Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

I’m generally a very empathic person, and that’s true in my ‘real life’ as well as my gaming one. When it comes to board games, my friends know I’d rather play one where we all work together rather than compete. It’s a big reason why I took to MMOs so readily. Oh, I’ll PvP sometimes, but what I love about MMOs and what I love about WoW is working with a group of other people towards a common goal. It’s kept me engaged in this game for almost three years. When you laugh, I laugh with you. When you cry… sometimes it’s hard for me to recognize that the reason for your tears isn’t actually anything wrong in my life, I become so upset on your behalf.

Learning to recognize when the emotions and feelings of others are affecting me too much is probably going to be a lifetime thing for me. It comes and goes, and it depends on where I am in my life. As Voss and I have dealt with his father’s illness and the natural fears and feelings that arise from that, it’s been a bit harder for me to detach myself from the feeling of the WoW community fracturing, diminishing. For a few weeks, it felt to me like every time I opened my feed reader another blogger was closing their doors. It began to be draining. It makes a person wonder, “Is there something I’m missing? Am I still here only because I refuse to admit that I should be leaving?”

I’ve been thinking about this. I’ve been struggling to write here, not for lack of ideas – I’ve started at least six blog posts over the past week, each one that I think would make a great post! But I get distracted, and I don’t seem to be able to finish them. My writer’s block is not the same thing as being ready to leave or ready to stop, although I think it could have picked a better time. (Is there ever a good time for writer’s block?) I’m sure it’s especially difficult to be one of the ‘old guard,’ bloggers who have been at this for many years. It’s always tough to see your contemporaries leaving. That feeling of loss and uncertainty has threatened to drag me in, too, but I realized something today.

I still have things to say. I still have people to talk to, and the WoW community brings me so much. You’re not even remotely done listening to me ramble, and I think that’s okay. In the wake of Tam leaving, and again with Larisa’s decision to stop blogging, I’ve heard people say things like “We can’t ever be the same without them,” or suggest that the end of their blogs is somehow a sign of the end. It’s bothered me that some comments seem to be that there will be nothing of quality left. In a way, people are right. The community can never be exactly the same as it was when Tam brought his philosophic ramblings to bear on it. We will miss Larisa’s cheerful hearth. It won’t be the same, because it’s going to be different, but not because it’s ending.

New bloggers are opening their doors all the time. Some of us are still going strong and nowhere near ready to quit blogging. There was a series of blogaversies that has stretched from December through January, and these are the people whose enthusiasm for blogging I have shared, contemporaries and colleagues, friends and friendly rivals. We haven’t gone anywhere, our voices are still here. Don’t miss reading an excellent blogger because he/she isn’t a blogger that’s come before. We can’t duplicate the exact approach or personality of those big names, but there are plenty of us still well-worth reading, and new ones joining our ranks all the time.

The unfortunate thing with being empathic is that it’s easy to read others with complaints or feeling tired about the game and to “catch” that feeling. Then you start to wonder if it’s you, too, if it’s just time to move on, if you’re finished. It’s okay to wonder that, and it’s okay to stop blogging too. But make sure if you do that it’s actually your feeling you are addressing, and not just a reaction to change. I hate change, myself. I hate when voices I’ve come to expect are no longer here for me. But I also feel that there are many voices left that I love listening to; many of us with a passion for the game and the words we write about it.

I have a challenge for you, whether you are a blogger or just someone who enjoys reading blogs.

If you’re a blogger: Find a new blog today that looks promising, that you enjoy. Link to it on your blog. Leave an encouraging comment! The Blog Azeroth author introduction forums are a place where new bloggers can introduce themselves, and you can surely find a gem there. What I’m talking about doesn’t even have to be a new blog, though, even just ‘new to you!’. You can find great treasures in people’s blogrolls if you browse around. Link love, recognition, and feedback are what make us more than just a random grouping of people talking to nobody in particular. They keep us together, they make us a community. Instead of being upset that some of the paragons of the community have moved on (although of course, pay them a respectful, loving, or tearful farewell) – today I intend to focus on people that are still here. It’s our attitude and recognition of each other that will ensure we continue to be engaged and enthusiastic about blogging.

For my part, I’ve started reading Stubborn over at Sheep The Diamond recently, and I’ve found his words funny and insightful. His is a new voice I’ve been quite glad to hear!

Here’s my second challenge, for non-bloggers. If you have found a blog recently that you enjoy reading, if you appreciate the content there – whether it’s guides, points of view, or just something to make you laugh – leave a comment. It doesn’t have to be a LONG comment, and you don’t have to leave twenty comments a day on various blogs. But taking the time to comment is a huge part of what encourages bloggers to keep going. Knowing that people are reading but not saying anything can be worse than knowing that nobody is reading. Even if it’s just a comment saying, “Thanks for taking the time to compile this information, it’s been really helpful.” Knowing that I’ve helped someone, or made them think or even just brought a smile to their face makes my day. It’s part of what has kept me blogging for over a year, and why I see myself continuing to blog in the future. I don’t know any bloggers that don’t love to receive a comment. We thrive on it, because it lets us know that people care about what we have to say.

So leave a comment, link a blog, read a blog, and remember that there is a vast community of players of all stripes writing about a multitude of topics – and that’s what makes our community so awesome and will keep us strong for a long time to come.

Comments on: "Others’ Endings Are Not My Endings" (55)

  1. I’ve got a pile of posts that I keep meaning to get around to, but things just happen. I also have several blog posts at my regular blog to do, so I understand where you’re coming from.

    I’ll miss PPI, but that happens. And who knows? Maybe Larisa will come back.

    Oh, and a once a week post rate for you is perfectly fine with me, Vid.

  2. I accept your delightful challenge. 🙂

  3. I was bummed to read Larisa was closing up shop, but it’s posts like this that lessen the sting considerably. There are still tons of informative, entertaining, and encouraging blogs out there with more popping up every day.

    Having just started my own blog this past week, I will be posting an introduction on Blog Azeroth today!

    • Awesome! Someone mentioned you on Twitter and I must say I love your header and the overall feel of your blog. It definitely doesn’t feel like an “I just started this” thing!

  4. I love this sentiment, Vidyala. It’s so true and very well said! One of the things that Larisa’s post inspired me to do is to tend to my blogroll. There are so many blogs that I have found through twitter, and I haven’t taken the time to add them to my reader.

    PPI was the first blog that I started reading regularly, and her blogroll introduced me to so many more. From there, I found myself following link after link. I don’t think I would have even started a blog if it hadn’t been for the window her little inn provided.

    I admit, before I actually had my own, I was really bad about leaving comments on people’s posts. It’s amazing to me how much those little comments mean to me. It’s validation. It’s acknowledgement. It’s letting me know that I’m not just talking to myself out into the dark.

    And with that, I’m going to end this excessively long comment and let you know that I’m glad you plan on continuing. I look forward to reading many more posts from you!

    • Thanks, Janyaa! I saw that you wrote a tribute to PPI as well – looking forward to reading it as I go down through my feedreader.

  5. What a nice post.

    The number of diverse voices out there actually is quite impressive.

    I like that idea of finding a new blog to explore and appreciate. It’s not only interesting, but it really gets can inspire as well.

    • It’s so true. A new blog to me can sometimes revitalize my own feelings or thoughts, just seeing things from another perspective. I’m always excited to find another blog I enjoy reading!

  6. I love this post, Vid. Yeah, it’s definitely sad to see bloggers you love stop writing, and the fact that you miss them so intently shows how close we bloggers can become. But all we can do is hope they’re stopping for reasons that are best for their personal well-being, and let them know we appreciated all their great writing before!

    And there are so many awesome bloggers out there! I think I find a new person I adore every week. It’s amazing! Twitter is another fantastic tool for finding new blogs and new people to talk to, and I love striking up new conversations with strangers and people who I’ve seen commenting, but never directly spoken to.

    I guess what I’m saying is…I’m sad to lose 1-2 bloggers who I really enjoyed, but how can I be depressed when I gain 4-5 new people to read? I can’t. I love our bloggy world and how it is always expanding.

    • Thanks, Rades. All I can say is, “Ditto!” Although it’s sad, my blog reading always goes in ups and downs and some weeks I just don’t have the time. Other weeks I’m going, “Why have none of my blogs updated, grr.”

  7. It is very sad when blogs you really enjoy close up shop, but it’s good to see a post like this to remind us that it is not the end of the world (blog world?).

    It’s still sad, but as you say – there are so many blogs out there, many of which are really good, filled with information and insightful views and anecdotes.

    I will try to take up your challenge and will go hunting for a new blog to link to this week!

    • Excellent, I’ll be looking forward to it! I haven’t seen your face (eye?) around Twitter lately, I hope you’re doing well!

  8. I approve of this post as well. I have to admit that I haven’t really sought out any new blogs in a while, simply because what I have on my blog roll right now has been enough to keep me busy, if you get what I mean… and after a while you get so used to reading just those select blogs that it can feel devastating when any of your favourites close down. But there’s no point on moaning, as you say there are still plenty of good writers out there, one just has to learn to open up to new experiences again.

    • I know what you mean, as I don’t necessarily constantly seek out new blogs either (and I’m horrible at updating my blogroll, although I’ve tried to get better about it). Other’s blogrolls are often my best source of new blogs. It’s funny how someone whose work you enjoy knows someone else you’d probably enjoy but you’ve just never met them!

  9. AliPally said:

    People come and people go, our interest in things waxes and wanes – that is life. We miss those that leave, but that does not mean we won’t have new friends to do things with; we will.
    if you are enjoying what you are doing, then carry on, whether that is blogging, playing WoW, or whatever. Just because someone else called it a day, it’s no reason why you should.

  10. Excellent post, Vidalya. It’s always sad when luminaries leave any community, but that doesn’t mean the community is dying. Far from it, I’d say, as the number of new bloggers that have heard the call and taken up the pen has been impressive lately. New voices replace the old and the circle of life goes on.

  11. I second this. I got caught up in the swirl of negativity too. Friends, whether they are in game, irl, or on the blogosphere help us step back from that. The question we all need to ask ourselves is, “Am I still having fun?” If the answer is yes, then all the negativity in the world be damned! I’m still here and enjoying the game and blogging. I’m glad you’ve stepped back from that edge too, Vid.

    • Thanks, Ama. Sometimes the combination of raiding/running a guild/maintaining a blog can lead me to feel like it’s just too much WoW and I do need to find ways to take a break from that. But ultimately I enjoy all of those related things so much that there aren’t any I’d want to let go. It is important to keep hold of the fun, and often it’s a new blog that helps me gain that perspective.

  12. Well said Vid. I may not be blogging anymore (work/kids/school/etc.) but I still play and I still read blogs. Keep up the good work 🙂

  13. My own blogging has slowed, but I still love to pick up new blogs to read. Just because any old blogger is hanging up the hat is no reason to think that a new one won’t come along. As you said, it’s just different.

  14. Nice post. Read and commented on Stubborn’s most recent post. 🙂

  15. I’m one of the new kids on the block–I started The Asylum Wall officially this winter, and have only been going at it with gusto for the last month–and I think us little gnomes and trolls will do what we can to keep the lights on as long as possible. I have a hard time imagining, though, the WoW blogging community filling a void as large as that left by Tam and Larisa.

  16. […] sad news in the blogosphere. It took me by surprise somewhat – in fact, I found out through Vidyala’s post today over at Manalicious. Like many of us, she’s looking around at the community and the blogs closing one after […]

  17. This was incredibly refreshing and delightful to read. I think this post is exactly what the WoW blogosphere needs at exactly the right time and I’m so very glad you wrote and posted it!

  18. Thanks for taking the time to compile this information, it’s been really helpful!

    (Am I doing it right?)

  19. My co-blogger Kazi said something interesting to me once about human behavior. Apparently if a couple splits up within your circle of friends, suddenly the chance that another couple splits up will increase. I’m sure it’s not the sole cause of the breakup but it’s as if everyone begins thinking “Well, if they can’t make it, maybe neither can we.” I wonder if these sort of feelings are just as contagious in the blogosphere.

    But I’m really glad that you made this post, to remind us that things are always changing, that bloggers will always come and go, but it doesn’t mean that things will necessarily be worse. They’ll just be different.

  20. I’m flattered. I keep retyping this message so it comes off as thankful and little else without just saying, “Thanks!” Every attempt, though, has turned out making me sound arrogant, sycophantic, or gushing depending on my word choice.




  21. I’m an older dude, playing WoW and following a lot of WoW blogs for over 3 years now. I have so much appreciation for these blogs as I don’t have any RL friends that play.

    I always miss the good bloggers when they go, but I continue to find new blogs with new energy.

    I appreciate all your hard work, and I’m quite curious to see in what direction the community will go next.

    • You make a great point, Bristal. I don’t have any friends IRL (Voss notwithstanding) that play, so the community of bloggers/twitter folk are really important to me as well. Even if you don’t have the itch to blog, you might consider making a Twitter account and saying hi! The WoW community on Twitter is a lot of fun, it’s like a virtual water cooler of geeks. I certainly enjoy it. 🙂

  22. An excellent post, Vidyala. I’ve written a post of my own after RO closed down but it seemed very important to me to point out that while people might be sad when a great blog closes down, new blogs open up every day that deserve a chance. there’s still so many bloggers I enjoy reading and I hope you won’t all disappear with/after your wow careers; that would be a great loss. at the same time i also hope a blogger can stay a part of this corner of the blogging world, after quitting wow. i guess i’ll find out.

    i enjoy discovering new blogs immensely and i actually have a dedicated, weekly ‘time slot’ for reading new blogs and sending them a welcome when i can – it means so much to a fresh blogger to see that he/she is being noticed. i know how much it meant for me and Larísa was always one of the most supportive writers out there. what better way to honor her memory than to giving new bloggers a hand, really! 🙂

    • I may have missed that post of yours, Syl. 😦 I certainly didn’t mean to copy-cat something you’d already said, although I suppose there are some things worth repeating!

  23. Great post, Vidyala.

    I accept your challenge.

  24. […] for those of us who remain, Vidyala of Manalicious and Fannon of Dwarven Battle Medic have issued us a wonderful challenge.  Fannon and Vidyala each […]

  25. […] the spirit of Vidyala’s call to celebrate the continual renewal of the blogosphere, I was poking around Blog Azeroth today when […]

  26. That’s a great post and a great sentiment. I’ll have a think about how I can lend a hand to encouraging newcomers to the area.

    • You are definitely an inspiration, Gaz, as you began contributing so much to the community when you were just “new” yourself! Nobody would ever guess the age of your ventures to look at what you’ve created with the blog, podcast, mage forums, etc!

  27. […] that vein, the rest of this post is a response to Vidyala’s request at Manalicious. The following are the blogs I consider cornerstones of the WoW blogosphere, the […]

  28. Good point well made Vid. It’s been disheartening, really disheartening, to watch as so many bloggers who were such an inspiration to me say their farewells.

    I realise though, that there are those of us with young blogs and there will be many more that emerge, with new things to say about new content. I applaud your proposition to get to know some of these blogs, and I’m on board!


    • I don’t think yours is one I had on my blogroll! This is my bad. It’s great how even just commenting on other blogs can help improve a blog’s visibility – sometimes all it takes is one comment on a post that inspires people to click and soon a blog’s well-deserved readership is growing. 😀

  29. Word, Vid. Just….word. I’ve seen a few ‘goodbye’ posts from bloggers, and disillusionment with WoW in a post-Cataclysm world is certainly a popular topic. It would be easy to get sucked into the ‘WoW blahs’; I’ve struggled myself lately. But just because a couple of bigger blogs have shuttered their doors doesn’t mean that others aren’t out there enjoying the heck out of WoW. Looking at my own meager blogroll and adding (closed) to a fair chunk of them made me start to be on the lookout for new blogs to add, and when I find them, I will certainly try and comment!

    Also, I really need to get around to Blog Azeroth one of these days….

  30. Kialesse said:

    I owe you a big debt of gratitude, Vidyala. I had been moping about the loss of Larisa and PPI, having not yet reconciled myself to the absence of Tam and Chas, when I ran across your post. You reminded me that there’s still a big wide world of WoW blogs out there and that my feed reader still has plenty of space for them. So thanks to your excellent recommendations (this Stubborn guy is great), I went on a blog hunt for new subscriptions to add.

    Your blog was one of them. Ahem. How did I miss you before now?

    Also, I womanned up and decided that I’m going to start commenting on some of these really excellent posts by really excellent bloggers. I realize that nearly-April is a poor time for a New Year’s resolution, but this is mine.

    • That’s fantastic, and thank you for the kind words. It wasn’t much, just some things I had to say, and I look forward to seeing your comments around the blogosphere!

  31. Great post, spot on. I accept the challenge ^^

  32. […] sad when prominent bloggers call it quits, but as Vidyala from Manalicious astutely pointed out, this is not the end for everyone – there are a lot of veteran bloggers still at it and new bloggers are popping up every day. […]

  33. […] whether waxing introspective on the role alts play in a raider’s success or jovially sharing her personal reasons for playing. Smart, insightful, and self-deprecating, Vid is the raid leader we all wish we […]

  34. […] can definitely relate with some of the things Vidyala had said. I do feel empathy for people whether they are in the game, their writing, people I know […]

  35. […] can definitely relate with some of the things Vidyala had said. I do feel empathy for people whether they are in the game, their writing, people I know […]

  36. […] the spirit of Vidyala’s call to celebrate the continual renewal of the blogosphere, I was poking around Blog Azeroth today when […]

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