I discovered that I don’t really like writing.
Okay, that’s not true. I do like writing. I like sitting down to the keyboard and hammering something out, posting it, and maybe responding to a few comments. But what I discovered is that’s about as far as my love goes.
The last year has seen my blog become more active, both in terms of my entries and traffic. At least part of that was a concerted effort on my part to just post more often. I consider myself to be a decent writer, so if I kept practicing surely I would get better, find a little traction, and maybe be able to do it for a little money. And yes, writing more often and on a wider variety of topics did give me at little more attention, and I still believe that writing more often can only be good for one’s craft.
But the pursuit of internet fame is indeed a feeble pastime. There were times when I would see my blog linked somewhere on Board Game Geek or /r/boardgames, and I think, “This is it! This is my break!” If you are at all familiar with the board gaming hobby, you know what a ridiculous thought that is. Ain’t nobody gets rich writing about board games. Indeed, ain’t hardly nobody getting any money at all doing anything with board games. The truth is, this is still mostly a board game blog, and that’s where most of my traffic comes from. That’s fine, but that’s not where I’m going to get big!
It turns out that’s easily what I know best. I do the odd movie review now and then, and I’ve covered a few albums as they’ve trickled into my rotation. But I’m not really on top of either of those fields enough to be current, just enough to be somewhat knowledgeable. It’s a pastime, not a lot else.
For a while that frustrated me. I felt like I should be getting more attention. And then it occurred to me that while I might have been doing as much as was convenient to get attention, I wasn’t really doing all I could. And then it occurred to me that while I’m a pretty good writer, I’m not heads and shoulders above anyone else. I don’t mean that in any kind of self-deprecating way at all, just that there are a lot of great writers on the internet, a huge number of them go unnoticed, and the ones that get noticed are willing to put in a lot more effort than I am. One of the dirtiest secrets I have is that I’m incredibly lazy about the “process” of writing. I don’t much like going back over the same thing again and again to make sure it’s as polished as it could be. (I know, right?) In fact I get a little annoyed when I get a comment on an article that picks out a specific passage and then essentially asks me to explain myself. The annoyance is partly because I probably haven’t thought it out as much as they have, and partly because I wish I had.
All that to say, I find myself lately settling into a comfortable little groove with my writing. And you know what? That’s alright. This isn’t something I get paid to do. It’s something I do because I like it. Maybe some wealthy board game patron will discover me and offer me six figures a year to write once a week about our magnificent hobby. Maybe something else will happen and I’ll be able to pick up some spare income just for writing stuff. Or maybe I’ll just have my own little corner of the internet where I can write about what I want. I’m really okay with whatever happens. The truth is I’m happiest with my writing when I’m doing it for fun. For the first time in forever, I feel like that’s actually enough.