Today is the one-year anniversary of my first post here at Dude, Take Your Turn.
It’s been really fulfilling talking about one of my biggest (not involving people) loves: board games. Bringing content to you and meeting some really awesome people.
I’m proud of this blog; I’m proud of how I’ve stuck to it even though there have been long lags in between postings. There have been times where I wondered if it was even worth it to keep going. Who’s going to actually read and enjoy this crap?
What do I have to say that’s worth anything? Especially when there are so many other board game content creators out there doing such wonderful stuff already. What can I bring to this already crowded field?
That’s a constant nagging presence in my mind, and it’s one that I fight every time I think to post something. When life gets busy in the offline world, it’s feelings like those which make it hard to actually carve out the time and inclination to post.
But I’ve kept at it, and now it’s been a year and 136 posts.
I thought, as part of the celebration, I would talk about a few of the wonderful people I’ve met on this blogging journey. None of them have I met personally, but they’ve all been inspirations to me in one way or another, and they have all informed this blog in some way, either in style or content, or just picking me up when I feel that ennui that I sometimes get, feeling like I should be doing more but just not feeling up to it.
First, we haven’t interacted much, but I have to mention Spencer & Lara from Married With Boardgames.
It’s mainly been a couple of times on Twitter (and playing Spencer a few games in Star Realms), but one tweet sent out just a week or two ago really made me stop and think:
Free tip on Creating Content as a hobby: Make personal life your 1st priority, even if it means having to cut back on your output. Family first. Focus on the things that matter most. Your audience can wait. Your content will be better when you can dedicate full attention to it.
— Married with BG (@MarriedwithBG) March 1, 2018
This actually has helped my blogging because I find myself not worrying as much about getting posts up if I’m not feeling up to it. I’ve always felt like I needed to keep things fairly constant or people would just forget about it. People would forget that I’m even there.
It really put things in perspective.
Then there’s Ella (@laminating_bg on Twitter). She has some amazing board game photography on her feed and also blogs on Boardgame Geek. She’s an incredibly nice person (she even let me use one of her photos on my AuZtralia news post) and we have shared a mutual love of Martin Wallace games.
Though hers seems to be much more intense than mine…just teasing, Ella, though Automobile still makes my head hurt.
I couldn’t do this post without mentioning Dave Neumann from Boardgame Geek and, most importantly, the wonderful Stately Play web site.
Dave has really been an inspiration to me, both in dedication and in writing style (Editor: How is that?). There’s a reason why many of my app posts refer back to Stately Play, and he even agreed to let me post links to my posts here in the forums there sometimes.
Reading his posts there is just a great experience, and meeting him online has just been a joy. Especially some of the self-deprecating humour passed back and forth.
I know he’s having a tough go of it at times, but it rarely (if ever) comes through in his writing. The fact that he perseveres through that is inspirational in its own right.
Then there’s Katie over at Katie’s Game Corner, a great blog and a great blogger. She has done more to remove the “Wait, women can’t play wargames!!!” stigma than anybody I’ve seen (not slighting anybody else, of course, as I may just not have seen their work).
Her love of wargames shines through, but it’s not just wargames. She loves many different types of games.
You can’t go wrong with somebody who loves Tyrants of the Underdark.
She’s worked hard on inclusion in boardgaming but also in the realm of mental health. She’s open about her struggles and she’s willing to help anyone who needs an ear.
A wonderful person.
How about David Norris (wow, three Davids counting me? I think that means we’re awesome) over at Roll to Review? He’s one of my regular readers and I read his blog religiously (even though I sometimes get criminally far behind in my reading) and he’s one of the few people who semi-regularly leaves comments here.
That’s been the main source of our interaction, but he’s a great blogger who I really like reading, and he’s made me feel like part of the community too. At least somebody’s reading this thing.
It’s been a huge blessing.
Hey, how about Clio at Clio’s Board Games? A guy (I think? Actually because of the anonymity of the Internet, I’m not sure, so apologies if I have this wrong) who is currently working on his Master’s thesis as well a working a job (a lot, apparently), so that’s admirable in itself.
But he’s also a great blogger. I love his articles that explore the history of the world and then illustrate it with some games set in that period. I love “Three Kaisers, Three Visions” for example.
And he also makes me feel like a part of the community. He sometimes comments on my blog, which again makes me realize that I’m not actually doing this just for myself.
He’s also just an awesome guy to interact with on Twitter. The love for board games just shines through. You can check out his video channel here and he’s a great Twitter follow.
Considering there’s no way in Hell I can bring myself to get in front of a video camera, he’s already an inspiration just by doing a video channel.
There are definitely more I could name, but I don’t want this post to use up too many electronic bits (I’m into electronic sustainability, you know).
And certainly those who are inspiring just in the work they do (Dice Tower, Shut Up & Sit Down, Boardgame Blitz, and Heavy Cardboard), but I’ve more absorbed their content than actually interacted with them (except a bit with Crystal at Boardgame Blitz, so maybe I should have mentioned her above…gahhhhhhhh there’s so many people!).
And that’s the thing I want to end with: Community.
Over the last year, I have become a part of the boardgame community, like I never thought I would be before I started this blog.
I still have a long way to go. I still feel like this blog can just sit there unnoticed unless I tag somebody on Twitter. It’s not like I’m a go-to site that others recommend. I’ve had individual posts recommended, but not the blog itself. I do sometimes feel like I’m staring through the window and watching everybody else sit down to their games.
But the community is more than just a blog; more than just this blog. It’s out there on Twitter, Boardgame Geek, Instagram. It warms my heart when somebody from the community actually likes a post or a tweet without being tagged.
It’s that sense of community that makes it all worthwhile.
Over the next year, this blog will grow, and I’ll grow as a blogger. I’ll become even more a part of the community, and the community will become an even greater part of me.
Here’s to one year, and counting to many more.
(I guess I should probably give the interns the rest of the day off…oh look, it’s Saturday. Never mind)