On 2 Years of Shouting into the Void
I'm a fan of The Alexandrian. Justin Alexander's Gamemastery 101 posts on designing robust scenarios, interesting dungeons, satisfying gameplay structures, and so forth are all quite solid, and among other things, his "archeological" posts on his experiences with OD&D and with running a megadungeon/hexcrawl built out of Caverns of Thracia are also good reads. He's got a Twitter feed on the sidebar, and while I tend to ignore it (since out-of-context packets of 140 characters aren't worth much to me), I noticed a series of tweets from about a week ago talking about what it took to get his site to where it is now and what he had to pass up on doing along the way.
It struck a chord with me, since it's been right around 2 years since I started this site, and he mentioned that was about how long it took before he got his lucky break right around when he was contemplating abandoning The Alexandrian. It made me think about why I'm doing this, what I hope to get out of it, and what might make me feel like it's not worth continuing.
This site was born from a desire to get my mind out on the Internet in a way that I was comfortable with. I was in the final stages of publishing my books, and I wanted to have a platform for people who wanted to see just who this "Ash Adler" person is. I'd tried Facebook in the past, and I hated it. It was too limited, too impersonal, too biased towards the superficial. I'm not saying that it can't be used in any other ways, but doing so would be fighting against the system, and it wasn't really suited to what I would want to do with it anyway. Other social media outlets weren't much better, so far as I was concerned. I wanted something that would let me express myself in a form that suited me. A blog seemed like the best option for that, and Wix seemed to present the best balance of giving me the functionalities I wanted with minimal learning curve.
So it came to be, and yet, it quickly took on a life of its own. Despite what it might look like based on my posting history, I began to enjoy sharing bits of my thoughts with the vast space of the Internet. You can see that in the scope creep over time. What started out as a place for sharing reviews (which provided potentially-useful chunks of information alongside giving insight on my personal preferences and values) grew to also include recipes, records of my regimented bits of exercising, adventures in miniature painting, and most recently thoughts and tools for tabletop RPGs.
For all that I am a private and introverted person by nature, I do like to help other people. Even thought I know I don't have much of an audience, I can see the trickling stream of people stopping by my site. If just a fraction of those people have somehow had a piece of their lives improved by what they've read on here, it's served its purpose.
Thus, it doesn't bother me that I don't get comments, likes, messages from sources other than spambots, and so forth. It doesn't bother me to be shouting into the void. The shouting by itself is good enough. Let the void make of it as it will.
As for what might make me feel like it's not worth continuing, short of becoming physically incapable of posting more, that's hard to say. It's something that I've come to enjoy for the sheer act of doing it. If that enjoyment were to fade with time, I'd probably stop. Passions can be fickle things, after all. As long as that enjoyment remains, though, I see no reason to not keep on going.
I wouldn't mind having some company in the void, but it's not such a bad place as it is.