Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Brian (Chapter 5)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 28, 2009

MMO community connection:

Blue Kae

Chapter 5: Blogging

When did you first start blogging?

I started blogging in September 2008 with Blue Kae. It’s my soap box for anything gaming related either PC or console. I may expand into comics, movies, etc. but so far gaming issues have been the only things that I felt a need to write about. I’ve recently started writing for QuillDragon, which is a new fantasy literature blog launched May 2009 by Regis from the Wizards & Wenches Warhammer blog.

Why do you blog?

I’d had been reading blogs (mostly gaming blogs) for quite a while, and then I discovered podcasts. I rarely commented on blogs, I was usually content to read the post and sometimes the comments, but almost never moved enough to comment myself. I finally started my own gaming blog because I had some rants related to DRM that I needed to get on “paper”.

Do you have a schedule or some sort of routine you try and follow when blogging?

I don’t have a regular schedule. I generally try to have at least one post a week, but if I don’t have something worth saying I’m fine with not posting. Sometimes a news story or a gaming experience will cause a flurry of activity and I might post two or three times in a day.

I do most of my reading from Google Reader and I have about 70 gaming blog subscriptions, more with comment subscriptions. I do my reading from work during spare moments and in the evenings after my wife and baby are asleep. Sometimes during my reading I’ll get an idea for a post and I’ll stop and put together a draft, although I may just comment on author’s post instead. Which one I do depends on how much I have to say about it, I don’t like to do link outs in comments but I will link to the original post that prompted mine.

Is there some grind involved in blogging? If so, what is it and how do you cope with it?

Not for me. I felt a little pressure early on to try and make sure there was always something up on the site, but I got over that pretty quick. I’m passionate enough about gaming that I usually have something I need to post about in any given month. If I do start to feel a grind, I’ll probably step back for a bit.

By contrast, what do you find pleasurable about blogging?

I love the writing. It’s an opportunity to organize and clarify my thoughts. Sometimes I’ll start a post and delete it because I realized I didn’t have enough to say on a subject, and sometimes I’ll intend to put up a quick note and write a screen-full. I also like the conversational element, I’m still excited anytime I see comments on a post and so far I’ve always been able to respond.

How many people offline know you blog?

Only a few. I don’t generally bring it up and it doesn’t come up much in conversation. I talk about it occasionally to my wife and to a friend of mine whose an MMO gamer. Most of my friends and family are not gamers or geeks for the most part and very few of them listen to podcasts or read blogs.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to try their hand at blogging?

Writing is deeply personal, so my only advice would be to do it because you need to, not because you feel like you should or are trying for money or popularity. Don’t try to imitate anyone else. Pay attention to grammar and spelling. Find other blogs about the same subject matter and make constructive comments, but don’t include you’re site link in the comment, if people are interested they’ll click on you’re name and find your blog.

What is something you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

I had been reading other blogs for so long before I started my own, that I had a pretty good handle on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. The only thing I wish I had done differently was started sooner.

Can you picture a future where you will hang up your keyboard and no longer blog?

Nope. Anything is possible, but I can’t imagine coming to a point when I don’t want to write/blog. I may take a break at some point if it becomes a grind, but I’m sure I would always come back.

At your funeral, what song(s) would you have played as your corpse is set alight and cast out to sea on a funeral barge?

The Overture from the Barber of Seville, it’s an excellent piece of classical music and the sound track from my favorite Looney Tunes episode.

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