Tag Archives: blogging

Pissing into the Wind

My phone has become a magic 8-ball of sorts; more 8-ball than magic. It can do phenonominal, unimaginable things but it can’t give me existential answers. No matter how many times I race to it when it vibrates; wake it, hoping to find an at-reply from someone of notoriety; imagine WordPress telling me my blog “is on fire”; there is never an answer. Nonetheless, my phone is a little black oracle. Today, it showed me some great things: Song Exploder with John Roderick, Marc Maron on The Moment with Brian Koppleman, Andrew Sullivan’s departing post:

How do I say goodbye? How do I walk away from the best daily, hourly, readership a writer could ever have? It’s tough. In fact, it’s brutal. But I know you will understand. Because after all these years, I feel I have come to know you, even as you have come to see me, flaws and all. Some things are worth cherishing precisely because they are finite. Things cannot go on for ever. I learned this in my younger days: it isn’t how long you live that matters. What matters is what you do when you’re alive. And, man, is this place alive.

I started Zero Counts to express my thoughts on the video game industry. Back then, I called it “The State of Gaming”. Shortly after it’s inception, I was quoted on Daring Fireball. Now, not a day goes by that there isn’t an urge to appeal to John Gruber. Every word I write, every passage I compose is critiqued by the “Gruber in my head”. I can’t shake it. Every entry comes with hopeful anticipation that my phone might vibrate with a Twitter notification— Gruber favorited or, better yet, retweeted the associated tweet. Or best case scenario, he linked to my post on Daring Fireball, hopefully leaving an inkling of praise or simply stayed neutral. It would be enough to validate me, at least for a little while longer; until I had built a sustained audience.

This wasn’t the first time this itch came alone. In 2008, my one and only vlog was posted to the front page of CNN.com for my favorite music of the year. (I still agree with my picks.) Maybe I was supposed to be a Youtube music reviewer. If so, I probably missed my opportunity. I never posted another. In 2010, I was cast into IGN’s Community Spotlight for blogging about non-gaming topics on a gaming website. Maybe I was supposed to be a non-gaming gaming blogger. If so, I probably missed my opportunity. Which brings us to the Daring Fireball quote for a piece on Mario Kart 8. Maybe I was supposed to be a games journalist or analyst. I am currently trying to ride that wave.

I’m pissing into the wind; throwing mud at the wall; hoping and praying that I will find exactly what it is that sticks for me. That thing that I can’t go another second without writing. There is an itch for conversation; I can’t help myself from blogging and tweeting throughout the day. And I will continue to piss into the wind and throw mud at the wall. I will look to my phone, listen to an inordinate amount of podcasts, and scrape my Twitter feed for answers. Surely, someone out there knows who I am, but it sure as hell isn’t me.

I’ve never read anything from Andrew Sullivan. For a Political Science major, that appears to be a crime. No doubt an influencial man and writer. The recent news surrounding his departure from blogging has me thinking a lot. If he can give this platform his all for fifteen years, I know I can too. I just hope I find a little something along the way.

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Jason Snell on Solo Blogging Stresses

Here’s a great bit about the anxieties of being a new, lone blogger from Jason Snell on The Talk Show with John Gruber, time stamp 1:18:50 – 1:32:45:

Being a one person operation, if you’re busy writing a deep-think-piece about something that’s going to go on for a thousand words, you’re not writing things to post to the site today. I feel like, with a less established site like mine, I definitely feel pressure to keep the lights on every day and try to balance those things. You have a different pace. You can post some links and then you put out a bigger piece every so often.

I like your pace but I don’t feel like I can do that right now. I feel like I need to keep the heartbeat a little stronger because I’m trying to establish myself and pick up an audience I may not have captured yet.

The review of the Retina iMac was an example. It took me two or three days to write that. One of my challenges was always should I keep writing this now, or should I stop and find something short to write and post to the site just to let people know I’m still alive while I’m also writing this longer piece. Trying to find that balance is tricky.

Again, not being on a team anymore, and being just myself, I’ve learned the powerful lesson of how little one person is capable of producing versus a staff.

Snell, formerly of Macworld, launched the fantastic Six Colors blog in 2014.

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