Three years ago on the 11th of September, 2006, I made the first post here on Stropp’s World. In fact it was pretty much the first post I’d made anywhere.
I did attempt to create a site for programmers a few years earlier on the now defunct Geocities, but got didn’t really get too far with it since I didn’t have a handle on the tools and techniques that go with building a website. I ended up getting hung up on details like page formatting rather than the content.
That’s where WordPress made life much much easier. I could work on the content and fiddle with the details on the side. (A tip to anyone who wants to start blogging on whatever topic. Install WordPress and start writing. Worry about themes and blogrolls and getting links later. You’ll make progress that way and there’s less chance of a false start.)
Back in July 2006 I had started thinking about blogging but I really didn’t know where to start. I found a few blogs about blogging including Darren Rowse’s Problogger, and one of the first tips there was to blog about a personal passion. The problem with that is that I have a lot of interests, but since I was playing World of Warcraft at the time (and had been a gamer for years) I decided to start a World of Warcraft blog. The fact that WoW had so many subscribers made it a logical choice too. More people to read my insane ramblings.
At the same time I read an article on Steve Pavlina’s blog. Now me, I’m not so much into all that personal development stuff, but Steve once was a independant game developer (another interest, sigh) and had written some excellent article on the subject so I was reading his other stuff. He suggested a technique for people (like me) who often had trouble following through on things they started.
Steve suggested using a trial period method.
Often people procrastinate or don’t follow through because the task seems terribly daunting. Start a blog and thinking you have to keep it running forever can be a real impediment to starting in the first place. So the trial period method says that you make a deal with yourself to do this new thing for a short period of time, between 30 and 90 days. At the end of that time, you decide what to do next.
So I decided to make Stropp’s World a 90 day experiment. Three years later that experiment is still going.
It hasn’t been all roses though. I’ve had a few periods where I’ve had blog burnout, game burnout, or both, and that has affected my posting schedule. I’ve also had times where my interests have turned to other things for a short time, like reading. (I sometimes buy a bunch of books and basically then just read them all through until finished without participating in other hobbies.)
At the moment, with my off-again-on-again contract extensions I’m in a sort of crunch mode at work where I’m not sure if I’ll have a job in two weeks. It’s stressful and not a little bit drainig, so I’ve just been reading and playing a bit of whatever – Champions, DDO, whatever I feel like when I go to the game folder. And consequently not writing as much as I’d like.
That’s the one downside of blogging about games as I see it. When you’re writing, you’re not playing, and vice versa. Good thing I enjoy both activities eh?
Over the last three years I’ve made a few friends in the MMORPG blogger community as well as the general MMORPG community, learned a bunch about how the Internet really works, developed my writing skills (still got a long way to go there,) and have learned more about the games I play. It’s amazing how much extra there is to know about the MMORPG genre when you’re motivated to look beyond day to day play.
So what does the future hold?
No one can really answer that question. Games come and go. Anticipated developments get cancelled or end up different from expectations. All I can say is that I’m intending to write a similar post 12 months from now.
In the immediate future I’ll be writing up my impressions of Champions Online, Fallen Earth, the new DDO release, and working on a series for the Asheron’s Call tenth anniversary. If I end up out of work in October, there may be much much more!
And after that? I’ll be playing as much as I can find the time to do so, writing about it, and possibly running up and giving a few dragons a bit of a slap.