Friday, September 4, 2009

We make traces

More than once I have pondered upon the nature of blogging and of our online relationships. What kind of friendship do we have with our readers? Is the affection I feel and the warmth I experience while solving the if not world, at least Azerothian riddles over a pint for real, or is it just wishful thinking, a result of my imagination?

Once I asked myself if anyone will notice if I suddenly disappear from the game, if I die for real. The show must go on. We don't make any traces in the game (at least if we're not BRK or Phaelia). That's a fact. Or is it?

Yesterday I was reminded of that the words that we write, the thoughts we express and the feelings we share, maybe somehow sticks. I was browsing Warcraftbloggers (which works as a sort of feed reader to me, since I don't keep one of those myself) to check if there were any new interesting blogs incoming. And then I suddenly saw a familiar name: Chick GM was posting again. I couldn't believe my eyes!

For new members of the WoW blogosphere, who never have heard of Chick GM, I can tell you that Auzura, who runs it, was one of the brightest shining stars on the blogging sky until she suddenly, without any explanation, turned silent in October 2008. Until then she used to write about her experiences as a guild leader in a passionate, insightful, intelligent and very eloquent manner. She was a star, everyone could tell, from the very start of her blog. She only needed to write a few posts before she appeared on literally EVERY link list.

But one day she disappeared from the scene. And I had a dreadful feeling that it had to do with her health problems, which she had mentioned briefly, almost ashamed of sharing anything such private on this blog dedicated to leadership issues.

Now she has written a post. She's alive. She's playing WoW again, if only casual. And it seems that she may consider starting blogging again, although she hesitates since she doesn't run her own guild anymore and therefore doesn't think she hasn't authority to talk about those topics the way she did before.

Well, my message to Auzura is that she should stop worrying about that aspect. Seriously. If you have stories to tell, thoughts to share and if you have a passion and talent for writing, it doesn't matter if you're a raid leader of Ensidia or if you're levelling your first toon and just dinged 14 in the fields of Westfall. You can always reach out and find an audience. Trust yourself.

And my message to myself and other bloggers who from time to time wonder about if all those text walls we crit the readers with really matter, since they will be erased by the tide of time anyway is: yes it matters. I still remembered Chick GM after almost a year, I've been worrying about her - even if I doubt that she's ever heard about, even less visited this little inn. And I was glad to hear that she's been let out of hospital, it sounded hopeful.

We make traces. More than we dare to believe.

16 comments:

Svenn said...

You better believe we will notice if the inn lies vacant for any long period of time!

When Brian over at Coffee with Sargeras decided to hang up the blogging towel, the response was almost overwhelming, and he only blogged for a short period of time, and didn't even play WoW. (I am personally indebted to him for his awesome guest post on my blog back when I was just starting out.)

Yes, we make traces, if not with our readers, then at least we have the experience of creating something.

Tesh said...

Tracks in the sand, mayhap. I know that BRK and Phaelia have left tracks in my mind, and while time will naturally change things, there will always be *something* in there. All the more important to make sure we're leaving *good* tracks, eh?

Elnia said...

GOOMH!

Klepsacovic said...

If you vanish I will not be happy. So please don't vanish.

Which reminds me; sometimes posts are like yawns. You post and then I suddenly realize that I need to post too, so I'll have my better response tomorrow morning.

Thistlefizz said...

I can tell you for sure you've had an impact and would be missed if you disappeared!

If I can be cheesy for a moment--after trying and failing for quite sometime to psych myself up to finally get a blog going (I'd always felt, who cares what I have to say? I'm not sure I have anything unique to add), I came across a post you made in Blog Azeroth where you gave a link to one of your articles about what makes a good WoW blog. Well what you said at had such an impact on me that I finally got over my fear of putting my thoughts out there that I created my own blog.

So never fear. You make more than traces.

~Fizz

Ixobelle said...

If I don't reply to every post, don't think it means I don't read them all.

The same goes for the zillion other readers you have, and I know, because almost every post *I* write back home seems to suss out a single 'long time reader, first time commenter'. Those are my favorite comments, and the ones that make my day the *most*.

As for Dying IRL, I'll know I've died when I continue to blog as I normally do, but every post recieves zero comments. I will close my browser, smile knowingly, and know I've arrived in Hell. Until then (and even after then, probably), I'll keep on trucking, and sleep soundly at night knowing you'll do the same, Larìsa.

(yes, I know the accent on the *I* is leaning the wrong way... that just means you're loved, OKAY?!)

Llyrra said...

Traces? Ha! For me, it's more like: you've come into my home to visit, you've used my best dishes, ate all my favorite foods, spilled wine on my carpet, left muddy footprints all over, then said you'd be back tomorrow to do it all over again!

And of course, you are welcomed with open arms!

When bloggers post, they are reaching out to hundreds, thousands or even more readers. I'm sure that action can be heady (or scary! I'm keeping my WoW blog private atm). But as a reader, when you post, you are talking directly to and only to me. It's as if I've invited you over for a cup of coffee, and you accepted. Then we proceed to have a great little chat.

If those talks, those visits, that interaction were to disappear suddenly one day, you damn well better believe that people would notice, and worry, and be genuinely concerned.

You've absolutely left an impact as a blogger and writer Larissa, but you've also become a set of muddy footprints that I look forward to following everyday.

akiosama said...

Larisa,

All I can say is, responding to your blog is one of the things that got me to create my own - albeit I've only recently rediscovered it and need to get back on the ball.

While your tolerance for my "wall of text" comments is admirable, I felt that if I could just blog it I could just run my mouth completely, and not really worry about offending those bloggers who I enjoy reading (and who I feel contribute far, far more than I could to this WoW blogsphere. (I kid, but I'm also a self-deprecating nitwit sometimes, too.)

So, please, rest assured that you've more than made a trace impact on this WoW blogsphere. You've got regular readers, a healthy response - bloated, even, when I'm around - and people who would miss your thoughts, ideas and writings if you were to stop.

I know I'd mourn for the WoW community. Your blog is my source for stuff about the human side of the game, and I'd miss it dearly. (There's so much more out there on the mechanics than the human aspect...)

My 2 yen, and many, many more words to Larisa,

Akiosama

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog maybe... two days ago? so while i can't say you've made a huge impact (yet!), i'll definetly have a peice of Gevlon's blog in my head. I've been reading his for a couple months now and.... that goblins going to stick in some form, even if it's just critiquing some RL M&S.

Larísa said...

@Svenn: A true observation. Readers or not, the activity of blogging leaves traces in ourselves. At least for me it's a very creative process, which has also affected my experience of Azeroth and the way I look upon gaming and the gaming community. I'm not unaffected.

@Tesh: yeah, and not only the celebrity blogs, but also the less famous ones leave tracks. And sometimes I think the owners of those blogs aren't aware of what an impact they have, since we never let them know.

@Elnia: no way!

@Klepsacovic: I'll do anything to please my guests. So I won't vanish... today. I never make any promises about tomorrow. PPI has always been and will always be driven by my lust for writing. It's not a job.

@Thistlefizz: I'm SO glad if I could somehow help you to get the blog started. From what I can tell from your very first posts, your blog is going to be one of those that I bring under this roof. Gnome blogs ftw!

@Ixobelle: I love you too! xxx
And yeah, we should never forget about the lurkers... They are there, hiding in the shadows. Don't be so sure that the zero comments really means that you're in Hell. I'm trying not to bother too much about the volumes though. It IS a bit random and thinking too much about it can be rather painful - and risk to drain you from creativity and the enjoyment of writing.
This doesn't mean that I don't care a second about visitors. That would be a lie. But I'm trying to not let it blur my vision for the blog too much, trying to stay true to who I am - Larísa.

@Llyrra: I wasn't really fishing for love letters from my guests, but this was one of the most beautifully put "I like your blog" comments I've ever read. Thank you. And you nail it so perfectly, the relationship between the writer and the reader. It's an eye-to-eye conversation, it's not like I'm imagining that I'm standing on a soap box talking to the 800+ subscribers all at once.

@Akiosama:
Now stop picking on yourself so much! I'm glad you're back to writing again. I appreciate your long comments, but you've got so much to tell that you deserve to have a place of your own. You've clearly got a talent for writing. The only thing is that you need to find the drive for it and the enjoyment in it to keep up the posting.

@Anonymous: welcome to the inn! Make yourself at home and don't hesitate to browse some of the old posts. You can always click on the names of the month in the archive and check if there's some headline that provokes your curiosity. BTW your dear goblin was born at the inn - he was one of the regular commenters here before he decided to start his own business. I'm proud of how well he has succeeded.
And if the impact I make isn't huge - don't feel bad about it. Your taste for blogs is such a personal thing. I don't take it as an insult if my writings don't speak to everyone. After all I don't love every single blog I encounter either, just as I prefer some food to other. It's only natural.

Azryu said...

Larisa, on the side of your blog you have that "Larisa Reads" section.

Is that a blogger only feature?
Or could self-hosted Word Press users perhaps do this too? I really like that function and think it would be cool to have :)

Thanks!

Larísa said...

@Azryu: I'm so sorry, but I don't know anything about Wordpress and the plug-ins for it. I just use Blogger vanillia, it's good enough for me. Wordpress scared me off when I opened this place, the interface just wasn't intuitive enough for me. But there is help to get: check the BlogAzeroth forums (link to Blogazeroth down to the right on this blog). If you register there you get access to a wealth of knowledge and there's a special department dedicated to wordpress. I'm sure you'll find people willing to help you out!

Cozmo D said...

Sometimes the "traces" that left are more than can be imagined. A while back (Burning Crusades)I switched my min from a rouge to a druid. I learned all the finer points of healing from reading Phaelia's site. I was not a "member" nor did I ever comment BUT I can honestly say she was the main reason I was able to make the transition from dps to heals. Your blog is a nice cozy place for many of us to enjoy what we all do (WOW) in a different way. BE proud that you have found your voice and audience. There are 1000's of new bloggers (just like me) who are struggling to find theirs. Oh and if no one has said it today, Thank You!

Kestrel said...

Brilliant, absolutely first-rate! (As always.)

How many of us priestly types are STILL wondering what happened to A Dwarf Priest over Christmas?

Larísa said...

@Cozmo D: Yeah, especially those informative sites probably have a huge impact on people who silently follow the advice without commenting on it. And welcome to the Blogosphere! Keep writing, and the voice will become clear, I assure you!

@Kestrel: thank you! Actually I think I carry a whole list of "what happened to that blogger" worries in my backhead. I've got a two month limit on my blog roll. After two months of silence (which can be stretched a little in exceptional cases) it will be removed. But this doesn't mean I've forgotten it. I keep wondering long time after they've disappeared from the scene.

Anonymous said...

I've just found this blog and absolutely have fallen in love. The post about the tickling ghost is going to stay in my head for a very long time, indeed. :)