Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Jennifer (Chapter 5)

Posted by Randolph Carter on July 4, 2009

MMO community connection:

Girl Unplugged

Chapter 5: Blogging

When did you first start blogging?

I started blogging in late January of this year. Since then, I’ve shut down my original blog and begun blogging under a new name, widening my focus from just Warhammer Online to entertainment in general.

Why do you blog?

I enjoy writing and I enjoy getting to share my opinion with other people. It’s a great ego boost to see other people reading your stuff and commenting on it (or linking to it, which can be even more ego-inflating!). When I was blogging at Girl IRL, there was also a feeling that perhaps the Warhammer game designers were reading my posts, which made me feel like I could potentially have an impact on the game.

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

Initially I tried to stick with about three posts a week, but these days I’m having trouble posting more than once a week. So long as I stick with that schedule, one weekly post or more, I’m content.

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

There was definitely a grind when I was part of the Warhammer blogging community. I felt like I had to read all the WAR blogs to make sure I wasn’t writing on the same topic as someone else. I had to follow WAR news so my blog was up-to-date, had to play the game more often than normal so I had more inspiration. When I joined the WAR Community Promotion Initiative, started by Warhammer Alliance, it became even more of a grind as I had to link to other members weekly. I’m a perfectionist, so I never felt happy just leaving a link, I felt as though I needed to write a full description of the blog, so that added a lot of work.

My way of coping with it was eventually to just stop blogging in that community. Now that I’m blogging at Girl Unplugged, I don’t feel a grind at all. When it does start to feel “grindy,” that’s when I know it’s time to take a break or quit.

By contrast, what do you find pleasurable about blogging?

As I said previously, I love when others read, comment, or link to my posts. It’s nice to know that there are people consistently reading what I’m writing; that they think what I have to say is valuable enough to subscribe to my blog.

At times it can be cathartic, such as one of my first posts at Girl Unplugged in which I complained about the hubbub surrounding my WAR blog name. I felt like I was getting a lot of criticism about it from the community, so it was nice to have the opportunity to vent.

There are also certain things I can blog about that my family or friends might not understand. It’s hard to tell my mother (whom I speak to almost every day) that I’m pissed off because something terrible happened in a game, but I can post about it and get instant feedback and consolation from others who have experienced the same thing.

How many people offline know you blog or podcast?

My boyfriend knows, as does my mother. I believe my brother and my mother-in-law know about it as well, as they follow me on Twitter and I post links to blog updates there. One or two offline friends know as well, for miscellaneous reasons. So about 5 or 6.

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

Make sure you really like what you’re discussing, that it’s something you’re passionate about and not just a fad. Avoid being overly critical about the subject, or else you’re going to get burnt out and wonder why you were playing that game/watching that show/whatever in the first place.

Finally, whenever and wherever you come up with a post idea – in the shower, at dinner, in the car – write it down immediately! I’ve had terrible mornings where I remembered that I had an idea, but I didn’t write it down so I couldn’t remember what it was. That’s just the worst, especially when you’re behind schedule.

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

I wish I’d had the foresight to recognize that I couldn’t blog about WAR forever. If I had known that, perhaps I wouldn’t have taken a WAR specific domain name that limited me from writing about other topics when I eventually was no longer interested in the game.

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

I think it’s possible. At the moment I’m taking a big break from my regular life – no school, no job, etc. – so I have a lot of free time on my hands. And yet I still only blog once a week! So when I resume my normal activities, I think it’s very likely that blogging will become much less of a priority to me, enough so that I stop blogging altogether.

I’m a writer at heart, though, so even if I stop blogging I’ll probably still be writing and may even revisit blogging after an extended break. You never know!

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?

I don’t think about what’s going to happen at my funeral. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have one as I’d live forever and never die. The only song lists that I think about are what songs I’ll have played at my wedding! I don’t know, I guess if I had to pick right now, off the top of my head, I’d say, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. I’ve always loved that song. Who doesn’t?


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