As a blogger sometimes it’s only natural to question “am I reaching anyone” and wonder if the things you write or say have an impact on those reading. I’ve been at this for almost three years now and I still find myself asking that question from time to time. While I’ve always written for myself, it’s nice to know that someone is out there listening. Before I start to get too blubbery, I suppose I should back up a little bit and start at the beginning.
A few weeks ago I was asked if I might be available to help judge the Blog Azeroth Thanksgiving event. The truth is that I was flattered to be asked and readily agreed to help. I looked at every entry as it came in and then again a second time once all of the entries were in before handing out my scores. Everyone’s posts were so heartfelt and fantastic that it was really very hard to assign scores – and I went back and forth on scoring so many times that my poor spreadsheet is damn near worn out. If you haven’t checked out everyone’s entries, I would strongly encourage you to do so! There are things from wonderful story arcs to haikus to iambic poetry to hand crafted turkeys to fun you-tube parodies. I promise you that it is well worth the visit to everyone’s blogs – you won’t be disappointed.
However, in reviewing everyone’s entries I was truly touched by how many people thanked me from either my work here or my work with the Welcome Wagon (which I must shamefully admit that I do not have one prepared for this week). And by touched, I mean a blubbering mess of grateful. I even had to take a minute and honestly ask myself if I could be objective in my judging or if I needed to send a note recusing myself from my obligation. In the end I felt I could remain objective and went ahead with scoring everyone’s entries – and damn if I didn’t want to just give everyone a 100. I mean, honestly, can’t everyone who participated just get a prize?!
Sorry, I’m starting to ramble.
Getting back on track, what reading through all of the entries did for me was answer the questions I started this post with. Yes, what I have to say does have an impact and people hear what you are saying. I mean, I know that is generally true from the comments and emails that I receive, but to know that what I write stays past the one post, and the comment left is a very fulfilling feeling. And more than that, I was so glad to hear how much people appreciated the Welcome Wagon. I know when I was introduced I felt so special, and I’m so incredibly pleased to learn that I can share that feeling with other new bloggers in the community.
One of the things that I’ve been somewhat negligent in over the past year, for a number of reasons, is getting out of my feedreader and returning the favor of leaving comments. For the past six months or so, it’s truly been all I could do just to keep up with everyone’s writing. I always read, but as of late I rarely comment. However, I remember the first comment I got – and I remember every subsequent comment since then. And I have been reminded that blogging is a conversation – and that I want to be an active participant. Not just on my blog and on twitter – but on each of your blogs as well. I can’t promise that I’ll get better (especially with a new raid tier on the horizon and my hands seeming to have a relapse), but I can promise that I’ll try, and that at the very least let you know that I am reading – even if I’m not responding.
To those who thanked me, I would like to return the favor.
Erinys - I have followed your adventures for some time now. I remember your struggles through Ulduar. I remember when you came over to the dark side. I remember when, and why, you stopped playing WoW. And I remember how thrilled I was to see the Harpy’s triumphant return. I love your gorgeous screenshots, and the care and thought that you have always given each one. I love reading about your PvP adventures and shenanigans. I wish you and Mr. Harpy many more moments to capture and much fun to be had. Thank you for taking the time to share the beauty and war of Azeroth with all of us.
Cymre - I was exceptionally touched by your post. The relationships that we make in WoW are one of the best things about the game! I am very happy that you have found a very close friend through something that you both enjoy. I have truly enjoyed your posts on some of the more fun costumes to be found in WoW – and might secretly admit that “Pebbles” was my favorite and that I use that exact fishing costume for Beru! I wish you the best of luck as you push forward into Dragon Soul and will be rooting for you the entire way! Thank you for sharing your friendships with us.
Tzufit, the Fun. You seem to inject joy wherever you go! One can’t help but feel uplifted reading your posts, and it’s so amazing that you are able to transcend your enjoyment in the game and put it into words that make us all feel like we are right there for the ride. I was worried when we didn’t hear from you for a while - and I was very happy when you decided to return. I’ll be watching your PvP interests and your gnomes very closely and enjoying every bit of your war stories! Thank you for hanging in there and continuing to bring a smile to my face.
Jasyla - I’ve followed you from the first day you opened your doors and were talking about trees and hunters (even if you hated broccoli man – for shame!). I’ve loved your insight into the resto community and I’m thrilled that I’ve gotten to know you better through our community connection. I watched you struggle through making the difficult decision to change your guild and set your hunter by the wayside. I’ve enjoyed our continued commentary regarding upcoming druid changes, and I love the way that from time to time I feel like we are Statler and Waldorf - all jaded and snarky, screaming “GET OFF MY LAWN”. I think your one of the best resources for Resto Druids available, and am continually amazed at the effort you put into helping everyone. Thank you for all of your hard work and be sure to open a bottle of wine and pour me a glass to toast your successes!
Windsoar - You were a voice in the night when I was ready to toss up my hands and give up my hopes of making a fantastic website for my guild, and I will never forget that. I remember when you were a shaman – frustrated and looking for a place to call home. I am so happy that you found somewhere to hang your hat, even if there are bumps in the road from time to time. Your strategy guides are amazing and a superb resource for the community – and I think it’s fantastic to have a strong voice to offer assistance with the many druids pulling their hair out trying to work through the challenges of ten man raiding. You aren’t afraid to hold your standards high, and expect everyone to meet them – and I admire you so much for that. Thank you for sticking to your guns, and showing everyone that it is possible know what you want and not be afraid to not settle until you find it.
Katarnas - I’ve really enjoyed watching you grow as a healer. You have always been very open about sharing with us your struggles and your drive to improve – and honestly, any guild leader would kill to have someone put that much effort into their play. Each week that you posted a new WoL review, and would secretly click through and make my own notes to see if they matched up with yours – and they almost always did. Your drive to always improve is inspiring. Almost as inspiring as your ability to take a positive outlook on every situation and dare I say it, you efflorescent personality. Thank you for always striving to improve in whatever you do, and in doing so setting an outstanding example for everyone else to stand up and do the same.
Elfi - I have been in love with following your weekly adventures through your Saturday Screenshot updates since I found your blog. You always have so much fun and energy that it’s inspiring. You help me to remember what it is about this game that made me fall in love with it, and give me a constant reminder that sometimes stopping to smell the roses can, in fact, be more rewarding than slaying all of those internet dragons. If we could bottle even an ounce of your energy and joy to pass around, WoW would be a better place for having done so! Thank you for sharing your adventures, they are a much-needed reminder the fun can be found anywhere, you just have to know where to look.
Edenvale - I absolutely love your creativity. Every time a new recipe is posted, I rush off to look at what you’ve come up with this time! I admire how you are able to mix your gaming into something fun that everyone can do outside of the game. Your recipes are truly an inspiration that is unmatched! Thank you for sharing them with us, and giving us all a reason to look forward to stepping away from the computer and into the kitchen.
Akabeko - You thanked me for helping make the community strong, but I think I’d argue that you help make it stronger! From your continued participation in shared topics and participation in events promoted through the blogging community to your support of other bloggers, I dare say that you do more for the community than I ever could! I loved your Brewfest guide, and I am quite honest when I say that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to look at Hallow’s End the same again. I love your fiction, and I will admit that I had moist eyes reading Dahaka’s goodbye, and I’m so glad that he let you post it. Thank you for being an amazing member of the WoW Blogging community, it’s members like you who make it the community that it is.
I was going to add some additional thank you’s of my own, but as this post approaches 2,000 words, I think that perhaps I should save them for another day. Let me just conclude by saying thank you to every one who visits my blog. I am humbled daily that you find my ramblings worth the visit. Thank you to everyone who has ever left a comment or sent me support privately. Each one means more to me than I have words to say. Thank you to everyone who has pushed me to keep going, and who has offered a raid tip or an in-game mail reminding me to do something I was like to forget (you know who you are!). Truth be told, without all of you my blog is nothing more than an online journal – but with you it’s a comfortable home for me to have conversations with great people. And for that, I will always be forever grateful. Thank you.