Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative
Home Of Superheroes, Sci-fi, Star Stuff, Scares, Silliness, Smeg, Swords, Sorcery, and the Supernatural

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

What The Hell Am I Doing???


This one's really for my fellow bloggers. How many of you have caught yourselves - while composing a post for your site - thinking: "What the hell am I doing with my life?"

Ninety-nine per cent of the time, I'm a blogging evangelist, wondering why EVERYONE doesn't write a regular blog about their hobbies and interests, but then there are those dark moments...

I am in the fortunate/unfortunate position of being unable to work - thanks to my aneurysm and stroke I lack both the stamina and concentration to hold down any form of regular employment.

So, in some sense, HeroPress is my "job" (although I don't get any financial recompense for it!).

Many times Rachel has expressed her pride in the fact that I have stuck with the blog for so long (11 years and counting).

And most of the time I tell her - and myself - that I'm doing it for an audience of one (myself) and I'm okay with that.

It's storehouse of memories (as the gaps in my own slowly widen), a diary of sorts, and an avenue to let off steam occasionally, without dipping my toes in the free-for-all bloodbath of comments' sections and fan forums.

Now, this piece falls squarely in the "letting off steam" category.

It's not a sign that I'm about to flounce off social media, nor is it a plea for handouts (although cash is never refused) or belated praise, it's certainly not dissing the people I do know regular read my drivel (you are so valued and appreciated) ... but sometimes the lack of feedback - even though I am only writing this for myself - can be enormously frustrating.

The bulk of the feedback I receive these days comes from articles I have shared on Facebook, particularly to those shared with key geeky pages connected to the subject of the post.

Yes, I've persevered with HeroPress through 11 years, but is that 11 years wasted?

Think of the money spent on crappy movies alone, just so I could take the piss out of them on the blog!

And - even though I am only writing this for myself - the sense of obligation to write something every day (several times a day, actually). The desperation to hit deadlines of my own making, like an addict seeking his next hit, and the soul-crushing disappointment on the rare occasions when these targets are missed.

Why do I do this? Why do I put myself through this?

I'm not a particularly social person these days, so HeroPress is both my window onto the wider world and my armour to hide behind. Generally, I'd much rather take the time to read someone's thoughts on their blog than have to try and follow their train of thought in person.

Of late, I've been pouring my all into creating Knight City - a deep background for a planned Villains & Vigilantes superhero roleplaying campaign.

But if I'm being honest, I know the chances of the Tuesday Knights (my gaming group) actually reading much, if any, of this material is minimal-to-non-existent.

And I know I can say that here because I'm pretty certain none of them read this blog; certainly not regularly, probably only when I write-up my accounts of our monthly games.

So, if even my own gaming group doesn't read my blog, why am I bothering?

Because it keeps my brain active.

That's such a key element.

My stroke damaged my brain - as they are wont to do - and I know, month-on-month, my memory is getting worse; I stumble over more words, I find it harder to concentrate on books (which is why my passion for comics is such a blessing), and I forget things, so exercising my journalistic training on this blog is my Sudoku.

I accept (reluctantly) that my time is finite and that my mental resources are trickling away like water from a bucket that has sprung a leak. The bucket's too damaged to patch the leak, but anything I can do to slow it down is welcome.

As much as I love sinking into a good TV show or movie in our lounge, I know if I didn't have my blog the temptation would be to spend all my waking hours glued to the gogglebox.

And I don't think that would help as much as the discipline of writing HeroPress.

20 comments:

  1. I don't comment as much as I should, but read everything you post sir. Along with The Other Side, Hero Press is one that made me want to blog. Writing is a good outlet and even if it's just for you to keep your mind sharp, I think you should continue and take pride in what you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Justin. I have no plans to stop blogging for the foreseeable future.

      Delete
  2. I enjoy your blogging efforts Tim and regularly pop across from the Vault for a read. You are correct that blog posts themselves don't seem to generate many comments. I actually get most of my feedback from Facebook or face to face conversations (from my gaming friends).

    Like yourself I like the process of writing a piece; other people enjoying it is a bonus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bryan. Facebook is both a blessing and a curse in that way. We get the feedback we're looking for... just not necessarily where we would like it to be.

      Delete
  3. You need to know that I visit daily and share things that I found on your site because I only have the attention span for only the coolest stuff. You are one of the people who inspire me to have a focus and a vision. I hate more than you will ever know the fact that I get few comments on either of my platforms though my stuff is GENIUS. It's THEM, not you and me. So rant on, my brother but keep doing that voodoo that you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Cal. Don't ever change. There are no plans to curb my voodoo ways any time soon ;)

      Delete
  4. Tim, I can definitely relate to your "what am I doing here?" feeling. I guess this is something most bloggers feel at one time or another, especially now in the age of Twitter etc. when long-form blogging seems almost old-fashioned. Like you, I started blogging just to amuse myself and to exercise the old grey cells. Then a few more people turned up, following my inconsequential ramblings and even commenting on them occasionally. Which was nice. I never built up a huge amount of followers ( mostly I think because my blog isn't too focused ) and quite a few fell by the wayside over the years but I carried on, sometimes just out of habit, but mostly because I still enjoyed the act of writing. As you've mentioned, it's a hobby that can be satisfying and also therapeutic when life is throwing bad stuff at you.

    Anyway, I'm rambling on here. Please keep up the good work on this blog. I don't comment nearly as often as I should but I do check in most days and always enjoy / appreciate what you post.

    Cheers!
    Simon ( cerebus660 )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the thoughtful commentary, Simon. It's always reassuring to find out "it's not just me" ;-)

      Delete
    2. Lack of focus has been one of my major problems over the years.

      That and changing the URL of the blog (and its name for a while?!?!?). Having foolishly started with a very clumsy URL (because I didn't really know what I was doing) I then purchased a site, but that went sideways, and I came back to one of blogger's free addresses... and each time I moved I lost Followers along the way.

      But how was I to know back then that I'd still be doing it now!

      Delete
  5. I don't always comment, but I read what you post. If it keeps you active mentally and otherwise, keep at it, even if only for yourself. But you do have those who read and are entertained. If you sacrifice time to watch and review bad movies, well, it goes with the territory. I don't review everything, but there's enough I sit through that I wonder why am I enduring this.
    Eleven years is great! I'm coming up on nine. And we're still after it. That says something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Alex. As I've said to others above, I have no plans to pull the plug on my blogging any time soon... and I do enjoy a good bad movie every now and again to have a laugh at. It's one of the things that has helped keep me going for this long.

      Delete
  6. I hardly ever comment on blogs, just because time is a factor and I feel guilty about it. Blogger needs a like function, just to stimulate that little bit of dopamine we all crave from being noticed on social media.
    I visit your blog every day Tim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that's why Facebook is so good - that instant "fix" of people clicking "Like" on a post can be such a boost. You're so right, Nate - that's what Blogger needs!

      Delete
  7. Long time reader, first time commenter here.
    It's weird, not a blogger myself but I do maintain a model painting thread on a couple of wargaming forums, so I do understand the morale-sapping disappointment of putting stuff on the Internet to little or no acknowledgement, and yet I rarely think to comment on other peoples stuff either.
    In fact the only reason I even scrolled down to the comment section today was out of morbid curiosity, to see if anyone had posted anything.

    I will say I do appreciate all the hard work you (and the other bloggers I follow) do to keep me informed and entertained, and I will try to give a little back more often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave a very thoughtful comment. It was never my intention with this "mini-rant" to fish for comments, but I've been delighted by the quantity and quality of the feedback I have received (both here and on Facebook).

      If I'm keeping you entertained, then my I'm very pleased.

      The last thing I'd want to be is boring ;-) Which is why this was as much an open letter to fellow bloggers as a chance for me to get things off my chest.

      Delete
  8. Thank you all for taking the time to give me such amazing feedback. I really appreciate this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm the same, regular reader, rarely comment. Great blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much appreciated. Thank you for taking a moment to leave a comment.

      Delete
  10. The month of August was my most viewed in several months, yet saw very few comments. I should note it was the month of the RPGaDay Challenge, wherein I actively asked for comments and opinions on my posts about the subjects being addressed.

    So what happened? What 'went wrong'?

    Nothing out of the ordinary. I think a large number of people like to read gaming blogs, a smaller number like thinking about what they read, and a much smaller number like to comment and share their own opinions. There could be any number of reasons for this but the bottom line is, as you say, that's not why we do this.

    We do this for us. We do it for our own mental wellness. I find that going back and re-reading old posts is especially helpful for keeping memories clear and the mind sharp.

    Also know that people do read your blog and enjoy it. I read it and enjoy it, even if I don't comment here much myself.

    You do good work. Keep doing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you've nailed it on the head there, Adam. We know we have readers - there are (often unreliable) statistics to prove that, it's now just getting people to go that extra mile and leave on a comment.

      On the other side of the coin, though, at least they're not leaving comments saying: "You're talking a load of poodoo, stop wasting your time and ours with this drivel!"

      Thank you for your erudite commentary. Of course, I realise I'm just as bad at commentating on other people's blogs... and I've been told many times (particularly by Calvin) that if you want people to look at/comment on your stuff, you often have to look at/comment on their stuff first ;-)

      Delete

Thank you for your interest in HeroPress.

Comment moderation is currently on again because of annoying spammers!

My apologies to genuine commentators for the inconvenience.

As ever I shall endeavour to acknowledge, and respond to, your comments ASAP.

However, if you're just looking to post spam, please don't bother. It's neither big nor clever. And will just be deleted.

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