A Year of Superior Realities

It was one year ago today that my blog launched its introductory post and I hurled myself into that strange frontier known as the blogosphere. It doesn’t seem that long.

My blog's bannerAt this point, I’d like to take a moment to look back on the blog’s first year, both positives and negatives.

In the beginning:

I already cringe when I look back at how sloppy and rambling my earliest posts were. But at the same time, it’s nice to know my blogging skills have progressed.

It’s interesting to see how my blog has evolved over time, and how it’s measured up to my expectations. In all honesty, it’s exceeded my expectations for the most part — although they were never terribly high. I don’t really know what level of traffic/activity qualifies as “good” for a blog, but I’m pretty happy with where mine is.

Salama ashal'anoreFor the most part, the blog has turned out how I expected it — though if you read the introductory post, you’ll notice a few things never materialized. I never did get my friends to do any guest-posting — narcissism FTW, I guess — and I never did get around to talking about Glee. Long story short, the third season was better than the second, but I still wish Rachel would just go away.

Warcraft:

To the surprise of no one who knows me, a huge section of this blog has ended up devoted to the Warcraft universe. I expected and even welcomed this, but in truth, I sometimes regret how much WoW-centric the blog has become. I wanted this to be a general sci-fi and fantasy blog, not a WoW blog that occasionally covers other subjects.

Still, WoW is where I get most of my traffic and following, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. And I do like talking about it.

All my Warcraft charactersIronically, it took me nearly a month to make my first Warcraft post. But after that, the blog’s fate was sealed.

I’d cover some highlights of my WoW career from the past year, but there aren’t any, really. As casual as I am, I never accomplish anything impressive in-game. I just faceroll LFR, run heroics, and level alts. The only thing really significant that comes to mind is Operation: Pay-Off and getting my almost-but-not-quite legendary daggers.

Of course, one post of note was my coverage of the announcement of Mists of Pandaria mere minutes after it was made official. I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but I really enjoyed that. It was exciting as a WoW fan to see a new expansion announced, and even more exciting to report on it for this here blog as new info was flying out hard and fast. And even more exciting still to know I’d be paid to cover it all for Massive Online Gamer (may it rest in peace).

Some Pandaren monks in End Time in the Mists of Pandaria betaThat was easily the most fun I’ve had in my writing career. Speaking of which…

Writing:

If I have one major regret about this blog, it’s that I haven’t given enough attention to talking about life as a writer. It was supposed to take up about as much space as my WoW writings. Instead, I mostly just post links to my articles when they get published.

But there just isn’t that much to say. Being a freelancer writer sounds romantic, but it’s just another craft. People send me an assignment, and I write it. Barring occasional flukes like the Mists of Pandaria coverage, it’s just not exciting.

But there have been some notable milestones in my writing career over the past year, and they’ve all been covered on my blog.

Very early in the blog’s life, I posted about my first professional publication. Even I’ll admit that article wasn’t my best work, but it was a start.

The cover for Massive Online Gamer #35, containing my Mists of Pandaria coverageDespite hardships, I slowly gained more publishing credits. In mid-summer of last year, I was hired as a freelancer by Massive Online Gamer magazine, which remains my most fun and most prestigious job to date.

But it was short-lived. I only got to write for three issues before the magazine folded, which I found almost cripplingly demoralizing at the time. It’s only recently I’ve started to shake off the feeling of doom that gave me.

This devastating blow was almost immediately followed by some much better news: my story, “The Future of Lordaeron,” placed as a finalist in Blizzard’s 2011 Global Writing Contest, which was just all kinds of cool.

Cover art for my fan fiction "The Future of Lordaeron"I did eventually end up posting some of my fiction, but only one story, not counting fan fic. I’ve thought of adding more, but I’m never sure what to post.

Lately, I’ve been working for an environmental lawyer, with whom I am co-authoring two non-fiction books that will probably be out some time in the next year.

Other highlights:

I think this blog is perhaps at its best — or, at least, I enjoy writing it the most — when discussing more abstract issues related to gaming and speculative fiction. An early example is my post on gender and gaming.

Often, blogging on these things help resolve how I feel about them, but one thing that still bugs me to this day is the issue of race in fantasy. Months later, I still don’t know how or if to address this in my own writing. I don’t want my writing to be too preachy.

On the subject of being preachy, I cannot go without mentioning my controversial rant against platekinis, which I still stand by.

I should also make mention of some of the blog’s lowlights. These mainly occur when I have nothing to talk about. I’ve done better than I expected at coming up with blog topics, but once in a while, I just draw a blank. And the resulting posts are admittedly… less than stellar.

Looking forward:

For the most part, I intend to continue with business as usual with this blog, though I am considering a few tweaks and new topics. As a lore nut, I’m always tempted to do more posts on the story of WoW, but that doesn’t seem like a topic that many people are interesting in. Even the official story forum seems to mostly consist of people discussing how much they hate the story.

Another thing I’ve considered is doing some abstract posts on game design, which is a subject that interests me greatly. Potential topics may include things like why mana is an awful concept that needs to die. But that might be too arcane for some people. Feedback would be welcomed; is this something that would interest you?

An image of the shindu Sin'dorei, the failing Children of BloodI’d really like to do more writing posts, but again, there’s not much to say there. I have some plans related to my fiction, but those are not yet at the point where I feel comfortable discussing them, and if things go as I hope, I’ll likely want a separate blog for them.

If you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see — or like to not see — from my blog in the coming year, please speak up in the comments.

The Best Spam Ever:

It’s good to leave on a laugh, so I’d like to include the following comment that was picked up by my spam filter. I’ve seen some nonsensical spam posts in my time, but this takes the cake:

“Hello there my family member! I want to declare this article rocks !, excellent written and include almost all significant communiqué. Let me fellow more posts like this.”

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5 thoughts on “A Year of Superior Realities

  1. Gratz on the first year!

    Write what you want or this space will become another job for you. When we start paying to read it, then what we want matters.

  2. Grats on your blogging anniversary!
    Write what you want – I like your ideas about future posts and definitely something I’d be interested in reading.
    Ah…I remember the first article I had published in a real journal – must have bought about 20 copies 😉

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