NekoJonez: Gamer’s Thoughts: Curse of a critic – Part 2

20130114-ask-a-criticLink to part 1

I told you guys that I wasn’t done yet with this subject. I wanted to write about my personal experience of being a critic. Be warned, there are some serious consequences when you want to become a critic. Since now-a-days, everybody wants to become a reviewer. They think that they can make it in the reviewing scene. A million blogs are popping up left and right, all trying to be different from the last. I try to be different by talking about more then just games. I post a creepypasta once in a while or I talk about the gaming market. On this blog I truly try to write about the games I’m playing in my gaming life. Not the latest of the latest. But I have talked about that in great depth in the first part of this article. Anyways, though intro has been written. Time to invite my readers to comment on this subject and or this article.ย 

I “can’t” enjoy anymore.

MW-BD501_sm10th_20130531161626_MGHonestly, I has been quite a while since I had a feeling that I truly enjoyed a game. Now, don’t get me wrong. All the games I have played, I enjoyed my time. What I mean here is that I always think about how I’m going to convert it into an article.

If you are following me on Twitter, you might have seen that I took a weekend off from my life basically. I went on a trip together with my mom towards the Ardennen, a region in the south of my country, Belgium. It’s a beautiful natural landscape. You can compare it to a mountain village in a certain sense.

While I was there, I managed to keep myself to my promise. I didn’t think about my Twitter, blog or anything else in my life. I only took my PSP to have something to play in the car. It was a 2 hour trip after all. Not counting my mobile phone, that’s the only electronic device I had on me. I had a notepad and various pens. You don’t want to know how full that notebook is now.

You have been warned

logo_samaxreviewsmoviesWhat I’m getting too is this: a warning to everybody who wants to start reviewing or writing a blog as a hobby or professionally. First of all, don’t try to be too professional in the start. You will give the impression of trying too hard. You must still enjoy what you are doing after all. Since you’re own curse will haunt you soon.

And secondly, you will need to find a way to relax on your own way. If you take it as serious as myself, and you try to write for an audience, you will think about what to write next. When I’m playing a game, I make mental notes of what I want to talk about in my article. It’s strange, but you are always thinking as a critic. You will need to get used to that.

Finally, start in a group. Don’t ever start writing alone. While I have started this blogging adventure myself, I had my forum where I could post my links too. They would read and share it to support me. Be sure that you have people who are interested in advance. Otherwise you will be writing for the visitor who is looking for information of a certain game.

It’s a numbers game.

Arpegi 2 YearsIn the end, being a blogger, YouTuber or any kind of entertainer ends up in a numbers game. Every subscriber or follower counts. Now, pay attention, you have these people who follow you on Twitter to get more exposure. I did an unfollow run a while back. My feed was spammed by too many different people. And after my unfollow run, I saw my follow number drop quite a bit.

I hit me then. The numbers are extremely important to us. We make a special video when we reach a special number of followers. But think about it. How many people actually do follow you. I admit that I have a ton of people I follow on YouTube that I have seen a few interesting video’s off, but I can’t keep up.

That’s what I notice with some of my blogger friends. They want to keep up-to-date with everybody they enjoy. People like myself, the guys on ButtonSmashers… and in the end, you don’t read or watch every single thing.

Be warned in advance guys, you can’t keep up with everything! So, don’t be afraid if you don’t have great numbers at the start. Try to keep stable numbers instead of occasional high numbers. If you try to aim high directly, you will fall deeper then you started.

Also, one of the biggest issues I faced was addiction. I got addicted to higher numbers. Yes, that even counted for my Steam library. I wanted to play more and more games to try and entertain you guys. Now, if there is one thing I want to warn the starters about is, try to keep time for yourself. You don’t have to share every single thing or game you play. In the end, it will bite you in the ass. People will ask your opinion and you will give yourself more work then you want to do.

To close off…

I might revisit this subject in the future. But to close off this article, I want to give you guys some helpful hint when you want to start out your own blog or grow your own project.

Be honest with yourself and your audience. If you need a break, let your audience know. If you loose people because off that, don’t let it get you down. If you need a break, take one!

Also, keep doing what you are doing. If you don’t get the exposure you deserve, keep working for it. You’re break might be around the next corner. It might happen one day that your article gets picked up by a more professional writer or YouTuber. So yeah, be patient.

Anyways, that was everything for now. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading my article as much as I enjoyed writing my thoughts here. I hope to see you here another time. ๐Ÿ™‚

One Comment

  1. hmmm how to write this without being confrontational >.<

    Basically i disagree with just about everything you wrote lol.

    Firstly, don't give yourself labels, don't worry about, or care about, being a critic, reviewer, journalist whatever. Just write what you care about and say what you feel about what your writing about.

    If you have to give yourself a title stick with blogger, it's less stressful in the long run.

    Don't worry about numbers.

    Ask yourself this, why are you writing your posts? Are you doing it to get millions of views to rake in all the ad cash? If so you're probably not going to last very long. Personally i do my posts simply to post what i think about a manga, game, movie or what ever. I don't care if something i've written gets 1 view or 10000 views, it doesn't matter.

    If you get to fixated on the numbers you won't get anywhere as you'll be to busy stressing out over losing 1 or 2 subs/views.

    This is part of the reason why i don't give number ratings to anything i review, i don't see the point.

    Over extending yourself is part in parcel of doing this TBH. Even if you limit yourself to a specific thing, say manga, you're always going to over extend yourself and have to much on your plate. Then of course you'll have periods of the reverse, where you'll have very little on your plate and have periods of little to nothing to do. The thing to remember is never make promises, never promise you're going to review something because if you don't it will hurt you a lot.

    I also don't agree that starting in a group is a good way to start. You're better off on you're own at first, until you find and establish your own writing style.

    If you start in a group then it's harder to establish you're own writing style as you'll have others influencing you. Establish you're own style, then polish and enhance it with others.

    I've been blogging on different sites for over 10 years now, i've been in magazines, groups, circles, and blogging groups (like this one). And TBH i still think you're better off flying solo initially. establish yourself as YOURSELF rather than as a brand/group

    1. ^w^ Differences in opinions ๐Ÿ™‚ Me like.

      I “label” myself as a critic because most of my articles are reviewing a game.

      Maybe I didn’t say it enough how “not important” numbers are in my article. ๐Ÿ˜› But you give a perfect example.

      Better of at your own has it’s advantages yes, but for me, “working in a group” has an advantage you loose from writing alone. And that’s feedback on your first articles. What I mean with the group thing is that you start on your own but that you already have an audience that can give you feedback.

      Thanks for the comment man! I love seeing things from another view. I have been blogging for around 7 years myself. So, yeah. We both know what we talk about ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Becoming a reviewer can be stressful. The same way you critique games you also criticize yourself. I don’t make notes whilst playing, but sometimes I put pressure on myself to complete games quickly so there isn’t a big gap between blog reviews.

    Working as part of a group can help with the workload, but I prefer to operate solo. I have had bad experiences in the past with pals falling out over the direction of a project or people exploiting others.

    Like Ryu said don’t go mental about stats. If you get new followers or lots of hits then pat yourself on the back, but don’t lose sleep if views are low. At the end of the day most of us blog because we enjoy writing not to become famous. When it comes to followers quality is better than quantity. I’d rather have 50 readers who give me feedback that 500 lurkers.

    1. Yeah, I agree with what you are saying man.
      Yet, I do make notes since I’m a very forgetful person. Otherwise I might forget things I really have to mention. ๐Ÿ˜›

      And bad experiences can ruin everything. And I don’t loose sleep if my followers drop. Yet, it feels awkward to me. That might be just me.

      Thanks for the comment man, there is a lot of truth in it.

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