I’ve been blogging for over six years. Which, at this moment, is feeling like multiple lifetimes in the WordPress blogosphere. In that time, I’ve seen many great and inspired blogs rise and set. I’ve seen several generations of my part of the interblog community get connected, then one by one wink out as people set their blogs aside. I’ve been making the blog thing work lately, such as it is, and I’m not planning on going anywhere, but still, with some recent blogs I’ve historically followed now sunsetting, I have grown rather wistful about this hobby.
I can’t say for sure what I was looking for with blogging, when I first started out. I always used to be big on forums. That was how I got my online socialization out. I made some good friends that way. But, frankly, back in early 2013 when I started this thing up, I didn’t really have the capacity to be keeping up with that. But I needed to do something. I was a new father then and I found fatherhood to be incredibly isolating. I had written articles about video game stuff for a few websites by that point, and was really fulfilled by adding content to this interweb, rather than just being a consumer. I had always lurked on quite a few blogs, never really joining in the discussions, but reading the posts and watching the videos. I could do that. I could have a place of my own, a place to put my thoughts, I place to add to the discussion and take part in this whole market place of ideas.
I wasn’t expecting this whole community thing to be a part of it, getting to engage with other bloggers the way that really drives this whole WordPress network, but that’s been one of the more engaging parts of this whole experience. Sharing thoughts has kept this whole thing going in times when the engagement just wasn’t enough. This has never been a well-read blog, but having anyone take the time to absorb these thoughts is a powerful thing, and building a network of people who are all doing that with each other has been wonderful.
But blogging is not a convenient hobby. It takes time (a lot of it if you want the kind of outreach to build an audience much bigger than what we have here), and energy, and creativity, and frankly, luck to get in with the type of community that we have here. And it can be at times one that doesn’t fill in what you’re needing on it. Particularly as time wears on and life shifts around and all of a sudden your priorities aren’t where they once were. People burn out on blogging. Or they just decide there’s better uses for their time. And frankly, if blogging isn’t fulfilling to them, they shouldn’t blog. There’s little reward to blogging other than personal fulfillment, and the blog itself will get worse when the writer can’t engage with what they’re writing about.
Hell, I was just there last year. After a while of trying to keep up with the blog while also juggling a full-time job, some extra-curricular community engagement/professional development stuff, going back to school, convalescing from medical issues, and becoming a new father again, like I’m some kind of damned ‘adult’, something had to give, and that ended up being the blog. I got drawn back into it, largely by the connections built here. Seriously, new fatherhood is so isolating. All your old friends get tired of having a screaming demon around all the time, parent groups only really want the mothers around, and it’s really hard to attract women when all your conversation topics are either about video games or child rearing. So yeah.
I came back, but even now, it’s not easy. I’ve had to reevaluate what I want from this blog. Whereas I used to be able to dedicate some time several days a week before wrapping up the five page essay on whatever I felt was a thoughtful observation to be making, now, I’ve been mostly doing one to two page reviews on the games I’ve been playing as a record of my journey through this dumb gaming quest I set myself on years ago. Both are fulfilling, just in different ways. And it’s amazing how much my skills have dropped after that six month break.
Whatever, that’s all an aside. Point is, I connect with fellow bloggers here. And then given time, they head off in other directions in life. That’s happened again, and again, and again. We’ve just lost a few great bloggers who used to be often seen around here. More will come. And then they’ll leave as well. Unless we leave first.
But for now, let’s take some time to remember those with whom we’ve been sharing this experience, only for them to vanish into the aether. Your Mental Gamings, your Wastelanders, your Writer’s Life for Mes, your Explore Animations, your Paul Michael Egans, your Retrodragons, your Particlebits, and most recently, your Ambigamings and your Otaku Judges. For that matter, the let’s play channels Super Best Friends Play and retsupurae, which were both super meaningful to me but are now retired. You guys have made this journey all the better. I hope your pastures are ever greener.