Blaugust: Experiment Terminated

Until this month, I had never tried writing as a hobby. I do a lot of writing for work, and it comes easily to me. Most of my Blaugust posts only took 30-45 minutes to write and sometimes another hour for an interview or illustrations. That’s free time I had available, so the time commitment hasn’t been an issue. But it’s already clear that writing on a personal blog has had an undesirable effect on my personality.

I feel like I’m becoming narcissistic. The truth is, I don’t really have any important information or special wisdom to convey; I just have opinions. But even when I was writing about other people for my Voices of LOTRO series, I could see that I was sometimes highlighting perspectives that agreed with my own or that I personally felt were worth writing about. I was telling an edited version of someone else’s story in a way that fit my own narrative.

When I write for work, it absolutely has to be authoritative. I hope you’ll pardon the conceit, but I really am the world’s foremost authority on one very small, very specific, very obscure thing. There are a couple dozen university professors from around the world—who are much smarter than I am—who give me advice and review my writing. But in the end, it’s my name that goes on it, and that’s the final word as far as anyone is concerned.

I can’t seem to turn that voice off when I sit down to write here. I don’t have the benefit of colleagues to review my work. I’m really just a happy, pie-loving hobbit, but from reading my posts here, I’d think I was a pompous jerk! Maybe I shouldn’t be trusted to have personal opinions that can’t be expressed in 140 characters.

I don’t want to be that guy, so I’m ending this Blaugust experiment early. It has been fun and rewarding, but only in the worst possible way for my ego. I wouldn’t mind participating in group discussions, or in a point-counterpoint type of debate in the future. I might even enjoy contributing (with editorial review) to another site. But my words here on a personal site honestly aren’t that enriching for you to read, and I don’t feel they’re particularly healthy for me to write.

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9 thoughts on “Blaugust: Experiment Terminated

  1. You have to do what’s right for you. That said, I will miss ‘that voice’. You don’t just command a certain type of authority when you post, you ARE that authority. It’s believable and feels right, matching so many of your posts I’ve read on Twitter and forums over the years. I’ve very much enjoyed your blog posts because it’s not just about the merits or impacts of gaming. You’ve blogged about experiences, your own and others, and I find that SO refreshing!

    For the record, when I read your posts, in my head, you’re an important Hobbit on some sort of stage (it’s a big rock actually) entertaining a crowd of fellow Hobbits during an evening fair type activity. A story teller! I felt very enriched reading here, just so you know. hugs

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    • Thank you, Ranni. I may still post something from time to time if I feel it’s topical or timely, but not just because I need to post something every day.

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  2. Like Ranni said, you gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes we must follow the sage words of one Shia LaBoofa, and “JUST DO IT!” On the other hand, I never felt you come across as a “pompous jerk”, so that’s something, eh?

    Whether you are writing something on the expository side, or one with a more informal, personal tone, it’s only natural to include opinion. It’s your topic you chose anyways, and the fun part is that you’re unlikely to see much hate come out of it. You’re likely to be drawing the topic off your own life experiences, and that’s what others have come to browse. We’re not writing Wikipedia articles here – the pinnacle of human knowledge and authoritative dignity.

    That being said, it’s been a fun ride either way, and at least we can still get a slice of your personality through Twitter. Cheers!

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    • It’s just really hard to exercise deference or humility when I’m standing on a soapbox, and those are two things I can never get enough practice with.

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    • All the best, Fredelas. How you feel, I don’t contest, but your content/tone is fine. I suspect it’s like listening to your own voice: hypercritical. Do what you believe right, but this seems hasty.

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  3. I’ve rather enjoyed your writing, for the record. And to be fair, writing is about bias and perspective, even for ostensibly objective matter. That being said, I don’t particularly enjoy writing for the sake of writing–part of why I don’t generally participate in Blaugust; I feel like I’d be doing myself a disservice forcing the matter. If you’re not happy blogging, then don’t do it, but I do like hearing about your perspective on stuff!

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  4. I’m going to add my voice to those in this comments section, and say that hey, it’s a personal blog. I find myself swinging between doing what makes me happy and not thinking that what I’m doing is making me unhappy, at times. But I try not to let that stop me.

    Your blog has become a source of very interesting reads for me, in a very short time. Don’t worry overmuch about objectivity! We’re not reporting the news here.

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  5. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and never once thought it sounded narcissistic. When we’re sharing what we think, a lot of it becomes personal opinion anyway, and there’s plenty of room for people to agree or disagree on the Internet.

    Still, do what you feel best. If a daily writing pace, or indeed any personal writing at all, isn’t working out for you, go with what works for you. Thanks for giving the Blaugust experiment a go!

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