Once you get past the vanity/egotist nature of having a blog there are a number of motivators for continuing. The biggest reason could be as archival reference of your progress. A blog is a digital diary afterall and the point of doing a diary is to record what you’ve done and how you felt. Additional reasons include serving your readership, once you build up a bit of a following there is an expectation to continue on, to add more content to gain more readers.
Another reason for blogging, and it’s been quite an effective tool for me, is that it motivates back into the actual hobby itself. Being motivated to blog means I’m then motivated to paint or model. However, I’ve always been open about the pressures that then build up to record progress. It’s been useful for reconciling a lack of mojo and hobby slump but emotionally right now I’m all over the place. Some of my hobby progress is floundering, my Ravenwing are not going well and I’ve built quite a backlog thanks to working on many Dark Angel units at once. The slow progress isn’t helping me feel fulfilled and with my attempts to start my Armies on Parade board, such an endeavour seems huge at the beginning, I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Equally though I’m very excited for what is to come but apprehensive about managing to do it without a drama at home, not to mention the cost of doing it [it’s not substantial, £20-£30 tops but somehow this month has become very expensive and I could do without spending anything more].
I have these ‘where’s my head @?’ posts occasionally, I warn of an impending reduction in the amount of blogging and quite often it acts as a ‘penseive’ and I get on and do it. I'm definitely not soliciting sympathy, so please don't feel obliged to respond, this is something I've dealt with before and I'll get over the frustrations again this time. But right now I'm not sure what I’m inclined to do. I’ve had a significant reduction in page views, which as a measure for one’s blogging worth shouldn’t mean a lot, but it does. Granted I haven’t done anything ‘spectacular’ for a while and as I go ahead with my AoP plans there will be some heavy duty scratchbuilding which may bring in new readers. But I have to do the content ‘fuel’ to keep the blog ‘fire’ burning. Part of me wants to take a break and another part wants me to switch to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule another part of me wants to blog every day, but that part has been severeley flogged and ridculed by the other parts.
Anyway, maybe that will help me get my head straight, before you know it I could have tons of content and loads of time/energy to share with you all.
This is a hobby, not work. You shouldn't feel pressured to grind out content every week. Do whatever your muse tells you, not what your fickle readers expect. Your reduction in page views made me laugh; my blog readership is so embarrassing that I daren't display the number of hits it gets.ReplyDelete
Your right I do still get a lot of page views, but then you begin to expect it to just grow and grow. It just seems odd to be back where you were 6 months ago.Delete
Ironically 2,400+ hits yesterday out of the blue, roughly 5 times what I've been getting over the last few months. Dunno why it spiked, no new blogs/links referrencing the blog, just google searches and the ever useful .pdf terrain link from 40kforums, bizarre.Delete
You post it, I will read it.ReplyDelete
You've proven to be ridiculously consistent in the blogging arena, and it makes for good entertainment, but you seem to be hitting a wall that every blogger does eventually. I think the thing to do is evaluate why you blog in in the first place (which you're obviously already doing).ReplyDelete
I was originally on a M/W/F schedule, and flirted with a daily post for a while, and now I'm back to a M/W schedule (I've found that Fridays have VERY little interest in general). I also used to post for my readers, and now I've resigned to the idea that I'm not willing to put so much work into the blog itself. I'd rather focus what hobby time I have on my hobby, and use the blog as a tool to help me with that, and I'm so much happier about it.
To my surprise, I still have a regular contingent of people that read--including a large number of lurkers who rarely post. I'm glad they get something out of it, but I'm really in it for selfish reasons anymore. I like having a history of all of the games I've played, I like seeing my painting progress over the years, and I love having a platform where I can whore out my ebay auctions.
For what it's worth, I've been amazed at the quantity and the quality of your blog posts over the years, and your longevity as well. I'll admit that I don't read on a daily basis, but I check every week or two, and then go through and read everything I've missed (for the record, you're only one of three blogs I check with any regularity anymore).
As for the comments on number of readers/views, I fell into that at one point as well. I was on a consistent upwards trajectory at one point, and strived for new content, better layout (I even had guest posters for a while), but to what end? I eventually put myself to a decision: Do I want to have a site that competes with BoLS or the like? And if not, why was I putting all of this effort into entertaining others? Not that I want to dissuade you from entertaining me, mind you. I'm all for you posting--but don't do it if it doesn't make you happy.
Life's far too short for that nonsense.
Thanks for all the advice, it's really appreciated, I'm surprised myself that I've kept going and as a body of work it is indeed useful to keep track of everytihng. I never completed a single army when I first started gaming, well maybe my epic army, but I didn't even complete a Blood Bowl team. To look at everything I've done over the last few years including those odd treats, like my Skaven blood Bowl Team, Lord of the Rings Goblins and Epic Reaver Titan, not to mention all the Tyranids and their Fortifications and the markers and the free terrain templates...Delete
Yeah your right, that sort of thing helps put everything in perspective :)
I found that one of the things that helps me get motivated is....ReplyDelete
Visiting all the blogs in every ones blog rolls. To say you learn a lot is an understatement. I've drastically improved my hobby equipment, layout, and techniques just from bouncing around various sites.
It reminds you that at its base, this is really just about the enjoyment we all have out of a hobby of building, painting, and moving tiny figures. Thanks to blogs I'm even attending my first actual 40k event (nova open). Should be a blast.
In summary. Don't worry, be happy. (Also try putting away projects except for the ones you are working on (or cover them with a box so you don't see them and get discouraged!).
I pack stuff away sometimes, but only because if they've been out too long they start collecting dust. However, do you not do 'model gazing'? Usually I do this when it 'put them to bed', that moment when you've finished painting for the night and think I'll go to bed, but instead return to the miniatures and spend the next 10 minutes staring at your work...Delete
I do this with the Land Speeder at the moment, frustrated at the patchy Strong Tone plack wash that was supposed to solve my black highlighting issue, that did in fact make it worse. I may end up trying to use the Imperial Black primer paint to resolve it, not all over, just see if it can make a better finish and still retain the highlights, fingers crossed.
Ha! I do model gaze, especially when you've just finished a good one. I think (personally), that is how you know you did a decent job on the last one...when you find yourself just checking out your paint job. Then of course I usually have to slap my hand "No Greg, you are done, you are not painting that tiny fleck of paint you just saw misplaced"Delete
I had a similar issue with vallejo's black wash. It does not dry "clean" like badab black or nuln oil. It dries with an odd chalky texture. I ran with it, as it really helps breakup the flat blacks on the templar vehicles! (happy mistake!)
I've searched through and enjoyed reading thousands of 40k blogs, but there are very few I that I always return to, to view regularly. This is one of them. It's a library of information to immerse myself in.ReplyDelete
Thanks Shay, I'm a big fan of the way your own blog manages to bring together the best of your discoveries, as your surf the 40k blogs like we used to do in the old days of t'internet.Delete
I will eventually get around to painting some new miniatures myself, but have really enjoyed scouring the Internet for inspiration. Its interesting that out of the hundreds of people I've asked if its OK to showcase their work, only one has said no (and this was because they felt their work was poor, which I don't agree with - I love EVERYTHING I post on my blog). One thing about the 40k universe is the lack of races. I know most have been eaten or purged but a handful of armies doesn't do it for me.ReplyDelete