Crabby is as crabby does

mud_crabI’ve just realised something about blogging — well, about this blog, anyway. I tend to write these entries early in my morning, not long after I’ve woken up and got a cup or four of coffee down me. And thus, the grumpier I am when I wake up, the crabbier my posts and comments will be. I can’t include all my rants in this because those are often a reaction to someone else’s potentially bone-headed (or at least rant-provoking) pronouncements — though even there, the earlier it is, the more likely I am to stomp around yelling and waving my arms.

Things are just more ANNOYING before noon if you’re not a morning person.

The thing is, I’m not sure I’m not a morning person. I do much better writing — okay, more of it, anyway — not long after I wake up. That’s a habit formed from several years of doing Morning Pages and although I don’t really do them right now, I still find it easy to wake up and start writing something. Also, as the day wears on I tend to get a) busier and b) more brain-dead; trust me, you wouldn’t want me making deep philosophical posts past mid-afternoozzzzzzzzz. Sorry, what?

I’ve not been overflowing with MMO-philosophical goodness these last few months anyway. That’s partly because I’m perfectly content in my current game of choice, warts and all, and also because one does wonder: how often (if at all) can one repeat stuff one has already written about? I’ve asked myself that one several times and come to no definitive answer. On the one hand, a lot of subjects are important to me and I could witter on about them at length and/or repeatedly. On the other hand, those of you who have kindly visited here pretty much since I started might end up saying “Oh ye gods, here she goes again!”

Not that this latter would in any way stop me. I’ve always said I write this primarily for my own entertainment, and that others find it entertaining too is great but it’ll never be my prime motivator. I’m not a Serious Game Journalist or even a Serious Game Designer so I can post pretty much what I want when I want — and not being a Serious Game Blogger, like some vary famous single-names, I also don’t have to worry about what my august readership may or may not think about what I may or may not write. I’m not doing you down, Gentle Reader, but the second I start asking myself what to write because I’m worried about what you’ll think is the second this has stopped being my blog.

Oh what, you want to know if there’s a point to this? Not really. I just noticed a link between my personal grumpiness and the grumpiness of my posts. I’m sort of wondering if I could use that to make better grumpy posts (i.e. rants) when I need to, but the problem with grumpy is that it’s not really very smart. It just stomps around grumbling and muttering under its breath.

In any case, most of the time I am quite happy shiny people. My coffee mug is half full and the world is my mud-crab. Or something like that.

In other actual news, Lum Scott Jennings got canned — well, I gather the entire project did. Boo hiss! It’s about time we got to see him put something out that the rest of us can rant about! Getting canned sucks, especially these days. Good luck to anyone who’s enduring that right now.

18 thoughts on “Crabby is as crabby does

  1. I do most of my posts pre-breakfast, if I AM going to post. I think they’d be grumpier if I waited till evening, but at least they make some kind of sense in the morning.

  2. You are quite right, we are often repeating ourselves with our favorite mmo design ideas or complaints. I guess this is what MMO gamers do between playing this or that MMO.

    While I feel with Lum, I must admit my first thought was also that he got away again – I really wonder how he would have liked to get picked apart in a Lum-like fashion! 🙂

  3. The repitition thing is something I fight with as well. My big question right now is something that came up in conversation in one of our podcasts;

    Do only bloggers read blogs?

    Just seems that we’re getting to a point in blogging that everyone who begins to read blogs end up creating their own, so we’re growing to be a type of community who merely just reads eachothers posts. Might as well make a forum hehe.

    Or maybe I’m short sighted on this. Just a nagging thought.

  4. I do most of my writing at work, so in essence I get paid to write. LOL!

    As to slurms comments, I don’t think just bloggers read blogs, I have a personal blog, and I don’t think any bloggers read that, but I do think alot of us are the ones that comment alot because, we’ll we are all very opinionated, well that’s WHY we blog. So when we visit one of our peers blogs we got to give our two cents, of course 🙂

  5. I’m mostly with Rivs on that one, but I also think that an ever-increasing number of committed (we should be!) gamers have started their own blogs. Which is a good thing — as far as I’m concerned you can never have too many armchair opinions and passionate arguments, even if other more “serious” and “recognised” bloggers (naming no names) happen to think that us armchair designers are inane and should just STFU.

    Anyone able to S ME TFU wins a prize. 😛 (Note that I haven’t yet had to decide what that might be. Whew. Or maybe shutting me the hell up is a prize in itself! :D)

  6. My secrets to writing completely non-grumpy items every day of the week sadly do not involve recreational drugs as some people have asked. Time of day doesn’t particularly matter to me either.

    I just have a very c’est la vie attitude about the serious business arguments that come up every so often. My gaming tastes have really come down to a single question – is it fun? If it is, I play, and if it’s not, I don’t. Sometimes that means I waste cashola on something I thought would be good but just isn’t (Madden, for example). But just like anything in life, them’s the breaks sometimes.

    As for content, I admit I’m in a better place mostly because there is so much “serious business” and negativity around the Net that I basically can cherry pick something to be happy about. Apparently, if my slowly rising readership is any indication, there is a place for sun in a cynical gaming world. Hehe.

  7. Repetition is definitely a concern of mine. I find that I have some core beliefs about what works and what doesn’t in MMOs, and those same beliefs creep into discussions about various and sundry different things. But, dammit, procedurally generated content can allow for…

    Sorry. See, there I go again.

    I blog at various times in the day, usually at work. My own grumpiness levels are definitely higher in the morning, but I try to avoid rants in general regardless of my crabbiness. This approach is actually counterintuitive, since a lot of people enjoy reading snarky material, but there you go.

    1. Eh, see, I don’t think of my rants as particularly snarky, at least not toward anyone in particular. I call them rants mostly because I’ll take a position that may not necessarily be entirely reasonable, and not because I intend to be particularly cruel about something.

      Usually I’m a very see-all-sides type, so it can be nice to let my hair down and just rant about something *without* being so damn reasonable. 😀

      1. Nah, you aren’t especially snarky. I was thinking rather of film reviews, celebrity-watch blogs, and that sort of thing. To be honest, you don’t even rant much at all.

  8. I have a tendency to write things up but not post them immediately. This lets my mind ruminate on what I’ve written, even if it’s subconscious, and often makes for a few small revisions that make for better articles. (I hope, anyway.)

    Sometimes that means they get *grumpier* (like when I’m writing about Steam or some other boneheaded business or game design decision), sometimes they get kinder (when I realize I’m overreacting). I’ve not really noticed a time of day correlation with that, though.

    Mostly, I’m agreeing that grumpy can be useful. I just like to wield my criticism a bit more like a scalpel, less like a cudgel, and giving myself time to hone my approach has been helpful). I once had a very biting sarcastic wit, but I’ve pulled back from that, and the hurtful attacks that it could generate… but dagnabbit, sometimes dumb decisions need to be called out. When that’s the case, I want to make sure I’m addressing it as clearly as I can, to more effectively solve the issue.

    1. I think grumpiness has a real validity when writing reviews of products/services. If your response as a customer or consumer is one of frustration or annoyance, that’s worth sharing with others.

  9. Things are just more ANNOYING before noon if you’re not a morning person.

    This is why I work until 4-5 in the morning and wake up after noon. 😛

    As for repetition, that’s an interesting issue. Jessica Mulligan said that she’s not longer blogging (well, she just “wrote articles” before blogging was widespread) because she was tired of saying the same thing over and over again. After a few decades, I can see that.

    One of the reasons I started my blog was because I kept on posting the same stuff all the time on the various MMO community sites back in the day. When I write on something now, I do a blog search on my blog to remind myself of what I’ve already posted. If I want to talk about something I’ve already written about, I’ll make sure that I try to add something new while linking to the previous post(s). I like to have my work cross-referenced with itself so that I don’t feel like I’m just repeating the same thing on a topic too often.

    1. I probably repeat myself too much. One thing I’ve learned as a teacher though, repetition can be a good thing, and framing a particular topic in a different setting can spark comprehension in someone who doesn’t “get it” the first time through.

      To me, that’s the challenge and allure of writing in the first place. How do I frame my thoughts in new ways to reach new audiences? This language is so marvelously malleable and delightfully deranged that each slightly different iteration of a particular thought can provide a satisfying extension of the body of knowledge.

      Haven’t pundits posited that there are only seven (or some other low number) basic plots, but people keep writing novels? The variation in the execution and the way that it can spark different connections between ideas each time are what keep me writing.

      To me, those varied connections are key to education, too, since I believe in the “Renaissance Man” holistic gestalt approach to learning. The more diverse topics I can link a particular thought to, the more I understand that thought (for better or worse, to be sure).

  10. =/

    I have a tendency to rant at fellow gamer friends in IM.

    Long, involved rants (or happy babblings on detailed MUD things…)

    Which I then think, hmm, I should post. This idea/etc is really quite intriguing.

    So I take them IMses, and I pasteses them into a document. Yes, yes I does. Then I mails myself that documents, yes, yes I does.

    …and then I never get down to actually posting it on my poor unloved blog and run off to spam other people’s instead!

    Like this one!

    *runs around Ysharros squealing loudly*

  11. Tobold has the ability to repeat subjects he’s covered previously, but to do so from fresh angles or by asking thought provoking questions. I’ve noticed he also takes new game features, e.g. upcoming patch notes, and analyzes them within the context of his regular concerns (for example hardcore-vs-casual). Thus he combines new stuff together with recurring themes.

    I think Tobold does this well and if you can recreate that in your blog you’ll be able to write about repeating subjects, without, err, repeating yourself 😉

    Of course it helps to have a large readership whose comments are sometimes as interesting as the original post 🙂

    1. Actually I wouldn’t want Tobold’s readership in a million years — and that’s definitely something I’ve said before. I’m not after those numbers, and I absolutely don’t want that kind of fame, not to mention the pressure that comes with it.

      In any case, as always, I’ll write about stuff that inspires me. If that means I *do* repeat myself (and I have, on several subjects, or at least I’ve covered them ore than once), then that’s just tough titties for any reader it may bore. 😀 But there are mornings when a tired brain can’t quite remember what it said before or even how it said it.

      1. It took me some time to realize that *I* don’t want those readership numbers either, and especially not the pressure that comes with it. But while I did have some bad experiences this year, it also taught me that the best way to blog is to just forget about your readership. Write for yourself! If ranting makes you feel better when you feel crabby, just do it. If something is important enough to you, don’t be afraid to say it twice. Ultimately any attempt to write to please a readership you actually know very little about is doomed to failure. Write for an audience of one, yourself, and you can’t go wrong. The kind of readers you might lose doing so are those you didn’t really want in the first place.

      2. I think if I got your reader numbers I’d stop blogging instantly and go live under a rock for a while, humming Queen to myself.

        The horror! The horror! 😀

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