This blog has been on the forefront of my mind more so than usual lately. I mean, it’s always at the forefront of my mind, but in the past couple of weeks, thinking about this blog has literally kept me up at night. It hasn’t been little things like which game I’m going to cover for my next video or who I want on the podcast. No, it’s been larger questions, like what’s holding me back from putting myself and this blog out there more? What’s keeping the blog from being more visible?
What am I doing wrong?
The answers were surprising, and honestly, I didn’t like them.
I love gaming. I’m passionate about gaming. While at one time gaming was mostly an escape from my problems, now it’s a joyful addition to all the other awesome in my life, such as the best girlfriend ever or the best friends a guy could ever ask for. This blog only adds to that, through all the wonderful people I’ve met (you folks!) and all the new games I’ve gotten to play.
So what’s the problem? I asked myself this over and over. While it always comes back to me — this is my baby after all — I couldn’t quite narrow down what’s missing. I mean I have a plan on how to make the blog more engaging. I have plenty of games to cover. I could talk and talk and talk about games until the cows come home…
And then it hit me…why aren’t I? I mean sure, I do my little videos and comment on the news but when you get right down to it, that’s the easy stuff. I’m focusing on a specific game, or a specific developer or some other facet of gaming. What I wasn’t focusing on was myself.
That may sound selfish, but follow me here.
I’ve been gaming for over 30 years now. I’ve been a professional gaming critic. I’m a walking encyclopedia of PC gaming. I love games. I have thoughts and feelings and opinions on games and gaming in general. Yet, YET. Whenever I thought about writing an op-ed covering my thoughts, or sat down to write up Q&A questions, or tried to come up with an idea of an article of freaking substance besides just critiquing something, I froze. This is when it hit me. What the problem is. What I’m doing wrong. What I’m missing.
I have a lack of confidence in my own opinion and my own thoughts, and am therefore hesitant to share them even to the smallest degree.
This may sound ridiculous to anyone who knows me in person, or on any of the forums I frequent where you can’t get me to shut the hell up, but that’s different. That’s an informal space where the conversation is moved along not just by me but by others, so there’s really no pressure.
This blog is different. It’s my space. My love. My passion. It’s me, possibly raw, possibly defenseless.
And for some reason, I find this somewhat terrifying.
I know that sounds silly, and it IS silly on an emotional level, but the problem is that it IS nonetheless. This is why there have been so few written Q&As, because I’m terrified of writing “stupid” questions. This is why there are so few op-eds, because for some emotional reason, I feel like I’ll be seen as a fraud if I don’t sound like a complete expert about whichever topic I’m covering.
Writing that has actually caused me to literally start shaking, physically. Yet I have to get it out and I have to deal with it. If I don’t fix this, this blog will stagnate and never reach its full potential. What is that potential, in my opinion?
I want this blog not only to be a place where I post silly videos and share news pieces, but also be a place where readers and developers to come and share their love of space gaming. Where a reader can go to the wiki and find the exact game they’re looking for, and then get excited when they see there’s a podcast about it. When a developer can connect with users through a Q&A or a podcast or a forum post. I want this place to be a haven, an oasis of niche space gaming for all those who love it like I do, whether one is a player or a developer or a publisher or whatever else.
So why does this terrify me so? What am I so afraid of? Success? Failure?
Sadly no, that would be too easy. What I am ultimately terrified of is being seen as lame, as a fraud, as a poser…as a loser.
Again, intellectually, I know this is silly as hell. Emotionally? AAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
THIS is why I don’t reach out and market myself better. Why I don’t share my shit on Reddit or reach out to other YouTubers to do joint ventures or other awesome ideas people have given me of late. Because I worry that they’ll see me and go “What a loser.” and write me off.
Again, silly. Downright stupid, even.
There is an upside to all of this, however, and that’s awareness. Awareness of one self is amazingly powerful, and now that I’m aware I feel this way, I can work to fix it. This is nothing new to me. I worked to fix my own PTSD-induced depression and anxiety, and I’ve worked to build confidence in other parts of my life. This is just a new set of steps along the same journey.
Now, at this point, you might be wondering why I’m telling you this.
Well first, because I love you folks, and want to be up-front and honest about stuff relating to this blog. Primarily though, it’s because I’m going to be fighting to overcome these issues through working on the blog itself. This will mean more content, but it might also mean some experiments with different things like trying to find a balance between posting news and original content (something in my head space right now, actually) as I work to move this blog forward. That might mean less news, ultimately, because there’s just so damned much of it now (which is good, but damn is it getting harder to parse through on a daily basis).
It also means I could use some help. Your help.
I asked this on the social medias, but I’ll ask it here too. If you can think of a way this blog can become better, more visible or more awesome, I would love to hear it. As much as this blog is my own personal journey through my love of space gaming, I can’t take this journey alone, I now realize. I’ve been trying to do it all myself, and while I do love that, that can’t work forever. Now I might not be able to implement every idea or answer every comment, but they’ll at LEAST get the wheels in my mind turning, you know?
So those are my hopefully-not-inane ramblings. I have issues, and in a way it’s good this blog has brought them out. This blog has suffered because of them, but with hard work, it should ultimately move forward in the best direction possible, as will I, emotionally and mentally. This post, for as difficult as it’s been to write (note: still shaking) is a first step in that direction.
Thanks for reading, and have an awesome weekend.