Blowing the dust off reveals…
A blog! Unused for a month now.
It isn’t that I don’t care about you all. It is that things went absolutely bonkers for the past several weeks.
Since the last time we spoke, my household has been through the following:
- We went through our first major conference as an author.
- The foster child that moved in in October moved right back out.
- We’ve welcomed a new baby into the extended family.
- An immediate family member has gone through spinal surgery. And is making a rapid and remarkable recovery, I am happy to say.
So, yeah…we’ve been busy.
So, how was the first month of your 2018?
Email Via Snowshovel
Among the (many) things that have suffered from lack of my attention this last month has been my email accounts. I maintain three of them, and they were completely overflowing by the time I got around to digging through them on Monday.
I was able to delete tons of “daily book deals” and “Amazon specials.” Same for “Act today, this price will never come again!” ads. But there were still dozens that required my attention. Messages from friends checking on me. Many writers and writing sites that I follow. A few from Patreon subscribers. And LOTS of fans wanting to know if I have shut down Misdirected permanently. (No, I have not.)
And then came the one that stopped me in my tracks: A “Welcome Back” free 7-day subscription to World of Warcraft.
I flagged it, parked it at the top of my Inbox, and have been ruminating over it ever since.
The Historical Record
If you don’t have a long history here, let me bring you up to speed: Misdirected used to be a gaming site.
Gaming was what I did back in the day. I’ve always been a gamer, but from the point where I developed epilepsy onward gaming was how I spent my time. I invested better than the equivalent of a full-time job every week doing it. First-person shooters, 4X strategy games, MOBAs, role-playing games were all on the menu. If you can name it, I probably played it.
But things shifted two years ago when I began talking, just off the cuff, about my upcoming bariatric surgery. A blog that used to have maybe 1,000 visits a year began seeing that much traffic in a month. And it just kept growing.
So, I shifted my focus. I began featuring posts talking about the pre- and post-surgical process. I got involved in advocacy for those of us with obesity. I even went so far as to get a Personal Trainer certification so that I wouldn’t be making things up as I went along.
Once my fiction writing took off, it only got weirder. I ended up having to create an entirely different site to keep track of fiction writing. (Which is also currently covered in Internet dust, natch.) My writing about gaming grew more and more distant – a fondly held memory of a simpler time.
The Temptation In The Inbox
But, here’s the thing: I’ve never stopped being a gamer.
I’ve just had to switch to less labor-intensive games. Stuff that isn’t really worth talking about, or sharing online. Just stuff to scratch that itch, as it were.
And, now, this: an invitation to 7 free days with my all-time favorite game. The game I specifically quit playing because of what a massive time-sink it is. Dangling in front of me like forbidden fruit.
See, WoW is one of the few remaining MMOs out there that still charges a monthly subscription fee. And it is so good that millions of people are willing to pony up the $15 every month to play it.
Now, back in the day, Lor and I didn’t have the $30 a month to spend on subscriptions. But, there are ways to actually fund your monthly fee by selling virtual items in-game, and turning them into “Blizzard Tokens”. These tokens can then be used to pay for real-world items like…subscription fees.
I used to spend every month earning next month’s subscriptions before I started “real” gaming. After all, all it took was time. And back in the day, I had plenty of that.
Nowadays? Not so much.
To Game, or Not To Game?
Lor has already given me a very accurate prediction of what will happen if I pop the seal on that 7-day gateway drug:
I will invest 40+ hours in the next seven days earning enough in-game currency to pay for a month’s subscription. Because I love playing with Lor, I will, of course, have to then earn enough for her to re-up as well.
And during that time I might, if I am lucky, get about five hours of writing done.
I am committed to 10,000 words a month for the next 10 months on Executor, the sequel to Inheritance. I also review roughly 40,000 words a month of other’s people’s writing. And I also have to find time to do contract work as well: fiction writing is not yet paying the bills around here.
So, I am committed to roughly 100K words of writing and editing a month. At the pace I write at (roughly 500 words an hour), that works out to 200 hours a month.
And now, on top of that, I am considering adding 40+ hours a week of WoW-ing.
I suppose I could give up things. Like going outdoors. Or eating. Or sleeping.
Or, maybe I just need to quietly, and regretfully, hit the “Delete” button on that shiny email from Blizzard.
So far, I have not been able to do it.
Thrust Upon The Horns Of Indecision,