Welcome to Games and Grappling!
If you attended the Later Levels Autumn Gamers Blog Party post and read through the guest comments, you might have seen me mention that I was moving to a different blog. I’d made the decision to change over the previous weekend, after a lot of thinking and mulling over.
There were lots of reasons why I came to the decision to move. I always make a list when I have to make a big decision, to see if the pros outweigh the cons. The list in favour of the move was pretty decisive.
1 – I was never truly happy with the move to Art of Redress
The idea to change from Retro Redress to Art of Redress wasn’t a bad one, but the way I executed it was dreadful. I basically tried to ‘re-brand’ (I feel dirty just typing that) in a night and that wasn’t enough time to complete everything. Little things like the site logo and site emblem looked awful. The ones I used were meant to be placeholders and I ended up sticking with them for six months.
I also had a nightmare picking a theme and spent ages going through a list of very similar looking themes, only for my final choice to not allow me to use the logo I wanted. It was a long, painful evening of making changes to the site, topped off by me locking myself out of WordPress the next day…I have no idea how I got back in, I just remember hammering out many different variations of my password until WordPress finally gave up and let me in!
I also think that I overstretched myself with Art of Redress. One of my flaws is that, I get carried away with ideas. Trying to watch every film and wrestling show while playing every game in my personal backlog, topped with listening to a ton of music isn’t a terrible idea but you have to have realistic goals. I simply didn’t have the time to do that and as a result, I got frustrated and stopped enjoying blogging. To keep up, I’d started rushing posts and not editing my writing. I think that really impacted my writing negatively – little mistakes started creeping in and I wasn’t happy with the content. Truthfully, I felt I was just doing the bare minimum. I’ve vowed to change this as I don’t want to coast through something that I genuinely enjoy.
2 – I wanted my writing to be more personal
When I first started writing Retro Redress, I was terrified of the internet. Whether it was the idea of someone criticizing me or just the idea of the blog failing, it really worried me. So I didn’t really interact with people at first, preferring to keep my distance. I was recovering from a breakdown and just wanted to play games and have fun writing about them. The Retro Redress alias was really helpful in getting me started with blogging, as it was an identity I could hide behind and abandon if things went wrong.
However, as I slowly came out of my shell, I realised that the internet was actually a pretty cool place. As I started interacting with people more, I became more involved in Twitter and the WordPress community. However, I felt like I was holding back and not being myself. It’s difficult to get to know people when you are hiding behind an alias. I mean, at first it was cool being called Retro Redress – I felt a bit like Batman, with a secret identity and life away from work and family – but after a while, I just wanted to be myself. The change to Art of Redress confused people too…The Well-Red Mage called me Art once, which made me think of Art Vandelay from Seinfeld. I’m not sure I can pull that off, to be honest…
So, I made the decision that, going forward, I wanted to be myself. I wanted an adventure when I started blogging, but I want it to be my adventure.
3 – A change of format was needed
The problem with Art of Redress and Retro Redress is that I wasn’t getting to play the games I wanted to play when I wanted to play them. Due to the challenge nature of those sites, I would end up picking a game and having to stick with it until I felt like I was finished. This was fine at first, but with longer games I was starting to struggle. It’s natural for a gamer to mix up what they’re playing and I wasn’t able to do that due to the blog. Now I’m hoping that I can play what I want again and still play through all the games I wanted to try.
There is going to be a few changes with Games and Grappling, let me outline them;
Content – I’m just going to focus on video games and pro wrestling now. I don’t really watch films to be honest, hence the film backlog. I don’t really want to either…if you give me two free hours, I’d always rather play a game. I love music, but I love my taste in music…I’ve no desire to start listening to loads of different genres or bands that I really don’t like. I’d rather focus on writing about things I’m passionate about…video games and wrestling have been the biggest influences in my life. I’m going to write about the wrestling I watch (mainly WWE/New Japan ‘PPVs’) and the games I’m playing, plus my thoughts on random aspects of these two topics! I want to continue writing for The Well-Red Mage and GameTripper too, so expect to see a lot of content for those sites here. I’m planning on re-blogging the posts I’ve done for both sites again as I think it’s some of my best writing and I want that standard of writing to be carried over to Games and Grappling.
Design – I’ve realised that I’m not a website designer, nor do I want to be. From now on, I want to keep things simple and concentrate on my writing. I’ve decided to keep things as basic as possible. I’m dividing my posts into three categories initially – Gary plays (for video games), Gary watches (for any wrestling I watch) and Gary’s thoughts (for any random ramblings on either subject)
Schedule – In the past, I’ve been very disorganized with my posting and I can barely keep up myself, never ,mind anyone else. I blame New Japan primarily as they hold shows on random days, though these WWE Supershows aren’t helping either! So I’m aiming for a Monday – Wednesday – Friday routine, with any wrestling shows jammed in between if necessary. Hopefully, I can post at least three times a week.
Anyway, thank you for reading my thoughts and for being patient with me. I do have a terrible habit of dropping things cold turkey when I can’t deal with them anymore and I didn’t want blogging to be one of those things. I’ve enjoyed my eighteen months or so as part of the WordPress Community and hope to be around a lot longer. I’m hoping that, now I’ve made a few necessary changes, I can get back into writing blog posts and reading all the excellent posts from my fellow bloggers.
Speaking of which, I wanted to ask one more favour…I’ve been out of the loop for a while too, so I’m sure I need to catch up on some reading. Plus, I can’t always type blog posts up at work (too many people wandering about distracts me!) so it’d be great to have some reading suggestions for my lunch breaks.
If people want to link their favourite piece of content from September in the comments that would be great! I need to read or write while I eat my lunch so all suggestions are much appreciated!