Post Sections ⇅
- How I Got to This Point
- Deciding the Priorities
- 1. Fiction Writing
- 2. LOTRO Content
- 3. Discussion Posts
- 4. FFXIV Content
- Isn’t All That Too Much for “Focus”?
- What About Existing Projects?
- To Summarise
I’ve been here before – rethinking my priorities based on some goals and/or where my pain levels are at. And here I am again. Change is inevitable in life. Heck, you’re not exactly the same person at the end of the day as you were when you woke up. Life shapes us, more than we attempt to shape life around us probably. So in this post, I just want to open up a bit and let you know what this latest changeset means for me – and for my content.
How I Got to This PointAs I shared with my Patreon Crew over a week ago, I sat down with paper and a pencil – away from the distractions of the screens and social media. I listed down things in my head that were tasks I thought I needed to do. The total was 22, before even considering specific blog posts.Now, these 22 were not all FJ-related. They also included DIY jobs, woodworking tasks, personal research and world-building. Nevertheless, I am still one person and a list of 22 was too much. After all, it is impossible to clear all things you could do before adding any new things.
Deciding the Priorities
Making Money Was Never ‘It’Money in and of itself is not a motivator (I rarely have need for “things” unless my current “things” break). It’s why my ads on this blog are set to be as user-centric as possible, rather than only flinging the highest-paid ads in your face. But money is useful to buy supplies that would have had to come out of the family finances, for example. My ad revenue, Patreon and Ko-Fi all help either to support my family or prepare me for when large costs become inevitable.
MotivationWifey said that I shouldn’t do anything where “supporting the family” was the sole motivator, unless I was also enjoying it. Any blogger or content creator could tell you of articles, shows, and streams that weren’t enjoyable – no job in the world is all fun and games. Writing about Executioner of the Wicked isn’t nearly as enjoyable as travelling and documenting the Sites of Yondershire! So I had to sit back and prioritise.
Thing-to-ThingFor the last year, especially, I’ve let myself move from blog to blog with barely a breather. New topics come up, demand for a particular piece of content leads me to write about it etc. But without space to think I’ve not allowed myself to choose what I would enjoy – only what serves others.
1. Fiction Writing
The Actual Book(s)If I continue to lurch from one blog to the next then nothing will change. I’ve been working on the Chronicles of Qal’ath for three to four years. And that’s just the first book. I want to complete it (as much as I can without professional advice) and begin to consider publishing. For that to happen I have to be intentional about allocating time to work on it properly.
World BuildingA while ago I wrote a WorldAnvil Review and since then I have continued to build my WA site. While this may appear a distraction, I use it to fill out places, characters and background lore. While my focus is on the book(s), I still need to give time to World Building, which helps keep everything in my world consistent and feeds questions to me, helping me to enrich it.
2. LOTRO ContentIf you ignore my legacy SWTOR Blog Posts (many are now out of date) my top three content categories are:
- LOTRO: 132
- This is further broken down into Fan Fiction, Event Guides, Cosmetics and others.
- Fibromyalgia: 50
- FFXIV: 18
LOTRO Festivals & EventsWhile I said my blogging will fit around my fiction, the only exceptions are LOTRO Festivals/Events. My diary will continue to be built around the LOTRO Events Calendar and I will always endeavour to keep my Event Guides up-to-date.
Event “Tools”Alongside these guides are the tools I’m building to help the community: Cosmetics database, mount lookup and recently I’ve put the infrastructure in place for pets too. If I see a chance of a new tool being helpful – or someone points it out, then it’ll be put into the mix.
New Lower-Level RegionsDue to having no experience of endgame, I’ll never be in a position to write about the latest expansion. To do so would be at the expense of playing my dear Glinmaethor and her story. But I have loved exploring and writing guides for the newer lower-level regions: The Wildwood, the Angle of Mitheithel and Yondershire. I want to continue doing new regions. But naturally, this relies on such content coming out, so it only applies when they do. What I may do in a lull between events is see how I could improve my existing guides, or if there’s a feature I haven’t written about yet. This way I can make my guide “set” more comprehensive.
“But…I expected (name) deed!”Well…expect away, I guess. I am one person and LOTRO is huge. Par contre, LOTRO Wiki is huge and is a team. This means they usually get stuff out well before I do. If it’s a deed you want for something that was launched yesterday, check the Wiki. It really is a fab community resource and I link to it often from my guides.
3. Discussion Posts
4. FFXIV ContentRight, a few caveats:
- I will not be regularly blogging about FFXIV.
- I do not intend to balance my LOTRO stuff with FF14.
Event GuidesFFXIV events differ massively from LOTRO ones, with the sole exception being there are some rewards available each year. But, by the same token (no pun intended), they also happen each year, usually. I chose these partially due to my experience covering LOTRO events and partially because they are on a much smaller scale. The quests for an FFXIV event change every year as do the rewards, but there are only a few of each. The last event I wrote about took me a day and I had covered it all. So I was able to experiment without putting too much time in.
Hunting LogsHunting Logs are like mini slayer deeds in LOTRO. Each base class has a set and is awarded XP for clearing them. This is ongoing and is far less involved than it sounds. I took my LOTRO Cosmetics database code and retailored it. But each class does not have a totally unique set of entries. Although I need an entry for an enemy to defeat, it may be relevant for two or more classes. Each time I complete a set, the next one takes less effort. Nearly all the content is being pulled from my database. This means the actual “post” for a Hunting Log only needs a couple of paragraphs or so for information specific to that class and level. This project is ongoing but is not a priority. If I have plenty to do from the above, I don’t progress on this project.
Were the Experiments Successful?For a new blogger trying to scrape at the edges of a new readership, yes. In the first six months of 2022, I gained over 6000 visits to FFXIV content.
Overcoming False GuiltWhen I first started blogging about LOTRO, I didn’t post it to Twitter for fear of losing SWTOR contacts. In the same way I haven’t yet tweeted my FFXIV stuff. Going forward, now that I have explained why – and told you that it’s not a priority – I will.
Isn’t All That Too Much for “Focus”?No, it gives me freedom and variety. Once I’ve cleared current projects, the aim will be to only work on one post per week – and maybe have weeks solely dedicated to my books and/or world building. During this experimentation phase I’ve been making two posts a week and doing data entry too. Now, I just need to reprogram my brain not to feel guilty about not writing another LOTRO post and all will be fine.
What About Existing Projects?As I explained to my Patreon Crew, I have “Commitment Bias”. This is a psychological theory that people stick with an idea, project or plan even if the evidence would say that they should stop. As such I am in a transition week or two trying to tie up some projects so I can refocus correctly. The Hunting Logs will take a while to complete, but
- Once all the data’s in, it’s done and never changes.
- I won’t be replacing it with another FFXIV project of that scale.
- Fiction Writing & World Building: these will be planned in first around family time, housework and DIY etc.
- LOTRO Content will be planned in the following priority:
- Festival Guide Updates (where applicable)
- Event Tools (such as cosmetics and mounts data entry)
- Content for new lower-level regions shortly after launch or
- Improvements/additions for area I’ve already done guides about.
- FanFiction may feature.
- Discussion Posts: this could be about any topic, from Fibromyalgia to Social Media, from cross-game comparisons to, well, anything really. As/when I think of a topic. My Why do Guys Play Female Characters post was sparked after I was asked that question multiple times by different people.
- FFXIV Posts: in the following priority order:
- Event Guides
- Hunting Log Data Entry (until that job is done)