Don’t chase perfection for perfection’s sake, or for any one else’s sake at all. If you strive for something, make sure it’s for the right reasons. And if you fail, that will be a better lesson to you than any success you’ll ever have. Because you learn a lot from screwing up.
It’s been one year since I made the decision to start this blog. One year of writer’s block, frantic typing, and keyboard smashing. It’s been a year of crossing my fingers, hoping that no-one says anything negative, or decides to go all “keyboard-warrior” on me. It’s been a year of breaking out into a cold sweat when someone tells me I’ve made a typo, and waiting nervously for the first like on a blog post.
But it hasn’t all been about “creator’s anxiety”: it’s also been a year of squealing when someone sends me a nice comment, having palpitations (in the good way) when someone shares my work, and generally feeling quite proud of some of the things I’ve put out there.
It has also been a year since I started writing for my university’s newspaper, Redbrick, of which I’m now one of the editors, and I’ve gone from writing science and technology articles, to writing for gaming, TV and even news, all in the space of a year. A year might not seem a long time to some, but to me, that 5% of my life has been a pretty big one. When I first started letting other people read my writing, I even went as far as to describe myself as a barnacle gosling (you know, those super cute birds that throw themselves off cliffs almost as soon as they’re born), but now I’m looking at masters programmes, and giving advice to Redbrick’s science and technology writers, helping this year’s barnacle goslings to improve their articles.
You might be wondering at this point where this blog post is actually going. Maybe it’s going nowhere (at least that’s what the creator’s anxiety is telling me right now). Maybe I’m just trying to pat myself on the back for all the things I’ve done this year. But then again, what’s wrong with that? Someone has to.
In the last year, I’ve screamed out-loud when my Hands-On Rise of the Tomb Raider article was shared by Tomb Raider’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, and was liked by over 2,600 people (which for me, is absolutely insane), and when Felicia Day favourited (or are we calling it “liked” now that Twitter have changed the little star to a heart?) an article I wrote about Geek and Sundry. I’ve been to EGX and London Comic Con, both times been lost in crowds of thousands of people, queued for at least an hour for thirty minutes of gameplay, and I’d do it all again in an instant.
I conducted my first interview(s) when I spoke to students about their views on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and I’ve taken part in a naked calendar shoot for charity. I’ve tried and failed to start up a new blog with the help of a friend, discovered that, as most people will tell you, you learn more from your failures than your successes, and I honestly couldn’t be more glad that the project fell apart within the first two months. Seriously, another piece of advice: learn when you’re taking on too much. I’ve attempted to learn to foxtrot (and tomorrow evening, I am pretty sure I will learn what it feels like to screw up a foxtrot routine in front of a couple of hundred people).
I’ve learnt how much I love playing around with social media, phrasing tweets and Facebook posts, staring at analytics pages, and replying to comments. I’ve become an online editor, become ridiculously busy, and then learnt not to describe myself as “busy” (successful people never do this apparently).
I’ve written some great articles, and some not so great ones. I’ve started a fantasy novel, which I now haven’t touched in two months. I’ve achieved some things I’m proud of, and others that I’m not. I’ve made mistakes that stick in my head, like the time I published an article under the wrong name, or the time I put my foot in my mouth and insulted someone when I didn’t mean to. Oddly, these are the things that my brain likes to remind me of the most. But all in all, when I get rid of that voice, in the last year, I’ve achieved a lot, and I’ve learnt where I want to be, and maybe more poignantly where I don’t want to be. This is surprisingly hard to admit when I feel like I should always be doing more (which is the eternal struggle of the perfectionist).
This blog started out as a science blog, a way for me to write about the topics I found interesting, but since then, I’ve learnt that when you have the freedom of your own blog, it’s pretty hard to stick to a topic so tightly… and that you’d be slightly crazy to limit yourself like that. I’ve written about introversion, about gaming, about being a massive nerd, starting university, and even failure. From here, I imagine my blog is only going to become more diverse. I’ve got an unfinished post in my drafts folder about Marvel’s Jessica Jones (though who knows, by the time it’s finished, it might be on a different topic entirely – I will most likely be going off on a tangent about strong women in TV). Who needs to be confined by genre when you’re not actually being paid?
To summarise, I’ve had too much coffee today (those of you who know me will know that I’m not meant to have caffeine), and maybe this blog makes no sense whatsoever. But it’s my blog, and that’s all that matters. I hope you’ll stick around for another year.
BagoGames on Flickr