This is just a courtesy note to advise that for a short time at least, I am having a break from the whole wargaming social media thing.
I have come to realise that a far too significant proportion of my spare time / behaviour is being drawn to the screen to the point that other areas of life / wargaming relatively diminish.
My most recent post (Ligny boardgame) as a document was more than 4000 words long (yes too long I know) and yet by today had garnered just 5 different voices in the comments. Broadly I’m okay with that as it was obviously the wrong subject / length / presentation for a current audience, however, it has given a 'moment in time' opportunity to step back and evaluate the whole thing about screen / keyboard time.
If I take the Ligny post as an example alone, it covered a long in depth game and it pretty much took as long to put together as the game took to play, or put another way, I could have played that enjoyable game twice for the same investment in time.
As a slight aside, by the 7 PM turn of the game, it looked like a Prussian win and my back was ragging, a good time to stop normally, but as I was writing about it for the blog, I pressed on for a better / fuller narrative outcome, at increasing discomfort and so for me, there has obviously become something of a ‘work’ aspect of the blog. It is a mindset thing I know and unnecessary, but there it is, I don't have the discipline or flexibility to take a different approach.
It is no doubt a culmination of long articles and the likes of the 45 page Christmas Gazette, which have exacerbated the feeling of too much time spent at the keyboard and then the constant internet referencing to keep on top of others and my blog. I know that a sensible solution would simply be to slow down and reduce blog content, but I am instinctively ‘wordy’ :-)
The bottom line is, bit-by-bit, my free time behaviour has become drawn in and altered by the demands of the screen and I think if I freed that up, I would return more to the days when real things actually got done. I have worked out that by spending much less time at the screen, I can probably be between 2 and 3 times more productive in other areas.
Yesterday morning, I was up handy as always and instead of doing 40 minutes on line as I might usually do, I painted all the jackets and boots on 18 ACW figures, it is that sort of time capture that I am looking at.
I doubt I am alone, as I look around, it seems we have become a world devoted to our screens - though at a cost I am sure!
The blog has a goodly number of followers, to whom I thank warmly and has a hard core of kindly folk commenting regularly, something I have never taken for granted. The blog gets visited around 12,000 times a month, so seems to have been a favourable watering hole for enough people. It is just a shame that more just pass through rather than engaging. I’m not saying bloggers need stroking, but there is a balance to be had, otherwise it can feel like one way traffic.
Anyway, this may turn out to be no more than a break and that I can return refreshed, though perhaps with the volume turned down a bit :-)
In the meantime, I will switch comments off at the blog (so that I don’t have to service it for spam etc), but will keep the blog up as it represents a big body of articles and too many web links would otherwise be broken.
I have paid hosting fees on my Commanders web pages for the next three years, so will likely put some output there, as and when, and just see how that goes. The comments section there has always been switched off, so it allows for a more leisurely, snippet based non-judged, non-measured outlet for me (link below).
I might even use some of this newly captured time to do a bit of magazine writing as I have some strong inclinations towards their sustainability.
Anyway, I don’t want this to turn into a self indulgent post, it’s just that there are many bloggers and blog users that I value, but I don’t have their e-mail addresses to contact personally to update and thank, so a ‘public address’ is the only practical way to reach out.
I am not posting this anywhere else, so I know it will only be read by the target audience of those who take an interest in the blog, for which I really do thank you.
Postie has just delivered a parcel, so all the good stuff continues :-)
EDIT - please note there is an ongoing discussion relating to this post and the world of blogging over at Jonathan’s blog (Palouse Wargaming Journal) LINK
COMMANDERS web pages. LINK