Frodo is sitting on a stone bench. In his hands is a Red Book, The Red Book. The pages within tell the tale of a homely, little Hobbit who decided to run out the door without his handkerchief, going on an adventure that would not only change his life but create a lasting impression in the world around him for years to come. As Frodo sifts through these pages, a much older, weathered Bilbo, who’s adventure he has finally put to paper via The Red Book, says “But age, it seems, has finally caught up with me.”
So what the heck was that about? Well, as I’m sure is a surprise to no-one, I have been struggling keeping my blog afloat the past several months. I don’t mean this in terms of followers, statistics, or similar metrics, but in my own writing ability, or rather, writing frequency.
I remember hearing a member of The Grey Company say in one of their podcasts that if blogging (or any fun hobby for that matter) ceases to be fun, or starts to feel like work, to just stop. It doesn’t have to be permanent, mind you, but life is too short to do something that feels like a chore.
In recent months, that has been where this blog has been heading (in my mind). Each month comes creeping toward me, at a pace I feel is a little too fast – damn you, time! Each month I scramble to come up with a worthy piece of content and all too often I feel like I’m laying track as the train is coming. Part of it is my fault, part of it is the typical woes of life. This month, for instance, has my professional life filled with event planning, marketing events, and business trips. Case in point, I am currently taking a 15-30 minute procrastination “break” to write this article before I pack and get ready for an early morning flight.
What does this mean? Well, a bit of nothing, and a bit of something. I do not wish to stop this blog. I have had the chance to interact with a great many people because of this blog, this community, and this card game. I don’t want that to stop. However, parts of this blog, and even bits of the game itself, are slipping by me in an effort to keep up my own lofty* goals. The short-term answer to the above question is that I will be taking the rest of May “off” from the blog. The long-term answer is more of a restructuring/reformatting on how I contribute to the community.
This is just a bit of “word-vomit” but as I type this is what comes to mind. First, I will close the door on “Hero of the Month.” I’ve had a great time forcing myself to try out a particular Hero and learn his or her nuances and play-style while finding community created decks in the process. It just comes down to the fact that I no longer have the time to do that on a monthly basis and, thankfully, we have a stellar community on RingsDB alone that more than accomplishes what I set out to do when I started that series. I’ll probably post a deck from time to time, hopefully monthly, but no longer to a strict schedule, and not always adhering to a particular Hero. I enjoy posting decklists on sites other than RingsDB, so that will always be a part of the blog. The other thing that comes to mind is my Art related posts. This is something that I made a “resolution” during the New Year to do with more frequency and, alas, have struggled to do that. My hope is that with Hero of the Month being ended, I will have more time to sift through cards, finding artists of all varying quality, style, consistency, etc. and putting them out into the aether that is the Internet for you players to enjoy.
I’ve also written a couple “First Impression” articles on recent Harad Quests and this is something I’ll do on a case by case basis. Ideally, whether I get a bout of free time on the weekend, or after my Monday night LoTR gaming, I will share my quick thoughts on the newest quest. As a player, I enjoy first impressions and snap-shots of games. I don’t always have the time or attention span to read a deep-dive of a new release, and getting a quick “yay or nay” is all I need to make a purchase.
If I feel like the gap left by Hero of the Month is too big, I might do a similar “First Impression” type post on new player cards as they come out. One thing I enjoy over on CardgameDB (and various M:TG websites) are the quick, preview ratings content-creators give new cards. For M:TG, the easy selling point is that it helps players pick and choose where to put their dollars as a new set comes out. For LCG’s, especially a cooperative game like LoTR, I’m merely hoping that such writings will generate discussion and potentially steer players towards a card they may be quick to overlook.
So, that’s about it! (Sort-of) like Bilbo, I need a Holiday. An official Holiday. Not one of my “oops, couldn’t get a deck posted in time, it will be out next month.” Unlike Bilbo, however, it will not be a long Holiday, and I will most certainly return – in fact I mean to.
As always, Thanks for reading 🙂
-The Secondhand Took