This is my very last post for #Blaugust, a project the requires participants to write one blog, every day, through the month of August. It is my understanding that you could write about whatever you wanted to, but most people seem to be writing about video game topics.
I chose to challenge myself by writing about Diablo III for each and every post. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain that I would be able to complete this project on time. I’m a freelance writer, so I knew that I could write a blog every day. I often write two or more each day. The difficulty was to see if I could come up with enough things to say about Diablo III for an entire month’s worth of blogs.
I’ve learned quite a bit from my experience with #Blaugust, especially about how to write video game related blogs. So, for my last post for the project, I’m going to share what I learned from doing #Blaugust.
Just to be clear, I’m posting the things I learned in random order, off the top of my head. They aren’t listed in order of importance, or anything like that.
It helps to have a backlog.
One of the reasons I wanted to do #Blaugust was because it would force me to finally blog about all the Diablo stuff that I’d been meaning to write about… someday… when I had time… when I felt better. The majority of the topics I’d been procrastinating on made it into #Blaugust. Projects like this are less intimidating when you start with a handful of ideas that you’ve written in your head, but not actually put into your blog.
A nice side effect of finally blogging about a bunch of Diablo stuff was that it forced me to go through some of the screenshots that I’d been hoarding. The ones I needed for a blog got used. The ones that weren’t as important as I once thought got deleted. I’ve started going through more screenshots and tossing out the stuff I now realize I do not need. I hope I can continue to do that.
I had more to say than I’d realized.
There were so many days when I thought “I’ll just do a quick, little, blog about X”. Those blogs almost always turned into great, big, blogs, with several screenshots included. I learned that I have more to say about the lore of Diablo III than I’d realized. I’d start out with a mental framework about what I wanted to say about a particular character. As I wrote, I’d remember other stuff that needed to be included for context.
I also learned that I have a tendency to “cite sources” in my blogs about the “Diablo universe”. For example, I like to note which book I got certain information from, or where to find that lore in-game. This is something I do naturally in blogs about real life stuff (like politics, for example). But, I didn’t know I’d want to do that in video game blogs, too.
Ideas spawn more ideas.
One of my concerns about doing a 31 day blogging project was that I would run out of ideas. Instead, it was as though each idea spawned a few more. For example, I wrote a blog about Adria, and this inspired me to write another blog about Leah’s family tree, which inspired a third blog about whether or not Leah had her own soul. Something in the Adria blog made me want to write about Andariel (a lesser demon), and then to write about her “twin”, Duriel.
Some of the lore stuff that I’ve written about for #Blaugust has already made its way into “Jen’s Lore Corner”, a new segment that I’m doing for the Shattered Soulstone podcast. More of the lore blogs I wrote this month will find their way into the segment, too. I ended the month with more ideas about Diablo lore stuff that I wanted to write about than when I’d started.
Time constraints limit topics.
I learned that there was only some much time in one day for me to write a blog. Some days were busier than others, and there were plenty of days when I was too sick to write (but did it anyway). As a result, I had to hold off on some topics that I wanted to write about.
For example, I wanted to do a blog about the lore of Tyrael this month, but then realized that it would be too long, too involved, and too research intensive to be practical. That one’s gonna have to wait. I also intend to put together a blog that shows where to find all the journals in-game. Of course, since the game is randomized, some of them won’t always appear in the same place. Even so, I could still put together a “guide” about them. To do this, I need to go through the game, Act by Act, and take a lot of screenshots. I’ve started working on that, but couldn’t complete the research quick enough to include it in #Blaugust.
I can do it!
I think of myself as a writer, but not necessarily as a video game writer. What was holding me back? In general, I tend to assume that everyone else knows more about a particular video game than I do. I had concerns that I wouldn’t get things right, or that my ideas would be too “out there”. I also had concerns that writing about video games, while female, would attract comments/tweets from guys who think it’s fun to harass women who have anything to do with gaming.
Instead, the comments I received were overwhelmingly positive. This surprised me. It also boosted my self-esteem as a video game writer. I learned that I can write thought-provoking things about the “Diablo universe”. I learned that what I think of as my “how to” blogs about Diablo III were getting “clicks” from people who wanted to know that exact information.
I am going to continue to write about Diablo III, but it won’t be every single day anymore. My next project is going to involve moving my best Diablo blogs onto a website that is dedicated to only that type of content. Doing so will make it easier for people to find (because they won’t have to sift through No Market Collective to find all the Diablo stuff).