WoW, I’m Going Nowhere

I’m noticing an interesting correlation between my gameplay in the World of Warcraft and the activities on my website here. When I create a new character in WoW, I really enjoy playing the character during the beginning lower levels (i.e. 1st through 10th). However, as my character progresses pass this point, something changes and the excitement quickly dies off. For example, my main character is a 57th level warrior and while I definitely enjoy meeting up with friends weekly to adventure together, the adventure itself is somewhat tedious, repetitive, and boring (primarily now due to the type of quests that appear the closer you get to 60th level). Again, if I create a new character for an evening’s gameplay though, I have a blast (even though I may be repeating quests I’ve done before). So what’s going on?

Well for some reason I’m reminded of a post I wrote a while ago that talks about the culture of startups. In a nutshell, it reveals that companies are at their best when they are just starting out because everything is usually open, loose, somewhat messy, and mistakes are expected because everything is fairly new. In other words, you don’t feel like you have this weight on your back but instead you feel like you can do and say anything because you’re more willing to take risks. However, as an established “professional” company, you have this image and history to maintain (i.e. the weight on your back). When this occurs to me, it feels like I have to live in the past being dragged slowly along by this “weight” instead of living in the present or even leaping into the future. That’s exactly how I feel about my website right now.

To be honest, I feel like dumping everything in the trash bin with this site (including my journal) and starting over. And again, to be honest, this is the type of person I am (and I think some of you who’ve known me for a while realize this). Instead of dragging along trying to hold something together with duct tape (i.e. my last attempt at trying to make some changes to the site), I like blowing things apart and rebuilding it from scratch. It doesn’t matter if I have to do this repeatedly on a daily basis, as all that matters to me is that I eventually achieve what I’m looking for. Of course, this usually drives people nuts when I do this (i.e. my wife shakes her head at me and chuckles every time I change around the layout of the office/den where I work). To others, it seems like I’m going in circles. To me, it’s like I’m exploring something new for the first time. I mean just imagine a kid smashing his beautiful LEGO castle apart, while his parents looking on in disbelief. That’s me. All the parent’s see is the accomplishment of the beautiful castle. All I see, as I smash it apart, is the vision of the next castle in my head that I’m excited to try building.

I believe it was Margaret Wheatley who said it best in her book Finding Our Way. There are “pioneers” and there are “specialists”. The pioneers explore the unknown as the vanguard to the specialists who follow behind them. Once the pioneer, as explorer, has scouted the unknown and made it fairly known (in terms of mapping the boundaries of it), the specialists come in and start building a permanent settlement within the area. As for the pioneer explorer’s whereabouts by then, well I’m sure you have a pretty good idea by now.

“Where’s the explorer? Who knows! We couldn’t keep up to him and lost him in the woods on the last ridge.”

4 thoughts on “WoW, I’m Going Nowhere

  1. Hi there Nollind- First of all. I TOTALLY can relate to you and what you are saying… I for one have struggled with the very same "change" processes you describe in all ways. This phenomena is most prevalent (i find) when dealing with modes of "expression" of any kind, which I find working in web design, building a blog or what not- to be one of them.

    Isn’t it so that it just comes down to expressing ourselves- and being creative in the process? I have found that creative people (like you and like myself I will admit)- often are NEVER EVER happy with anything they do for any length of time. I for one have been building different sites and the one site I can NEVER build "right" is my OWN. When you mentioned wife shaking her head at your constant "revision" processes- I had to laugh… My life story.

    I am writing a response to share with you and all the world that I have realized something about this whole process of building/creating/expressing – and this is: Save the nitpicking for your clients; when it comes to your own personal blog/site etc.. you have the right to work- rework, duct tape together or smash as you see fit. This is a truism. If you want to tear it all apart, well YES you can. I have learned to embrace the process of disatisfaction and use it as a tool to better DEFINE WHAT the heck it is I am trying to say. And the best part of it all (for me) is coming to the realization also that I am in fact only doing what I do to satisfy my own creative urges. So there is no right or wrong or ugly or whatever; I have allowed myself to be the SOLE judge of me and whatever I pen or assemble. I find this takes the edge off of "what if" no one relates or I dislike what I said/built/created… I learned it is OK to look back at what I said 3 months ago and think its really freakin’ stupid and totally NOT where I am at today and STILL BE OK with it and move on – and not be compelled to delete it. We are all our own biggest judge and jury.

    It has helped me to view the whole subject of re-invention with a more compassionate eye when it comes to putting something together that is "just mine" to work from that perspective. Because it’s genuine and true.

    You should know that what I like about your blog and why I visit it at all in the first place amidst the billion some odd sites out there is because there is a sense of genuine-ness in it. You were in fact a big inspiration for me to start my own blog- ugly or otherwise- it’s mine. I saw I could do create something of my own whereas before i never really could "quite get it right". It is always so much easier to create for others than for ourselves- we are our own worst critics. Because of your manner and style, you really were an inspiration. The lack of "trying to be funny/cynical/blah blah/ forced/ proselytizing et. al. – is something I admire about your style and blog.

    My two cents: If you dont like the layout FINE- do another one and port your posts over…. But if you want a public opinion (which this one amounts to I spose)- then I say KEEP the posts because they are what make a creative person like myself come over here and visit an essentially blank page with black text on it (yours) instead of some awe inspiring flash laden thing that would hold attention for about 5 seconds because it really doesn’t speak to me as a person. I think the web is evolving into the "moment’ as you once referred in your "Now Blog" post… I think you have had it right on all along. Now go create a masterpiece!

  2. > I for one have been building different sites and the one site I can NEVER build "right" is my OWN. <

    This is actually quite normally, as you noted that we are our own worst critics, and it’s why I have trouble with my own site yet have a much easier time helping others with theirs. For example, when I used to work for a web firm in town a while back, they used to make great sites for others. Yet I always found their own company site to be not great at all because they had a hard time relaying their identity. Actually their first site (when I first got hired with them) was their best, as it was very simple and straightforward. Yet they more they tried to make it "fancy" or "flashy", the worse it seemed to get.

    > I learned it is OK to look back at what I said 3 months ago and think its really freakin’ stupid and totally NOT where I am at today and STILL BE OK with it and move on – and not be compelled to delete it. We are all our own biggest judge and jury. <

    So very true. That’s why I want to blow things up because I thrive on the change and the learning process that comes out of it.

    > You should know that what I like about your blog and why I visit it at all in the first place amidst the billion some odd sites out there is because there is a sense of genuine-ness in it. <

    Thanks, it’s nice hearing that from someone. πŸ™‚ When I write, I try to speak from my heart about something that is meaningful to me. Of course this goes against all of the "blogging rules" out there which say you must blog daily and so forth. If I don’t feel I have something meaningful to say, I’d rather not say anything at all which means of course long gaps between my postings.

    > But if you want a public opinion (which this one amounts to I spose)- then I say KEEP the posts because they are what make a creative person like myself come over here and visit an essentially blank page with black text on it (yours) instead of some awe inspiring flash laden thing that would hold attention for about 5 seconds because it really doesn’t speak to me as a person. <

    Hmmm, how best to describe this. Well I’d be destroying everything but rebuilding it. This means that the content may still be there but it may not be in the structure it was before. So you’ll still be able to find the posts on my site but not in the usual place and at the usual URL address (i.e. /journal/). Of course, this goes against web development which says you should always maintain links but I’d rather restructure now for a better site foundation that I can live with for a longer period of time.

    Again, thanks for your thoughts on this. I really do appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Nollind- to respond to a few things you mentioned that caught my eye – (from a personal stance and not at all to represent any school of thought) You had made the observation about the "rules" of blogging a few times.. ie: <i>"Of course this goes against all of the "blogging rules" out there which say you must blog daily and so forth….</i> Maybe this would be so if you are Ford motor company shopping your latest and greatest autos to the public- but otherwise- this rule is BS (my opinion). Regarding the web as a means of personal expression I find the best blogs and sites are those that post when actually inspired. There are only a handful of people out there in my view that can really pull off the "lets keep that content FRESH!" approach as personal style. Probly because this delivery really IS their personal nature and so it comes across as legitimate. Again, such authors are the exception; what works for them doesn’t translate well as a "general rule" for all bloggers and webmasters. Writings that are written because somene believes this "rule" seem to come across contrived (observation).

    <i>"If I don’t feel I have something meaningful to say, I’d rather not say anything at all which means of course long gaps between my postings….</i> Good- because this is what makes you appear credible and not like your "selling it" to society. Gaps are GREAT when they naturally occur; somehow- everything still appears harmonious even when there is no structured rhyme or reason. I like the way your posts are done- and if I happen to visit and there’s nothing new- fine with me- I will come back another day and see what you have to say.

    I dont want to sound like I am a total rebel and "be done with all rules" but I really feel that rules must evolve as social culture evolves. The web is a place where ‘ADD’ is an inherent part of the virtual world phenomena. IE: People get bored easily to begin with; capturing an audience to me involves two things: 1) a passion for what you are writing about to the point you dont care if you have an audience at all and 2) knowledge of your subject whatever it may be. I love this philosophy for personal blogs because who is more of an authority on the author than the AUTHOR.? This is why I feel that personal spaces – and even commercial in many cases- seem to fly a little better with an honest approach. I look forward to whatever you come up with next! Just dont change the domain or some of us won’t be able to find you at all! LOL!
    Sib

  4. > Maybe this would be so if you are Ford motor company shopping your latest and greatest autos to the public- but otherwise- this rule is BS (my opinion). <

    Actually that’s a rule that many "professional" blogging sites push. And yes I totally agree with you that it’s BS. πŸ™‚

    Do what feels right for you, not what someone else defines as "right". And yes it’s something I seem to need to remind myself of frequently as well. As I mentioned before, that’s the primary reason why I write in my journal, so that I can remember personal lessons I’ve realized previously.

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