Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bringing Balance to the Fourth

For the past few months, I've been devoting virtually all of my free time alone to four different endeavors: (1) creating Mega Man 5 videos for my YouTube channel; (2) keeping up with everything I do for; (3) relaxing by playing video games and reading comic books; and (4) updating this blog. I've been doing pretty well with the first three, but that fourth endeavor has been slipping.

Mega Man was my primary focus for some time, but now that I'm recording audio commentary for the otherwise completed videos, I find that it's no longer possible for MM5 to be my primary focus. Conditions must be up to snuff for me to consider recording: I need to feel energetic and healthy enough to record at all, I need to have a solid chunk of time to work, it needs to be quiet around the house, and I need to record at a time when I won't disturb others and they won't disturb me. Compare this to the other three endeavors, which I can basically do at any time.

Essentially, the very nature of recording audio commentary is forcing me to spend my free time in other ways, which is actually very refreshing. Everything I do for GameCola makes me feel productive, and it also helps me to stay in the right kind of mindset for recording commentary. Taking some time for pure relaxation helps to keep me from getting burned out. Writing for this blog is always enjoyable and often cathartic, but I find that I keep gravitating toward the same topics and kinds of posts nowadays, and that bugs me a bit.

Fortunately, the situation now isn't anything like the situation I was in while recording my run of Mega Man 4, but there's a situation nonetheless. Maybe it's just my perception of things, but I feel like my posts have gotten lazier and less interesting over the past, say, two months.

Granted, I've been pouring most of my creativity and humor into Mega Man and GameCola, but that's because those projects are more likely to fail without the right kind of energy behind them. I can get away with a serious, ranty, or not-particularly-funny post on Exfanding, but dull babbling can ruin a video, and there's no sense going to a video game humor website if there's no humor involved.

Long story short, blogging has been more of a routine and less of a passion as of late, and I think it's showing. Many of my posts have been unusually short, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's a sign that I've either been lazy or too preoccupied with my other projects to dedicate enough time to a longer post. I haven't bothered searching the archives for links that are clearly related to the content of my posts. I've been skimping on pictures, like in my noticeably naked Chick Flicks for Guys post. Uh... make sure you don't read that last sentence the wrong way.

It really sank in this week that I've been dedicating the minimum amount of time possible to meeting that self-imposed 11 AM deadline each day, and what really hammered it home is that Alex has been writing some beefy, well-thought-out posts despite the fact that he now has roughly 17 minutes of available blogging time per day.

If I take an extra day or two to release a new YouTube video, my fans get a little antsy. If I don't write anything new for GameCola this week, other staff writers will fill the void. If I don't get a chance to play Monkey Island tonight, I'll end up doing something else enjoyable. If I slack off around the blog, I'm letting down my friend.

It's impossible for me to devote an equal amount of time to all my side projects, but I can at least try to juggle all four balls at once, rather than juggling three balls and leaving the fourth one to roll around in a sombrero I'm wearing so that it sorta kinda maybe looks like there's another ball in the air.

I began making amends this week by responding to about a dozen comments on posts dating as far back as the beginning of January. I fiddled around with our sidebar and FINALLY created an About Us page, a Contact Us page with our shiny new e-mail addresses, plus a page with links to our other, non-blog projects. It was a genuine joy to spend some quality time with this blog again, and I didn't realize how much I missed having Exfanding as such a central part of my free time.

There'll be more tweaks and additions in the near future, but I'm open to suggestions if there's something in particular you'd like to see (or not see, for that matter).

It's good to be back.


Scott said...

Just one thing to say in relation to your YouTube fans... they're your fans, not the other way around; they can wait. After all, absence makes the heart go yond-- err, grow fonder.

zharth said...

I choose to read "that last sentence" the wrong way. =D

Flashman85 said...

Scott: I've been feeling that way more and more; ultimately, my videos are going to be of higher quality if I don't try to jam all my recording into every free second I have, so it's better for the fans if I don't give them what they want!

zharth: Ha! I figured you might.