Blaugust 2019 Wraps Up

August just flew by, didn’t it folks? For those of you who made it through the slog, congratulations. This is I believe the third or fourth time I’ve managed to do the full gamut of posts during the event, so I’ll pat myself on the back for that. Some items learned during this year’s Blaugust:

  • I didn’t follow the schedule at all. I made one post that was on theme with Bel’s schedule with the developer appreciation bit.
  • I didn’t really mentor anyone, don’t know if that means I should lose the status.
  • I was in my own little world, not mentioning WoW Classic once. Well, now I just did.
  • This year was the most difficult to get out all 31 posts. Having a vacation in the middle of the month made for a mini-marathon just to have posts scheduled.
  • I enjoy blogging, but I cannot keep up this pace. Some days I was reaching for something to write about.
  • Despite many passions, sometimes I don’t feel like writing.

It was a long month that passed quickly and I am glad that the marathon is over. I’ll be returning to my 15 or so post a month schedule that has served me well in the past. I’ll probably go silent for a couple of days unless the bug strikes me sooner. I know there were some drafts I didn’t end up publishing that I may work on, but for the most part I am spent at this point.

That’s really all I have. It was nice to see the community come together again around this event, but once again the attrition will likely set in. Not to sound like a downer, but these are facts. Hopefully some of you stick around for the long haul. I need stuff to read.

Let Vacation Begin

It’s been a while since I’ve done an IRL check-in, and well, things have progressed.

I’m still satisfied with my job. It’s a breeze, but it’s busy work to the point where you don’t realize the time has gone by. As much as I wake up at 2:30 am and hate my life decisions, I blink a couple of times and I’m coming home. I feel like the routine has set in to the point where I can have a semblance of a normal life despite having to do much of my sleeping during the day. However, as most good jobs go, there are benefits that make up for these hours. One of those benefits is PTO time that racks up rather quickly. I have nearly 100 hours banked already after just six months, and I’m just about to use 40 of those. The Magic Fest convention is next week, so I’ll be there from the 22nd to the 25th, but my normal days off are Monday and Tuesday. I didn’t see the point in two days off, working a day and then having six more days off, so I opted to take the additional day for a total of nine days off. Vacation started today, and though it’s plenty of time I already know it will fly by. I just hope to get as much fun and relaxation in as possible.

For the next couple of days I have to be productive in that there are last minute things to take care of, some chores to do before I go, along with at least four days worth of blog posts I’ll have to get scheduled (on top of writing the three prior to leaving). Then I’ll be back to normal come Monday, where I’ll do my normal things and hopefully feel like I had a great time before heading back to work on Wednesday. Excitement for the convention is setting in. I have other plans for Vegas as well, so I’m looking forward to a multitude of things and I haven’t even left yet.

Once this vacation is over though, it’s time for hard core savings mode. We have to move by the end of the year or attempt to buy the house we’re living in, so I have a lot of pressure coming up. I’m not going to go into more detail as I’m trying to escape responsibility/reality for the next few days. But I know that life is coming, and it’s coming hard for me. I intend on spending my free time while not in Vegas playing more video games. There are several that I started within the last couple of months that I have not completed, so I’m going to try and strike some off of the list. Should hopefully provide some more blog fodder.

I have some drafts lined up, so there should be a good variety coming soon. Looking at a post about rewatching older TV shows, some MTG brews, the coming football season and of course more gaming stuff. Blaugust is past the 50% mark and I’ve successfully kept up, so I’m not going to give up now, but honestly today I looked at my drafts and just didn’t want to write about any of it. I’m sure I will be recharged after a good night’s rest though, so I’ll get some more stuff out there for your eyeballs to read in the coming days. Thanks for stopping by.

Blaugust 2019 Kicks Off

Allow myself to introduce… Myself.

This website has been long standing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all that many people have seen it. That is to say that I’m not presumptuous enough to assume that I have a huge reader base. Based on stats and interaction, I know there are some regulars but we’re not raking in piles of affiliate link dough around here. Doing something for a long time doesn’t necessarily garner success, but this blog and the writer behind it both feel good about the small successes they have had. With that said, welcome to Me vs. Myself and I — one blogger’s space on the interwebs to talk about things that matter to him. I’m Izlain, by the way.

I’ve participated in Blaugust each year it’s been a thing. This year is no exception. I’m not normally a post-every-day kind of person, but I’ve taken up the challenge to do so each summer, and each summer it has been a rewarding experience. With my current work schedule I expect this year to be more of a challenge than those passed, but I will soldier on regardless. Here’s what you can expect around here during August:

  • Video Games and Magic: The Gathering posts. This is the format the site has taken for the last couple of years and it works. Expect more of the same with some caveats.
  • This month the annual Commander pre-constructed decks release, and with that spoilers are coming. Typically when a new set is being spoiled, I will just follow along and notate cards I want to talk about and then make a post after the spoiler season is complete. This time, in an effort to help out with Blaugust post counts, I’m going to do multiple posts on the topic. Spoilers are slightly more relevant the day they are spoiled as opposed to a couple of weeks later as well.
  • I will be on vacation for almost two weeks during the month. I suspect there will be little time for posting on those days, so I am going to get posts written and scheduled ahead of time. You shouldn’t notice that I’m gone at all.
  • Where am I going? I will be at Magic Fest Las Vegas for 2nd year in a row (thought last year they were still referred to as the Grand Prix despite being the same thing). I seriously doubt I will be able to live blog, but it’s likely that I write something about the event once I’m back at home.
  • One major difference for me personally this year is that I feel like I’m a bit spent on the “mentor” aspect of the event. It was a welcome idea last year when Belghast threw this event together and included dead events like the Newbie Blogger Initiative, but honestly I don’t think I have anything else to say on the topics of what or how to write. So for me at least, there will be less focus on the writing prompts and mentorship duties. However, you can have a gander through my archives and I’m sure there’s something helpful in there. I’ll be in my corner over here doing my own thing, but that’s how it’s always been — for nearly fifteen years now!

I’m not the only one doing this thing though, Belghast has rallied the troops new and old, and there’s a significant list here of things to read and I’m sure some of the other mentors will still have sage advice to give:

Here is a quick summary of the Blaugust 2019 Links as well. It’s not too late to sign up, from my understanding you can even sign up late and do catch-up posts to meet the participation goals.

Let the festivities begin!

Blaugust 2019 is Coming

We’re just about fifteen days away from the beginning of August, and just like years prior our amazing starter-of-fires-under-our-asses, Belghast, has once again announced Blaugust for 2019. It’s something I’ve participated in since its inception, and thought some years have been harder than others (this year is going to be tough with my schedule), I have been proud to make it through this blogging challenge multiple times. I have signed up to be a mentor again, as I have been blogging for almost 15 years so I know what goes into it and know how discouraging it can be when traffic dips or it seems like many of the blogs you enjoy reading go dark. I also know how rewarding it can be to get involved in these community events, and since Blaugust has evolved to encompass other events like The Newbie Blogger Initiative and Developer Appreciation Week, it’s a great way to get in touch with other people who like doing this writing thing! Last year Belghast introduced a loose schedule of sorts, and this year is following the same of formula:

Rather than putting my own spin on this, I’ll just quote the man himself:

  • Blaugust Prep Week – July 28th – August 3rd: This is a time for those of us in the community who have sorta figured this blogging thing out to help get you started with some tips and tricks style posts. Additionally this is a time to sign up on the Discord and start mingling among the folks. It is designed to ease you into the month with some helpful advice.
  • Topic Brainstorming Week – August 4th – August 10th: This is a time to for mentors to throw out ideas for posts to help you when you run out of things to talk about. This is something that hits all of us and having some familiar topics to revisit often times helps to defeat the tyranny of the blank page.
  • Getting to Know You Week – August 11th – August 17th: Tell us about you and your preferences as a gamer or whatever it is you happen to like doing. This is the time to dip into the well of stories and tell us something interesting that has either happened to you or something about your specific footing in your real or digital life.
  • Developer Appreciate Week – August 18th – August 24th: This one is specifically targeted at the gamers among us, but could be re-purposed to talk about any industry. The idea is to give appreciation for some of the folks who have created the things that you love. In the past we specifically talked about publishers and game studios that create the games that we are enthralled by, but it could be authors or artists or anyone who creates something that you love. It is a good time to give some thanks.
  • Staying Motivated Week – August 25th – August 31st: The final stretch. The idea is to post some help to keep folks motivated as they run towards the finish line. Also some general tricks and tips on how you keep motivated if you are one of the more seasoned veterans of the blogging community. If you are fresh to the initiative you could talk about some of the ways you have kept yourself engaged and creating content.
  • Lessons Learned Week – September 1st – September 7th: A reminder that the goal is to refresh the content creators out there and not necessarily to run a sprint. Some folks are going to cross the finish line and immediately go dormant for awhile, and others are going to want to talk about the experience. Creating a space to hold those discussions and hopefully keep folks from dropping off the face of the earth immediately following the event.

I tend to do my own thing during Blaugust, which essentially amounts to what I would already be doing, just amplified due to the increase in posts. This year has been a down year for blogging as most months I have barely reached ten posts. However I know that this event has always been good for me and my writing mojo, so it will be a challenge but one that I’m up to facing. I have pushed myself to get all thirty one posts out for a few years now, and I have noticed that my output remains higher than normal for the following months. The only reason I’ve slacked off a bit this year is due to a graveyard schedule fucking up any sort of semblance of a normal schedule for me, but I have been slowly but surely ramping up and I think I’ll be able to persevere to round out the summer.

The two major links you’ll need to get started are here:

  • The Sign-Up form for Blaugust 2019 can be found here. Only those who have signed up will be given credit towards the awards.
  • The Invite Link to the Blaugust Discord can be found here. Participation in the Discord is entirely optional.

The Discord has been a great way to connect with other bloggers and chat about things outside of writing, but if nothing else it’s a great place to share your content to more eyeballs. You should also head over to that sign-up form if you plan to participate, otherwise Belghast might miss you for his tracking purposes. Hope to see you all writing away next month!

It Was Written

Just a quick update. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the site upgrade. I also managed to save a little bit of money due to using one of the promo codes that WordPress sends out from time to time, so bonus.

I appreciate the feedback from when I was asking about what sort of domain plan/name I should go with. Turns out that mvmi.com was unavailable, and I didn’t really want a .blog or any other alternative. As such, I ended up taking Jeromai’s suggestion and am using mevsmi.com for the foreseeable future. As of right now, my old URL redirects to the current one, and I changed the widget up top for my RSS feed to point to the new domain. You’ll have to let me know if for some reason you aren’t seeing the new URL, but I’d suggest updating your blogrolls and or RSS readers. Can anyone who follows me and or uses the WordPress reader confirm if they are still following me? It all seems like it should be automated enough, but I don’t want to lose the few readers I have left!

Anyway, I can now start making new posts and filling them with pictures again! I’ll be back soon with some new MTG news and have some gaming updates as well. Until then!