I first threw the idea around of starting this blog back in December of last year. My boyfriend and I were visiting his family for the holidays. On a morning when we had nothing going on, I figured I could sign up at wordpress.com and just get going. And I got halfway there! WordPress account, check. Starting to write there, not so much.
But first, tweeting
A few years ago, I started a Twitter account for FFXIV. Around the end of my first year playing, I poked around online to figure out where people were talking about it. Having previously spent a few years playing WoW, I didn’t think the official forums would be any good. Maybe there was another forum? I looked around and the biggest concentration of people seemed to be on Twitter. And I thought, “…oh, dang, okay, Twitter? Crap. Alright.”
Twitter’s good when it’s good, but when it’s bad, it is just horrific. I and you and everyone we knew who played video games and paid attention to online culture had just been through… let’s say Grumlergert. That was knuckle-whiteningly horrifying for everyone ranging to the women specifically targeted to anyone with even a shred of empathy. Being queer, I was wary knowing that mob was there and never fully going away. I wasn’t 100% comfortable stepping foot on that platform specifically to talk about video games. Even mostly just one video game.
But I did, and I’m glad I did. It’s a miasma of observations, screenshots, news, shitposts, thirsting for NPCs, statics looking to fill vacant spots, tossing out theories relating to story arcs and the game world’s metaphysics, fan art, illustrations, and memes. I’ve not connected with a ton of folks there, but I enjoy interacting with the small group I do. It’s been fun and goofy, a nice way to keep up with game and community news.
Browsing threads, tags and other people’s following/followers lists made it clear that the FFXIV community ranges all over in nationality, sexuality, gender, and age. Most notably to me, there’s a decent-sized trans portion of the community, which is heartening to see. Coming from an earlier gaming era that wasn’t great with dealing with people that weren’t white, male, cisgendered, straight and often assumed an American-centric stance, I’d always felt on the fringe. The current scene has been a nice change of pace.
And then, blogging
My Twitter account has become a mini-blog for my game experiences. Often what I want to share fits in a tweet or two. I throw out a couple screenshots or sentences, done. But there have been a few times I start writing a tweet, which turned into a tweet thread. Somewhere after a few threaded tweet drafts, or when I had opened a notepad style app to compose and make edits, I would think oh forget it, this should be a blog post. Which would beg the question, do I want a blog for this stuff?
That asking became a small moment of intent in December of last year. I made that WordPress account, looked at themes and poked around the dashboard. But we weren’t on the sort of trip where I could lounge around all day, so I didn’t really get much done past that. Soon after, I began a list of blog post ideas that grew over the following months, and told myself I’d make time for writing, eventually.
Oh hey, it’s eventually
Blaugust is already in full swing, and I’m using it as motivation to finally put a blog together. It’s a month-long event celebrating new blogs, old blogs, and really any form of serialized indie publication. The original concept was a challenge to post every day of August, but now there’s also a focus on dusting off infrequently-updated blogs and getting new blogs going. It was started by Belghast, someone I found through FFXIV-Twitter and whose blog has since been in my feed reader. Plus, Aywren, another blogger I read, is a mentor this year.
I knew when I signed up, I wouldn’t hit the top-rung goal of posting every day this month. But a few of the blog posts ideas I told myself I’d write someday have gotten written. I’ve had a blog or three before, once upon a time, so I know how it goes. Sometimes you’re a fountain of words, and sometimes you don’t even want to look at screens. If this turns out to be a place I post only once in a while when I finally have something to say, I’m good with that. Or maybe I’ll post more frequently. Participating in Blaugust is helping me figure out how much time I have to put into it. (I wasn’t expecting to spend more than an hour writing this, for example, but I have. I’m re-learning how long a lengthy post takes me when I like to edit as I write.) It also got me to just do the thing. I’m still working on the car as it’s pulling onto the highway, so to speak. At least now that I’m posting instead of just thinking about it, I’m more motivated to work on various blog details and housekeeping when I can.