As of June 1, I will no longer be Editor-in-Chief of Blizzard Watch. This decision was purely voluntary, nothing is wrong, and there are no politics in play. The business of Blizzard Watch had little to no influence on this decision. Simply put, I didn’t want to do it anymore. However, even though I’m stepping back from the leadership position, I’ll still be writing and contributing over there, so I’ll still be around.
To go into more detail, there are two primary reasons I’ve made this decision. First, I no longer enjoyed the work on a personal level. I haven’t been putting much time into Blizzard’s games recently, which made it difficult to drum up the passion to write about them let alone direct an entire staff’s coverage of those games. More and more, I found myself dismissing news and topics because I thought, “how could anyone find that interesting? It isn’t worth our time.” Someone with the manga-level burning passion of youth should be given the space and ability to direct the editorial.
Second, my professional life has been centered around writing about World of Warcraft for ten years. I’m 30 years old. I’ve been writing about WoW since I was 20 and I’ve been playing it since I was 16. When I asked myself if I wanted my life, professionally and creatively, to be solely defined by Blizzard Entertainment, the answer was no.
These thoughts have been weighing on me for awhile. I stuck it out for the sake of my Blizzard Watch friends and family — because they absolutely are my friends and family — but finally came to the conclusion stepping back was the responsible thing to do. The June 1 date is really a formality at this point, because the team has already stepped up and knocked it out of the park as I transition out of the leadership role.
I believe members of the team will discover skills they didn’t know they had simply because they never needed to until now. Once they have, they’ll make the site better than ever. Fresh blood and new ideas are a great thing. (Plus, let’s be honest, some of them have been doing this job even longer than I have. They know what they’re doing. If I didn’t write this post, I bet most of you wouldn’t realize I’d resigned.)
As I said, though, you’ll still see me around Blizzard Watch. I’ll still be writing news and the occasional other silly thing. I won’t be involved in management, nor will I be in any position to provide insight into the business or operations anymore.
Going forward, I’ll be focusing specifically on writing, both freelance work and my self-publishing.
In December of last year, I released Rookie Mistakes, the second installment of my Lady Superior series. Around the same time, I launched a Patreon to support supplemental fiction releases. At the time, the plan was to release new installments of Lady Superior on a regular basis, interwoven with short stories, vignettes, and all of that sort of thing. It’s now the end of May 2017, I’ve barely managed to squeak Lady Superior 3 to my editor, and I’ve shamefully released nothing on Patreon.
As it turns out, it’s incredibly difficult to produce creative content when you’re playing editor from 9-5. For awhile, I seemed to manage it. I’ve released three novels under those conditions. Eventually, though, I couldn’t keep it up. Running a website by day and writing novels by night leaves little room for much else. In most cases, I only saw or interacted with my girlfriend (who I live with!) for stretches of 5-10 minutes at a time when I needed feedback on something I’d written. I sacrificed sleep and meals to buy myself a few extra hours to accomplish something. By the time I came to the decision to step back, I hadn’t felt truly well-rested in weeks. Everywhere I went, everything I did, I felt like I was dragging my ass.
I want to rediscover the joy of writing. Writing Lady Superior is the most fun I’ve had writing in a long time. Dedicating most of my day to the thing I didn’t enjoy to the detriment of the thing I did enjoy was an increasingly unpleasant experience. I want to continue delivering the world of Lady Superior (and other fictional worlds!) to all of you. And, certainly, I hope you enjoy it.
Lady Superior 3 should be coming your way in the near future. At the moment, I’m tightening up the manuscript with my editor. After that’s complete, it’s a matter of waiting my turn on my cover artist’s commission list. Once those things are done, Lady Superior 3 will be in your hands. Going forward, I’ll have significantly more time to focus on continuing the series and releasing smaller pieces on Patreon. As soon as that process is off the ground, I’ll start promoting my Patreon again. And I’ll need to find a way to apologize to the handful of people who’ve supported me during this lull. At the very least, they’ll be given the completed Lady Superior 3 straight up when it’s ready to go.
I’ll also continue freelance work, which is a significantly smaller time investment than a full-blown editorial role. Right now, you can find some of my work on NowLoading. In addition to covering the news, I have a (semi-) regular column called Digital Fables where I discuss story in games. These are my pieces so far:
- Why not all games need a boss battle, and how boss battles have ruined some games
- Ludonarrative Dissonance explained in plain English (and why games can’t tell origin stories)
- Horizon Zero Dawn was predictable and that’s okay (plus a discussion of tropes)
Overall, backing away from Blizzard Watch is a financial risk, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. If it turns out my writing isn’t good enough to make a living off of it, I’ll go back to the drawing board. In either case, I feel this is the right thing to do at this point in my life.Plus, I’m looking forward to having time for gardening again. It’s that time of year, after all.