2023 Will be a Year of Change For This Blog

Every year I participate in National Novel Writing Month. It’s a writing challenge where you try to complete a novel (at least 50,000 words) in the span of just one month. Obviously, there’s not enough time to polish the material; all you end up with is a very rough & disorganized first draft of a novel. But that doesn’t deter me from trying. Every November I rush my fingers across my keyboard as I push myself to reach that 50,000 word mark. This past November, I not only beat my goal, I blew past it. I wrote over 80,000 words.

I’m not writing this to brag, though. I want to show you how important writing is to me, and how inspired I felt this past November. I wrote a memoir. I wrote about my childhood, my teenagehood, and how various forms of art (including video games) influenced me. It was a time for me to seriously reflect on my life. And it was a time for me to measure whether or not I’m living the way I’d dreamed about as a Youth.

I’ve always wanted to become a writer. I’ve always loved video games. This blog is the happy marriage of those two passions. That being said, I have a few problems with the current state of my blog:

  1. Writing once a week is a fast pace for someone who only can do it in their spare time. Writing for this blog eats up the spare time I could’ve spent exploring the other creative pursuits that are calling out to me.
  2. Writing once a week doesn’t give me enough time to go back and polish the posts. I can usually edit and revise enough for a second draft, but I’d prefer achieving a fourth or fifth draft, and I rarely have time for that.

My favorite blog posts are the ones where I go deep. These are posts like my Pokemon Retrospective or the second half of my review for Xenoblade Chronicles 3. They are posts where I dive deep into the game’s design, or discuss its emotional themes, or make a personal connection with it. I want to write something meaningful, something people can return to for inspiration. That kind of writing can’t be maintained once a week.

I’ve decided I’m going to make a few changes to my blog to trim the fat and make it more into the creative platform that I had envisioned making as a child:

  1. I’ll be cutting back on “normal” reviews. I love writing reviews, but they eat up time without making that much of an impact. They won’t be going away entirely, but I will reduce my output for them. My energy is better spent focusing on a small number of high-quality posts than a large number of medium-quality ones.
  2. To keep myself from burning out, I’m going to be releasing these essays in “seasons.” These seasons will probably last 4 to 6 weekly blog posts.
  3. Once I finish a season, I’ll take a small break for about 2 to 3 weeks. I’ll be using that time to gather my thoughts and put together more essays.
  4. During the “off season,” I may create something else video game related that I might use to enhance a blog post, like pixel art or a YouTube video. There are so many things that I want to make, but I can’t carve out the time without making the blog suffer in quality.
Don’t worry, the Fire Emblem Retrospective will resume later this year, I just gotta actually play some of these games.

The first season will begin now, in January. I’ll be writing essays that I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but couldn’t find the right spot for them. Also, don’t worry, I’ll still be doing the Summer Game Dev projects, and I’ll still finish my Fire Emblem Retrospective, though I’ll have to delay that until maybe Season 4 or 5 of this year. Turns out it takes quite a while to finish that many Fire Emblem games! If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them. Don’t worry, in 2023 this blog will remain be about 80% the same. I do need to make these changes with the other 20%, though, so that I can improve as a writer and as an artist.

Thank you for understanding, and thank you for joining me on this journey as we change and grow together.

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