Asking Big Questions #001: “What have you learned since you started blogging?”

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“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

 

May you have a happy May, NPCs!

Thanks for checking back in, as you do periodically. Our ardent readers will recall that in the past we’ve featured more than a few community projects, whether we’re talking about sharing gaming memories from across the world, or the 31-Day Mage Challenge answering questions, or the reader-contributed list of 200 games to play before you die. Each of these have been enjoyable projects for us to host and it’s been wonderful to encourage participation from across the blogosphere, meet new people, and discover new blogs through the process.

31 Day NES Well-Red Cover

While we did a community event for our 100th and 200th post, I missed putting one together for our 300th post and now we’re on 361 posts anyway so everybody go home, the end. Just kidding. In actuality, we’re going to celebrate reaching 707 followers (spread out across WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook) by proposing a new community project, while at the same time ushering in a new series!

As you probably know, we here at The Well-Red Mage like to ask the big questions. We like to analyze and scrutinize and categorize, as all sciences do, and treating video games as art to criticize is a science. We’ve been called “long-winded” for it, but that’s the thing with The Well-Red Mage, it’s a symbol.

Let’s try asking a big question now, and this is open to everyone to take part in: What have you learned since your very first blog post?

Here’s how to participate in answering the question:

    1. Leave a thoughtful and inspiring comment below about what you’ve learned about blogging/writing/marketing/communicating/reviewing/life, complete with a link to your very first blog post and a quote from that post!

 

    1. Instead of leaving a comment, the more verbose among you are welcome to write a full blog post on this subject and what you’ve learned since then, in which case you should definitely leave a link below to that new post about your first post!

 

    1. Explain briefly why you decided to start blogging and why you picked that certain topic as your first blog post.

 

  1. After you complete your comment or post, be sure to pass this challenge on to your blogger friends to raise awareness! Leave them this badge to pass it on:

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It’s okay if the writing isn’t your best. It’s okay if you’re a little embarrassed by it. It doesn’t matter if you started 10 years ago or 10 days ago. This is an opportunity to admit that we’re all maturing and growing in our craft, my friends. It’s a chance for each of us to better ourselves by learning from each other, both at our weakest and at our strongest.

In a little bit of time, if participation is high, we’ll have a practical encyclopedia of the most unrefined and unskilled work from the very refined and very skilled artists and writers out there. That’s nothing to sniff at because we know that this craft requires a lot of polish to perfect, and we can get clued in on how to polish our work through what some of our writing idols personally learned. This is a challenge of transparency and unusual vulnerability, especially if your first blog post isn’t from the current blog you’re running.

So here’s mine.

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I decided I wouldn’t simply link to my review of Final Fantasy XIII that started off this blog but instead I went way back to my first blog, Norton Literature, and found my first blog post ever. It’s from September 20th, 2012 and it’s entitled: Christian Thoughts #001: on “the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Here’s a quote:

Secondly, the Ancient Mariner shoots the Albatross. No reason is given for his action. The bird apparently ate food from the sailors on the ship and resided with the men during their escape from the ice. With it always around, and with danger well past once they had escaped, perhaps the Ancient Mariner simply took the Albatross for granted, considered it a common thing and killed it for no good reason, showing that what had once been hailed as a “Christian soul” had become to him something that was absolutely worthless.”

I started blogging because I wanted to learn how to write faster, as I hadn’t seen much success in completing novels, which is what I really wanted to write about. I finished a few short stories and a novella but nothing huge. At the time, I was teaching a college course in Christian Systematic Theology out of my home, so thoughts were common to me like the ones I detailed on Norton Literature (which I so named because my brother had a website called Norton Photography). The spark happened when I read the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to my wife and felt I really wanted an outlet to write about it, about the books I read and the thoughts I think. Norton Literature survived until March 30th, 2015, which was toward the end of my Systematic Theology teaching. I was about to have my first child and things were changing. I stayed away from blogging until The Well-Red Mage came along in February of the following year.

And now you know a little more about me. As for what I learned since that first post: I’ve learned to love the process more. Blogging for me was a means to an end. It still is in some ways but now I enjoy blogging as a viable writing outlet, though I wish I made more time for writing fiction. That only comes ’round now and then.

The lesson then is to enjoy what you’re doing now because now is all we have. We don’t live in the past or the future, only the present, and therefore we need to make the most out of what we’re doing now. I’m trying to do that and I think it’s paid off. I know that my posts now are better written and the process has helped me to find my personal voice, so I can’t merely think of blogging as just some stopgap anymore. If that helps anyone through the frustration of maybe pushing through as opposed to enjoying what they’re doing, then I’m glad and this whole thing was worth it.

So what about you? Are you going to answer our big question? What have you learned since you first started blog? Leave a comment, write a post, tell a friend! And don’t forget to read the comment section and check the pingbacks for full-length posts by contributors and participants! Thanks for reading.
Well-Red-Mage-Black-
-The Well-Red Mage 

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81 thoughts on “Asking Big Questions #001: “What have you learned since you started blogging?”

  1. This is a great community project! I look forward to reading about everyone’s different experiences and finding out what they learned. Thanks for posing the question!

    My first experience blogging was for a class. Our first post was just an introductory one to tell our fellow students a little bit about ourselves. As far as first posts go, looking back on it is not particularly embarrassing or enlightening. I did title it in Japanese, which is a bit funny and entirely irrelevant to the class. I wasn’t always the best at coming up with unique, relevant ways to catch the eye. Our challenge was to give our post a creative title. After reading several of the other titles, I was intimidated and decided to take the easy “I have a cool skill, check it out” heading rather than coming up with anything interesting. (I am still not great at titles!) https://301d.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/はじめまして、私の名前はカーラ・バングローブ I am not 100% sure this link will work. I had some trouble pasting it in because of the Japanese and just re-wrote the Japanese at the end of the link.

    After that, though, I did take an interest in blogging. Well, not really blogging, per se, but in putting essays onto a blog and calling it blogging. It didn’t take long for me to abandon the project.
    Over the years, I have developed many blogging projects that I have abandoned because I couldn’t keep up with the goals I set for myself. Rather than dialing back the commitment, I would become overwhelmed with feeling behind and just stop working on it all together. It didn’t matter much at the time because I had no followers, and wasn’t sure how to increase traffic.
    Since then, I have done some professional blogging for dental marketing websites and retail companies, and have learned a lot about blogging. Here are the best things I have learned about the world of blogs:

    1. It’s not a waste of valuable writing time to strike out and explore other people’s blogs. Read them. Let yourself enjoy them. If you really liked it, give them a like and a comment. It’s fun and community building. This also lets you see what other people are doing on their blogs. (My favorite thing to do is scroll through the comments of posts I like and visit those commenters. You find some awesome blogs that way.)

    2. Don’t fret if it isn’t perfect. You’re going to have mistakes. Just learn from them and keep going.

    3. Dedicate a space somewhere to writing down blog ideas. Write them all down. Even the silly ones. You never know when a silly idea was only silly because it was only half of a whole idea, and you discover the other half later when you’re in a writing funk. This can also help you keep from getting overwhelmed by having too many things you want to write about

    4. Set yourself a manageable, realistic writing goal. Even if it is small. Stick to that goal. Meet it every time. Sure, let yourself be ambitious and aim to overshoot that goal as often as you want. But in the end, as long as you at least meet that goal, it won’t matter if you didn’t finish the ambitious 5 posts you wanted to do this week.

    5. Write about whatever you find interesting. Don’t fret over it not being interesting to other people. Just enjoy the creation of it. What you write will not be interesting to everyone, but if you enjoyed writing it, it will be interesting to someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to our community project! I’m happy to meet you, as I think this is the first time we’ve encountered each other. I’ve been encouraged reading so many responses, myself, and you can find them in the pingbacks and comments, of course.

      Looks like your link worked! The headline itself is cool since it’s in Japanese. As far as not fretting if something isn’t perfect, this is major for me. I used to be paranoid and paralyzed over writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, then rewriting, rephrasing everything ad infinitum because I wanted it to be perfect. Now my philosophy is enjoying the process, not getting bogged down in the minutiae of rewriting.

      Thanks for your comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope I’m not too late to chime in on this monster comment thread! I read LightningEllen’s rather excellent post on this topic, which brought me here. I think this is a great idea you’ve got going here, Well-Red, and it’s cool to see yours and other bloggers’ responses. I’m extremely grateful for the blogging community here on WordPress and engaging with other folks like this is awesome. With any luck, I’ll be dedicating a blog post – possibly even two! – to your prompt, sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! You’re not too late at all! Thanks for taking interest and deciding to commit to posting for yourself. Two responses? That’s awesome! The more positivity and reflection and discussion we can generate, the better. The internet is a dry desert that needs it badly. I’ve been very encouraged to read about so many different stories of the writers out there, and I’ll be delighted when your story is told for us as well. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a cool challenge! I’m definitely going to dedicate a blog post to it so I can participate 🙂 I have a couple other posts planned, then I will get to it! I just so happened to have saved ALL my blog posts from various blogs that I have done since 2003… back then my posts were on FreeOpenDiary (RIP) and I was an angsty teenager *cringe*. This should be fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I started my blog RealMomRecs.com because I’m a mother of 4 so I thought new moms might be able to benefit from some of my experience. I have only been blogging for a couple months and what I’ve learned so far is that blogging is a LOT harder than it looks! Not the actual writing, because I always felt like I had a lot to say, but everything else that goes into setting up the blog, images, promoting it, social media, etc. It is a lot more than just writing.

    Here is my first post, How to Survive a Day at Disney World with a Toddler:

    http://www.realmomrecs.com/survivedisneyworldtoddler/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, thank you very much for participating! I really admire the female capacity for creativity and multitasking with children. My wife is doing exceptionally with two babies 20 months apart. Blogging certainly is something that’s very difficult. I’ve been trying to focus on promoting this week and it’s tough going! Especially through Reddit! D:

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Super question! I wrote my first 9 years ago….cannot even find it LOL.

    I learned blogging is about helping and feeling fulfilled. I set big money goals as a newbie. Since, those goals expanded. But if you just blog to have fun, to spread love, to help and to express yourself, all the money and traffic and renown that is pretty cool flows your way.

    I found you via Reddit. Cool blog 🙂

    Ryan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woohoo! Reddit is paying off! Haha, one thing to come clean about is I’m super intimidated by Reddit and its commenters, so this was me stepping out and facing down fears by sharing content there. Still trying to learn the ropes so I don’t look like a mere babe (as in everything in life).

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight, Ryan. I do appreciate it! And now of course I’m deadly curious about where it was that you got your start 9 years ago. Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Fantastic Idea!

    1. What we have learned blogging: Consistency is King 👑.
    If you dedicate one post a month, do one post a month, if it
    is one post a week, stick to that. You can do bonus posts but
    do not create less. You can write a post in advance to publish
    at a later date, so you can schedule your blog with planning &
    have “back-up material” ready to go if you ever hit a slump 🙃.

    2. The beginning of our digital journey, with a link to the past…
    https://924collective.com/2009/07/27/we-are-the-924-collective/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome! Thanks so much for choosing to participate in our little community project! Consistency is indeed the champ. I’ve tried to live by that rule even though I’m very bad at disciplining myself to finish something at a specific time. I just try to post every other day at least. Sticking to that is the challenge. I need to start writing some back-up material, so thanks for that reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great idea! 😀 I’ll have to go with option 2 since it’s probably going to be long, but I’ll put it in one of my weekly roundups and let you know when I do it! Which will hopefully be sooner than months from now, but I’ll do my best! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here’s a link to my first blog post https://wakalapi.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/games-and-coffee/

    “I am on a journey to make a game, or games – or perhaps just exploring gaminess. I might not end up making anything, but perhaps I can spill some ink, drink some wakalapi (coffee) and have a good time regardless.” -me just shy of a year ago

    The above is a quote from my first post. It’s definitely been a fun journey. It turns out that both making a game, and the coffee aspects of my blog didn’t feature so much. I drank a lot of coffee while writing, to be certain. I learned that writing my blogs didn’t get faster for me though, easily stretching beyond two cups of coffee.

    I did explore gaminess! Considering games, I learned that I really enjoy game design, playing with new tools to analyze them for meaning and fun, and coming up with game ideas. The making of them has proved to be tougher than I expected. I still harbor a bit of hope for making something, but unfortunately my poor psyche is stretched too thin with other responsibilities still.

    Regardless of what I hoped to accomplish, it’s been a nice sanctuary for me to come to my blog and write something in a not so academic atmosphere. It’s also been great getting the opportunity to interact with other people with similar interests. 🙂

    If you’re willing to share, I’m curious about what the impetus was for the shift from religious meditations to video games?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I really want a cup of coffee. Haha! Subliminal messaging, wakalapi! Thanks for 1) being awesome and super smart, 2) sharing your link and insights, and 3) being a contributor! I’m glad we found each other and I’ve definitely appreciated our in-depth discussions on a variety of topics. I’m happy to know you find some tranquil sanctuary in your blog!
      I’m definitely open about my faith, as it influences pretty much everything in the way I see the world, including gaming and approaching gaming as art, heck (can I say that? lol) even in approaching art as valuable, period. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. So yeah Norton Literature turned into a variety of things as it evolved, sort of like what happened with the Well-Red Mage over the past year. NL was originally going to be just Christian thoughts on specific elements of pop culture, art and history as an extra outlet for writing, but it took on the trappings of a book-club, book reviews, and eventually it helped to spread the word about the college age systematic theology course I was teaching alongside writing. In some ways, I regret merging NL with the theology course, since the course eventually took over the blog because the course was what I devoted most of my time to in writing and research. I had only a few responses from people I never met online, though, since I did very little and knew very little about how to market the blog and make more people aware of it. I enjoyed the book reviews aspect but I didn’t always keep up on reading and sometimes reading took the form of reading some very, very long and referential books on theology, church history, apologetics, comparative religion, and so on which didn’t seem to fit into reviewing formats. After I taught the course for over three years, with breaks here and there and different subjects brought to bear, NL just seemed to drop off my radar since I wasn’t doing the course anymore anyway and that’s what the place had become about. I do see it as a good learning experience in blogging. After several months off from writing online, focusing on fiction works for a while, I decided to start up TWRM with a few friends who loved talking about gaming. One of them said discouragingly that they knew I wouldn’t keep up with it and that the other dude in our trio would be writing everything. Part of this is me trying to prove him, and by proxy all of the other doubters and pseudo-bullies I’ve known, wrong. You will probably have noticed that I do sneak in some more religious thoughts now and then into my talks and reviews on video games, which I hope make them unique out there but I also try not to get too preachy. I am a preacher at heart, I guess, but there’s a line between being an educator and a nag. I still believe that I’m serving God even though I’m writing on games and not theology, because I’m using the gifts He gave me and refining the skillset I was given, and not wasting them by doing nothing with writing.

      C.S. Lewis, who penned the quotation beneath our blog’s title banner, was one who said “Any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under the cover of fiction without their knowing it.” If the Judeo-Christian God is real, then He’s the greatest artist of all time and all artists are created in His image, creating their own images. Contrary to the idea of Christianity stifling the intellect and the arts, there have been periods in history when it’s done quite the opposite, which is something I personally find inspirational, so there’s this aspect of discovering God and His mind in discovering what the world is like and what kind of stories we tell and what kind of games we play, or as a better man than I once put it: “I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after him.” -Johannes Kepler
      Sorry to go on for so long! I suppose that more than answers the question. It’s just something that is at the heart of what drives me, inspires me and gives me hope. I do appreciate you taking the time to ask the question!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think the C.S. Lewis quote really does put it into words quite succinctly. Thanks for taking the time to share a bit more of who you are and answer my question. I would argue that you can’t help but smuggle your theology (whatever it may be) into anything you make, whether you like it or not. Even if you think you don’t have one. Perhaps, especially so. 😉

        You’ve certainly kept up despite the nay-saying friend, as well. You do wonderful community development work and post engaging content. From what you’ve learned in your years of blogging, do you have any words of advice for those trying to build a bigger ‘following’?

        Liked by 1 person

        • My pleasure, and thanks again for asking. I think that there’s an element of truth in no one being able to avoid smuggling in their worldview into their writings, though there seems to be an aspect unique (maybe not exclusively unique, but generally speaking) to Christianity in the West where adherents successfully compartmentalize and internalize their beliefs to the point of excluding any shreds of them from their work, reserving them for their place and time of worship. I’ve done this myself in the past but I think it’s somewhat dishonest, even if Christianity isn’t currently the coolest thing to admit adherence to right now. At this point in my life, and this being a gaming blog, I have no problem talking about it now and again, even though it’s not center-stage for the subjects at hand. Ultimately, though, I find it very interesting to consider what a person’s worldview may be based on the kind of language they use, the emotions they express, their choice of references, and so on. It’s always a guessing game, of course, because one can’t know unless the holder of the information reveals that info voluntarily. Anyway, sorry again for the long-windedness. I love talking about this stuff that makes us tick.
          Thanks for the compliments! I sincerely don’t consider myself a good source of advice. I’m still trying to learn how to do this like everyone else. I’ve come up with my own routine and principles such as posting as consistently and regularly as possible, reading the works of others, sharing likes and comments, hosting community projects, branching out into other areas of social media, and trying my best to emphasize a “feel” for this blog with its NES theme and its focus on long-form reviews that I try not to stray too far from. It’s after all a reviews blog and not an op-ed one. I also can’t say this formula works for everyone but having contributors helping with starting the blog was incredible and then there has been a lot of talent scouting and talent recruiting over the past year, which helps with creating more content. I can’t always write at my best and I certainly can’t be the best writer there is, so I try to have as much quantity writings as possible hehe!

          I really think you’re already doing a lot of things right. I see you commenting on other blogs quite often and that’s a big part of it. I wish I had more time for that and did it more often. It all takes time of course but I’m sure you’re well on your way to building a bigger audience. In those terms, to sum up everything in a nutshell, building a bigger audience requires building a bigger library of posts, one at a time as often as possible. You are of course still free to post here, even if it’s non-review content, so long as it’s gaming related for the most part, to take advantage of our audience. You can even reblog your posts here if you like so readers are redirected to your blog. I think any kind of partnership is valuable but of course I completely understand if you want to focus on building your audience distinctly and separately. I hope any or all of that helps! You’re a nice guy, so that’s the main thing 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s true, about compartmentalizing. Games journalism might be a place where worldviews aren’t exactly valued, yet oddly its the video games that touch us deeply that make us love the medium so. My blog content also touches on my worldview, its implicit in the language of my blog title, actually… so there’s that. I think with religion/spirituality/culture etc comes a ton of politics and that can easily take the spot off of the topic of games. Sometimes I see this as a good thing that games are highlighted on my blog, but other times I think there’s a place for politics too.

            My work is involved with highly politicized stuff. We deal with serious issues of political and cultural sovereignty, and a whole lot more, every day. My blog is a sort of compartmentalization against my politics, …but only sort of. My politics will be there, but I don’t spotlight it. It’s nice to take a break from the painful and emotional stuff that I deal with on a day to day basis. Perhaps games have always been that escape for me that way. I haven’t thought too much about the escapism aspect of games for me.

            Games aren’t just escapism for me. I’m genuinely astounded about how much games can do and how they can be used. It can be entertainment, art, educational, spiritual, philosophical, emotional… Knowing all this, the lines of power (politics) and art get blurred. What games say about racism, gender, governance, life… can be profound. My love for them is blurred, and in a sense my blog reflects this too.

            As far as building a blog that gets a lot of participation, I ask because I’m genuinely curious about how this has come to be. It’s an interesting phenomenon. My aspirations aren’t much at all when it comes to my blog, but it’s interesting to see how such a unique place like yours has been built up! Of course, I do genuinely appreciate your generosity with sharing content and such and I might just take you up on it sometime. 😀

            Honestly, half the time (more?) I’m at the brink of stopping blogging because I don’t have time, or a clear vision of what I’m doing, or I’m ashamed of the fact that I haven’t made progress in game making. I could say blogging has been humbling in a good sense though. I was extremely naive about what it takes to make a game and I have my thoughts on that, as someone who grew up with artistic inspirations. If I had an idea when it came to a drawing or something else, I just up and made it and maybe the execution on it wasn’t great, but it was fun. I could keep doing it without much tire and I enjoyed getting better and better at it, perhaps like you blog. That review piece I did for yours took a bit out of me man! hah. I tip my sagely pompadourously feathered green floppy hat to your work! Seriously.

            I see how video games can be art and I get notions of doing something, but I hit the brick wall of the fact you must build, sometimes for years on end, to see if your ideas are viable. If you’re not a coder and more artsy at heart this is an odd medium to aspire to work in. It’s like the writer who takes up painting… thing. Or something like that.

            I’ve had a few interesting ideas that are a bit more reasonable for my limited skills, but I soon realized even those were too time-costly. I then just thought, man, I’m just going to try to make a simple animation in a pixel art program. That was last week. Man, that took me a while just to get my head around the idiosyncrasies of the tool, and my animation was super simple. I mean, with the limited amount of free time I have, I could probably spend the next year just learning how to do extremely simple sprites, let alone sprites with walk cycles. Yeah, humbling to say the least.

            I’m still feeling the weight of all that. I suppose I foolishly saw art as this life-line I could pull on to take me out of the swamp I’m in right now. Perhaps it’s a swamp that many people might clamor to be in… as I’m getting the opportunity to teach at the graduate level in the fall. It’s more than likely there are at least a few salty people that wish they were chosen over me for this position, for example. In fact, I’ve met with salt, in my face, because of it. Meh.

            Recently, I was thinking quite a bit about how foolishness and romanticism are like a raging bull that we are tied to, and it pulls us through all manner of places, beating us up in the process, teaching us all those hard life lessons. The bull has pulled me around the world,… yet it can always find a place to pull me next. I wonder sometimes rather exhausted, beaten and bruised, when the bull will be tired of making me feel foolish, …but I’m also scared that it will stop pulling. The bull is made up of hope too, and the spirit of learning, and exploration and adventure…and as an animal, he has the quality of lacking any shame. Certainly it’s simply an aspect of myself, but metaphors are always fun to play with…

            Yeah anyhow, blogging man. Good question. Lots to think about, lots learned.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ah dude I literally just typed out like a 1k word comment response and I don’t know what I did. I guess I must’ve clicked on a link without hitting reply first and now it’s all gone. Talk about being discouraged from the process! Darn it, I don’t know if I’ve got it in me to try to retype all of that. I’ll try to capture the gist of it:

              I think that professional mainstream gaming journalism isn’t the place to talk worldviews, theology, or politics (IGN, Kotaku, etc.) but that’s the joy and freedom of private blogging.

              I think that our conversation proves that games can be a launch pad for good thoughts on big concepts.

              I’m sorry for your occasional discouragement regarding time and the blog. I thought of this quote: “To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know each time you do it that you must do it again.” That challenged me when I used to preach and I equate writing to preaching in a lot of ways. They’re very similar. They’re humbling. Writing exposes your innermost thoughts if you’re honest and your innermost heart if you engage your emotions. I’ve made many mistakes over the past year of blogging but if this is a craft you want to pursue then it’s only a matter of finding inspiration powerful enough to carry you through the process daily. Yeah that sounds deceptively simple, I know. Writing does take a lot out of you, it takes a lot out of me, and I very much appreciate the time you spent writing your review. Thanks for the tip of your floppy green hat!

              I don’t know much about gaming development so there’s not much I can comment on that but maybe something to think about would be talent recruiting to help fill in the gaps in your experience/knowledge/skills/time. These would need to be people who can catch on to your vision and get a fire in their britches for it. That’s the only way I could foreseeably get things done if I tried to get such a task underway and in a way it’s similar to how we’ve done things around here with casting a wide net for contributors.

              Ugh I’m sorry I lost the original comment because it was a lot more robust than this one with more points in it, but I just can’t remember everything I wrote. I don’t consider myself a master of blogging but I’m lucky to have stumbled into a few basic standards for blogging here and meeting others. Over a year in here and I’m definitely still learning.

              I really admire your grasp of our language. That metaphor was quite powerful. When I read the end of your comment, I hit that crazy trance-like mode when you’re reading something and processing it in real-time. I don’t intend to appeal to the supernatural at all here, I just can’t remember the term for it. All that to say, you’ve evidently got a lot of talent and skill, and it’ll be a matter of finding a way to focus it in such a way that it can both bring you success and make you happy. Isn’t that the road we’re all on?

              Liked by 1 person

              • What a bummer it got lost! I’ve had that happen to me more than a few times. Thanks for reading and glad this conversation could have happened. It wouldn’t have had you not asked the question! Thanks, man. And yes, I suppose we are all on a road of sorts. Perhaps the Internet, bringing us together, and so many other people, is like an enormous crossroads. Interesting time we live in. Yeah, in reality, I’m definitely becoming more successful using whatever wacky dollop of wits was gifted me, it can just be a tough grind sometimes. I really like that quote and am gonna have to save it, especially when I think of teaching… which rhymes with preaching… 😉 Stay well, Well-Red!

                Liked by 1 person

                • I actually looked up some kind of keylogging thing just so that wouldn’t happen to me again but I’m always leery about downloading programs I’m not fully versed in. It sucks cuz that lost comment was GOLD! Haha! Just kidding. Not a horn-tooting feller. I like the idea of the internet bringing us together rather than simply revealing our bitterness and snarkiness toward one another without the inhibitions of face-to-face contact. That grind is rough, my friend, but I’m glad your wits are serving you and clearly not going to waste. I think preaching and teaching are pretty similar, the good book uses them interchangeably a lot of times so at least perhaps in the minds of the Greeks they were similar. All that to say I think that writing, teaching, preaching, communicating is always a challenge if you’re being open and real, regardless of the context. But it’s a challenge to rise up to.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • haha, you losing your golden comment reminds me of that song Tribute, by Tenacious D. This comment isn’t the greatest comment in the world, it’s just a tribute… to the greatest comment in the world! 😉 Jokes aside, I’m sure it was a goodun though!

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Only the ether knows for certain now. It had a lot of me trying to intelligibly communicate that I’m not a master blogger and I wish I knew more and I think I lucked into things, so I guess that bit of tracks-covering on my part is better off lost.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Oh let’s not be too modest! Im creating a lost comment award of blogging that is like a golden back button, but invisible. Im presenting it to you as kindly medicine for lost time and energy that we’ve all felt at one time or another when an effortful comment was lost to the ether. Here! Now hold it above your head 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

  9. Color me excited, this looks fun! I will definitely participate and can’t wait to see what other questions you come up with!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome idea! Thank you for sharing your blogging journey. I’m truly happy The Well-Red Mage has been so successful, and I know I’ve met really amazing people that I consider friends through your blog.

    Originally titled” Conquering the Gaming Backlog”, my blog started out as a way to track my nagging video game backlog problem (as the name implied). I also enjoyed writing and was hoping to meet some people with similar interests. When I was a teenager/young adult, I had a little blog on a big gaming site that I enjoyed socializing through (I will NEVER say where that is or what my username was, haha). It gave depressed teenage me an outlet and other humans to chat with. My first post on WordPress was a review of Assassin’s Creed Rogue. You were actually like the third follower I had, haha.

    Eventually, my video game backlog wore me down and I took a new direction: LightningEllen’s Release. I wanted to take a more personal tone with my posts. Now my blog is just me rambling about video game progress, my unqualified reviews, and whatever is on my mind. It’s essentially an outlet for this introvert’s pent up feelings. It’s also one of the rare places on the internet where I can express my love for the epic FFXIII Trilogy and Lightning (my all-time favourite video game character, and source of strength and hope), without the fear of being attacked by those merciless rage trolls 😦 I mean, I’ve seen lots of backlash for other games online, but nothing seems to aggro the hate mob more than mentioning Lightning’s Final Fantasy Trilogy, for whatever reason. Nothing’s perfect, but the games and Lightning DO NOT deserve the amount of mindless hate they get. That’s my two unimportant cents, haha.

    Liked by 3 people

    • We’re beginning to have a long history of meeting other people through each other’s blogs! I remember not being your first follower and being bummed by that since I was on a roll to discover as many people as possible. Now I’m super duper uper curious about your first unnamed site and your username. At least tell me that so I can get some sleep tonight!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The one thing I’ve learned about being a blogger is to always be true to yourself. I never thought people would actually like/agree with the way I think, but I’ve happily been proven wrong. Never try to pander. Know what you want to write about and stick to it. You never know who might actually like what you have to say.

    This is my first ever blog post: https://neetaku86.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/fanservice-a-lovehate-relationship-mostly-hate/

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Very nice post! 🙂. I begun blogging as a way to just articulate many of the thoughts I have about games – sometimes that manifests as a review, sometimes just general musings on a topic. My first post was on the perils of procedural generation, I quite enjoy this quote about an alternative universe where the original Doom was procedurally generated:

    “… Skip forward 20+ years and the six person strong powerhouse that was the Doom Dev team would now constitute a small indie studio. Surveying the landscape of gaming today,  I think it’s fair to say that the possibility of making Doom procedurally generated is achievable,  but maybe not desirable.  Could we imagine a procedural routine that could replicate the tension and pacing of classic Doom? would the maps be as varied? would difficulty curves rely on anything more than upping the enemies and dropping the health kits? In short would “Procedural Doom” be great  or descend into a mediocre slog through the armies of hell?”

    The full post can be found here: https://hundstrasse.com/2015/10/13/it-could-all-become-a-procedural-nightmare/

    I’ve learnt a load of different things from blogging, but one big thing was that often the post that you work and work and work at will go unnoticed, whereas the one that you threw together really quickly will get loads of attention… Just seems to be the way of things!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for participating, Hundstrasse! I will admit to you that I’ve actually never played a Doom game for any length of time. That makes me feel bad and maybe I should feel bad. Crazy how gaming development teams have changed so much over the years, though.

      I have to agree with you on the personal lesson you shared. I’ve experienced the same thing myself. There are a handful of posts I’d consider to be my magnum opuses (sp?) but a portion of those went and do go unnoticed, and then on the opposite end of the spectrum there are some posts which I never expected to have any legs that continue to be the most widely viewed. Weird! I guess predicting these kind of trends is a part of mastering the blogging craft.

      I’ve actually always wanted to know where you came up with your blog name and avatar. I get curious about that sort of thing, especially if it’s not readily obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 I get asked quite often about the name; it’s not that exciting really. There is a PS2 game (by Squaresoft) called ‘The Bouncer’ that was a good idea, but generally (and with pretty good reason due to bad gameplay) poorly received. The bar in the game was called ‘Dogstreet’… which I adopted as my handle… unfortunately it is sometimes unavailable, so I’ve taken to switching it to German (again, I can’t say I have a good reason for this)… so ‘HundStrasse’ .. erm.. ta daaa! :-D.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. As usual, that’s a very nice community project you have come up with.

    I guess what I have learned with blogging is that the saying “Practice makes perfect” is partially right. I say “partially” because while it does not truly make “perfect”, it does make you improve a lot at whatever it is you are dedicating yourself to. I started blogging back in 2006 when I was about to turn 16, and I did so because I was starting to learn how to write bigger texts in English and I thought to myself “Well, maybe writing about subjects I like in English will make me better at this whole writing and foreign-language-communicating thing”, so that’s what I did. And by looking back on what I wrote in the past, even if it is not from 2006 but from more recent years as well, I can see how better I have gotten at this thing.

    My first post does not have much to it. I can fully quote it here, as it was just a welcoming post of sorts to my first blog, which I decided to call “Wario’s Hideout” for some reason:

    “Welcome everybody. Here in Wario’s hideout you will be able to check my comments on Games and other non-related subjects.

    Feel free to give your opinion.”

    God only knows why I capitalized “games”, silly me.

    Anyway, here is the link to those first few posts:

    https://www.gamespot.com/profile/pierst179/blog/?page=102

    Liked by 2 people

    • My favorite variation on that adage is “practice makes better” and that is true as true gets. I made some silly mistakes in my early writings too, like way over-using italics to emphasize everything. I’ve talked about this before with you but I can say for a fact that nobody can’t tell you’re not writing in your native language. It’s very impressive! Not only would I not have the drive to learn a second language like that but you’re using better English than a lot of natural English speaking people I could name! Thanks for participating and sharing your thoughts and history with us!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ll keep this fairly brief (it’s way past my bedtime!); I started blogging as an outlet for all the games I play and to articulate my thoughts on them a little more, giving me a better understanding of what I was playing. And also because it’s fun to write silly things sometimes. I started with Rainbow Six: Siege simply because that’s what I had played most recently.
    What I’ve learned is that the internet isn’t just a hive of scum and villainy, and that there are genuinely nice communities full of people that want to communicate with one another. If you have something interesting (or even uninteresting!) to say, there will be people willing to listen. And this is a good place to find them.
    And now: sleep.

    Liked by 4 people

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