I wanted to take some time today to talk about something I’ve sensed since mid-April, but is just now being voiced by other bloggers in various ways. This is a lull I’ve been sensing in our general gaming blogosphere.
For a while, I thought it was just me. I’m not so much seeing a dip in readers (it seems that BDO Horse Breeding Guides are much needed right now), but I sensed a lack of engagement, perhaps. I could tell other folks, who usually seem enthusiastic… were less so.
Now, I’m hearing various bloggers speak up about underlying issues, often dealing with a decline of interest in MMOs and MMO blogging. Like it or not, things that happened in the MMO space this year have shaken up even the most dedicated players/bloggers. We got a rash of posts about whether MMOs are dying. Morale overall took a dip.
I read about Bel coming to terms with blogging what he thinks is fun vs. blogging about MMOs that don’t currently spark his inspiration.
I read about Liore who is struggling with feelings of boredom, burn-out and overall discontent with some gaming attitudes.
I read about Weakness who is strong enough to break away from gaming and blogging when he feels like the hobby has overtaken more important things in his life.
My response to all of this: This is good and normal for creative folks!! Don’t let it steal your creativity.
In risk of sounding corny, let me encourage you:
FOLLOW YOUR INSPIRATION!
FIND YOUR THING IN LIFE, AND DO WHAT MAKES YOU SHINE!
Because when you’re doing what you love, it shows. When you’re struggling to do something just because you feel obligated to do it… that shows, too.
When you feel the creative well running dry, or you feel burned out, then it’s time to take a break or change your direction in life. And you don’t need to feel bad about doing it, either. Because you’ll be happier for it, and that joy will reflect in your work, your life, and your creativity.
Writers and creative folks can be fickle minds. I know that, and accept that about myself… though it’s not always easy when you WANT to have the discipline to do something long-term. Then you get disappointed in yourself when you feel burned out or when creativity/inspiration calls you a different way.
But, if you’ve lost the joy in creation, then you’ve lost what moved you to create to begin with. Don’t do that to yourself.
Dat Summer Internet Lull
I also wanted to touch on what I call the Summer Internet Lull.
This comes from being a webcomic creator for over 14 years. I can confirm that no matter how consistent your updates and how much you engage with your audience, summer time is a lull for everyone online.
You’d think it wouldn’t be — kids are out of school and should have more time to be online. But that’s just not the case. Folks are out on vacations. The weather is nice, and actually entices people away from their machines. Whatever the reason, there’s always a consistent lull that only seems to let up starting in late August, about the time when school starts again.
This effects everything: Blogging, MMO guildie logins, guild recruitment…
This is why I always thought that the Newbie Blogger Initiative was quite strategically placed at the beginning of this summer lull. The event drums up excitement as new folks get involved with existing bloggers, and that momentum seems to help carry the gaming blogosphere over the summer.
I was a tad bummed that it didn’t happen in May this year — but I just discovered we’re going to have it in June instead, so that’s fantastic. Let’s make some waves and encourage new creative minds! Sometimes giving to others refills our own creative voids.
Still, don’t be surprised if you find this a lull time for your bogging numbers, if numbers are the metrics you measure success by.
Be Free to Be You
Anyhow, if you’re still feeling inspired by gaming and blogging, do your thing. If you need a break, or want to expand to different types of content, do that, too.
Part of the reason why I don’t call this a gaming blog, even though that’s what I tend to write about, is because I learned my lesson about pigeon-holing myself into a specific topic. I want to give myself the freedom to be whoever I am at the point in time when I sit down to write a post.
The truth is, we are people who play games (gamers), but we’re more than just that. I love reading about games, but often, I’m following a blogger because I like reading about a person.
So, don’t be afraid of being a person, instead of just a gamer. That’s fascinating to your readers, too! 🙂