Blaugust: Motivation & Momentum (or the Lack Thereof)

When Belghast first posted about Blaugust 2021, I told myself it’d be absolutely ok to go for one of the lower tiers. After all, I know I can do it – I’ve taken the Rainbow award for daily posts during 2019, and in the slightly different but ultimately similar 2020 Blapril.

But waking up on August 2nd without a post ready to go just felt weird, so it appears that I am going to try to put a little more oomph into this than I had originally planned on. Which is a bit awkward since my blog motivation has been super-low the past few months, which I think is due in large part to my overall motivation being equally low as of late.


The question then is this: where do you find motivation when it’s not in the places you would normally find it? When I start to lose motivation towards the end of a project, I can usually push through solely on momentum, but that’s not really an option at the beginning. Without motivation or momentum to rely on, I’m stuck with what always seems to be my default position of sheer stubbornness!

I’m still not sure exactly how Blaugust 2021 is going to go for me, but watching other participants come out of the gate strong and with a whole lot of gusto has invigorated me. I think my biggest stumbling block is not going to be the time actually spent writing but rather the time where I need to be doing (or at least thinking about) something interesting enough to be writing about.

… which this particular post probably is not, but in the interest of not starting out way behind, it’s what I’ve got today.


Welcome to Blaugust 2021, participants and readers!

Nerd Girl Goals – August 2020

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Since we’ve already done a daily post-a-thon once this year, Blaugust is looking a little bit different. I’m intrigued by the idea of a Promptapalooza, and I’m looking forward to reading all the interesting stuff that comes from it, even though I am hesitant to commit to completing too many prompts myself. You can find the intro post and first prompt over on Tales of the Aggronaut.

Nerd Girl Thoughts will be responsible for the prompt on August 10th.


#FightingGameMonth is the theme of August for the Community Game Along, and it’s the third month in a row that I’m going to be stepping outside my genre comfort zone in order to participate.

And again, because I’m not 100% on the genre definitions, I’m going to rely on the not-so-reliable Steam tag system. Going over my library, I think the main game I’m going to try out is Injustice: Gods Among Us, although I’m hoping to also sneak in a post about a super fun, free fighting game before the month is out.

Steam also told me that the Batman Arkham games count as fighting games, which while I’m thinking that’s a stretch, made me think this might be a good time to start my replay of the series.

Play to Satisfaction

For me, saying “Play to Satisfaction” gives me explicit permission to drop a game that’s not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I’m really loving something. I’m trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction – no more, no less.

I still have a few outstanding game-related stuff I’d like to finish up over the next few weeks, but there’s plenty of stuff I haven’t already talked about I’d like to add onto my plate this month.

I want to talk about SMITE for a minute, here. There are now 110 playable gods in the game, each with unique abilities, passives, and synergies. While I understand that it’s possible for someone to know how to play every single character, I have a Pokemon-brain that only lets me maintain competency at about a dozen or so at a time.

Because of that, I really want to buckle down and learn that handful of characters cold. In the “main mode” there are five roles, and I’d really like to have four characters per role, but I’m going to set my goal for three, because, well, Pokemon-brain. I want to make sure I have build paths on lock as well as managing the actual in-game button pushing.

I expect my biggest struggle to be the assassin class / jungle role, and I am grateful to have a patient group to play with who don’t get overly bent out of shape over losing.


Otherwise, I plan to turn my attention to some shorter and more story-focused games. While I’m missing my strategy games, I find I rarely have the patience for them, and diving into a huge RPG just doesn’t even appeal right now. With how much I have on my plate outside of gaming this month, I just won’t be able to get deeply involved for days a time, so I need to keep my focus more, well, focused.

READING

I’ve just started on Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff ahead of the release later this month of the series on HBO. I’ve been a fan of Matt Ruff since stumbling across the weirdly wonderful Sewer, Gas, and Electric years ago in a used bookstore. I grabbed this one via Kindle Unlimited back in December, and honestly, forgotten all about it until I started seeing ads for the show.

E.A. Copen also recently released the first two books in a new series, and I have Shadows Over Hemlock up next to read. I’d been taking a break from urban fantasy for a bit, so I was delighted to discover her new series was more of a horror story.

WATCHING

Although there’s still a lot of TV I’d like to finish up (I have a nasty habit of not wanting shows to end so I just … stop watching them?), I expect most of my TV time this month will be spent keeping up with the Smite Pro League games. Even though I space them out throughout the week by watching the VODs on YouTube, watching six sets every week is quite a commitment in and of itself.


All in all, I think I’ve planned an ambitious month, considering I’m also committed to a lot of garden work, as well as several projects around the house that need to be finished up before we can get the professionals in to get us settled before winter. It feels weird to even be thinking of winter in August, but the one major thing I’ve learned since owning a house is that everything takes twice as long as you expect it to.

Quick Look – ECON – Elemental Connection

This post is part of my blogger challenge.


ECON is a neat little puzzle / board game, currently being given away on Itch.io. It is also available on Steam for the extremely reasonable price of $2.99 for folks who prefer to keep all their games in one place. The basic premise is simple – match the edges of your tiles to the tiles on the board to score points.

There are three different game modes (Single Player, Online Versus, and Challenge), and six different AI profiles for the single player version of the game.

I’ve only played a handful of games, and mostly, I’ve lost the ones I’ve played. You only have two tiles in your hand at a time, so it’s difficult to plan more than one move ahead, and as you near the end of the game, the strategy mostly changes to making moves that cause you to lose the least points.

ECON – Elemental Connections is a really interesting concept, with immense replayability, even if you never touch the multiplayer. I’d say if you like puzzle-style board games, it’s worth a pickup at $3, and is a no-brainer at the low low price of free. It’s even more worthwhile if you have a friend to play with and you’re looking for something new to play together online during social isolation.


Blogger Challenge – Give Back to an Indie Developer

I’ve noticed a couple of themes going around with different bloggers right now. The first is that we are struggling with what to play. The second is, we’re struggling with what to write about.

Now, logically, it seems like the two things just might be related, so in that spirit (and in the spirit of doing a good thing for someone else who has done a good thing), I present the “Give Back to an Indie Developer” blogging challenge.

Feel free to use this image in your posts. I made it JUST FOR YOU (in canva.com)

When so many folks are dealing with the disruption of daily routines and also financial uncertainty, an overwhelming number of indie developers have chosen to take their games and make them free (some for a limited time, some permanently) on the Itch.io storefront. Most of these games are labors of love that no one ever talks about, and I’d like to see all of us come together to talk about them.

Just look for a game on Itch.io that is on sale for 100% off, and give it a whirl. Then do a little write up about your experiences, linking back to the game on Itch.io. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.

I do hope this catches on, and I’d love it if you’d drop me a comment or link back to this post if you decide to take on this challenge. I will update this post every couple of days with links to blog entries that focus on this challenge.


ECON – Elemental Connection by Krikket @ Nerd Girl Thoughts.

Regions of Ruin by Naithin @ Time to Loot.

Codemancer by Paeroka @ Nerdy Bookahs.

Blogger Recognition Award – 2020

I have been tagged by the incomparable Naithin of Time to Loot to do the perfect blog entry for the start of #Blapril2020. Thanks for the tag!

The Rules

  1. Thank the wonderful person who nominated you and leave a link back to their blogs.
  2. Explain your blog’s origin story or its history.
  3. Hand out two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  4. Nominate other bloggers and hook us up with links to their blogs.

Origin of Nerd Girl Thoughts

Oddly enough, Naithin is also probably at least 75% responsible for the existence of Nerd Girl Thoughts in the first place (and I thank you for that as well!).

I had wandered away from my prior blog The Completion Chronicles in May of 2017. I had always intended to go back to it, but really, the whole concept had lost its shine for me.

That blog came to be after I had just come off of what I still feel was my most successful blog project – 366 Days of Gaming, in which I played a different game every day for a year – and I wasn’t quite ready to give up blogging yet, but I also was really unsure of what I wanted to be doing.

So blogging had been put on the way back burner for well over a year, when I saw Naithin tweeting about Blaugust 2019, and I felt like that was the kick in the pants I needed to get back to it. Instead of reviving one of my (many many) defunct blogs, I decided to start fresh with Nerd Girl Thoughts, and leave myself a little bit wider open to write about a greater assortment of topics.


Advice for New Bloggers

Don’t Overthink It: It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want your blog to be about, or what you want it to look like, or how you want to publicize your posts. The first step is actually getting words down about something that you care about. There are probably 8 million good reasons to start a blog, but if you ask me, the best reason is because you want to write. So, write something. Work out all the messy details later.

Look for community, not recognition: If you are considering blogging because you want to get internet famous, or as a side hustle to make big money, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Sure, you can absolutely treat blogging as a business, but – at least to me – that’s the quickest way to suck all the joy from your project and the odds are still against you succeeding. Unless you’re content babbling into a void (and I frequently am, so take that one with a grain of salt), you will need to build a community. Events like #Blapril2020 are great for community building – take the time to figure out who else is writing about things you are interested in, and then interact with those blogs & authors. Chances are, you’ll spark a conversation and maybe even get a follow back.


The Tags

I think this is a great topic & I personally was glad to have the prompt, but if you don’t feel the same, please feel free to just conveniently forget I tagged you, ok?

Syp, author of BioBreak.

Chestnut, author of Gamer Girl Confessions.

Rakuno, author of Shards of Imagination.

Paeroka, author of Nerdy Bookahs.

Quietschisto, author of RNG.

If I didn’t tag you, but you want to use this topic as well, feel free!