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February 4, 2009

An Aging Brew

So as it turns out, I'm looking through my older blog posts and I realize that today marks one year since beginning The Monk's Brew.

Although I had written a number of blogs about the development of Vespers over on GarageGames.com prior to starting this blog, I remember feeling apprehensive about doing this given the extra commitment it would require. Time is valuable these days, and I'm not a fast writer. Ideas abound, but I often find I lack the clarity of thought to put them into meaningful words. The last thing I wanted was to start a blog, and then let it die out because I couldn't keep up.

There have definitely been times when it was hard to keep up, and times when I've blogged when I should have been doing other things. But I've enjoyed it throughout, and I like having a place to toss out ideas about game design once in a while or to provide an update or some thoughts on the development of Vespers. I'm amazed that a year has gone by already.

The one thing I've gained above all from doing this, though, is a tremendous amount of respect for those who do this really well.

Writing well is hard. Writing something truly engaging is altogether different, and harder still. Whereas I often struggle to find thoughts and words and occasionally spew gibberish that utterly fails in its communication, some blogs just seem to do it right, consistently, and those are the real gems. You know each time something new pops up in the feed there's going to be a tasty morsel waiting there. I imagine that takes a good deal of practice, but there's a talent there, too; some folks just have a knack for spinning a good tale out of anything. That's a nice skill to have.

Jay over at The Rampant Coyote is someone I admire for this, and I honestly don't know how he can do it while averaging over a post per day on top of everything else in his life. Shamus at Twenty-Sided is a machine, sometimes posting a couple of times each day and never disappointing, especially when he's tearing apart the writing for some new console game. Corvus over at Man Bytes Blog is posting less frequently these days, but still has an amazing ability to stimulate intense discussion on story and game design, and maybe even one day I'll finally grasp whatever that is he's dishing out. Emily Short seems to have that clarity of thought and an ease with words that is rare and special, and she has an inspiring gift for critically assessing interactive fiction (and games in general). And then there's Jason Scott over at ASCII, who I swear could talk about practically any topic and weave something mesmerizing; he has a combination of skill and style that is uniquely his own and it's just damn good stuff, every time. There are many more as well, too many to cover.

I admire these folks for doing this right. They've all been blogging for a few years, and I'm glad they have. We'll see where this blog ends up; I'm hoping this year will be a big year for Vespers, and that should mean some interesting experiences ahead. Should be plenty to write about.

Thanks for coming along, and raise a brew with me to another year.

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