Finding Life’s Balance

It’s been a while since I wrote a post about my personal goings-on, and since I’m lacking anything else of substance to write about I figured I’d do so now.

I’m partially inspired by Belghast’s recent post about needing a break. I’ve never been on any sort of regular schedule, and his ability to go for years posting every day is admirable, but as he noted in his post, sometimes you start to feel like it’s a job, and that’s no good. Also, it seems that more you post, if it feels forced, the content isn’t really all that great. I’ve had plenty of times during my twelve and a half years writing this blog that I wasn’t putting out the greatest content. Recently I’ve read over some of my older blog posts and have found some gems, where I was really hitting my stride and there was a bunch of community feedback as well. Lately, I’ve been talking about games and Magic, and though most of my audience is familiar with the former, I seriously doubt many are interested in the latter.

That comes down to the notion that I write for myself, not for an audience. However, writing for myself still brought about an audience, and that was multiplied through my involvement in the NBI, along with having run a podcast for a couple of years that helped to feed the blog. From what I know, the NBI didn’t happen this year, and my Podcast has been dead for almost a year. It’s clear that both of those facets had an impact on my traffic and involvement with the community, because blog stats show that I’m back to pre-NBI numbers and the decline has an effect on the desire to continue.

This isn’t an “I quit” blog post. Despite having written those words before, I always end up coming back, and I have faithfully posted a minimum amount of posts per month since my full-fledged return to blogging about four years ago. Granted, my return coincided with a period of unemployment, so I had more time to devote to writing, and in turn more time to devote to creating and running a podcast for two years. At this point I don’t have the same amount of time, having a full time job along with other life responsibilities, a girlfriend and a weekly Magic group. At the end of the day, my time has to be split between many things and I can’t focus on everything all the time. This means less time for gaming, so there’s less to write about and so on. It’s a cycle that has been on-going for my entire blogging career, and generally I don’t mind spending less time on it, though I still want to keep it going.

Going forward, I think some changes are in order. First of all, I have paused my Humble Monthly subscription. The service is a great value, but I keep getting games I already own or games that I’m not interested in to the point where it feels like it’s not really worth it. I’m just piling games onto the collection where they won’t get played. I may unpause if the next early unlock is worth my time, but otherwise I think I might be done with it. I’ll still be getting free games from my Playstation Plus subscription, so it’s not a total loss. As such, you can count those monthly posts out. I will be keeping my War Report (MTG) and State of the Game (gaming roundup) posts going, on no particular schedule, because they are long running and I feel like they serve their purpose. Of course there will still be filler posts in between when something comes up that is worth writing about.

There is something on the horizon that might change up the amount of free time I have. I have also been in talks with a friend about the whole Podcast thing, as I really want to start a new one but it’s been something I’ve procrastinated about. If the big change happens, it’s possible that it will come to fruition, finally. I should also have more time to devote to my hobbies, which include gaming and writing, so you may see more activity from me in the coming months. If not, you can expect the handful of posts that I’ve stuck to for the past few months. Needless to say I’m not going anywhere, just wanting to be open about what is to come.

I’ve also spent some time cleaning up the blog a bit. There were some dead links on my sidebar and I’ve added some new bits to the top navigation, which will allow you to see my major columns without any of the filler. I’m only leaving the Couch Podtatoes stuff up for the time being until I figure out the next podcast, and then those bits will be updated. Perhaps if I get back to paying for hosting, I’ll upload the old episodes so they are back online again. Time will tell.

I spent more time cleaning up my Steam and Playstation libraries. I’ve gone through and deleted a bunch of games I’m simply never going to play. There were a lot of those — games that I picked up on sale with the intention of playing but never got around to it. I used to get hung up on making sure that I beat every game I purchased; at this point it’s easy for me to realize that I’m not going to play something, or that I simply don’t like it and away it goes. With nearly 350 games on Steam, it’s clear that those that have been beaten can be removed from my hard drive, and those that won’t ever be played should also be parted with. There are games that I want to play through that will stay, but I’m going to make efforts to start clearing them out because it’s time to stop spending the money and not actually enjoy the games I’m buying. I’m also spending more money on Magic than I’d like to admit, so that cuts into gaming funds, so perhaps this will keep me from buying new games and just play the ones that I have. So perhaps a new series about clearing the backlog is in order. We’ll see what I come up with.

Just wanted to touch bases with everyone. Glad to see that some familiar faces are still around, and I hope that you all find enjoyment in your free time. Happy gaming!

5 thoughts on “Finding Life’s Balance

  1. I always try to keep in touch with those I met through last years NBI, I was sad to see it didn’t happen this year, but over all for myself and my blog, it’s been an up and down road. I don’t play much of Star Wars anymore even though I remain a loyal subscriber. For those just in case I want to dive back in, but other than that I’ve found my true love in indie games. Mainly Subsistence. Of course I branched off and started doing some game recordings of Life is Strange. I recorded 6 episodes in one day. Crazy huh?, but yeah I’m glad to see you’re not quitting. As for the podcast, I’m sure it will happen when it does.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m down to once a week for the most part. I play games people don’t really care about so that hurts the page views a bit, but it is just a good habit for me to write. I find as I am getting older my writing is getting worse, and I need a place to sit and focus on that. My favourite part of blogging is my life blog roll so I can read other people’s post and participate in the Blognation community that way too =)

    Liked by 2 people

      • Always was a play on the sporting tribes (Red Sox Nation, Yankee Nation, etc) – how a lot of people self identify with a sports team no matter where they live. I coined it because I felt well connected to the blogosphere (another made up word!) but of course, it never stuck (because it is … bad.)

        I still use it frequently out of habit and to further embarass myself because, well, who cares? 🙂

        I gave up on caring about visits and pageviews 6-7 months in (8 years ago).

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I was also sad to see that NBI didn’t happen this year, but I can understand why. I laud you for blogging for yourself, no matter what your topic of interest is. I do pretty much the same thing, and people are probably bored of hearing me cheering and grumbling about FFXIV by now! XD

    I also understand the need to organize libraries and shake off the feeling that I MUST play everything in the backlog. I’ve hardly participated in Steam sales the last few times, and if I did, it was only to pick up games I really wanted or were on my list for very cheap.

    I’ve by-passed so many bundles and have really cut back on the number of PC games I get… Some of that is because I’m putting more time into my Switch, though. I actually find myself holding off on getting PC games when I know they’re announced for Switch because I’d prefer the Switch version. Go figure!

    I’ve also gone through and outright deleted games I got from various bundles or free promotions that just don’t look like something I’d ever want to spend time with. I’m learning how not to feel guilty about that! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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