Last year, I wrote a blog post to celebrate my first year of blogging. I wrote about the intermittent creators anxiety that comes with putting your work on show, but also a lot about the things that blogging has pushed me to achieve. I said that I would be taking my blog in some new directions, and writing more about some of the things I’m passionate about.
A year on, I think it’s safe to say I’ve made good on my promise. I’ve gushed over Game of Thrones, reviewed some amazing books, swapping opinions with fellow bookworms along the way, and I’ve shared my thoughts on some of my favourite films from this year.
Keeping up the blog has been challenging at times, disheartening at others. As with last year, I’ve had days when the blank page has defeated me. But mostly, I’ve won. I’ve embraced the freedom that comes with running my own blog, writing with no motives other than my own. I’ve written about the things I love, which are, of course, mostly geeky, things like coding, tabletop gaming, and graphic novels. Blogging has become a driver of my own development, a way for me to explore my interests and meet likeminded people, and even pushed me to read more books and play more games, to take some time out for myself enjoying my hobbies, then to share them with the small slice of the world who read my blog.
Here are just a few of the things that have made this year of blogging special:
Last year, I went to my first ever gaming convention, EGX 2015, and managed to make it to London for a day of MCM Comic Con. This year, I knew I had to go back. At London Comic Con, I made a point to talk to as many people as I could. I loved talking to cosplayers about the inspirations behind their costumes, and saw saw a completely different side of the convention than what I’d seen the year before.
EGX 2016 was even bigger and better than EGX 2015. This time, I wasn’t press; I wasn’t reporting; I didn’t have any deadlines; I was there to have fun. It was fantastic. I spent most of the two days I attended with friends, having a hilarious time trying out the party games in the Rezzed Zone, and even queueing is more fun with friends.
Hosting a radio show
At the start of last year, I decided to start up a radio show (on my university’s radio network), which I co-hosted with my good friend, Roshni. Honestly, if you asked me when I started this blog if I would ever consider going live on air to talk about my interests, I would have laughed at you. Either that, or I might have run away in fear. But somehow, I ended up sitting behind a microphone, talking about video games, fantasy books, TV shows, computer hacking, and comic books. This was easily a highlight of my year.
Over the summer, I decided to add book reviews to my blog. I have always loved reading, and loved talking about my favourite books with others – when they’ll listen to me, that is. I don’t know why I didn’t think of blogging about books sooner, but I’m glad I got there eventually. I’ve also recently joined a young adult book club, meaning I’m guaranteed to read and review a YA book each month. Over the next year, I plan on spending even more time writing about the fantasy worlds I’ve been living in, and the characters I’ve been introduced to.
Getting into D&D
One of the best things that has happened to me this last year is joining my first Dungeons and Dragons game. Ever since discovering Critical Role on Geek and Sundry last summer, I had been desperate to join in a game of my own, and this summer, it finally happened. I’m now a level five goliath cleric. Playing Dungeons and Dragons is one of the best feelings, and I really wish it was something I had discovered when I was younger. I would have loved it.
One of my proudest blogging experiences from this year was when a blog post I wrote about a role-playing game gained some attention. I felt so inspired watching a Masks one-shot with RollPlay that I just had to share my thoughts. I never really expected anyone else to be interested, so I definitely didn’t expect the roleplayers/streamers involved in the game to respond to the blog post in such a positive way. Whilst my main motivation for blogging is for fun, it’s still a great feeling to have your work acknowledged, particularly by people you admire.
Of course, I can’t forget to mention computer science. I’ve only been studying it for 11 weeks, but already this course has pushed me, intrigued me, and of course, frustrated me. I’m learning so much so quickly, and despite the stress that comes with the tight deadlines, it’s been so worth it.
So thank you to everyone who has made this year great, whether you’ve taken the time to speak to me at a convention, or you’ve commented on a blog post I’ve written, or whether you just like to read what I write. It’s been pretty great.
Here’s to the next level.
This month, I’ll be wishing 2016 farewell by posting about some of my top books, TV shows, films and video games from this year, so stick around!