A couple of days ago one of my articles was featured on Destructoid. It was a good feeling to see something I’d written on the front page of a major site again. It’s not the first time, but the response was the most positive that I’ve ever gotten.
It’s nice to get validated like that.
Putting it like that almost makes it sound pathetic, but really, that is the biggest feeling I got from seeing my name on an article on the front page of a major gaming website. Someone liked this enough to place it on the front page. If a website was a store, the front page would be the front window, and you place the things you want people to see, things you expect would draw the customers in. People saw my article and felt that my post was one of those.
I know my writing is good. Not in a conceited “I’m better than everyone else, so suck it.” sort of way, but in a “I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort at not sucking for years now. I’ve come a long way. And comparatively, even to myself several years ago, I’m not that bad at all.” Sometimes that’s not enough though. Sometimes getting that outside nod of “Okay, you’re not completely fucking horrible” can go a long way.
The last half year I’ve written a whole bunch of posts on my Destructoid blog. I realize I might have neglected my personal blog lately, but it’s hard to keep up multiple blogs from my position writing and posting from the library. I’ve been meaning to dual post both my stuff both here and to Destructoid at the same time, but it’s mostly been a mixture of laziness and tunnel vision that made me forget about that.
And weirdly enough, Destructoid’s been the priority site for me to post blogs on, weird as that might sound. It has nothing to do with me being tired of this place, or not respecting the awesome people who have subscribed to me on here. The thing is, the amount of feedback you get on the community blogs on Destructoid is amazing.
No, really. It is. And that’s no fault of WordPress subscribers or people who randomly stumble upon my blog here. The thing with a WordPress blog is that it’s kinda like my home. People come visit me here, but generally they won’t give me criticism to work with for me to improve my writing. Which is totally understandable. You wouldn’t trash the way a friend has decided to decorate his home, that’d be rude.
Destructoid blogs aren’t my homebase. It comes across as much more of a public space. So people go from blog to blog and offer advice, criticism, nod their approval and share their disapproval a lot more often. The community is a self policing entity there. There’s even a daily recap group that keeps track of every blog post made each day and tell people whether they feel they’re worth looking into or not.
It’s such a strong community thing that even getting no comments is a form of criticism in itself. It’s so natural for people to respond that, even if people really like your post and got the “topsauce” of the day in the recap and a lot of “likes/faps/hearts/whatevers”, but no comments, it says something about the post. You didn’t draw people in enough. Getting a lot of comments and response but no “likes/faps/hearts” generally is a red flag too, since anyone clicking that button has their name attached at the bottom of the post as a form of endorsement.
Writing the Destructoid blogs has been a massively useful resource when it comes to writing about gaming. I know how to format a post, I understand how to draw people to a blog, but I still have a lot of room for improvement. Getting this amount of response, instead of just seeing a number increase after posting, has helped me immensely. It’s exactly what I need right now.
That said, it is funny that the Game Characters Not Giving Fucks post got featured. It is, by far, my laziest post on the site. I’ve been experimenting on that site a lot. I wrote an article in the format of an OKCupid profile, did a Drinking Game list post, had an in-depth article about princess Zelda’s role in the series, and proved that Sonic is the bad guy in his own franchise. Then I technically just retool an old blog as a Top 10 list, foregoing my usual writing style by just swearing up a storm and I get on the front page within three days.
I am really glad that it was this post that got up there though. For two different reasons.
First of all, and most importantly, Game Characters Not Giving Fucks, while being a really silly, stupid blog, actually is something I’ve always been somewhat serious about since it holds a lot of meaning to me. I don’t know, maybe it somehow comes across for people or resonates for them the way it does for me.
I started that blog while I was in a really dark place and contemplating suicide. On some podcast somewhere, I heard about this guy who started a blog about stuff that makes him happy while being incredibly depressed and down. Somehow it helped him to remind himself of what matters to him, and the blog was a massive success. It inspired me to start a blog about something I’m passionate about: video games; Linking it with the one thing I should do more: not caring so damn much about everything.
Not too many people ever visited the place, but there’s a few people out there who really love the blog and always want me to keep updating it. That alone made me happy and gave me the feeling I made something worthwhile. So to have that on the front page of Destructoid, a site that I truly appreciate, is amazing to me.
Secondly, because a few days prior to me posting it on there, some guy wrote a blog in which he was swearing up a storm. Everyone in the comments told him to stop swearing so much, because it was distracting from the piece. I didn’t have problems with the amount of swearing he was doing, but didn’t really like the contents of the post themselves. I was entirely sure, but I got the feeling that everyone felt that way, but they didn’t want to outright say the content of his blogs are terrible, his opinions invalid, so they blamed the swearing.
Which I get, swearing amplifies the fuck out of everything. But I didn’t like the idea that it was the amount of swearing that was the real problem. So I figured I’d put up a Game Characters Not Giving Fucks post as a Top 10 list and see what happens. If I was right, people would love it because emphasis is put on characters to put them in a positive spotlight, even though I was swearing maybe ten or twenty times as often as that guy was doing in his post.
I was right.
Except I didn’t expect to be right to the extent that I was. I got much more of a positive response than I ever had on the site, and I generally get a really good response there either way. The next day, I got a private message asking if I could put a banner together quickly so the post could be put on the front page.
If that wasn’t enough, my post got a bigger, more positive response than most of the other front page articles and featured blog posts. It’s been kind of overwhelming, really.
But at least it’s nice to know I’ve still got it in me to just go ahead and do stuff. All it takes is to just not give a fuck and do it.