In spite of what I said earlier in the week, I’ve taken up writing an RPG blog again. This is a limited-run endeavor, based on a Twitter hashtag. The #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge asks one question per day, and tabletop RPG creators post their answers. I decided to participate on Twitter with answers that fit within the 280 character limit, following up with expanded answers in blog posts of roughly 300 words.
Doing this dovetails with the journaling I’ve been doing on game design and Dancing Lights Press. I’ve been trying to nail down what my design goals are, how to explain what I do, and create a tighter focus for my business. Answering the very specific questions of the challenge has helped me to clarify and better articulate those things.
At the same time, this challenge has allowed me to connect with game designers I’d not heard of before. People not of the caliber of, well, let’s call them some the loudest voices on social media. It’s a microcosm that reminds me of what it was like in the early days of Twitter — a smart, interesting, supportive group of people. That sense of community is something that I need right now.
This isn’t any sort of violation of my “live like I’m on a writer’s retreat” ethos. Part of the reason for the pseudo-retreat is to do some self-work, and that’s what I see this as. I’m sorting things out. Its clear that my professional focus needs to be on the tabletop roleplaying work. It’s what earns me the most money, and provides the greatest creative satisfaction. This challenge is bringing me some much-needed clarity on how I should be spending my time.
It’s also writing, which is completely within the bounds of a writer’s retreat. The only questionable part is that I’m doing it on social media. I’m enjoying the fellowship of other writers and game designers. That seems to fit. I’m not making excuses or explaining myself. I’m just, you know, getting my head around it. Setting parameters for myself so that it doesn’t spiral out of control.
The challenge runs for 30 days. The posts are short, and I’m writing them as little warm-up exercises and when I need to step away from longer-form writing project. An argument can be made that it’s part of my job. There’s a social aspect to it. I’m having fun. Hopefully, it will help me to improve the quality of my work and maybe sell a few more books. It solves more problems than it potentially creates. While I’m not going to let it turn into a larger project than it needs to be, and the timing leaves something to be desired, it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.