“Pink Pigtail Inn needs to think up some better topics. […]. I am hoping WI can find better posts to link to in the future that aren't as banal and self-serving”
This time they decided to mention my post about how annoying the single-listing practice is from the point of view from a customer. I guess I would have been better off if they hadn’t.
Getting link love from WoW Insider is a double-edged sword. Many new bloggers crave for it; they think it would be the best thing ever to happen to their blog, to finally get the chance to reach a bigger audience. (Unfortunately the bump in the visitor statistics will be just a bump. It’s not the ICC buff we’re talking about here, rather a short burst of heroism/bloodlust).
But even as a veteran I can’t deny that I too secretly get a little bit flattered by the attention. I suspect that bloggers are a bit like actors – happy and terrified in equal proportions as we’re taking our place in the spotlight – left out, vulnerable, fragile and yet thrilled, empowered and confident.
The negatives about WI linkage is that you’re exposed to the views of a lot of people who never have read your blog before, who don’t know you and who are every so quickly to judge you and point fingers. Expect rotten tomatoes come flying in your direction. You’re dealing with a mob.
Wise bloggers know how to shield themselves from this. If they even take notice of the trolls, they give the trolls the laugh they deserve. And that’s the advice I’ve given too, over and over again over the years to fresh bloggers. If you get hurt, it’s only because you let them hurt you. There’s no need to! You can choose your own reactions.
But for all my gnomish wisdom and insights about how I SHOULD react, the comment above still slipped through my defence system. For a moment I lost my balance. And as I did so, stumbling on the stage, wondering where to put my feet, I looked at myself and wondered what this was all about. Why did I care?
And I found that this particular troll had managed to pick up and echo doubts my own doubts, doubts that I think most writers struggle with at some point. It happens that we ask those questions: “What’s the point in my blogging in the first place? What am I doing, standing on this soapbox, sharing my banal thoughts with the world, as if they were worth listening to? Who do I think I am?”
Long-time readers of PPI know that I normally try to remain positive, no matter what. However it happens that I occasionally slip and fall into more self-destructive patterns. And that’s why this post could break through my shield and get to me. It matched thoughts that I already carried myself.
Banal and proud
However, the slip was temporarily and I definitely won’t let this troll leave the inn with the last word. Because after a short moment of self-pity and soaking in my own butt hurt feelings, I popped heroism and manned up, growing to the double size if not more, ready for a fight.
So this guy thinks that PPI is banal and self-serving? Good for him. He's right. PPI probably is quite banal. And you know what? I’m not even ashamed of it! Why would I be?
Banalities are fine. People have made entire comedy shows going on for years about “nothing” and they were excellent. There are so many pretentious works of art in the world that crave desperately for a little bit of banality, which would make them matter and not just remain unreachable thought constructions. Gief more banality!
This week I’ll be celebrating three years as a blogger. During this time I’ve given my thoughts, experiences and views on WoW in over 600 posts. They’re probably not the kind of deep or world-changing posts that the commenter is looking for. But so what? I never claimed anything else; I’ve never reported in as a candidate for the Nobel Prize. I’m just an average – or sometimes even mediocre if I’m absolutely honest - player who runs an average blog where I ramble about my very ordinary life in Azeroth.
The guests that frequent PPI are accordingly kindly asked to leave their e-peens as well as steel toe shoes in the hallway. You see, I think that there are others like me in the community, players who long for a safe spot, somewhere where banality and mediocrity is not only accepted, but even embraced.
I want PPI to be a place in my mind where walk barefoot, where I don’t need to pretend that I’m any better or smarter than I really am. Where I’m just me. And if the WI readers don’t approve of their choice for linkage, it’s their problem, not mine.
As long as PPI remains open, it will always be a home for banalities. I promise.