Thursday, March 13, 2008

Work Ramps Up, Blogging Ramps Down

So, as I'm sure many of you have noticed, my posting has been sporadic at best the last couple of weeks, and its getting more so. When I started writing this blog, I decided to try to hold myself to a Monday-Friday one-post-a-day schedule, but it just hasn't been working out that way. Its not for a lack of topics to write about; I actually have quite a few potential topics lined up and ready to be written. The problem is my job. . .

At the beginning of last week, I started being transitioned into a new work area. Well, that's not exactly the right way to put it, because that makes it sound like I'm being shifted to a new role completely. I'm actually just acquiring more responsibilities. Before, I was responsible for a single module (Essentially a freestanding car engine, I work for General Motors as a Fuel Cell Test Engineer for those who didn't know), which ran in an environmental chamber. It meant a LOT of downtime, because for most tests, I had to let the module thermally adjust for hours after each run. And with all that downtime, I started to get bored, and from that boredom eventually came blogging.

Well, last Monday, I started dividing my time between two work areas: My old one in the environmental chamber, and a new one down the hall, with two more modules. In a purely work-related sense, this is a GREAT thing for me, because with three modules to keep running (only the one requiring thermal "soaks"), I keep a lot busier, I LOOK a lot busier, and time goes by much more quickly. On top of this, because of the scheduling of the person who runs that other lab during the day shift, I was given the opportunity to shift my hours back to a 1:00 to 9:30 slot, which is immensely better than going home at midnight, both because I actually get to see my fiancee (and guildies) before they go to sleep at night, and because the people who know much more than I about things are around for a larger portion of my shift for when (not if, when) things go wrong. An all around winning proposition.

The problem with this, of course, is that all of that downtime I used to have was my blog writing time. I still have bits of downtime here and there, but I can only really write if I do it in big chunks (usually writing an entire post in one stint, but sometimes 2-3 large pieces instead). So right now, I'm looking at a few options:

Option 1 -- Blog when I happen to get the time (like today), and don't try to stick to any schedule. This, obviously, is the model I have pursued up to this point. I'll probably go this route for a bit longer, just to see if, as I settle into my new schedule, I'm able to find more time to write. However, if I continue to only be able to write a couple times a week this way, I'll definitely be pursuing other options, as I really do enjoy my blogging time on many levels.

Option 2 -- Stockpile Articles. I know a lot of bloggers out there have multiple posts they work on at any given time, going back and forth between them. As I said, I'm more of a "write it all at once" kind of guy. But if I could get multiple completed articles written, and just push them to the front page one per day, I could keep up my posting schedule despite my work schedule. There are two problems with this, though. First, I would still have to find time to actually write my articles. I could probably set aside some time on the weekends, but generally when I'm at home, I would really rather PLAY the game than write about it. And second, I would have a really hard time not just immediately publishing my completed articles. I love getting feedback from you guys! And that goes double for posts about current events.

Option 3 -- Write at Night. I'm an extreme night owl, largely due to working the shift I work. And since most of the WoW population does not follow my schedule, I often have very little to do in game at night (last night, for example, I spent 3 hours farming up about a dozen Charged Crystal Foci). If I can get myself to write during those downtimes, I could not only still get my one post a day up, but would probably be the first blogger a lot of people read every day due to the timing (albeit, I generally post later in the evening anyhow, so that may already be true). The problem there is, while my mind is very much awake in the wee hours of the morning, it doesn't tend to be all that focused, so my writing quality might suffer, or I might just get chronic writer's block. So actually, I'd probably have to write the night before, and put in some editing time the next day to bring things "up to snuff".

Option 4 -- Badger people into "Guest Blogging". This really wouldn't be a solution on its own (remember, I LIKE writing this, its a hobby, not a chore). However, if I found that I just can't get around to doing 5 articles a week, it would be an option to fill the gaps. I have to admit, I've played around with the idea in the past, and think it would be really cool to have, say, a weekly guest article, maybe even a regular contributor, or some sort of point/counterpoint type deal. Something to set the Rambling Bear apart from all the other bear tank blogs. But again, there are two problems with this. First, I have no idea who I would get to do it. It would probably be someone from my guild (since most of the other gamers I know, I know through their blogs). But I have no idea who I would get, what they would write about (a weekly RP story, probably), or even if anybody would be interested. And second, and more importantly, I'm a rather overzealous editor. I have a tendency to take other people's writing and, in the process of checking it over and fixing mistakes, inadvertently rewriting much of what they say in my own writing style. Something I'm sure any guest contributor would get a bit annoyed with.

So, anyhow, I hope to be able to get back to a more regular posting schedule for you all soon. Bear with me in the meantime. Heh, bear *snicker*

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