Notes from a Busy January

Notes from a Busy January

You might notice that I’ve posted every weekday in January.  I posed the following challenge to myself at the beginning of the year:

Until the end of March, I’m going to have a good post on the blog every weekday.

It’s been a little bit of a challenge, but it’s also been worth it.  Today I am a third through the challenge, and I’ve noticed that my thinking about games has gotten a bit clearer — I’ve been thinking and writing about it a lot — but in the act of getting there I’ve learned a lot about keeping in the flow of writing, and building material on which to write.

I’m sharing what I’ve learned so far with you, not so you’ll do the same thing (though I recommend it!), but rather to help out if you find it hard blogging or having material to write about.  The following things have kept me going through January and I expect them to help me through February and March as well.

Journeys, not Destinations. Remember that blogging is about a journey.  Blogging becomes a fear-inducing activity when you think of it in terms of proving or maintaining expertise. Blogging is first about the journey and the insights you gain along the way. Expertise is awesome, but that expertise is more compelling when it is hard won and when you “show your work”.  I sometimes post material that I am unsure of or that I know will need more thought to clarify because I feel that blogging is about the path I arrive at being a better game designer, not the destination of being a great game designer.  And even if I was a great game designer, you’d still want to know the process by which I make great games.

When you think every blog post has to be perfectly reasoned and honed, blogging becomes difficult.

Break it Up.  When I ran At-Will I could get frozen up because I had a great concept that was very big, with a lot of moving parts.  I’d work on it for weeks and/or months. Sometimes it got published, other times it didn’t.  Sometimes I had other material to publish along the way, other times I didn’t and there would be noticeable holes in my output.  I still have “big topics” in my brain, but what I do now is realize that I don’t have to write a 5,000 word post all at once to make a blog post.  Actually, it’s better that I don’t most of the time.  I can take big pieces and break them up into manageable chunks to write about.

Blog More? Talk More.  Twitter and G+ both make it easy to have conversations about anything you want.  I often start up conversations on either of these networks to a) get a sense of anyone even caring about a topic b) get a sense of what I want to talk about.  sometimes I get blog posts in the middle of a normal conversation, and that’s just a bonus.  Almost every post that wasn’t game content I’m working on has been talked about and presented to others first, then honed and refined for the blog.

Blogging is about engagement, so getting engaged is, I think, good strategy if you want to blog a lot.

Maybe next month I’ll have more insights! I hope this post helps you with your blogging in the meantime.

Also, I should add having great content from Ryven also helps keep the blog posting going! I am more in rhythm now but it’s still great having his posts up during the week as well.

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