Something I find myself doing around here, sometimes, is assuming a certain base level of understanding of who I am. Hmm. Or maybe not ‘who’ I am exactly, but at least the characteristics that make up my blogging and blogging-adjacent nature, at the very least. So I wasn’t going to bother with an introductory post.
Then… I started encountering several very strong introduction posts. Strong to the extent that there were only really two possible paths to head down. 1) Be Inspired, 2) Be afraid by the potential comparison, and double down on the decision not to bother.
The fact you’re three paragraphs into the post probably acts as a reasonable spoiler on the direction I went, but I will confess that it was a close thing. If you take a look at my (woefully out of date) ‘About‘ page1, you’ll rather quickly glean the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy talking about myself in this manner. Certainly not when it comes to anything which may meaningfully connect the dots between my real identity and my online identity. Sure- someone who already knows me could put the dots together from some of what I say, but they’d have to find their way in the first place. And if they do that independently — well, that’s probably OK.
But enough preamble. Time to get started. And where else to start, given my interest in keeping blogging life and rest of life separate, than with…
My Blogging History
Time to Loot isn’t my first blog — far from it. My first blog of any significance was called Tank’n’Tree, and I set that up in late 2008.
Tank’n’Tree was a WoW-focused blog. In fact, it went further than that — it focused pretty heavily on my Prot Warrior and Resto Druid. Blogging for WoW had quite a large built-in audience, but once you wanted to take a break from the game or hell, just write about something else…
Well… Too bad.
I learnt my lesson with that one, to not make the name of your blog so explicitly tied to the subject matter you’re starting out with.
So next up was Fun in Games!
Look, I might’ve learnt some lessons over the years but I’ve never really become any better at naming things. Anyway, Fun in Games kicked off in mid-2010 and lasted through to October 2011. It was also the blog, until Time to Loot, that I’d done the most posts for with 97. Just three off a hundred!
After that, it was off to book blogging land, which was quite the detour! I joined a friend, Hannah (aka Jaedia), on her Once Upon a Time blog over the course of 2012. Honestly, thinking back on my old blogging days… This is probably the time I remember most fondly. Working collaboratively on a single blogging project with someone (especially when that someone is Hannah!) was an absolute blast.
Finally, I gave things one last hurrah back in that era of blogging. Modicum of Gaming made it to a grand total of 16 posts before closing up shop in September 2013.
The main thing these projects had in common? I lasted more or less a year with each of them. In many cases, that year would entail a multi-month unplanned break, too. Then… Things would just fizzle out. The blog would stay up until the hosting ran out, then poof into smoke it went. Well- other than any ghostly remnants remaining by way of the Internet Wayback Machine.
What Keeps Me Going with Time to Loot When All Others Failed?
I’ve written about this before. Blog for more than a few months, and you’ll certainly run into that from time to time. In any case, the conclusion I came to then is, I think, one I still agree with.
I didn’t have a good ‘Why’.
My reason for blogging back then boiled down to: “Blogs are cool, ergo I want one” with a side of, “Internet fame, here I coooome!”
Don’t get me wrong — I really loved and appreciated the community that came with the scene, and I found other reasons to love the endeavour along the way. Just… nothing quite strong enough to hold me through thick and thin when placed up against my near indomitable need to keep my hobby space free and clear of commitments.
I keep myself sane by holding onto the belief that focus is for work. Play means freedom. Even to this day, I still balk after relatively short order on the application of structured commitments to my play, e.g., regular raiding schedule, D&D sessions, blogging schedule — you name it, and after not very long at all, some part of me rebels against it.
In order to overcome that here, and keep it going even when times are hard, has meant understanding what I’m doing this for.
I’ve been on the internet a long time, and have been playing games for the vast majority of it. I have memories of amazing events going back to Asheron’s Call, or heck — even perhaps playing as a clan in QuakeWorld: Team Fortress.
But that history is nebulous and undocumented.
There are people I have lost touch with that I valued a great deal but are now lost forever to me.
I don’t want to look back in 10, 15, 20 years from now and feel the same pain, having made the same mistakes as I have over the last 20 or so. That’s my motivation.– Naithin (Time to Loot), Finding your Motivation (2019)
So! That’s me. For now. Maybe I’ll add a Part 2 to this, as there is certainly more that I could cover now that I’ve got the ball rolling. The type of content I like to cover, the type of games I like to play- no doubt other things that fall off the thought-wagon while writing about those… But we’ll see.