2016 Blogging Resolutions

I laughed at my “2015 in blogging” WordPress email. I published only five posts in 2015. WordPress thinks I wrote six posts, but one was just a bunch of picture references for Vidyala who did a badge picture for me (even though I wasn’t going to BlizzCon). So that one doesn’t count. The most-viewed day was back on January 6th, involving a post that was written back in August of 2014.

One post in 2015 was fluff, partially because I missed posting random stuff like that. One post was on how to read a raid parse for a particular spec, which was really more a thing of me going, look, I’m not perfect, but reading a raid parse isn’t hard, and this is perhaps how you can do it with some concrete examples.

The other three posts were my thoughts on how to write or otherwise learn & explain things without needing to require a degree or several hours in the subject. This doesn’t surprise me, because this is my thing that I do all the time. Thinking on how to organize, arrange, & present stuff such that stuff makes more sense than it did before.

Five posts in the entire stupid year. What the fuck was I even doing.

I was writing 55 things for Blizzard Watch, is what the fuck. I get paid for those things and not paid for anything over here. Over here, I have diddly-squat for visitors and over there I have more reach. So. That’s obvious. I don’t think I can share my exact stats from over at Blizzard Watch, but I wrote 21 Warlock columns, 29 things on D3 (mostly columns), and five WoW-related short posts.

A grand total of 60 posts isn’t anything to get excited about — I didn’t write novels or anything. But most of those columns take a week or two of research or other work to put together, so I have more than a year’s worth of work done in a year. I don’t feel so bad now about my writing that’s out there on the Internet medium.

It’s A new year, & we know what that means.

I think too much. I scribble a lot, by which I mean I don’t do the complete sentences thing, and I have a few too many grand ideas being rolled around in a Field Notes notebook than any grand ideas that I’ve actually executed (…zero?). I don’t like showing my failures to people, and although that’s a natural feeling, it’s constricting me. I feel like if I’m working on a thing for shits and giggles rather than a Grand Purpose like publishing for others to use, then it’s less important somehow and I should stop working on it. Following that rule led everything to feel like work and nothing like a game. Warlords as an expansion didn’t really help, and it feels like I’ve had to relearn again how to relax and how to tinker without judging myself for not tinkering perfectly the first time.

I’ve also turned a little corner, I think. Fel Concentration started as a Warlock blog, and I unfortunately feel like it has to remain a Warlock blog. But then I see Jasyla’s Cannot be Tamed, which started as a WoW blog, and I started reading her when she was a Resto Druid, but then her blog became a much-more-than-WoW blog. She may have ventured off into the video medium, and I might stick to my strengths in wordy posts, but she gave me a little more confidence in turning this blog into a Warlock-and-then-some blog.

I’ve never been good at tagging intelligently — look, I’m too impatient, and also there is no mass-tagging system in the freebie WordPress underhood that evolves well with different topics bending into other topics over time. I will try to tag things that aren’t about WoW or Warlocks or whatever if you don’t want to read that stuff (or, I guess, tags are also useful if you particularly want to read that stuff).

2016 likely topics

Warlocks. Duh. I’m in Legion alpha, and hope to continue walking into crash errors and testing various Warlock things. In the thought of being more open with my incomplete feedback and tinkerings, I’m keeping a sometimes spoilerific bugs/feedback log for when I test things in Legion alpha/beta. I also want to test things like Fishing, particularly since it’s not known if El’s Anglin will come back at all.

I’m interested in theorycrafting. I always was, but I’m more interested now in producing the meat of it, rather than just organizing blog guides on work that was already done on the EJ forums or whatever. Scary as it might be, I plan to reach out a little more to existing theorycrafters to ask them stupid questions like how increased critical strike damage influences an average of combined hits and crits given a critical strike chance. Even scarier of an idea is posting some of my progress on looking at how Warlock spells work, particularly looking at Legion, and trying to figure out the best way to document all this so others can follow and learn theorycrafting, too.

Some grand ideas involving Warlocks are raid parse reading guides and soloing tours/guides. What I want to accomplish with them involves a lot of work that is just for shits and giggles in the end, and I don’t know how exactly I will convince myself to stop whining & just do them. Another grand idea involved the Warlock heroes or role models in World of Warcraft, or perhaps more accurately, the lack thereof. But I am not the most confident in my grasp on lore, so that one is also just rolling around in notebook scribbles for now.

I’m interested in writing. Duh. The organization of information and formats and language and all sorts of sub-topics. The storytelling and characterisation in games and other media is also interesting, but I’m mostly interested in the nonfiction and often freelance side of things rather than the fiction story-writing side of things. In terms of gaming, this mostly comes in the form of how to write guides.

I’m interested in perhaps spreading my guides over both the Warlock column at Blizzard Watch and here. Maybe some of putting the grunt work over here and the summary over there or something. Perhaps a spread to put the details over here, where I have less restriction in tone and word limit, and the TL;DR over there, where I likely have more visitor reach that just wants the TL;DR not the full behind-the-scenes theorycrafting text wall. I don’t really know yet what I’ll do, but I’m always up for experimenting with my column writing (within editorial bounds, of course).

Actual goal-making

I don’t think that I can write a blog post every day. Sure, I write every day, but I sure as hell don’t publish every day. Who wants to read that shit?

I am not a fan of [verb] every [period] goals. They assume some sort of constant ability, I feel, and that is just not how my life works. Anxiety likes to creep up on me at the worst times, and while, yes, I can get myself through it, having a [verb] every [period] goal deadline hanging over me while I’m trying to destress is just not helpful at all. It also tends to become a thing I hate to do, when I’m forced into doing it just for the sake of doing it.

My goal is to lessen my fear that anything I’m doing that’s currently in-progress is not worthy to share or even continue. I often think best when I let myself roll with it, and when I’m writing, I do just that. So I want to write more here as an excuse to get more comfortable with myself again, as I’m coming out of one of the darker periods of my mental health.

I do like the goal framing of do [number] things this year. Read ten books this year. Cool. That’s a finite goal to work toward, but I can do it on my own time, navigating around bad days and good days. It’s a bit of the argument about the increased valor points for doing a random heroic dungeon every day versus the points for the first seven or so. In the every-day model, I have to do that EVERY DAY, which I get from the business standpoint of Blizzard, but personally, I think that’s a crap system. Eventually it just becomes another thing I “have” to do, and when I don’t want to do it or can’t do it, then I feel negative about myself. Look, I have depression, I am already really good at feeling negative about myself, so lets not add routines where I increase that negativity. Being able to do some things at my own pace is important to me.

I don’t really know what a reasonable number of blog posts for 2016 is. I don’t want to overchallenge myself. I don’t want to post random shit just to keep a counter happy. I almost feel like doing a Patreon-style or achievement-style goal-making where I start low but then get to reward myself if I make it to certain tiers.

So, let’s start at ten posts. I didn’t do that last year — in fact, that would double last year’s post-making count. Usually the first achievement is free, so maybe I’ll just let myself cheer really loudly when I hit this one. (I think a reward like getting myself a BattleNet store pet is too much for just ten posts.)

So uh…nine posts to go, right? Yes.

2016 Blogging Resolutions

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