Why I’m [Still] Blogging

Three weeks ago I started this blog. I was flush with ideas. The blog concept had been slowly cooking inside my head for months before and Blaugust got me to take it out of the oven. It was finally ready to be shared. While my posting frequency has waned since the beginning, I’m still here. I have more to say. I’m not going anywhere.

The theme Blaugust this week is Staying Motivated, so I thought I’d explore my motivations for starting and continuing this blog. The main focus of this blog is parenting  in the digital age. I think other parents and I share some common fears about how different technology is now from when we were kids. I want to address some of those. I want to talk about how having an identity as a gamer can mesh with having an identity as a parent.

I want to thank everyone who has commented on and liked my posts so far. It says to me that people are here for what I’m saying, that it has value, and that I should keep doing this. Thank you!

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via Mochimochi Land

I also have more personal reasons for blogging. I can practice my writing in small doses. I’ve been working on a new novel and writing it always feels daunting. It’s just the beginning of something huge. There are emotions to process. Many times I want to write, but I’m not in the right headspace to work on the novel. Blog posts are a perfect bite-sized chunk of writing that I can finish and put out there in an instant.

Back when I blogged anonymously about my life, blogging was an excuse for me to go out and experience things. My motto was: “Bad decisions make great blog posts.”

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It’s true, though. Mug on Etsy.

Eventually I grew up a little and the internet became less anonymous and I started writing in a paper journal instead. Even though it made my hand cramp up, I continued it until just after my son was born. I’d been writing just before going to sleep and when I had a newborn, I just wanted to crash.

I wanted an outlet again, and I thought long and hard about what kind of blog to create. I’m too messy for a lifestyle blog, so eventually I settled on “nerdy parenting blog.” I think this should motivate me to get out, more, too, but in a different way. Such as, I’ve never been to a nerdy sort of con. I’ve been to hacker cons and programming conferences, but those are different. I’d like to go to one, and maybe bring my son. Perhaps he and I should check out Free Comic Book Day. There must be other nerdy events out there for kids! This might help get me out, when I’d rather just be an introvert and stay home.

My final motivation is also for my kid. I want him to know that there’s more to me than my job and being a mom. I’m also a writer, a gamer, and a nerd. Even if he ends up being more of a jock, I want him to know this side of me. And for that to happen, I need to embrace it myself.

I write in my paper journal every now and again that my son isn’t a newborn anymore. The hand cramping keeps me from doing it more. Cover photo by Easton Oliver on Unsplash.

The Nerd Fell in Love with the Jock

One of my absolute favorite, listen to every episode, tell everyone how awesome it is, podcasts is Judge John Hodgman, in which John Hodgeman of “I’m a PC” fame rules on petty disputes between couples, friends, coworkers, and family members. One of my life goals is to have a dispute worthy of being on the show.

I did some quick googling to see if John Hodgman wrote anything about jocks and nerds, only to discover this clip. Here he discusses jocks and nerds at the Radio & TV Correspondents’ Dinner for President Obama in 2009.

When I my fiancé and I first started dating, I thought he was a nerd. He taught English. He had opinions about the Avenger movies. He had a cat. He had a Harry Potter tattoo and was excited to discover we were in the same house: Ravenclaw. Ravenclaws have to be nerds, right?

But as we got to know each other, I discovered more and more jock-like tendencies. Somehow I discovered he really liked sports. His hobby was cycling. He has a cat, but prefers dogs. He’d traded in reading novels for listening to podcasts. Not just any podcasts, but sports podcasts. He’d played a lot of sports in his youth. He likes to watch football in television.

Take me, by comparison: I have to read every night before I fall asleep, and 99.9% of the time it’s fiction. I mostly listen to podcasts from NPR, Radiotopia, and Maximum Fun. Those are nerdy podcasts.

My hobbies are knitting and playing video games. I have a cat, and I prefer cats.

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Our sweet kitties, Wally (left) and Sashimi (right).

I won a march madness bracket contest two years ago. I filled it in at the last minute using teams mentioned on NPR during my morning car ride. Then I completely forgot about it until I was told I was winning in a morning meeting. The only sport I watch on TV is baseball, and that’s only if the Tigers are playing in the playoffs. I played a little softball in high school and I was terrible at it.

One day I told him. “I don’t think you’re a nerd. I think you’re more of a jock.” I didn’t tell him I thought he’d actually be a Griffyndor, because that would be too upsetting.

He said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

I think the jock and nerd divide is more of a continuum than a dichotomy. If we put nerd on the left and jocks on the right, I’d be fairly into the left. Not all the way, because I like baseball, live sporting events, and riding my bike. My fiancé would be just to the right of center. He’s not “all jock.” He likes things like Harry Potter and Marvel. He questions things. He plays video games. (Although he grumbles that I want to read all the quest text.) I think he is a Ravenclaw. He’d be the captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.

Even if I’m on the nerd side and he’s on the jock side, there’s a lot of overlap. In the places where we don’t mesh up, we try to be understanding. He gets that I have to read before I can sleep. I get that when he turns the NFL on TV that he actually enjoys watching this and finds it fun.

Okay, maybe I don’t really get it. But I’m okay with it.

A bunch of bright colored graffiti hearts is this blog’s aesthetic. Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash.

The WoW Itch

I used to play World of Warcraft.

I used to be ashamed of it, too, because I was generally ashamed of being a nerd. I started because a friend showed me the intro video, and then I got my boyfriend at the time to play with me. I was a human warlock. We found a small guild and hung out with them mainly letting them bring us through low-level dungeons. It was all good until the guild leader started to get a bit weird.

We moved to DC and after a while got the itch to play again, so we switched servers and joined a casual RP guild, which unbeknownst to us was run by another DC-area couple. My happiest WoW memories were during this time. We met up with the guild leaders a few times and I became a guild officer. It was during vanilla and Burning Crusade and I remember having a lot of fun running Karazhan. It fell apart when my relationship ended.

When I felt the itch to play WoW again, I felt strange about going back to my old guild. In retrospect, it probably would’ve been fine. But instead I joined a different RP guild and had fun with them for a while running regular RP events and raiding in Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm.

I left them to start a new character, Horde-side, with some friends from work. That didn’t last very long, but I remember it fondly. I think this was around the time of Mists of Pandaria, and that whole expansion completely turned me off from the game.

When Warlords of Draenor came out, I thought I’d look up the old guild from Burning Crusade times. They were still around and had decided to get back into WoW after spending some time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. I played for a few days. I wasn’t having fun. I apologized and quit, saying to myself:

This time it would be for good.

But now there’s a new expansion coming out and the hype train is trying to get me on board. What’s making it hard to resist is that I haven’t been able to find another MMO to occupy this WoW-shaped hole in my gaming life. This is really the topic for a whole different blog post, but I’ve tried Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, LOTRO, SWTOR. I play The Secret World: Legends, but I play it as a single player game. Here I am, days before a new expansion, and I’ve got it bad.

I’ve got The WoW Itch.

I’ve missed it. I’ve felt like playing in the past, and always pushed it back with the thought “Nah, I said I’d quit for good.” With Blaugust starting, I’ve had the idea that I could try it for Blaugust and see how it goes. If I’m still having fun at the end of the month, I’ll continue. If not I’ll quit (for good for really for realz this time).

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It would give me something to write about. It would be fun. Right?

If I play again, I want to play Horde. I’ve always loved Goblins in the game and never played one.

Would my fiancé want to play with me? Maybe, he’s been playing Diablo III every night for a while now.
My old character is still on my old guild’s roster, but as I said before, I want to play Horde. Even if I play Alliance, I’m certainly done playing a warlock.
Would I be able to find a new guild?
Would it be a complete waste of time?

Help me decide! Should I play WoW again?