Blogiversary – 4 Years!

It’s already been (eighty-)four years! What do I have to say about blogging for this long? What have I learned? Have I even learned anything? As hard as it is to *not* immediately follow up this question with some cynical comment disguised as a joke – “Not a goddamn thing!” I’m going to refrain from…wait. In all honestly I do feel like there’s a number of things I’ve accomplished(using the word *very* loosely here) and will acknowledge that I have a hard time imagining what my everyday life would currently be like had I not made that fateful decision four years ago. I have been afforded quite a few new and exciting experiences all stemming from this meager blog site. I also  feel like the way I approach, or even play games has evolved over the last few years; there’s the astounding fact that I’ve somehow made a few friends and acquaintances along the way.

In short, 2022 was a year of ups and downs. It started off pretty slow but I was able claw my way out of a depressive hole and get back into a routine of regularly writing and streaming. This momentum carried through most of the summer and I had actually started to regain the smallest shred of confidence in regards to WordPress and Twitch. It was towards the end of the summer where I started to feel a little burned out, yet again by getting perhaps too ambitious – it *does* happen from time to time, by trying to juggle too many different blog projects, stream ideas, games, etc. The final months of the year represented the bottom of the mental/emotional bell curve that was 2022. I had no shortage of ideas drafted up for blog posts, but only a few of them ever materialized and streaming had once again gotten pretty inconsistent. Stressing yourself out over not doing something is never gonna be the most efficient way to accomplish anything…I’m working on it, ok??

Despite my frail state of mind the past year, I am able to look back on the year and feel pleased with some of the things I did accomplish. My favorite posts of 2022 would have to be the Bloodborne Hunter’s Journals, Elden Ring enemies that annoyed the hell out of me and a 2022 trophy showcase. A couple of these posts were memorable as they were collaborations with a few other blogger friends. I even decided to shake things up a bit by writing up a list of game & whiskey pairings this past spring, which I had a lot of fun working on. All of these favorites can also serve as an (uncomfortably)accurate representation of this past year – From Software games, trophy collecting, and alcohol.

Things I want to focus on moving forward…

Keep on writing – Yes, I know. It sounds like such a cliché and I realize I’ve said this very thing for how many years in a row now, but it’s true. I do want to keep on blogging despite occasionally dealing with those intrusive moments of “Fuck it. I don’t care anymore.” I feel like I’ve been doing marginally better in the past few weeks as I’ve managed to get a few posts written up, with a couple more in the conceptual/first draft stage. I’ve taken a small break from streaming these past few weeks to allow myself more time to focus on some other things going on – blogging as well as IRL, and give some perspective on how I want to approach my presence on Twitch going forward. Another thing I’ve been trying to work on in regards to writing is I still don’t feel like I’ve completely found my “voice”. I have no delusions of ever being considered a writer – truth be told, I am still hesitant to use the term ‘blogger’ or ‘streamer’ either. I’m trying to find the balance point somewhere between allowing my personality come through in whatever I’m writing and it *not* being a completely incoherent mess of words. Some of my favorite blog posts of this past year are ones that I was able to overthink *slightly* less about how everything was going to be formatted or structured and just…had fun with it?

Read more – One of the things I set out to do in the latter months of this past year was to read more; setting the goal of reading an honest-to-god entire book for the first time in what feels like an eternity. I used to read quite a bit when I was a kid and would typically have a book nearby at my work desk over the various jobs I’ve had. I’ve also gotten way behind over the past year or so in reading other’s posts from around the community, but have been spending some of my free time during my afternoons at work reading and replying to those. Of course, having the literal attention span of a hamster has made this a lot more difficult lately too, but I’ve been reading a little bit here and there of the Berserk Vol. 1 that I picked up a while back as well as some F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories that I’ve been meaning to read for years.

Don’t set as many goals – I made the joke that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to NOT throw out some half-assed challenge to myself just for the sake of…I don’t even know what. That’s not to say I’m descending further into apathy, but I’m trying to be a little more discerning about what I’m willing to invest my limited mental and physical energy into.

Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone that has read, liked or commented on any of my assorted nonsense over the past 48 months. Starting this blog really has been one of the more impactful decisions I’ve made, whether or not I had any idea at the time.

Here’s to another year of overthinking productivity! Thanks for reading!

Anniversary Time – Two Years!

It’s been a full two years now since I first started this blog site on WordPress and I just wanted to write up a quick post for the occasion and pause my usual self-criticism in an attempt to…god forbid, say something positive and more or less pat myself on the back for stepping outside my comfort zone even the slightest bit and managed to stick with for two entire years. 

It’s funny how, looking back at past posts or on the time I’ve invested into this blog site – between planning for, and sitting here trying my best to wrestle my usual spread shot of half-baked words and ideas into something intelligible. I feel like some significant improvements have been made and then other times….not so much. One of the things I am most satisfied with over the past two years would be the progress I feel like I’ve made in getting comfortable with writing(even if it is just about video games) and can look back and actually point to different things I’ve written that I can say I’m legitimately happy with.

I’ve loved video games since playing my first games on the NES, starting with Super Mario Bros.(most likely) as a little kid all the way to playing Super Mario 3D World on my Nintendo Switch this morning before work. I’ve always known others that would occasionally play video games, but it was always a foregone conclusion that they were something you would eventually grow out of and not something that would have any significant meaning in one’s life. One of the positive, yet unexpected results of this blogging/social experiment is managing to up build the smallest bit of self-confidence, along with making friends – something weirdly awkward and terrifying as an adult…unless that’s just me.

Moving forward, the plan is pretty much the same – keep writing on a consistent basis and try not to get so hung up on things like format or post structure and just….you know, write something and make a blog post of it from there. It’s happened far too many times that I’ve fallen into the “paralysis by analysis” trap and end up making the simplest blog post far more difficult than it needs to be. At the same time, I’ve also come to learn that it’s not really ever productive to sit down and force myself to stay in front of my computer screen until I had come up with something. If I simply don’t have anything to say, be it about a particular game or whatever, you can allow yourself to move on to something else you feel more…inspired to write about and not beat yourself up about it. There’s blog post ideas that I still enjoy thoroughly and will continue to write, as well as a few newer ones that I want to play around with over the next year. I still plan to sit down and dedicate some time to going through and working on some website improvements – layout, art, etc. as that kind of thing tends to get neglected a little too often with my thought process usually being “It’s working, so leave it alone”. 

And finally, I want to express a sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment on, or show the slightest interest in anything I’ve managed to cobble together these past two years. I started this blog primarily as an outlet to talk about video games and something of an online journal, with the thought of people reading anything I posted never being something I anticipated. We’ve all heard the stories of people’s unfortunate experiences with toxic online communities, making me realize how fortunate I’ve been in finding a positive blogging/streaming community such as this to interact with on a near-daily basis. Here’s to another year of talking about video games….

Thanks for reading!