100 Posts, Thousands of Thanks
It’s hard for me to define the date of my “blogiversary.” I began this blog in May of 2010, wrote one post, and promptly abandoned it. Six months later with Cataclysm on the verge of release, I picked it up again and started writing more regularly. I suppose counting from there would be a good place to start, but the date of that post has already come and gone now. 100 posts, though, seems like a decent milestone to celebrate, and it’s the milestone I’ve reached today.
It’s taken me a long time to really settle into my writing and figure out what kind of blogger I want to be. When I started out, I thought I’d only write about raiding, and only about resto druids. The problem was that I didn’t always have a lot to say. I wrote guides for the T11 bosses, and was lucky enough to get a decent amount of traffic from that. I wrote a visual guide for the new ground effect healing spells in Cataclysm, which is still my most viewed post to date. Over one-fifth of my traffic for this entire year came from my “Things your healer wants you to stand in” post – I still get Google hits for it almost every day. I discussed changes to the healing model and to druids specifically as they were announced, but usually that’s something that only occurs once in a patch cycle. So I left my blog with long periods of drought where I just wasn’t sure what to write about that fit within my theme.
When I returned to blogging after a long hiatus, I did so with the resolve that I would write about whatever I wanted. I would be braver, and write more opinion posts even if I knew I would sometimes have to see comments from people who disagreed with me. With that goal in mind, I found myself writing things like WoW and Public Self-Consciousness, Mists of Pandaria and the Zen of Warcraft, and found that many more bloggers were interested in my blog and having discussions about these topics, when I let myself take chances with my writing.
Eventually, I allowed myself to test the waters of giant lore posts. There are few things that are more intimidating for me – someone who knew nothing about the Warcraft universe prior to playing the MMO – than diving headfirst into a tangled mess of official lore, unofficial lore, and retcons. But on the rare occasions when I muster up the courage, I’ve ended up writing some of my personal favorites out of everything on this blog. My plea for a Technomage hero class, my analysis of Warcraft’s Hero Factory, and my recent idea for a druid legendary weapon and questline are, in my opinion, among the best posts I’ve written here. Surpassing all of those, however, and easily taking the place as my favorite post is What Makes A Good Raid? That post was a mashup of lore, opinion, and contributions from my guild, all of which took me more than a month to draft and take to its final product. I loved every minute of writing it, and here’s why:
Over the last few years, I’ve spent some time making the decision and then coming to terms with the decision not to seek a doctoral degree. It’s something I had been trying to make up my mind about since I graduated from college, but in the end I realized that there was no point in getting a PhD if I wasn’t interested in the career path that would take me down. I’m happy about the decision now, and I love the job I’ve found. What was hardest to give up, however, and what I knew I would miss the most were the conversations.
I already thanked many of the bloggers who have inspired me throughout my time in the WoW community (and there are so many more than I mentioned in that post). I can’t tell you how much all of these conversations have meant to me. With the decision not to pursue a higher degree I knew that I would still have that urge to research and tear things down to their basic parts, but I wasn’t sure I’d have an outlet for that urge. Blogging – and specifically being a part of a large community who are always friendly, inviting, engaging, and interesting – has filled that void for me.
If I’ve learned anything after a year of blogging it’s this: write what you want. I’ve abandoned the notion of what my blog “is” and “isn’t” about in favor of allowing it to be an expressive space where I can talk about anything, any time. If you are passionate about your topics, readers will find their way to you and the discussions can begin.
Thank you, to each and every one of you who are reading these words. I hope you’ll all still be here for post #200.