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!

Blaugust: Not Good Enough Says Gevlon

I don’t follow the Greedy Goblin aka Gevlon, so I wouldn’t have seen his post were it not for posts from Contains Moderate Peril and Endgame Viable. I have however read many a post particularly from Syncaine about his writings and this is part of the reason I don’t follow. It seems that Gevlon is the trolling type, or if he isn’t an outright troll, he does tend to have some controversial views that probably provide page hits but little in the way of reputation. This is fine though, to each their own I say, and if he carries on despite some posts outright blasting him, then he’s really dedicated to his craft. I laughed when he would talk about League of Legends or PUBG and his strategies to game the system wouldn’t work. But I digress.

In Gevlon’s recent post, the Goblin goes on to crunch some numbers (albeit it only appears that he is looking at October’s post numbers, why he passed up on numbers for September is beyond me) of which show a decreased posting output from the upper echelon of posters from Blaugust. He didn’t bother looking at blogs that didn’t make the at least 25 posts back in August, which would further skew things. He listed this blog having 10 posts, which was probably true for October, which isn’t even a completed month, and doesn’t count the 17 posts I made in September.

Most of us that participate in Blaugust are already established. We encourage newbies to join in or start a blog, and some do. Very few stick with it, and those of us who have been blogging for any consistent amount of time know that it takes time and committment to keep a blog going. As Roger said, Blaugust can be a crash course into blogging, and many will find themselves exhausted at the end of the event. But is the event made in order to retain a larger blogosphere? I would argue that no, this isn’t something that requires further commitment. Generally speaking most of us have our own self-imposed rules and schedules and we all fall back into that which is naturally comfortable after an event like this one. It started as a challenge for established bloggers to push themselves to post every day for a month. To that end, it pushed many of us to do that and for many this wasn’t the first time.

What made Blaugust Reborn a little different is that it included the Newbie Blogger Initiative tenets this year, so we also were encouraging new bloggers to get involved and for non-bloggers to start. So the combination of the two may show the attrition more than usual. Regardless, as a blogging event, I’d say it was very successful, as it has been in all the years where it was run. Gelvon says this isn’t enough, but I think if even one addition is made to the wider blogging community, then that was a positive effect. Deriding it just because people have lives outside of blogging leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Looking at his list I see plenty of people still blogging, we just don’t usually blog once a day. There is mention of a “Goon that he won’t link to” which I assume is Wilhelm, as he’s the only blogger I see talking about EVE these days. Whatever the case, I see a thriving community of bloggers that are still doing their thing, and have been for years. For some of us, when you’ve been doing this for so long it becomes a part of your life, for others it can easily be written off. I hope to see more events in the future and will participate as they come along. If no one sticks around afterward, let’s just think of it like a party that has come to an end. Everyone goes home and back to their own lives. This is okay.

Blaugust 2018 Aftermath

Blaugust has come and gone and I managed to complete the challenge, posting 31 times in August. As this sort of schedule is not something I am used to, usually averaging about 3-4 posts per week, I’m glad that it is over. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself, despite having two surgeries and an overall busy month with the child going back to school and whatnot. It was a blast to find things to write about, to read so many awesome posts from the resurgent community, and to have something of a milestone to reflect upon once again. Not having any community event happening for more than a year, it was nice to have this sort of connection to the wider set of bloggers out there, new and old. Many of us have been doing this for so long that we sort of forget that there are other people out there putting in the same sort of work. I salute you, fellow bloggers, and hope to see you again next year, as Belghast has already alluded to another round in 2019.

It was Labor Day weekend here in the States, and as such I took the time off from writing (or thinking about writing) to play some games. I’ve dipped my toes into Destiny 2, and played some more ESO over the weekend. I also went to the theater for the first time in months and saw The Happytime Murders, which was a good time and the first date night I’ve had with my lady in a long time. Plus, the spoiler season for Guilds of Ravnica (the next MTG expansion) has begun, so I’ll be jotting down some thoughts I have on these things and will get some more posts out this week. We’ll be back to a more normal (for me) schedule so don’t expect daily posts anymore, but I’m going to try and keep it fairly regular nonetheless.

There were a fair amount of awards given out for this event, and having completed the challenge I’ve earned the “rainbow badge” which I’ve displayed on the sidebar as well. Belghast has a great tabulation of the month over on his blog, and a bunch of other people have been doing their round up posts as well, though I’m feeling a bit too lazy to compile stats at the moment. Rest assured that I had a good month in terms of views, likes and comments and I’m happy with that. Here’s to doing it all over again next year!

Blaugust Reborn Begins

The time has finally come my friends, Blaugust Reborn officially starts today. I’ve posted about it thrice so far, once to announce my involvement and another time to give a little inspiration and finally to report on the participant list along with giving some tips. I know for a fact that participant list is out of date by now, as the Discord Server has been poppin’ and last number I heard was something like 60 blogs that have gotten involved. It’s not too late to sign up either, so if you’d like to do that head over here. Because I’ve participated in Blaugusts years past along with helping to run the NBI I figured I should be one of the leaders (mentors) to get out in front of the pack and try to provide some writing prompts for the community to get started with. Blogging for 31 days in a row is a challenge even for those of us who have been writing for years and I can’t imagine the pressure for newbies as its been so long since I could be considered one. So here are some prompts you can feel free to steal to help get through the month!

  • Share one of your passions that isn’t normally found on your blog. If you blog about games, try writing a post about a movie or book, etc.
  • The Gamer To-Do List – I presented this one a few years ago and other bloggers do something similar each month.
  • Explore your origins as a writer – more for veterans but, did you always have a passion for it, or are you just now feeling like its something you want to do?
  • Why do you enjoy blogging? – this one is more for veterans as well, but you might be able to answer this by the end of the month if you’re new.

Hopefully these prompts will help to get you started or give you some inspiration later in the month when the well runs dry. I know that my plan has been put into motion already, as I’ve drafted this post early and have a few other posts scheduled ahead of time so that I don’t have to crunch. Having a challenge like this ahead of me has changed my usual modus operandi. Typically I will open WordPress, write a post and publish it in one sitting. Sometimes I will have some drafts saved to have as a reminder of something I want to get to, but at this point I know that I have had some writers block in the past month so I want to have as many posts ready to go early as possible. I would suggest you do the same, getting ahead is much better than falling behind if you want to complete the challenge!