Howdy, adventurers! So far so good on keeping my posts on Sundays, eh? Two weeks strong! I know, not impressive. But it’s a good start, and so far I’ve been a lot more consistent with my other goals as well. Probably my two biggest struggle points are reading other blogs and posting consistently on all three social media sites. When it comes to the former, I just need to work on forming the habit. As far as the latter, I plan to address that in today’s update.
This update is covering two topics: Tumblr content and a change to the main blog. If reading the Tumblr part of this article would cause you to clock out and skip the main blog part of the article, please click CTRL + F on your keyboard and search the keywords WEEKLY UPDATE. Tab down to that heading and read from there, as that part is going to be relevant to any follower of Adventure Rules, not just a specific social media site.
Posting on Facebook has never really been an issue for me, and I am slowly finding my niche on Twitter. Still got some work to do there, particularly in the hashtag department, but I’m getting there. My big problem now is Tumblr, where a Facebook-like status or textpost doesn’t really draw that much focus. So to help me get an idea of how to utilize Tumblr effectively, I decided to look to two main places: the future and the past.
First, the future. What are my goals for Adventure Rules? Well, my goal is to enhance my writing. The blog serves as exercise so my metaphorical writing muscles can grow stronger. That makes my goal becoming a better writer. So anything I do on Adventure Rules should in some way push me towards that goal.
Second, the past. When I originally started utilizing social media as a blogger, I intended for each site to have “unique content.” I’ve come to realize that Facebook and Twitter don’t necessarily need unique content to flourish. Tumblr, however, is a different animal, and because that atmosphere is so different I need to contribute something different to that community. Back in the day, the unique content I intended to post on Tumblr was fiction. Short stories. Now, I’m coming back to that, but editing it somewhat with the idea of becoming a better writer.
A few times on the blog towards the end of 2016 I posted a segment I called “Unleashing What’s Inside.” These posts were based on a writing exercise driven by stream-of-consciousness. Basically, you write totally uninhibited for a period of time; no editing, no prewriting, no outlines, you just WRITE. If you get stuck, you write the same word over and over until that word somehow inspires you to keep moving. The idea is that for whatever period of time, you don’t stop writing. It’s an exercise that helps you get your juices flowing and also helps you to manage your time wisely.
So here’s my idea. If my overall goal for 2017 is to improve consistency, and my goal for Adventure Rules in general is becoming a better writer, then this exercise could be highly effectively in meeting both short term and long term goals.
Here’s how it’ll work. Six days a week – Sunday through Friday – I’m going to spend 10 minutes a day doing this exercise. Ten minutes of pure, unrestrained writing per day. On the seventh day, Saturday, I’m going to compile all six ten-minute segments into one short story. This will require some serious use of another skill I really need to work on – editing – as I’ll be taking a full hour of stream-of-consciousness content and trying to convert it into something coherent. So six days a week on Tumblr, I’ll be posting these raw and untouched ideas before putting them all together into one (hopefully) coherent story.
“Okay, sure, sounds practical. How exactly are you relating this to gaming?”
Ah yes, that. Video games and game culture in general are certainly key to Adventure Rules. To that end, the short fiction pieces I create during this writing practice will be fanfiction.
“Alright, peace out, I don’t do fanfiction.”
If that’s where you’re at, that’s totally fine. I’m not asking every single adventurer to enjoy this, or to read it. But I do want to take a second to define what fanfiction on my blog is going to look like. First of all, there’s no author self-insert stuff here. It isn’t reader-insert either. Finally, I don’t do sexual content. If any/all of those things would normally turn you off to the idea of fanfic, no worries here. When it comes to writing in worlds created by other writers, I have two main methods that I’ve discovered are really effective for me. I either write a story set in the game world with original characters (see Pokemon PI for an example of that style), or I do a crossover with the cast of one series and the genre of another (see Mario Party for an example of that style). This is all to say that the way I see fanfiction, you’re taking the building blocks someone else has provided in order to create a story that’s your own.
At the end of the day, this still won’t appeal to everybody. I’m not expecting it to. That’s why this content won’t be featured on the main blog. If you’re not interested, that’s okay, because chances are you’re not going to notice the changes anyway. Conversely, if you ARE interested and this whole “stream-of-consciousness edited into a short story” thing sounds totally awesome to you, you’re going to want to follow me on Tumblr because that’s the ONLY place you’re going to see this content. You can find my Tumblr page by clicking this link.
There’s going to be a change heading to the main blog starting next Sunday, and that change is the “Weekly Update.” At the end of each of my weekly posts (still on Sundays right now), there’s gonna be a small section dedicated to updating my followers on upcoming events. My goal this year is to be more consistent, right? Well what better way to measure consistency than to establish expectations and then to meet those expectations? That’s the idea behind the weekly update. So here’s the information you can expect to see:
NEXT WEEK’S POST: This is pretty straightforward, right? This will tell you straight up what I am posting about the next week. Builds anticipation, gives you an idea of where things are going. Knowing what to look forward to next Sunday is a good way to make sure you want to come back. This is particularly true for folks who are not followers, as they might be drawn to a specific article and then see “oh, on Sunday he’s posting about so-and-so. I want to see that!” Basically, by keeping you in the loop, my hope is that you’ll be more excited for what’s coming.
TUMBLR FICTION: If you skipped the Tumblr discussion above, this section is directly related to that. Each week on Tumblr I’ll be featuring small snippets of stream-of-consciousness writing practice from Sunday to Friday. Then on Saturday, all those snippets are edited into one whole short story.This segment of the Weekly Update will show what game(s) the Tumblr fiction will be focused on. So if this says “Final Fantasy,” for example, that means the fiction posts on Tumblr that week would be set in the world of Final Fantasy. For those whose interest in the fiction will be dependent on what game world I’m writing in, this will let you know what to expect from me in the short story department for the next week.
UPCOMING EVENTS: This section will give you an idea of anything upcoming you can look forward to that isn’t just “next week’s post.” Some weeks, there may not be anything. But if I know there’s going to be some kind of live-tweet event I’m doing (similar to this past week’s impromptu Board Game Night event), this is where I’ll let you know about it so you can be ready. This will also address big-picture stuff like, say, if E3 is happening during the upcoming week, I’ll talk about what events I plan to cover.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Finally, this section will provide links to other content. Generally, this will be a place for me to link the previous week’s post for those who might not have read it. However, I’ll often include other stuff here as well. I may have had something particularly unique or interesting happen on a social media site that’s worth sharing here on the main blog. This is where I’ll link that sort of thing so you can check it out – in case you missed it! See where the title came from?
That’s what you can expect from the Weekly Updates. So just as an example, say I were to do one for this upcoming week. It’d look something like this:
Next Week’s Post: Details from the Nintendo Switch Event
Tumblr Fiction: Ace Attorney universe (Phoenix Wright)
Upcoming Events: Nintendo Switch Presentation, Thursday, January 12, at 11 PM EST
Treehouse Live Switch Demonstration, Friday, January 13, 9:30 AM EST
(Work permitting, I’ll be live-tweeting my reactions to both events)
In Case You Missed It: What JRPGs can Learn from Bravely Second
Pokemon Moon Live Reaction, Boardgame Night Event(Facebook)
Pokemon Moon Live Reaction, Boardgame Night Event(Twitter)
So there you have it!
Okay, one last thing in this update and I’m done. Earlier this week a good friend of mine really stepped up and helped to spread the word about Adventure Rules, inviting his followers to check out the blog if they were interested. The adventurer community enjoyed a surge in followers thanks to that effort, and I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to this individual, my friend Mitchell. Mitchell is a “blogger” of sorts as well, in that he co-hosts a Podcast called Gift of Podcast. Their content focuses on the world of professional wrestling, and trust me when I say that I’ve never heard anyone talk about the wrestling phenomenon with the passion that Mitchell does. So if wrestling is something that you are in to, please check out his Twitter page by clicking this link. He’s a great guy and an active adventurer, and if you’re interested in the world of wrestling then you definitely want to see what he brings to the table.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope to interact with you all throughout the week and that you’ll return next Sunday for my analysis of the Nintendo Switch event later this week.