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WGWC: The heart of a blogger

I wasn't going to be taking part in BlackHeartedWolf's Writer's Guild Weekly Challenge, mainly due to time constraints. However, he put a little poison pill in the very first challenge, one that's guaranteed to attract almost any writer: a chance to write about themselves. How devilish! How evil! How...effective.

I've already introduced myself as a gamer (though not many people have read it), but how to introduce myself as a writer? That's a bit harder.

I've been writing in some form ever since seventh grade, almost 30 years ago. I would write SF stories, wish-fulfillment little fantasy stories and things like that. I've never really considered myself that good at it, though, and I find sometimes that the dedication wanes. I haven't written something fictional in a few years now, though I did send my last story out to several different magazines (getting quickly quashed each time). I remember reading or hearing somewhere, from some writer-type, that we are all aspiring writers. Once you've actually submitted something for publication, you move from "aspiring" to "unpublished." I'm proud to say that's me, though obviously that's not going to change if I don't keep writing.

However, I've never really been comfortable with putting my opinion out there for others to see and, perhaps, to criticize (or agree with). That changed a few years ago when I started my own blog (a now defunct Livejournal blog), and has changed even more so since I started Dave's Buttoned-Up Mind back in 2009. Last year, when I realized that most of my blog readers had no interest in my video game posts, I decided to look for an outlet for those types of posts. I came here, and the rest is history. One of the first blogs I read was one of Saint's (how could it not be, since he was here every day when the rest of us weren't) and I found a kindred spirit in him. My goal with my own blog at the time was to post once a day. I wanted to do something similar to that here, and he showed that it was certainly possible. It didn't take long before I realized that I couldn't keep up that pace, with my job and everything else. Yes, it was certainly possible (Saint works regularly), but I didn't have that dedication, and I was driving myself nuts trying to keep it up. 

(Thanks to Are Muffins Ugly Cupcakes)

Now I'm at a happy place as a writer. I write when I want to. I try to do it fairly regularly, but I don't hate myself if I don't. Sometimes I disappear for a while (as Saint so subtly pointed out in response to my last comment on his post), and I'm trying to rectify that.

But as a writer, I have found a bit of a comfort zone. It's one I would like to eventually break out of. My ultimate goal is to become a story writer of some kind, and blogging would then just be a sidelight. However, if you never really try to reach your goal, is it really a goal? That's something I have to wrestle with every day.

I thought about being some kind of gaming writer, but discovered that I didn't have the time or the energy to try and keep that up either.

I enjoy writing. I'm told that I'm good at it. I never really think so, though I do appreciate those who say that to me. And I do have to admit that there are times I go back and read some of my stuff and I admire a turn of phrase or a joke that's in there. That's often followed by a "Did I actually write that?" thought, but that's my own confidence problem sneaking out. There are other times I read what I've written and wish I had worded something differently, or thought to include some timely reference that it's too late to go back and change.

What truly floors me as a writer, though, is when somebody says that I've inspired them somehow. Either to take up blogging, or just a post of mine has inspired them to think about something in a different way. Or maybe even to do a blog post of their own. That's truly special, partially because deep down I don't think I deserve it. I'm not doubting the person's honesty when they tell me that; it just comes from that same deep-rooted place where the "Did I actually write that?" question comes from.

Those are the things that keep me afloat writing when I start to wonder what the purpose of it is, and it's saved my (writing) life a number of times.

I think we all suffer from confidence problems in some way. Any writer who is so supremely confident that everything they write is good is probably one of those arrogant idiots who writes a bunch of pseudo-intellectual crap and thinks that it's golden. I think it's that drive to be better, to make the next post or story or novel better than the last one, that keeps us on our toes as writers.

And that's a good thing.

So where am I as a writer? I'm happy where I am. I want to do more. I realize I don't have the drive for it right now. That could very well change, but right now I'm right where I need to be.

Comfortable. Content. Chewing.

That's "chewing on the next blog idea," of course.

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