So I come back from a long hiatus to find Wolf has laid out a challenge for us.  Okay, I can dig that.  I like challenges.  I find them to be...uh...challenging.

Let's cover the obligatory historical aspect of the subject.  I've been writing for as long as I can remember.  Short stories mostly, dating back to when I was in grade school.  I love it, always have.  I even did a short stint as a freelance DVD reviewer for IGN before it was even *called* IGN back in 1999.  But that's when I discovered something about my writing, which leads directly into the answer to the first question the Wolf asked: where do I think I am right now as a writer?

Normally, I don't put much thought into existential questions.  Self-reflection is not something I do a lot of.  I simply am, and that's usually good enough for me.  But what I do know is that I only write when I have something to say.  I don't sit around and try to think of topics so that I can keep a steady stream of posts going three or four times a week.  I don't go for the popular subjects to get clicks.  And I don't deliberately spark controversies to ignite my comments sections.  I wait for a subject to come to me.  And when it does, I sit down and pour my thoughts about it out on digital paper.

So where does that put me?  I guess nowhere, in terms of scale.  I'm not a professional, or even a particularly active amateur.  What I am is passionate.  My posts come from a place of conviction, with a pinch of black humor sprinkled in to lighten the tone.  I sit down with an idea and a direction, I start typing, and when it's all over I see where I've allowed myself to be led.  I love sarcasm, both in my normal speech and my writing.  I think it's an art form.  So don't be surprised to see a healthy dose of it in anything with my name attached.

I have every intention of writing a novel one day.  I've started three different ones through the years.  But as I mentioned earlier, I write when inspiration speaks to me.  I've never been particularly good at making it last for very long.  So that kinda answers two questions: where I want to end up and what gives me problems.  My wife has suggested writing a lot of short stories and getting them published in magazines and the like, maybe one day getting a compilation published.  Not a bad idea, I guess.  She can be a smart woman.  Perhaps I should listen to her from time to time.

There was a brief moment when I thought I would like being a professional game journalist.  But when I put some real thought into it, I knew it wouldn't work for me.  I love gaming.  It's my hobby, my escape, my passion.  But I think for me, doing it as a profession would take some of the steam out of it.  Especially when I had to play through, in their entirety, games I would despise.  Let's face it: it ain't all Batman and Uncharted these guys get to play.  For every one of those, there's a Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust.  As an amateur, I get to tailor my gaming to my personal tastes.  And I prefer to keep it that way.

As for whether I'm happy being an amateur blogger, I would honestly answer "no".  Am I content?  Absolutely.  Anyone who truly enjoys writing does it for themselves.  Much of what I've written has never been seen by more than a handful of people.  Not until I started blogging here at GameInformer did I begin to enjoy a larger audience.  Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see a thousand views for each and every one of my blogs.  I really believe I've written some great ones, and I think they deserve to be read.  But ultimately, I wrote them because I wanted to, not because I wanted them to be popular.  So a low click count is never going to dissuade me from continuing to write in the future.

One of these days, I'd love to get paid to write, in any capacity.  It secures your belief that what you're doing is interesting to someone.  Because in the end, no matter what our motivations for doing it, we all want people to care about what we wrote.  We want them to be inspired.  We want them to be moved.  We want to leave our imprint, no matter how small that impression may be, on the world.

And we want to not suck.  It's bad for the ego.

Shadow out

waiting for the next inspiration to strike