I can hardly believe it: Today marks the first anniversary of The Brink of Gaming! A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me how much writing and other work I would be doing here over the next 365 1/4 days! This venture has grown beyond anything I ever imagined. But to be fair, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I first put pen to paper- er, finger to keyboard.
Returning visitors will hopefully notice that this site has transformed dramatically from its original format! Rather than consisting of one ever-growing list of posts, there are now multiple ways to navigate the site (yes, I finally caught up with the times! :P). The menu at the top contains organized lists of every post I’ve ever written, categorized by type, while there is a section to the side or below (depending on your viewing platform) for my most recent posts. I also have links to my social media at the bottom of every page. This new format will make it so much easier than ever before for people to explore my content and stay connected! Be sure to check it out!
Now let’s take look back at this past year. The Brink of Gaming has had over 1,500 views across 103 posts (just shy of 2 per week!) in its first year of existence. Perhaps this is small potatoes where internet traffic is concerned, but for a guy working full-time in a small town it is tremendous! And somehow, 94 people who found this blog liked it well enough to Follow and stay updated on my latest posts! That’s still so awesome to me! If you are one of these people, thank you so much! I appreciate it more than words can say. I’ve loved getting to know and interact with several of you on a regular basis: some even on a day-to-day between WordPress and Twitter (shameless plug)! This is a trend that I hope continues, as trading thoughts on gaming is one of my absolute favorite ways to spend time.
This blog was started as a creativity outlet, a means of trying to connect with other gamers, and as a way of gushing over a hobby I’ve been in love with since I first held a controller. But what I didn’t anticipate was the way these individual seeds would blossom. Unexpected fruit and all that.
My drive to be creative often turned into a struggle for ideas. Some weeks the words flowed like a river, while others I grasped for even the tiniest dewdrop. It was a constant ebb and flow between weeks with stockpiled posts and those where I worked on content the very morning of the day it was going to be posted. But the one thing I didn’t do was let a week elapse with nothing: what’s the purpose of a blog if you can’t keep up, after all? The Brink of Gaming forced me to be diligent, and to deliberately set aside my free time to focus on a specific task rather than just relax all the time.
As I mentioned, the connections I sought with other gamers online also morphed as I moved forward. My original plans demonstrated my introverted nature: I just wanted people to flock to my blog and leave their thoughts so I could respond, then they respond, etc. etc. Leave the initiating to others. But just like real social interactions, being a part of the community is more than spitting out your own ideas. It’s listening to others. Sharing your viewpoints on THEIR subject matters. Actively seeking interaction rather than simply hoping it shows up on your doorstep. The desire for connection with other gamers pushed me to get out of my own comfort zone and adopt some outgoing behaviors.
And while I intended to use my posts as a way of sharing nearly 25 years’ worth of gaming experience, opinions, and stories, it has since dawned on me how little I truly know of the gaming universe. My lake of knowledge pales in comparison to the ocean before me. I always considered myself a knowledgable person concerning RPGs, Platformers, Nintendo, Zelda, Pokémon, etc., but even these specific niches have so much undiscovered space left for me to explore! And that’s okay. Gamers are all people, with limited time, resources, and energy that can’t all be spent on accumulating encyclopedic knowledge in their area of interest (as fun as that would be! :P). What I’m trying to say is that I am humbled at how little I truly know in the grand scheme of the game-o-sphere, but I’ve grown more comfortable with my place inside of it.
Starting an amateur blog has been an exciting, challenging, and rewarding venture. Some days it feels like I’ve only just begun this journey, while others I look back at an older post in incredulity at how long it’s been since I wrote it. I mentioned earlier that I sometimes struggle with keeping my inspiration flowing: an issue I have heard plagues every blogger. I actually considered taking a hiatus after this One Year milestone to have a bit of a breather. But just as I was considering it, I stumbled upon some inspiring words here from Kim at Later Levels. Specifically: “It’s necessary for every blogger to find their ‘thing’: the inspiration which makes them push on. You need something that’s going to motivate you and drive you forward when it feels as though the odds are stacked against you – be it a love for writing, a passion for your subject, or the awesome people around you.”
Kim sparked a self-revelation: this whole time I thought I was posting about games, but I wasn’t. I was writing about the joy they bring. The frustrations they cause. The adventures they enable. The connections they forge. The memories shared with friends throughout my life where gaming was our shared language of fluency. My muse isn’t a game itself, but rather the story it leaves behind. So whenever I feel dry-mouthed for words, I need to take a step back and look at the real topics I’m writing about.
Gaming is the conduit through which so many things in my life have transpired, and will likely remain for the years to come. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and I’d say after nearly a quarter century of loving video games, I am firmly rooted in my ways 😛 Thank you so much for being a part of my journey, even if this is the first thing by me you’ve ever read! I have many new ideas in the works for this coming year and can’t wait to share them! So be on the lookout for me each week, be well, be good to each other, and as always…GAME ON!!!
If you made it through all of my rambling, then I’d like to ask another favor of you. The WordPress community is chock-full of amazing talents, and while I still feel like a rookie sometimes, I’ve also been made to feel right at home in the neighborhood. So please, go meet some of my neighbors! They are some truly awesome people!