THIRTEEN YEARS!!! No, I can't believe it either. This blog has now officially endured longer than any single piece of paid employment I ever held down prior to my career-ending aneurysm in 2005.
Looking back over 2019, my output was slightly down (1,516 posts compared to 1,744 in 2018), but that's because this was a year of great upheaval.
Not only did Rachel and I move house, but we then decided to launch into a programme of redecorating and building before we got too settled in.
These works are still ongoing, but will hopefully be in our rearview mirror by March (the anniversary of our move).
Do I have plans for the blog this year? Kind of. I want to get more involved in the gaming community, which will hopefully be the incentive I need to finally get my Frankengame over the finish line and feel confident enough to run it (at some point) for the Tuesday Knights.
This push started just before New Year's Day with the launch of a I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters Facebook group for the discussion of old school games and RPG inspirations in general. That's been doing very well, and is starting to grow its own legs.
I also want this to serve as an incentive to restart my podcast, with the idea that the blog, the Facebook group, and the podcast can work together as a three-pronged focus on the joy and creativity of roleplaying games.
My initial idea is - once there's a state of peace and calm in the house - to hit my backlog of 'films for review', and not only pass comment on them but also stat up any original monsters, magic spells, arcane treasures etc they feature for use in OSR games.
Hopefully, this will increase the quantity of gaming content on the blog and - finally - give HeroPress some kind of consistent theme (something I feel it's been lacking for the duration of its existence).
Below is a breakdown of the 10 most popular "tags" on HeroPress posts and, as you can see comparing the percentages from now against 12 months ago, they're barely changed.
Horror coverage has gone up by 0.3%, Comics coverage has gone up by 0.1%, RPG coverage has down by 0.1%, Doctor Who coverage has gone down by 0.3% etc
|Current Breakdown Of The Ten Most Popular Topics For Me To Waffle About|
|Waffle Breakdown from 12 months Ago - It's Barely Changed!|
As ever, I'd like to thank my incredibly patient wife, Rachel, for continuing to encourage me to keep on blogging, supporting my endeavours, and turning a blind eye to the frequent cosplay picture posts that appear on the site.
I'd also like to thank the incredibly talented graphic designer/artist Jeremy Hawkins, of Being Retro and Six Strings, for his Rick and Morty-themed poster (above) celebrating this 13th anniversary landmark.
I know its awards season, and while HeroPress won't be winning any awards (again) this year, I'd still like to give a shout out to my online peers who help keep me sane and who've looked kindly on this blog in last year or so.
These are people I know I can turn to for inspiration or assistance, people who've never even met me and only know me from my seemingly incoherent and ill-informed ramblings.
Great souls such as:
- Justin Isaac of Halls Of The Nephilim,
- Charles R. Rutledge of Wellman City Limits,
- Eric Bloat of Bloat Games,
- Adam Dickstein of Barking Alien,
- Ivy Shorts of The Happy Whisk,
- Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor,
- Stacey Lemmon of Dr Theda's Crypt,
- Jeff Berry aka Chirine ba Kal of Chirine's Workbench,
- Criag Oxbrow of The Door In Time/The Watch House,
- Tim Brannan of The Other Side,
- Calvin Heighton of Calvin's Canadian Cave Of Cool,
- Al Bruno III of The Wit And Weirdness Of...,
- Michel Albert of Siskoid's Blog Of Geekery,
- Jonathan Linneman of Monstrous Matters,
- Ken Hulsey of Monster Island News/View Obscura Comics,
- Nathan Ward of Nathoelon's Empires,
- My favourite author, Philip Reeve,
- and Erik, Percy and the other members of the Montreal Area & Friends RPG Group
Recently I was delighted to see such highly regarded writers as Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis trumpeting the merits of blogging (as opposed to the fleeting and ephemeral nature of other social media, such as Twitter and Instagram).
And let's not overlook the splendid job Jeremy 'frothsof' Smith of Thought Eater fame does every Wednesday with his Humpday Blog-O-Rama podcast, rounding up items of interest from gaming blogs around da Interwebz.
I hope this means we're heading back to another resurgence in blogging.
However, in the meantime I'd like to encourage you to check out my informal pro-blogging 'campaign', urging you all to Support Your Local Blogger.
I'm not talking about financially (although I'm sure that won't be unwelcome), I mean just letting them know you read what they're putting out.
Your words might just encourage them to keep on blogging for 13 years... or longer...