“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
May you have a happy May, NPCs!
Thanks for checking back in, as you do periodically. Our ardent readers will recall that in the past we’ve featured more than a few community projects, whether we’re talking about sharing gaming memories from across the world, or the 31-Day Mage Challenge answering questions, or the reader-contributed list of 200 games to play before you die. Each of these have been enjoyable projects for us to host and it’s been wonderful to encourage participation from across the blogosphere, meet new people, and discover new blogs through the process.
While we did a community event for our 100th and 200th post, I missed putting one together for our 300th post and now we’re on 361 posts anyway so everybody go home, the end. Just kidding. In actuality, we’re going to celebrate reaching 707 followers (spread out across WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook) by proposing a new community project, while at the same time ushering in a new series!
As you probably know, we here at The Well-Red Mage like to ask the big questions. We like to analyze and scrutinize and categorize, as all sciences do, and treating video games as art to criticize is a science. We’ve been called “long-winded” for it, but that’s the thing with The Well-Red Mage, it’s a symbol.
Let’s try asking a big question now, and this is open to everyone to take part in: What have you learned since your very first blog post?
Here’s how to participate in answering the question:
- Leave a thoughtful and inspiring comment below about what you’ve learned about blogging/writing/marketing/communicating/reviewing/life, complete with a link to your very first blog post and a quote from that post!
- Instead of leaving a comment, the more verbose among you are welcome to write a full blog post on this subject and what you’ve learned since then, in which case you should definitely leave a link below to that new post about your first post!
- Explain briefly why you decided to start blogging and why you picked that certain topic as your first blog post.
- After you complete your comment or post, be sure to pass this challenge on to your blogger friends to raise awareness! Leave them this badge to pass it on:
It’s okay if the writing isn’t your best. It’s okay if you’re a little embarrassed by it. It doesn’t matter if you started 10 years ago or 10 days ago. This is an opportunity to admit that we’re all maturing and growing in our craft, my friends. It’s a chance for each of us to better ourselves by learning from each other, both at our weakest and at our strongest.
In a little bit of time, if participation is high, we’ll have a practical encyclopedia of the most unrefined and unskilled work from the very refined and very skilled artists and writers out there. That’s nothing to sniff at because we know that this craft requires a lot of polish to perfect, and we can get clued in on how to polish our work through what some of our writing idols personally learned. This is a challenge of transparency and unusual vulnerability, especially if your first blog post isn’t from the current blog you’re running.
So here’s mine.
I decided I wouldn’t simply link to my review of Final Fantasy XIII that started off this blog but instead I went way back to my first blog, Norton Literature, and found my first blog post ever. It’s from September 20th, 2012 and it’s entitled: Christian Thoughts #001: on “the Rime of the Ancient Mariner“.
Here’s a quote:
“Secondly, the Ancient Mariner shoots the Albatross. No reason is given for his action. The bird apparently ate food from the sailors on the ship and resided with the men during their escape from the ice. With it always around, and with danger well past once they had escaped, perhaps the Ancient Mariner simply took the Albatross for granted, considered it a common thing and killed it for no good reason, showing that what had once been hailed as a “Christian soul” had become to him something that was absolutely worthless.”
I started blogging because I wanted to learn how to write faster, as I hadn’t seen much success in completing novels, which is what I really wanted to write about. I finished a few short stories and a novella but nothing huge. At the time, I was teaching a college course in Christian Systematic Theology out of my home, so thoughts were common to me like the ones I detailed on Norton Literature (which I so named because my brother had a website called Norton Photography). The spark happened when I read the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to my wife and felt I really wanted an outlet to write about it, about the books I read and the thoughts I think. Norton Literature survived until March 30th, 2015, which was toward the end of my Systematic Theology teaching. I was about to have my first child and things were changing. I stayed away from blogging until The Well-Red Mage came along in February of the following year.
And now you know a little more about me. As for what I learned since that first post: I’ve learned to love the process more. Blogging for me was a means to an end. It still is in some ways but now I enjoy blogging as a viable writing outlet, though I wish I made more time for writing fiction. That only comes ’round now and then.
The lesson then is to enjoy what you’re doing now because now is all we have. We don’t live in the past or the future, only the present, and therefore we need to make the most out of what we’re doing now. I’m trying to do that and I think it’s paid off. I know that my posts now are better written and the process has helped me to find my personal voice, so I can’t merely think of blogging as just some stopgap anymore. If that helps anyone through the frustration of maybe pushing through as opposed to enjoying what they’re doing, then I’m glad and this whole thing was worth it.
So what about you? Are you going to answer our big question? What have you learned since you first started blog? Leave a comment, write a post, tell a friend! And don’t forget to read the comment section and check the pingbacks for full-length posts by contributors and participants! Thanks for reading.
–The Well-Red Mage