Hello everyone, I hope wherever you are reading this from is warmer than where I am. Today’s blog marks the 1-year anniversary since I started blogging here on Game Informer, and I thought that it would only be fitting to mark that day. I’ve had a great time blogging here, and I can say that it’s positively impacted my life in a few different ways. For today’s blog, I’m going to talk about why I started this blog, what some of my favorite blogs of mine are, what my goal for the next year is, and some blogs upcoming that I have planned. So enjoy! 

        Why I started this blog: Well, I always enjoyed writing, and I just wanted an outlet to have my writing seen and critiqued. I’ve always wanted to improve in that regard and I thought that this would be a good way to do so. I had been to GIO for 2 years prior to making this blog, and I had always noticed how civil the comment section (usually) was, but I was too shy to make my own blog. My New Year’s goal last year was to become more technologically savvy, and 12 months into the year, that culminated in starting this blog. (I do stick with my New Year’s resolutions, it just takes me a while.)
        My favorite blogs so far: I’ve written 54 blogs so far, with this one being my 55th. Some have been good, some not so much, but here are some of the ones that really stand out in my mind:
-Being a Muslim Gamer: This blog was one of my first blogs, and it’s the one that has the most views and the most comments. It’s been amazing to see how far my writing has come since that blog, but I’m still always impressed by how well people reacted to that blog, and it was with that blog that I knew that I wanted to stay here and write for the long haul.
-Words With Friends: Reactions to Video Game Blogging: The formatting of my blogs was getting better, and it was a blot that I was really passionate about. Everyone responded really kindly to this blog, and it was when I was more comfortable sharing my blogging with others, whether that be online or in real life.
-31/31 Day 2: It’s A Wonderful World: I was convinced that this blog would be my first one herded, but alas, it wasn’t so. However, I’m still very proud of this blog, and I still believe that there are many really cool locations on this planet that can be explored for game locations.
-31/31 Day 4: If I Were In Charge of Nintendo’s Games: I’m a huge Nintendo fan, so this blog was really fun to write. I have a lot of different ideas for their franchises, so it was fun to see a hypothetical situation for their games written out given the context of the other series. It was also my first blog herded, and it holds a special place in my heart because of that.
-31/31 Day 8: An Ode to TF2: One of my most unorthodox blogs, this was a way to combine my love for blogging and poetry into one thing. I had a blast writing this, and I’m kind of disappointed that it didn’t get more recognition. The people who did read it really liked it though, so that’s really cool. This is definitely a series that I want to work on more.
-31/31 Day 21: Why Diversity in Video Games Matters: This is another blog that I’m really proud of, and it’s the second one that I ever got herded. I think of this one as the spiritual successor to my “Being a Muslim Gamer” blog, and I think it’s a blog that much more effectively communicated my ideas about diversity in gaming, which is an important topic to me personally.

                                (When my blog struggles, this image helps me out a bit.)
     My goal for next year: I have a few different goals that I have for the upcoming year. Most of them have to do with polishing up the blog, and making it look a bit more formal and professional. First off, I want to do some renovating to my front page. I currently like my avatar as it is currently, but I could use a new cover photo. I also want to fix my “awesome people list”, and figure out a more definitive way to do that. I’m missing a ton of people on that list, and I might just take it down altogether. Also, I want to get some music posts or something about my backlog or favorite games up on there, something that more reflects who I am. Don’t worry though, I don’t plan on overloading it with GIF’s anytime soon. Secondly, I want to post on a more regular schedule. My goal has always been to post once every Saturday, but I’ve had trouble keeping up with that deadline. However, every other Saturday might be a better balance, and a more realistic alternative. Thirdly, I want to explore writing my blogs in different styles. Less “I” statements, maybe a different format, maybe a humorous blog. I think that being able to write in many different styles is something that is the sign of a very talented writer, and it’s a goal that I hope to achieve. I also hope to be able to learn how to hyperlink videos into my blog, and to do things like that.

Upcoming blogs to look forward to (in no particular order):
-Cartography in Gaming.
-Conversation with Sunday Evening Test Chamber.
-An Ode to Super Smash Bros.
-An Ode to Madden.
-An Alternative Game Pricing Plan.
-Avatars and Self-Identity.
-If I Were in Charge of Pokémon.
-If I Were in Charge of Madden.
-If I Were in Charge of NBA Live.
-Gaming Backlogs and Me.
-Games that Have Impacted Me as a Gamer.

        That’s all for today’s blog. It’s been a crazy year, and as evidenced, I hopefully have enough to keep blogging for a while in the foreseeable future. As always, I extend my sincere thanks to everyone in the GIO family, and I hope you stick around to check out some of my future blogs. What are some things I did well this past year? What are some things I improve on? Any ideas for future blogs? Any planned blogs sound exciting? Please feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll be sure to respond as soon as possible. Until next time, stay safe, have a happy holidays, and may peace and good writing find you!