Not Particularly Good at This

I’m never going to be particularly good at writing about games. I’ve been re-reading Stephen King’s On Writing, and there’s something I’ve learned about myself recently… I’m not very good at writing about games. Look, I’m good at playing WoW, mostly. I enjoy playing it. I have my complaints as well as those things I tend to gush about. But I am absolutely terrible at talking about specifics when it comes to games.

I have 3 drafts sitting in my post-box. All of them are about what I do to level so quickly. I actually have a method. I do practically the same things every time I level a new toon. I get asked how I level so quickly often enough that I considered writing a post about it.

Except my thoughts are all terribly disjointed. I jump around from one point to the next and there is absolutely NO cohesion to the writing. I look back at the draft and try to figure out how to re-piece it together to be more coherent. Eventually I say “Fuck it!” and start again. Same shit, new post.

Then I get really frustrated with my inability to write coherent sentences about gaming. So I don’t write anything. At all.

I was chatting with The Boy (and he’s not The Boy anymore, and as of a few days ago never will be… but his identity will remain a secret) about some pretty emotional and personal stuff. He said he wasn’t particularly good at expressing himself. Or phrasing things correctly about what he was thinking. Or feeling. At least not in a way where he felt satisfied. He’s a good writer. He’s a pretty popular writer. But he’s a business/technical writer. And I’m an emotional writer. Therein lies the problem with my writing style.

I’m told I write amazing love letters. That they’re flattering and anyone who gets one should feel special. I excel at expressing myself. But I suck at writing about my leveling process. Or about anything game related, for that matter.

Which leaves me with one question… Why have a WoW/Gaming based blog if I suck at writing about games?

I honestly don’t know.

I don’t theory-craft. Or number crunch. Or even care. So now I’m unsure what I’m going to do going forward.

There are plenty of gaming bloggers who write about games really well. I’m just not one of them. I can do research-related writing (which is emotionally unattached and dry) or emotion-driven writing (which inevitably is more personal that I planned on being on a gaming blog).

So I guess I’ll close my eyes and see where the pendulum falls. I’m never going to talk much about druid-ing, or healing, or leveling. What else is there then??


  • Kurn

    Part of WoW *is* the emotional experiences. The frustrations, the joys, the ups, the downs. WoW is a very emotional game. I may write guides (or maybe “have written” is the right tense) about holy paladins, but a lot of what I talk about is the emotional impact of the game. “Zul’Gurub as a heroic 5-man doesn’t feel right” or “Nerfs feel wrong at this point” or other stuff.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying “man, this lifebloom nerf makes me feel so-and-so” or “God, I downed Heroic Deathwing and it felt AMAZING!!!”.

    Just write. :)

    • Hestiah

      Remember the old mirc days? when we would write IN CHAT hundreds of thousands of words?? I think I started taking writing too seriously, so I inevitably stopped writing.

      Just write is probably the healthiest advice (and the sentiment from most of the comments).

  • Screwlewse

    I believe some of us write, not always for others to consume, but also for our personal need to “get it out” and express our feelings in some way. (however that doesn’t help, if you are trying to teach others about your leveling process) hehe.

    I suggest you look into doing a video or two. Maybe you are better just saying and doing, rather than writing it all up. That’s definitely me. I would create a rough outline about what you want to talk about, so you have some organization, then hit the record button with no intention of “starting over”. Then just go at it and upload what you have.

    just a thought :)

    • Hestiah

      I have terrible stage fright! I have streamed a few raids here and there, mostly fun stuff, and each time I freak out about something. Or I feel like I need to talk to the listeners (and I do, at times). It causes so much anxiety that I stopped doing it. So… my point is that I’m actually fairly comfortable with the written word, just not when it comes to gaming, it seems. I will, however, keep it in mind for the next toon I level… whenever that is!

  • Anea

    Well. As a used-to-be WoW blogger that wasn’t particularly good at writing about games either (no theory crafting, only noob-RPing, no guides) I felt that I didn’t really have a place either. I think someone once phrased it as “the human interest” angle. Which I suppose is just a nice say of saying “word vomit on the internet”.

    But I enjoyed writing ’cause I could get my thoughts out. I could get people’s opinions. I could share. I know that all that you enjoy, ’cause really otherwise you wouldn’t have a blog at all. I don’t know you or your game/writing situation, and I don’t really know the background on this post.

    (And hey, maybe I’m not great at getting out what I want to say either, ’cause all I really want to say is write for all the reasons that you want, not because you need to fit into WoW Blogger Boxes, and that everyone will support you and love whatever you read.)

  • Channi/Zane

    Sorry to hear about things with you and “the Boy.” I know that type of thing can play a part in how we write, as well.

    I think it was in Chuck Jones’ autobiography that I read he had a art teacher tell him that he had 100,000 bad drawings in him, and the sooner he got them out, the better! This applies to all artists, as well as writers! The sooner you get all your BAD writings out, the better off you will be! (I’m still early in my bad writings… >.> )

    Another piece if advice is don’t try to be perfect. Perfection is not achievable. Instead, strive for Excellence! Excellence is not perfection, but it does allow you to improve over time as well! And sometimes, you just need to follow @wowcynwise’s advice and just hit the publish button! You can edit later if necessary.

    I’ve been blogging somewhat for a little over a year, and I feel the most free when I realize that I’m not blogging for others. I’m blogging for myself. I’d go crazy if I were worried about post counts and traffic and what I could do to improve them. You know what? I write a blog. It happens to be focused on games, and WoW in particular. If it were my livelihood, that’s one thing, but this is for fun. Because its what I LIKE to do. And if anyone else can glean some information from it, that makes me happy!

    Write what you want to write. Enjoy it for what it is to you! Beyond that, write as if you were carrying on a conversation with your audience, because that’s what you are doing: Talking to us! Giving us your views!

    But most of all, have fun with it!

    (I know this post kinda jumps all over, but I’m on my phone at work or I’d be editing the heck out of it! But I just felt I needed to get these thoughts out there to you. Heck… I may turn it into a blog post of my own!)

    • Hestiah

      A lot of the advice from Mr. King is similar to what you say here. And what others have said. Hell what I’ve said to myself many times over. The advice is much easier to give than it is to accept, and inevitably live by. Surprisingly, the correlation between writing and The Boy might also be there. That whole “how do you monetize blogging” is sort of there in the back… albeit WAAAAAY back… because of him. The worst thing is, I don’t want to write those kind of posts. I never have.

  • Nev

    oh I know exactly how you feel! When I write a post, it ends up more like an essay & I get a little paranoid when I see such well written & succinct articles on other blogs. BUT when I stopped writing, I think I received more emails asking me to carry on that I had while I was actually writing. It seems people like my chatty waffling style & my inability to write short sentences (or comments too! :P)

    Just write what you want to write, how you want to write it – readers will either love it or hate it but some will stay & return time after time. That’s what makes the best blogs anyway, that personal style or touch of humanity, humour or whatever. think tall hunnie, you can do this however you want to – it is your blog after all xxx

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