Blogs are interesting things. With the ease one has of starting one, they serve as personal journals, writing collections, or, in my case, a personal journal about my writing connection. I enjoy writing immensely, but most of my blogging seems rather self-indulgent. All of my blogging is rather self-indulgent.
At this point in my life as a writer, I think it will be important to begin considering an audience. This is not the first time I’ve done this. At the beginning of grad school, I wrote for the well-read (and well-written) roleplaying blog Troll in the Corner. My posts were fairly popular, but what I noticed was that my view on gaming is not really mainstream, insofar as I don’t play D&D, don’t enjoy the playstyles that D&D is designed for, and generally am not a fantasy gamer. Of course, though Troll in the Corner is not a system-specific blog by any means, the combination of trying to reach a broad audience and Ben (the founder)’s authorship of fantasy modules for Pathfinder, fantasy gaming was front and center. My posts were not about fantasy gaming, and the fact that they were well-read makes me think I was serving an audience. Of course, there was a lot of criticism (that I mostly found on Reddit), which was a combination of me needing to polish and there always being criticism on the internet. There was one entry in particular (read here, though the most critical comments were on Reddit) that got some people pissed, because I wrote about D&D having a very structured encounter-reward mechanic, making it easy for beginner GMs. I don’t see anything wrong with this statement, but some seemed to think I was implying it was only a game for beginner/uncreative GMs, and took umbrage at that. This was still part of my thick skin education, but it made me realize that my views may need somewhere else to go.
I left Troll in the Corner for reasons unrelated to my writing; I first had an internship and then a very transitional second semester of grad school that made free time precious and rare. By the time I got back, changes to the blog discouraged me from returning (literally, they had switched email systems and I had never gotten my new login). I still see Troll in the Corner as one of the better Roleplaying blogs online, but now that they’ve grown in staff, I don’t think that another stream of editorialized writing will help them, especially as one holding a minority view is more likely to just get swept aside.
So I’m thinking about starting a blog. This is for a few reasons: First, with my new job and somewhat established living situation, I both now have enough free time to write 750-1500 word articles on a weekly+ basis, and nowhere near enough time to pursue larger writing projects on a regular basis. Second, I’ve finally figured out something to say that will differentiate me from other blogs on the net. And third, I want practice self-marketing. I’m in a freelance-heavy business sector with an entrepreneurship-centric Master’s Degree. Trying to promote something without money behind it will be easier and less risky than doing it in my first startup, and should continue to teach me those “life skills” my professors always talked about.
It’s an experiment for sure, but I think it’ll be good professional development as well as a humbling experience. And I’m going to force myself into Web 2.0 by signing up for an associated Twitter account. *shudder* Yes, I know. This blog will continue getting use as a repository for any writing I try to do outside of the blogosphere…so though it’ll still be active, it may be very quiet.