Reboot for the blog, and for bits of my life

Well, finally. When I moved the blog, the goal was to start using it quite frequently. That was last year’s plan, anyway. In fact, I’ve got stubs of articles written in a folder, but I’ve just never gotten around to finishing them and recording the podcast. And of course, the site also started to look way too cluttered – I had added my Twitter stream to the site, just for the heck of it, and suddenly all the real content just disappeared into the 3,000 tweets I’ve posted since my last blog entry (OK, I’ll admit it – I talk on Twitter way too damned much somedays.)

One of the other problems with the blog was motivation – while I wanted to do it, it never filtered to the top of my pile of “ToDo’s”. Nothing I was doing was interconnected with making sure my blog got done. The blog serves two purposes: first, it’s an outlet for my opinions and stories, and everyone who knows me well knows I have plenty of both. And fortunately, both are usually considered to be fairly good most days (or so I’ve been told – I’m not going to trust my own judgement on that, I’ve got a fairly good sized ego 😉 The second reason is self promotion – I’ve got books and projects that are always in development that I need to be promoting. Just blogging about them isn’t enough promotion, of course, but every little bit helps.

Now, however, the blog (and similar self-promotion techniques) have become important again.  For a while, most of my money (well, what little of it I made) was made from web development.  However, times and industries change, and having grown tired of customers that slow pay, customers that promise a project then suddenly back out, and all of the drama, I’m going back to a path from past.  I’m going back into entertainment.

I’ve done two things in the past that are entertainment based – the first was video game development.  I developed and released seven full games for the PC, plus did contract work for other game development companies, back before getting involved with the whole LAN gaming center hell known as Gamer Zone.  That distraction ended up killing most of the headway I had made in game development – things like speaking at conferences, connections, that sort of stuff.

During Gamer Zone, I somehow pulled off creating a television show – the World Of Gamer Zone.  It was reviews and game news – but as we went along, the show slowly morphed to contain information on how to develop games, and at one point we began the process of a game in development.  Instead of being talking heads just doing reviews it suddenly gained a very serious value as a tool for education or enlightenment in the field of game development.  As Gamer Zone died, the show continued right up until the TV station it aired on was bought out.

After Gamer Zone, it became a slow climb uphill to start paying off my debts from that failure.  Which is where web development came in play – it required less of an investment in time to get a return back.

Now game development and TV both seem to have something in common – there’s this weird draw to get back into it.  I can tell you if I never did another website I wouldn’t feel deeply drawn to do it again.  But TV and games?  Oh, there’s a serious draw there.  I’ve been making plans to get back into both fields for quite a while now – they just never quite pan out.  I’m always lacking the resources (either time or money) to make them happen.

But I managed to enter yet another entertainment field – I became a writer.  My first book, The Story of Gamer Zone has never burned up the charts – but one reason is because I’ve never marketed it.  I know about marketing, and it’s quite often I spend a lot of (unpaid) hours helping web development customers with marketing both for their website and their business. I was instantly addicted to another entertainment field – I love writing.  Two more books are written already (one now resides with the publisher, one resides with the editor), and two more are partially done.  It really didn’t take long to get the hang of the writing, really – it’s not as hard to write a book as you might think, it really boils down to perseverance.  Note that I didn’t say writing a successful book, just writing a book.

The next book, The Horror Game, merges two of those draws I have now – I’ve returned to my game roots, and wrote a book at the same time.  The Horror Game is a classic dice and paper role playing game, done with a lot of humor rather than the usual dry writing style gaming books are written with.

The difference between The Horror Game and The Story of Gamer Zone is, well, I like The Horror Game, and fully intend to market the hell out of it.    I like the plot of The Story of Gamer Zone, just not the writing. And with The Horror Game there’s a lot extra stuff that’s going into it beyond the writing – there’s a website, some apps, and a community that gets built around it, so it’s a lot more exciting overall.

Since the beginning of the year, web development has paid so badly I can just barely make ends meet, and now it looks like there will be no more new contracts coming in.  I was seeing this coming anyway – things were slowing down.  So the decision was made – it was time to do a reboot of my life.  I’m headed off to do the things I love – entertainment based stuff.  (Though, my existing web customers have been all told the same thing – I’m still there for them.  Most of my good customers have become friends of mine over the last couple of years, so I seriously don’t want to abandon them!)

That also finally gives my podcast meaning again – I now have projects that this blog adds value to, in the way of marketing, and in the way of sharing information on how I’m doing what I’m doing.  I field questions all the time when people find out I’ve worked with video games or that I’m a writer – why not share all of that information?  And in the end, it becomes good marketing for me, too.

So now that I’m rebooting my life, the blog gets a reboot too.  A new, very slick design that I like.  New content will be added quite frequently – though instead of trying to podcast everything I want to put on here, I’m going to end up splitting things into different sections. There’s only going to be podcasts the most relevant portions of the blog.

These aren’t the only things that are getting a reboot.  I’ve got another rebooted project coming up in about two months – I’ve laid all the ground work for it, and I’m excited as hell to do it.  Once the reboot on it begins, I’ll start covering the project progress on here and reveal what I’m up to with that one.

So… here’s to reboots, and hoping for a lot less glitches in the system this time!


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