I’ve been thinking about the NBI2 a lot, though I’ve not had much time to write this month. This month I have mostly been tangled up in flatpack furniture. As I poke at the keyboard right now, a half-assembled bookcase is attached to one foot – and I’m not joking. I need to hold this one end down while the daughter affixes a dowel.
Thinking hard before you write does allow you to condense and pre-polish to some extent – so I’ve got that going for me. (I’m happy.) I have three pieces of advice for New Bloggers that I think I’d tell myself if I was starting again, and here they are:
- Get comfortable
- Have fun
- Your voice does matter!
Of course, I’m a blogger, so I’m not going to leave it there and spare anyone :). It took me a while to get comfortable, but it might not take you as long. My problem is I prefer doing things to introspection, you see. So I’d write something, feel vaguely squidgy about it, stop to figure out why, then go and set that right, and then try the sentence again. Which worked. But you can probably spot the flaw. Yes, blogging is why I am now trying to assemble furniture. I started blogging about raiding, but something wasn’t right. I discovered, that my joy in raiding was already on the wane, and it all began there. The whole life-change. I stopped raiding, I stopped playing WoW – I realised that much as I’d enjoyed leading a guild, that guild could do by then with some freshness, and handed that over to someone who could take it to the next level. I started playing other games – I started enjoying myself doing what I wanted, when I wanted too! And that was muuuuch easier to write about – but I did need to change the name of my blog.
So a false start or two or many even isn’t a bad thing, and finding something you’re comfortable writing about – like chatting to a friend-comfortable makes writing a lot easier.
But wahey, having renovated my gaming life, I found that when I mentioned real life in my blog I hit some squidgy patches that felt insincere again and (here we go again), next it was a giant life declutter and rethink, though I didn’t think it was at the time so much. I kind of realised it somewhere in the the middle. Making sure that I was comfortable with what I wrote helped me to rediscover my options. (Life isn’t set in concrete, ruts aren’t graven in stone, all that.) I actually found living more fun, because I was blogging about it, and blogging more fun because I could refer to life. A sort of circular feedy thing. Then there was that games are so interesting, that I wanted to get more involved in the nuts and bolts of making them too, so that started happening as well, adding to the mayhem and interest. Fun is hard to define – but if you can be honest with yourself, you’re likely to know if you’re enjoying yourself. I am most definitely having fun when I blog.
Then that last bit about your voice mattering. We’re in an extremely interesting time when they world can connect up, share and compare. It’s like mechanical telepathy. Not everyone agrees about everything – we already know that, but how valuable it is to see other people’s point of view. In general it’s good. It also, of course, points up some pretty nasty things. The challenge of dealing with nasty things is with us from our first breath though, and never goes away. That’s life. I personally prefer to go through it all knowing other people are around, are experiencing the same or similar, are having a discussion about stuff, have something to say – that’s why I love to read other people’s blogs. Everyone’s voice does matter – even the dissonant voices matter, just because we’re all us.
So there you have it. That’s my blogging advice.
The only very very last thing I have to add is how glad I am to see this initiative alive, kicking and it’s really quite fancy now! Thank you to everyone who got involved from me. I do hope the boards stay up for a while – I’ve had even less time to read than to write, and I know there are a lot of blogs, new and old awaiting the time when this house is fully settled again. Oh…. do you know, I also need something to look forward to – for after all this flatpacking and unpacking is over, and catching up reading blogs is going to be up there near top of list.