JP On Gaming

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Five ways blogging made me a better writer

There are many blogs that have posted list such as this and I'm pretty sure a lot of the points herein have appeared elsewhere.

Quite frankly, this blog has made me into a more interesting and varied gamer. I don't mean that I branched out and started playing more and new, different games, or games I dislike. Even though in the five years since this blog was started I have played a variety of new games, which I enjoyed, and enjoyed a lot less. It just made me form my opinions in a clearer way. As a writer, this perspective is awesome.

5 - Routine and consistency

There is no doubt that getting into a routine helps a prospective writer. A lot. I generally try to work on a number of things at once, moving everything forward piece by piece. This helps me avoid writer's block as I can switch from one project to the next. Sometimes an idea for one project does not pan out and inspiration fails. Always working a little helps you get there.

4 - Think before you write

Many people from previous centuries left copious correspondence and exchange, so we can get their thoughts on things. This blog, in many ways is a similar exchange I have with you. A blog post or a gaming product need some "meat", something to ponder, to make it special. This self-imposed constraint means I must have something to say and elaborate.

So, I provide posts that are relevant, interesting, and thought-provoking. As I write a post I challenge myself first, then my readers to ponder or think about something. This force-you-to-think approach has transpired into other aspects of my life as well. Seriously. I tend to be a lot more introspective at work.

No, the Sunday Funnies are not thought-provoking posts. They are Funnies.

3 - Evaluate both sides

Continuing the previous point. It's not just to think, but to try and see the other side of things as a way to prove or disprove my point. More than one post did not see the light of day simply because I could not find any alternate perspective. I was effectively working from the conclusion and proving my own points without any serious or valid counter-argument. In so many words, my natural tendency to play devil's advocate has only been acerbated. Now I formulate, in full sentences, how things are not to my liking.

Without counter-point, then you are just loving the smell of your own navel. It accomplished nothing.

2 - Read more

Every good writer and blogger will tell you that they read more and more. That is so true. I have been looking into a number of other blogs for things as varied as terrain-building to stat-block formatting to GMing advice to product reviews.

Blogging, like writing requires a lot of input for a limited output. Nothing new is ever created, old ideas are just re-hashed... So very true. And coming up with NEW ideas is very hard. However, using a blended approach - something LPJ is very good at - can lead to interesting things. "What if I mix a turtle with a dragon?" or "What if I mixed a shark and a tornado?"

You get the idea. Reading and finding ways NOT to do something is also valid. "I would like to have a Game of Thrones, but without any humans replacing them with Dwarves." or "What if the Greyhawk City of my world was populated by evil humanoids?" To be able to do that, you need to read and know about similar things to take them down another path.

1 - Improved my writing skill

Like every muscle, writing all the time, in different formats has helped me become a better writer. My style evolves and changes, and the more I work at it, the easier it becomes.

This blog allows me to write in a different style, one that is more editorial than the style I use when writing adventures or game products.


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