tried another blog, a gaming one. This one was meant to be a roleplaying blog for Lineage 2 as an attempt to keep my interest in that game. It was too late for that and it didn’t help at all. This one lasted even less than my personal one.
Fast forward some years, since I am terrible at learning from my mistakes I decided to make another blog, one focused on Everquest 2. The reason I chose to focus on that game is because I was really into it at the time and I saw a ton of of World of Warcraft blogs but none that focused on Everquest 2. It was also mixed with some roleplaying because I was playing in a RP server and was giving it another try. This blog lasted a bit longer than my previous attempts but not for long as I grew burned out from the game and found that roleplaying in a MMO was not for me.
Some more years go by, I keep getting these thoughts on my head about different games that I just have to talk with someone. Since I don’t think my friends would be too happy if I sent them e-mails with 2k words rambling about some random subject I decided a blog was the best option.
This time I did learn one lesson and didn’t make it focused in any one game. It is still mainly a blog about games as it is one of my main hobbies and one that I feel relatively easy to write about. But I also wanted to leave some room to talk about other interests like anime, tokusatsu, books, anything that fit my fancy. Hence the name Shards of Imagination, which as someone pointed out is tad too generic.
I’d also say the name is a bit presumptuous and it isn’t one I am entirely happy with. But until the day comes where I can get a better name it is one that will have to do.
In any case I am happy with my blog right now. It is hardly perfect or good looking but it is what I have and allows me to get all these thoughts out in the world. Plus it allowed me to get to know some cool people which is another win for me. 🙂
Advice for new bloggers
I am not sure if I will be able to properly express my thoughts and I might be repeating what others already have said. In any case, an attempt will be made!
Write for yourself. Blogging can be hard some times. Specially when you don’t get the feedback you expected for that post that you were sure would be super well received and get a lot of comments. It feels like you are just shouting at the void.
In those times it can get really tempted to cover that super popular game that everybody seems to be excited about in the hopes of getting a new audience. And maybe you even do, you start to get some comments, your posts seem to be more popular. But then what happens when you get burned out of the game? Do you still keep playing it just for the sake of writing about it? Do you jump to the next “Big Thing”, potentially alienating your current readers and going through the same cycle?
This is all a losing proposition for me specially since this is a hobby, not a paid job. The best approach in my opinion is to write whatever gives you joy. Not only will it make it easier to write posts but eventually people will just hang around your blog because they care about you think and not as much about the specific game or other topic you are writing about.
Write Drunk, Edit Sober. This is a quote attribute to novelist Peter DeVries. But when I am advising to do this I am not saying to do it literally! So, please don’t start drinking because of blogging!
What I mean by this is that often when we write it is easy to get that nasty inner editor screaming in our minds that our writing is no good, that we should change this phrase or this word and then we enter into editing hell instead of writing.
Instead, try to ignore your inner editor for as long as you can and just write without looking back. Then once you finish writing, save the draft and take some time away from the post. How much time away is up to you, in my case I like to check the draft the next day. Anyway, once you feel you distanced enough from your post just go back to the draft and edit as you seem fit. By then you probably will see that your post is not as bad as you thought while writing and just needed a bit of polish. Once you are done editing just hit that publish button and you are done with another post!
Of course this is easier with some posts than others. It can be hard to exercise this habit with more time sensitive posts but overall I think it leads to a much happier blogging life.
I will skip tagging people as I figure by now most people got tagged already. If you haven’t and you feel like joining in, feel free to do so!