Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blaugust 2019: Introducing This Blog

Greetings to those of you discovering my blog for the first time through the pulse of Blaugust! I spent some time going through the list of bloggers participating and adding folks to my Feed Reader and following via WordPress when I could.

Since there are some new faces, I wanted to take time to introduce myself and my blog, and talk just a bit about how it came to be and why it is the way it is.

Hello!

I’m a middle-aged gal gamer and technical writer by trade. I’ve been writing (fiction) since I was old enough to make up stories, and have carried that with me throughout my life. I was first introduced to the Internet back in 1997-1998, and being the tech geek I was, fell in love with the concept and idea that one could connect with so many different people on the other side of the screen.

Naturally, I began posting writing online, to an old Geocities account. This was mostly fanfic (which I didn’t know had the name fanfic) that I’d written long-hand in my young teens and stuffed in a box under my bed for years. That story still exists online… but that’s not important. What is important is that from the moment I understood what the Internet could do, I was posting writing to it in some format.

Short History of Me on the Interwebs

Eventually, Geocities gave way to other less tedious means of communication (meaning you didn’t have to know how to code HTML to post stuff), and things like LiveJournals became popular. I’ll say that’s probably the first blog-format type writing I did. It’s all long-gone now, and I’m not sure it even called itself a “blog,” but it cemented the idea that hosted websites could give writers a CMS environment to post their thoughts online.

Eventually I installed my own WordPress – it was a very small and personal blog, and I don’t even recall what it was named or that it had any function. The only thing I do remember is that it taught me to never post too detailed information about yourself/job/family online!

I recall one day being shocked that someone had Googled a certain phrase that was related to my job, and it took them to my blog because I’d mentioned something about it in a post about a work conference. While there was nothing bad in that post, it shook me – I didn’t realize Google had such deep-reaching abilities until then. I’ve always been the type to separate my RL from my net life, so while nothing came of it, it was rather uncomfortable, and I learned that lesson. Hence why you don’t see much about my RL in this blog.

How This Blog Came To Be

The story of how this blog came to be is too long to tell, even if I could remember it rightly. I’ve had so many blogs over the years that I don’t remember the half of them. But what they taught me was this: When I try to focus on just one topic and don’t have any flexibility, that blog will fail.

I know a lot of times you hear about people telling you to find your niche and things like that when it comes to blogging. I tried that. I tried it over and over. I’ve had blogs about webcomic making, fiction writing, specific gaming, RP characters, fitness, etc. None of them made it.

The reason why?

I discovered over the course of the years that I need to be able to write about what’s inspiring me from day to day. While this blog often focuses on my main MMO – FFXIV – I also love to write about an awesome Steam or Switch game that blew me away. Or maybe I want to talk about RL with my cats (doesn’t happen often, but I have). Or about progress I am (or not) making with learning to play violin. Maybe I’m into learning Blender and creating content for Second Life…

Whatever my creative spark, that’s what I want to talk about in a post. It seems simple, but so many writers paint themselves into a corner by dedicating a blog to just one game or topic. And then, when life changes or they’ve lost interest, that blog suddenly falls to the wayside. It’s not their fault or the blog’s fault, it’s just life!

So when I created this blog, I left it wide open as a “Gaming and Geek” blog to talk about whatever pleases me. I consider it a hobby blog, and I used my Internet handle as the name. Sometimes I’m a little regretful of that, but at this point, it is what it is.

Even this blog has gone through several changes. It was rebranded and moved from self-hosted to WP hosted (which I don’t regret). But for now, I feel like it’s pretty well settled where it is.

Anyhow, if you’ve made it all the way to the end of this ramble, congrats! Have a cookie! And if you have any questions for me about my blog or my processes, feel free to leave a comment!

Advertisements
Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, FFXIV, MMORPGs

Welcome Blaugust & August Gaming Goals

Welcome to the new month, and to the very first day of Blaugust! For anyone who doesn’t know already, this is a month that bloggers rally together to support blogging and their fellow bloggers, both new and old. I’ll likely be talking about this throughout the month, but if you’re interested in learning more, click here!

Now on to my goals for this month. I think this is going to be another month of rather loose goals and just plodding along making progress.

FFXIV Goals – My Main

As expected, my main earned Level 70 on Warrior last night! I also finished all the job quests, aside from the final Level 70 one, which I hope to tackle tonight. So her goals are as follows:

  • Level Dark Knight (Daily Beast Tribes)
  • Level Carpenter
  • Level Trusts (With Bard)
  • Level Fisher
  • Gear up with new Tomes

Mostly a lot of leveling going on here. Dark Knight is the next tank I’m going to pull through using daily beast tribe quests in Stormblood. As I see it, it will take about two months to finish off my final two tanks. Dancer I can level through roulettes since I don’t mind playing it in group content. So I’m not as worried about catching up with that as I am about just making slow, steady progress with my tanks.

FFXIV Goals – Amon

  • Level Miner to 80
  • Earn Scrip gear sets for Botanist, Miner and Alchemist
  • Level Fisher

I’m pulling back on things for Amon since I got most of what I wanted done on him already. He’s a level 76 Miner at this point, so getting him to 80 is do-able. I’ve already started earning Scrip gear for his Botanist, so finishing out those sets shouldn’t be too hard to do. And I’d like to dabble in Fishing with him as well.

I’m not as worried about earning Tomes for his gear, but will probably do some alliance runs here and there (which nets Tomes). I’ll take that as it comes.

FFXIV Goals – Tai

The same as last month, Tai is my Stormblood -progression character. I guess this is a thing now, since I have so many characters stuck in Stormblood. I really want to get him at least through the base 4.0 MSQ. I think once that’s done, and I can start gearing him up, the way forward will be a whole lot easier.

Blaugust Goals

And, of course, there’s Blaugust Goals. I’d really like to post more consistently this month, if nothing else, at least every week day. I’m also going to make an effort to get other people’s blogs on my feed reader and try to keep up with the Blaugust Discord.

If there’s any specific blogging topic or question you have, feel free to drop it in a comment to me, and I’ll certainly look at writing something up for it!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging

Blaugust 2019 – Festival of Blogging

It’s almost that time of year again. The summer is heating up and August is quickly approaching. And for bloggers, that means it’ll once again be time for Blaugust!

If you run a blog, or want to start up a blog, it’s the perfect time to do it! Here’s what you need to know.

About Blaugust

Blaugust is the brainchild of fellow gaming blogger Belghast, who originally started it as a blogging challenge during the month of August. The idea was to try to write a post for each day of the month. However, as the face of blogging has changed over time, so has the structure and goals of Blaugust.

I think he says it best, so I hope he doesn’t mind if I quote him:

We live in a time when blogs are going dark and the hope is to keep infusing the community with a fresh lease on life. Those of us who have been doing it for over a decade now can easily lose hope. It sometimes takes a fresh batch of whippersnappers to keep us engaged and interested in making sure that the community thrives.

If you have a blog that is waning in frequency, or if you ever thought of creating one… this month is the perfect time to put those plans into action.

Last year, I took on the role of mentor for Blaugust, and joined the Discord group. However, timing was rough for me as I had just spun up my FFXIV RP blog on Tumblr and was heavily into fiction writing. Sadly, I didn’t feel as if I gave Blaugust the attention it deserved, but Bel seems forgiving of that.

This year, I’m going to try and make up for it. Though I’m not a super active Discord user in general, I’m already planning posts and topics I want to talk about next month. There’s also a handy-dandy schedule, which is there to offer suggestions on what to write each week. You don’t have to follow it, but it gives loose topic ideas if you find yourself grasping for a post.

There’s plenty of time to get involved and start planning. You can find the sign-up sheet, Discord join link, and more information on the main Blaugust post here.

So if you’re a long-time blogger, a blogger who hasn’t written in a while, a new blogger, or someone who just wants to try blogging for the first time — you’ll find new connections, blogs to read, suggestions/help/inspiration, and readership here!

Hope to see you in Blaugust!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

#Blaugust2018 Tally & August Gaming Goals in Review

Tally Tally!

Yesterday, I wrote a farewell post to Blaugust a day early, noting that while I posted 18 posts here (including this one) on this blog, I did the majority of my writing on my creative RP Tumblr this month. I didn’t think that counted, but the comments I got said the contrary.

So! I’m going to leave that in poor Bel’s hands (or whomever is doing the judging for the Blaugust awards this year). Here’s my Tumblr archive for this month for proof of crazy fiction and RP writing! 🙂

Based on fiction alone, I wrote a 7-part short story called “Chocobo’s Tale” and another 7-part series called “Decent“… along with about 6 more chapters that are in reserve to post over the next week or so.

I’m not really overly worried about the award, but just wasn’t sure what counted. I had a blast writing for my fiction/RP blog this month, and that’s really all that matters!

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Culinarian to 70 ✓
  • Level Dragoon to 70 ✓
  • Level Astro (maybe?)

Not only did I finish leveling Culinarian to 70, but I leveled ALL of my remaining crafting jobs to 70 and finished ALL of the job quests associated with them, too.

I was a tad lazy at the Alliance Roulette this month, so I’m about halfway through level 69 on Dragoon. But tonight should probably get level 70, or pretty close to it, so I’m going to mark it as a done deal.

Still haven’t touched Astro, but that’s something I’m going to be working on now that all of my crafting leveling is out of the way and I have more time.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Ninja – Lv 50-60 Quests
  • Culinarian Quest catch-up ✓

Again, I failed on finishing job quests… for everything except my crafters. BUT, I’m going really make an effort do work on these now that crafting leveling is done. I’m pretty confident I can knock some of these out finally next month.

And that was August in a nutshell!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, Gaming

Blaugust: Keep Your Finger Near the Print Screen Key

The first week of Blaugust is officially Topic Brainstorming Week. So I wanted to talk shortly about one way of generating ideas for your blog. While this seems to primarily focus on gaming blogs, this can carry over into real life, too, if you just keep your phone camera handy at all times.

Now while this isn’t true for every day and every post, I’ve found a lot of my blogging content comes from just having an awareness of what’s going on around me, and being ready to capture that for future reference. 

In short, whenever I’m playing any game, part of my mind is on what experiences I might be able to share on my blog the next day. My finger is always near the screenshot key. I’m always looking for a topic starter or a story. For example, many of my FFXIV Tales from the Duty Finder stories are just the You-Had-To-Be-There moments that I captured via screenshot to bring back the next day as a post.

You might be saying, “But if you’re always thinking about blogging, how can you just enjoy the game?”

As a blogger, part of what makes me enjoy the game more is hunting down something that I think will be fun to share. The more you practice looking for the story in something, even mundane situations, the easier it gets. It’s really never a bother.

So I challenge you to think like a blogger and search for stories in everything you do during Blaugust.

Be it gaming, other hobbies, your work, or social interactions. There are so many stories hiding there, stories that only you can tell the world from your point of view… but only if you’re receptive to finding them. If you start to practice that mindset, you’ll often find the stress of “What do I write about next?” starts to fade as it becomes replaced by a more productive desire to find stories to share.

So, go out there and bring us back some stories! I’ll be reading!

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, Gaming, MMORPGs, Writing

Bl-August 2018 Gaming Goals

First, happy Blaugust everyone!

It’s that time again — a new month means new goals to reach for!

I’m not going to go into too much detail at the moment, but I am going to say that things may be in a flux for me when it comes to FFXIV in fairly short order. I haven’t talked a lot about the things happening over the past month (nothing bad, persay), but this may be a month when things realign in a different way. We’ll have to see how it shakes out.

In the meantime, I’m going to drop goals down here as if everything is normal. 😉

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Culinarian to 70 ✓
  • Level Dragoon to 70
  • Level Astro (maybe?)

Pretty straightforward and easy to hit. My Culinarian is level 64, so Namazu will take it to 70 with no sweat. Then, I’ll only have one more crafter to level to 70! My Dragoon is level 67, so Alliance Roulette should carry me through in short order.

I do really want to work on some of my lower level jobs, like Astro, but we’ll see what happens.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Ninja – Lv 50-60 Quests
  • Culinarian Quest catch-up ✓

I’m trying this yet again this month. Maybe I’ll actually do it this time! I do have a motivation to complete Summoner quests as they have lore information that ties directly into my creative projects at this point. I also need to finish quests for Ninja to unlock all the skills so that I can keep leveling the job in Alliance Roulette.

I’m not sure where I left off on Culinarian quests, so that’s something I need to check on while I am leveling it using beast tribes.

Creative Goals

With Blaugust here upon us, of course one of my creative goals for this month is to post as much content as I can and participate where I can. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold to a post every day as I really do value taking a break on the weekends, but we’ll see what I can do.

I’m also still going full force on my creative RP story project on Tumblr. I still have a whole lot to write for this, so it’s going to be competing with my blogging time, sadly. I’m going to try to keep things balanced, but my inspiration has been skewed towards fiction since last month, and I want to hold on to that feeling. It’s far easier for me to pound out a blog post than a piece of fiction!

 

Posted in Blaugust, Blogging, Uncategorized

Blogging: Importance of Voice & Choosing your Audience

It’s prep week for Blaugust Mentors, so I decided to sit down and write about something that’s been on my mind lately. Prep week focuses on giving some advice to new and upcoming bloggers — so you’ll see a lot of useful information about blogging platforms, choosing topics, consistently writing, picking your blog name/URL — very important stuff!

I wanted to tackle some things that aren’t always so obvious to think about from the start: Voice/Tone and Audience.

These are actually concepts to think about no matter what kind of writing you’re doing — blogging, fiction, bussines, etc. And while you might be going… “Oh gosh, I’m just trying to put some words on the page, when do I have time to figure this out?” …I feel that establishing your blogging voice and knowing who you’re writing for early on makes things easier.

What Attracts People?

Think about those folks you follow on social media. Think about your favorite streamers or YouTubers. What do these usually have in common?

They’ve established a personality (voice) that’s unique to themselves, and that’s something you’ve connected with. You start to like them as a person, and therefore, you come back to see what they have to say again and again.

They don’t have to share anything super personal for you to feel like… Hey, I jive with them, and they’re cool to listen to. If they take time to interact with their audience, oh man, they’re really a hit then!

There’s really no secret to what they’re doing (though it’s not always easy to maintain). They’ve just established a voice/personality and they’re consistent with producing content around a specific audience that responds to it. YOU!

Granted, this can take time and effort to achieve. Often, your own writing voice will evolve and change the more you learn about the craft of writing and the people you’re talking to. That’s totally okay! It’s a part of growing as a blogger.

But that doesn’t mean that when you sit down to roll up a blog that you can’t already be thinking: Hey, who am I writing this for? Who do I want to reach out to? 

Do you want to approach things with humor and an honest down-to-earth slice-of-life personality?

Or do you want to be known for someone who says what’s on their mind, no matter how brutally honest it is?

Maybe you want to establish yourself as someone who provides ground-breaking strategies and has an powerful authority over the topics you choose to write?

tone-of-voice

Different approaches will connect with different kinds of readers. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of the voice and approach you use — will you be able to maintain it over a long period of time, for example. Or will it exhaust you (or confine you) to try to step into the persona that you’re building?

Sometimes even refreshing an existing blog is just about taking a different point of view and changing your voice. 

With my blog, I’ve chosen to establish a casual and laid-back personality. It’s very much in line with who I really am IRL, so it’s easy to maintain.

You’ll hear me talk about what’s happened in my gaming life. I like to post things that make people laugh, if possible. I stay away from more somber and serious topics, even if that’s the direction everyone else seems to be taking. And if I do write things like a game review, it’s generally something based on how it made me feel, rather than a professional take on the game.

Thinking about your blogging voice and audience from the start will also help you decide on the overall feel and presentation of your blog. Once you know who you want to be, and who you want to write for, you can center your theme, blog name, and everything else around that to present a consistent face (a brand) to your audience.

 Join us at Blaugust!