This post is part of a series "20 Days of... WoW Blogging Challenge", a blogging challenge suggested by Saga at Spellbound. She proposes twenty questions to be answered in twenty days and I, foolishly, have decided to take up this most daunting task because clearly my schedule is not full enough.
DAY TWO: CREATING BATTLE MEDIC
(or How to Treat a Case of Chronic Festering Blog Envy)
When I started playing WoW I didn't read any blogs at all. I read WoW Insider, of course, and I would consult Thottbot for help when I was stuck on a quest or place to go, but I did absolutely no research through blogs. In fact, I didn't even realize that they existed; I was too busy levelling my characters and having fun with the game, completely unaware of an entire world of new information and opinion that was out there.
I discovered the WoW blogosphere after I had already levelled two characters to 80 and was starting on my Paladin. I realized - at level 19 - that the reason that he had been sitting at that level for so long is that I had no clue how to play a Paladin properly, and so went searching for help. The result could be described as being similar to giving raging, slavering alcoholic the keys to a distillery.
I devoured the Paladin blogs that I found. I spent days (that should have been occupied by other, more important things) reading every blog that I could find on Paladins. Blessing of Kings was the most influential, and I went back to day one and read that blog from the beginning.* I Like Bubbles was also hugely influential - and back then it actually was a Paladin blog - and I admit that I shamelessly "borrorwed" Amber's crazy tag idea, although I don't take it quite to the same extreme that she does. There were many, many others as well.
The blog that made me think about starting my own, however, was Kurn's Corner. Kurn has an excellent writing style; successfully blending hard, detailed information with personality and wit. As I started writing comments on her blog that got progressively longer and more confident the seed of creating my own space to write was planted. I also really enjoyed the interaction (Kurn is really good at replying to all her comments, a lesson that I need to learn), and I would refresh her site repeatedly during the day to see who had responded to my comments. I am probably responsible for a lot of pageviews on her blog during that time.
At the same time I discovered that I could access my guild forums from work (via a devilishly sneaky work-around). I began posting a lot on our forums, and even began posting weekly discussion threads that were miniature blog posts in themselves. Each post that I would write would be signed with a unique and specially written little 'disclaimer' like this:
Shadowgarde: Sindragosa is Our Bitch! *
* Well, actually, our relationship with Sindragosa is a little like that relationship that you had back in University. You remember, that one that was going fine for the first couple of weeks, with each date ending in a wipe, but getting you tantalizingly closer to your goal (Sex… let’s be honest here). Then one magical night the stars align and in a flash of fireworks you finally do the deed. After that, probably out of future performance anxiety you never call her again. Yah… our relationship with Sindragosa is just like that.
By doing all this, I started to remember how much I really enjoyed writing and I began looking for more blogs to comment on and other ways to release this pent up creativity. The creative release of writing was exhilarating, and started the idea of creating my own blog to begin festering. It bubbled and fermented in my head for a few months before I finally did something about it. It was finding the perfect name that finally pushed me over the edge to finally create the blog (I'll talk more about the blog name on Day 7).
In retrospect, I am amazed at how tentative I was when I started this. I went to Blogspot with the intention of just seeing what was involved in creating a blog and to play around with the design to see if I could make something that looked good. In the past I had considered myself something of a web and graphic designer and the appearance of a site is very important to me. In the space of a couple of hours I had my blog looking very much like it does now and the idea that I was actually going to create a blog finally became concrete in my mind. I clicked on the Apply button and there was Dwarven Battle Medic, ready to receive visitors.
When I was a kid I used to write all the time: short stories, poems, fictional bios for my roleplaying characters, AD&D campaigns. I even started a novel once that I felt was promising, but tragically got chewed up by a cranky hard drive in it's last fit of pique as it died. I've always loved writing. I fondly remember when a great, lifelong friend and I sat down and wrote the beginning of a story in the style of Douglas Adams together (it involved a long, hilarious section describing Gastropod Art: Slime trails on canvasses two-and-a-half miles long, and the trials of the tour group trying to view the museum that was displaying them).
I never really let anyone other than a very select few actually read anything I wrote, however. The fear of putting writing out into the open for anyone to pick apart was probably the biggest reason I resisted creating a blog for so long. That my posts seem to be appealing (or at least not offending) to people is a gigantic relief.
Writing is so much fun and so incredibly cathartic, and I can't believe that it took me this long to rediscover it. Writing Battle Medic is a thrill, and seeing the response that I have received since I started has been utterly gobsmacking, to be frank. When I clicked on the Create Blog button, I did not expect to be on anybody's blogroll, or in anyone's feedreader, much less getting linked by and commented on by the very bloggers that inspired me to create this blog in the first place.
I love being a blogger, and I'm so thankful that I started this project. I love being known as the Battle Medic. And I'm very glad that you're here and reading this!
* As an aside, reading BoK from the beginning was truly awesome. It gave me a lot of insight to this game as it was in Vanilla (which I didn't get to experience). I have no idea how anyone played it back then... it sounds way too complicated.
Yesterday, DAY ONE: INTRODUCING THE BATTLE MEDIC
Tomorrow, DAY THREE: THE FIRST STEPS INTO AZEROTH (or How Many Noob Mistakes is it Possible to Make on a Ten Day Trial)