Sometimes, it takes change to make real and lasting progress.
I’ve spoken at length about my feelings on Patreon, and as of this morning, my Paypal account has more money in it than I’d garner each month when all pledges were paid. The irony of that situation is not lost on me either: by refusing to stick with the easy, comfortable and stress-free direction my writing was taking, it was time for a leap into darkness. What hadn’t been clear until last week however was that the drop I’d expected wasn’t nearly as fatal as was imagined. Yet again, imagination got the better of good sense and reason: the reality is that here, where things now stop and begin to settle, holds far greater long-term potential.
The key, in a life previously lacking in focus, has become the path of consistency.
This morning has been full of revelations, but the one that hit home the most revolves around the set of circumstances which finally separated me from a desire to write and exist as an active part of the Warcraft community. I caused a lot of grief, and upset a fair few people when I refused to complete a series of Podcasts inspired by celebrations around the title’s 10th Anniversary. I was (fairly and accurately) accused of being flaky and untrustworthy. It’s only now the reality is grasped that I didn’t want to be the person I’d become back then. My future wasn’t as a ‘personality’ or a ‘fan podcaster’, and it took a couple of years before finally, I was able to separate myself from the reality that surrounded me.
I know now it was the reassurance that was craved so much: I needed to know I was significant and my voice mattered. I will never forget the moment when someone accused me of using them to forward my own ends and something inside me literally snapped: I’d become a hopeless parody of all the things I hated, and the people who cared about nothing but themselves. It didn’t matter that the accusation was 100% false. It didn’t matter that I’d being wound up by a ‘popular’ streamer, belittled by a ‘high profile’ personality and used as an in-joke by dozens of other people because I refused to play their games or become part of a clique. These incidents were not important, and they still aren’t. It could have been anybody or anything. Until my own house was in order, everything else ended up as irrelevant.
Life had become all about deciding whether I cared about fitting in or not.
When I took the decision to go it alone last year I lost a portion of interest, understandably, from those people who turned up just because of my ‘Warcraft Brand.’ When this year I announced I’d be selling myself as I now am (without Warcraft being a primary focus) someone DM-d me and pointed out I was a liar and that I should just go back to doing games. I still play, but my content is hash-tagged so the people who don’t give a fuck about Azeroth get the choice. I’m loathed after nearly nine years of blogging just to throw all that away, especially when I know the debt that writing journey owes to everything else that I am. But truthfully I am no longer the same person, and I have little or no desire to hang around with a portion of the people I used to.
The people who don’t like the fact I won’t come and be in their clique have finally got their wish. I have waning interest in anyone whose obsessive devotion to an MMO shuts out logic, reason and common sense. If you’re going to live, eat and breath this game 24/7 at the expense of everything else, please go right ahead without me, because I’ve already done 51 years on this Earth rather badly and really need to fix all the stuff I’ve fucked up elsewhere. The game is no longer a constant in my life and trust me when I say I am definitely better for it. However, as a reminder, the Hotel World of Warcraft allows me to return any time I like, and I am perfectly entitled to play and write about it whenever I choose. If you turn up in my Social media timeline and start being a fucking twat because I don’t play the game in the way you like…?
In good news I have zero desire to make any money as a streamer, personality or talking head any more. I do have a quite long list of people however should I ever meet them in public that I’d feel quite happy giving a very well measured and scathing piece of my mind, just because they have no idea of what arrogant, stupid and sexist morons they really are… and that’s just the women.
I don’t think I’ll be getting tickets for Blizzcon any time soon.