Status Report: Week 9 (I’m Unsure Why I Bother)

I created this website nearly five years ago. Almost 900 pieces later, here we are.

I think about the thousands of hours I’ve put in to this site. I think about the reasons I started writing in the first place: to connect with other people. I think of all the time and effort I’ve put into not only writing pieces but responding to every single comment. I think about the hundreds of questions I’ve posed to others, and the inversely small amount posed to me. I know it shouldn’t matter, but sometimes it’s hard.

It’s hard to be consistently overlooked. Or ignored? Which is worse?

The past week has been sobering, writing-wise. Most of my traffic comes from people clicking on Facebook links from my writing page. Due to changes in Facebook’s algorithms, people are not only not seeing those posts, but not finding their way here, either. I’m more than willing to admit I’m not of interest to the overwhelming majority of folks (including people I know who love games and love to read), but I also seem to be writing into a vacuum.

It’s to be expected, really. I loathe self-promotion. LOATHE IT. I almost never link pieces I write on my personal Facebook page because I hate the idea of bothering people with my writing. The only reason I even created a Twitter account was to promote my “work” as I don’t believe I’m clever or engaging enough to make good use of the platform outside of how I use it now. No matter how many times I’ve mentioned the capability of being able to subscribe to this website via email, almost no one does.

The writing on the wall is large and in neon.

I sometimes feel I write in spite of myself. Four times a week, every week, for five years. I’m proud that I’ve never missed a day. But I’m largely not doing what I set out to do. If I did not ask what people were playing, nearly no one would be interacting. And, while I sincerely love knowing what people are playing, I’m failing at writing.

I sat there last night and realized my “work” doesn’t matter. It doesn’t. There’s nothing here you couldn’t find elsewhere. The landscape is laden with writers, better writers, more versed writers, and what I do doesn’t matter. My words don’t matter. So I ask myself what I’m doing.

I don’t know. And I just keep doing it.

This isn’t about popularity. The only reason I cite views and traffic and algorithms is to prove a point of numbers. At some point I must heed that what I’m doing is largely of no use. I’m not an amazing writer. I don’t have style. I merely exist in this tiny corner of the internet, and I’m not sure continuing on does anything positive for anyone and that gives me pause.

I started really thinking about this again after witnessing a weird trend on my Facebook writing page. If I made a post that a piece was going up late, people would comment or engage with that post. When the piece itself went up, almost no one would engage with it. If I linked another piece (e.g.: Thehardtimes.net), it would get a crazy amount of engagement, but when I would link something I wrote, there would be little to none. The only thing I can conclude is that what I write isn’t of interest, and continuing would be an effort in futility. Most of my friends love games and I am not even of interest to them. That speaks volumes.

I post a photo and 20 people like it. I post a link to a piece I’ve written and two people do.

I am so grateful to those handful of people who have been supportive and kind and helped me feel like maybe, just maybe, I could hang in there.

To the incredibly small number of people who have ever asked me a question or, rarer still, the few people over the past five years who have asked if I’d write a piece about something, thank you. You will never know how I keep those moments with me as sustenance. The times between are painful deserts and I am thirsty.

I don’t know what I’m saying here other than what I’ve said. I think I needed to get current with where this site is and where I’m at (both: nowhere) and just how down down down I am about the site, my writing, and engagement in general.

I got nothing.

And I keep thinking about subbing to PS Now.

I hope your week is good.

I hope I can either hang in there and things change, or I hope I can finally force myself to stop writing and continuing to embarrass myself. I think about the fact that almost no one will see this and I feel like that should be an answer in and of itself.

Categories: games

Tagged as: , , ,

23 replies »

  1. I’m sorry you’re feeling down. I know how you feel though. I think about giving up. I’ve noticed recently that some bloggers followed me and when I followed back, they unfollowed. *Sigh* I wonder if I need to be a jerk to get ahead. I’ve decided to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully, I’ll find my audience even if it’s a painfully slow process.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I sincerely hope you find your audience. I’m beginning to think I simply don’t have one. And that may just be the reality, unfortunately.

      I’ve seen a lot of folks follow for a couple days and when I don’t follow back, they unfollow. The same thing happens on Twitter. It’s so weird. I don’t think you need to be a jerk. I never think we need to be jerks. I just think we will be in obscurity longer. That’s a tradeoff I’m willing to take.

      Also HUG

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I dont think that you are embarrassing yourself by writing.
    I’m in awe of your commitment.

    So, idk if you’ve written about this before, but what are some games that you think had a really good premise or idea, but failed to realize it? Alpha Protocol is always one I look to. What about you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate that, but my persistence seems to operate independent of me and can be both great and supremely frustrating.

      Interesting! Thank you for the idea! I’m not sure what games I’d put in that category but a movie comes to mind: Hell Fest. It was such a rad premise, but the realization of it was…lackluster. I’m going to have to stew on this one! Though, just thinking about it now, perhaps Far Cry 5 would fit in this for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense. I was kinda interested in seeing Hell Fest, plus I like one of the actresses. So maybe I’ll catch it sometime.

        I always look to Alpha Protocol. It’s a pretty solid idea, and it could have worked. Mash together Splinter Cell Blacklist and Mass Effect, and you’d have it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I, for one, am happy you write as I can relate to a lot of what you put out there. I hope you stick with it but as someone that also feels that I’m yelling in to the void, I know it can be frustrating.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your writing is from the heart, combining personal insight about life in general with your own take on games. I think it has great value! But you’re right; you don’t need to focus on numbers. That way lies a shortcut to frustration.

    Everything I do online, be it my site, my YouTube channel or my podcast, I do simply because I enjoy it. It’s a natural extension of my hobby, one of many ways in which I can enjoy and engage with it. The fact that these things I do occasionally attract people who might want to interact with me is a happy bonus. (So long as they’re nice!) But at no point have I been aiming for particular follower/view count/Patreon milestones. If they happen, they happen; if they don’t, no problem.

    I’m grateful that people read what I do, but I’d keep doing it even if there were only one or two people looking at it. It’s something I do for me; something I enjoy looking back on; something I derive value from. However you might feel now, I bet you feel the same way at least sometimes! You made your own initial commitment for a reason, after all :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, so much, for your kind words. I appreciate them so much.

      I am so glad you enjoy what you do, and I mean that sincerely. I wish I enjoyed what I’m doing more.

      I love that you would keep doing it no matter what. I think, for me, my concern is that if there isn’t interest in what I’m saying, why say it? If that makes sense? I almost feel like if it isn’t of interest, I’m bothering people and I loathe bothering people in any way. Again, I’m not sure that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The thing to remember when you feel like that is that people make a choice to view your site or to follow you, so there’s no way you can be “bothering” them. You’re in my feed because I enjoy what you write and I enjoy engaging in conversation with you :) I get the worries about “bothering” people very much as someone with considerable social anxiety and Asperger’s, but the nature of this medium means that it’s “opt-in” rather than “opt-out”, so the onus is — at least partially, anyway — on the reader to engage with what they find value in rather than the writer worrying too much about what they’re writing.

        The other thing worth remembering is that even if no-one is reading (which is unlikely!), there’s still value to getting things down on “paper”, whether it’s expressing your feelings about something that’s been bothering you or simply gushing about something new and exciting you’re particularly enthusiastic about.

        Long before the age of the Internet and blogs, I used to write my own “reviews” of things I liked playing on my old Atari computers; I’d print them out and keep them in a ring binder; no-one would read them but me. My parents probably still have it somewhere, and doubtless it would be enormously embarrassing to revisit now, but I derived great value from that activity at the time — particularly as when I was doing that, computer games were not in any way “cool” so there weren’t that many people I could actually talk about them with!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s a super interesting way of looking at it, honestly. You make so many good points. Thank you. <3 I also enjoy engaging with you in conversation!

          Oh my gosh, I love that you did that!! And even if they were embarrassing to revisit, I bet they are so great!

          When I was growing up, I didn't have anyone to talk about games to either, really. My parents worked in a building next door to an attorney (Dan). He used to play games on his computer via cassette and would let me play and we would talk about them! I remember that being so amazingly cool.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I really need to check my email more to check when things are posted. Depending on Facebook to show your posts is becoming more unreliable. I love your writing and I’m sorry that the lack of traffic is frustrating. You have a pretty solid fanbase who loves what you put out. Really hope you keep on going because I look forward to your insight on things and seeing a bit of that beautiful mind of yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Facebook’s algorithms have all but scooted me into obscurity. The ironic part is I became more active on Facebook to promote this site and it all somehow backfired.

      It’s not that the lack of traffic is frustrating. It’s my apparent lack of interest to others.

      You are so incredibly kind. Thank you. <3 I don't know if I even can quit no matter how hard I want to.

      Like

  6. I can’t speak for anyone else; I look forward to seeing what topic will hit my inbox pn the given days that you write. I, personally think that the status updates range from hilarious to serious; every emotion in between. They always bring something new to the table. Just like your writing. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life; you’re ambitious & courageous for wanting to share a small piece of yourself 4x/week for the past five years. I couldn’t go that long. Great work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, shoot, thank you Rich. I appreciate that so much more than I can say. I don’t even know what to say. Thank you. <3 And thank you for always being so supportive.

      Like

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