The last couple of days, I’ve been kinda wondering something.

Why the heck am I still doing this writing gig?

I mean, there isn’t anything to talk about as far as Druids go… anything I had to say, either I said it somewhere in the last few years, or I’m never gonna say it by now.

So, if not Druid talk… what the heck am I writing?

At times, sure, I have that normal burning desire to write about something, but more and more often I’ve started wondering… sure, I like to write, but is it really necessary for me to dump this offtopic stuff on the web?

It’s started to feel like when I’m writing, I’m punishing my readers instead of entertaining. And I’m certainly not informing anyone of anything they didn’t already know.

So why?

I know that there are lots of folks that have certain expectations of topical blogs; namely the blogger actually talk about the topic, instead of rambling along like a basket case.

Well, why should I be any different? If someone wants some Feral Druid info, they should be able to go someplace and read Feral Druid stuff, and not Starcraft II reviews or pictures of a Rogue in Dungeon Set 2.

I put the most relevant recent druid tanking posts on stickies on the sidebar… I look at the timestamps on those, and wonder… what have I done for you lately?

The answer is, not that much.

I was writing a long post about reading and Sci Fi earlier this weekend, and it just suddenly hit me… why the heck am I writing any of this stuff on the blog? It’s got nothing to do with WoW, so even if I do feel inspired to write it, why should I put it on the blog and annoy you with it?

Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like?

There’s some old saying I heard somewhere, it goes something like, it doesn’t make any sense to try and teach a horse to dance. It only frustrates you and annoys the horse.

Well, am I at that point? I’m writing all this off topic, irrelevant BS, and all I’m doing is annoying everyone with my ignorant opinions?

Gnomer wrote a great post earlier in the weekend about PvP, quoted one of my old posts where I’d pissed him off, and one of the earliest comments left there was someone pointing out, correctly, that the BBB doesn’t know anything about PvP, but that doesn’t stop me from talking about it.

Have I become that guy? The guy that doesn’t know shit, but has no problem talking about it at length?

That’s a rhetorical question. I think I have. Somewhere along the line, I actually started to believe that what I thought mattered outside my own head. Just blah, blah, blah all year long.

That isn’t who I ever thought I’d be. I’m actually shocked.

It’s almost as bad as being the really old creepy dude at the concert all the young kids go to.

Maybe it’s time to either shut up in general, shut up about non-Druid stuff, or just go make a different blog called “One idiot’s opinion on everything except stuff you care about”.

I don’t want to be that guy that doesn’t know anything, but will still talk your ear off for hours. Holy cow, that’s almost my definition!

Geez, I’m actually looking at that long post about reading and Sci Fi, and I feel embarassed that I was gonna post that.

48 Responses to “I’ve lost what little mind I had”
  1. zelmaru says:

    It’s your blog, and you can write what you want! If people don’t like it, they know how to unsubscribe. Also, we’re in pre-cata… this is only natural. There’s no point in writing stuff that is going to be obsolete shortly. There are few topics that will still be relevant after the big world upheaval-thingy.

  2. Aelinna says:

    Fact is, as you so rightly point out, there ISN’T much to talk about in WoW right now. There’s not much to DO in WoW right now.

    Maybe we’re bored and looking for a little blahblahblah? Presumably your readership like your writing style, maybe feel some affinity with you. There’s an above average chance we are HUGE GEEKS and would be interested in that long post about scifi because we need alternative entertainment.

  3. Neil says:

    Nobody’s forcing us to read your blog. It doesn’t take rocket science to get through five seconds of reading, realize “Hey, there’s no WoW” here, and close the window or move on.

    Or, in the case of those of us who appreciate your writing style and/or simply like hearing your take on things, we read on and enjoy ourselves.

    On the other hand, if you were to show up in my living room one day and start spouting off about your reading habits, I’d have to respond differently. Probably by calling the police and having a long talk with my security guy. Fortunately, the Internet is not my living room, and I have complete control over the reading experience.

    Write on, B3, about whatever you like. The people who are interested, will read; the people who are not interested, will not; and the people who are not interested, and respond with angry comments, aren’t worth your time or attention.

  4. Joel says:

    Please don’t stop writing. You are right that you’ve drastically cut back on the theorycrafting, but I still enjoy reading your rambles. I see your pieces more as op-eds these days. I trust you to pick a topic and be entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking.

  5. Rauxis says:

    I just enjoy reading your ramblings – so please don’t quit :)

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

  6. Sarah says:

    Write whatever you want; a blog is as much for the writer as it is for the reader, probably more.

    Not to mention that even when writing on a topic that isn’t about feral druids it is from the perspective of someone who plays and enjoys a feral druid. The has some value to me as I’m sure it does for other readers.

    There are already druid blogs to cover the gory details of class mechanics, but only update once a month. Who comes here for that?

  7. bigbearbutt says:

    No, really, you’ve got no idea. Here, tell you what, I’ll post that reading thing I’m talking about, you’ll see what I mean… I’m in a downward spiral that even Nine Inch Nails couldn’t get me out of.

  8. Symbiode says:

    I agree with the others, I like your ramblings. I don’t even play Wow anymore, yet still read all of your blog posts. If you still feel weird about it, a second blog for writing whatever you feel like would work, but don’t stop writing that stuff completely as it’s fun to read.

  9. Karalina says:

    Hello BBB, I love reading your “off topic/non-WoW” posts…due to your rambling, I’ve read books and watched movies I wouldn’t have ever thought I would enjoy. Ramble on :) Bears are known for covering vast amounts of territory ya know.

    regards,
    Karalina

  10. Kaethir says:

    You may be an old bear writing random stuff about random stuff…

    But you’re OUR old bear writing random stuff about random stuff….

    ;)

  11. kattrinsaa says:

    nothing wrong with reading and sci fi as a topic.. I took jurrasic park 2 (lost world) with me to the laundromat last night, but instead watched the 5th element which happened to be on over the dryer i was using.. (ok.. i picked that dryer on purpose…)

  12. Bavmolo says:

    BBB – just keep posting. Write about whatever. Your tanking tips and PVE info got me to start reading the blog, but your regular updates and humor are what has kept me reading the blog.

    My buddy always says ‘haters gonna hate’ – I prefer ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’

    –Safe travels !
    Bav

  13. Analogue says:

    I like your style, and I really like having random stuff interspersed with bear stuff. I mean, I’m a proud non-feral druid, I just read the furry posts so I know what all those abilities I don’t use do and what to yell at my husband for not using to save me :-)

    Keep the randomness. I can read it or skip it as I like… and I’m looking forward to the SF post. When Cata hits I bet you post more bear posts.

  14. Relevart says:

    You know, (and I skipped all the comments so if I’m reiterating, I apologize) I read this blog for the feral druid stuff, sure. It’s how I found the blog and why I started reading it. But the truth is, we share a rather large commonality outside of WoW too. You read sci-fi, I read sci-fi. You play Starcraft II, I played Starcraft I. A person whose opinion I have come to respect could entice me to buy the game or not, read the book or not. I’ve always felt that your blog was opinionated. I’m sure most of the information available here could be found elsewhere. But it’s the spice that makes it nice, you know what I mean? Ramble away man. Cause if a bear can’t ramble, then he’s no bear at all, is he?

  15. Amunna says:

    I suppose that you could flag those posts as the OffTopic category, and have them not display on the Main page and provide a page linking just the off topic posts… or an alternate page listing ALL posts to bookmark instead.

    This way, people who come here to see ONLY druid stuff (and who are so uptight that they’d get pissed seeing something that isn’t) can see only the druid stuff, while those of us who know that there are other things to write about occasionally, can read em if we want.

    But in reality, this is YOUR blog, and a place for you to put YOUR thoughts and writing. Do what you want with it, just because there are some non WoW posts on here doesn’t lessen the value of the WoW info that is here.

  16. Thom says:

    I personally like your blog. Many days I’ll check it out just to break up the monotony for me – your writing style is easy to read, and you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. :)

    There’s only so much that can be said about feral druids (awesome as they are), and I’m frankly glad you don’t limit your blog to just that.

    Good luck with your mid-blog crisis. Hopefully you get out of it without doing the blogging equivalent of buying an expensive sports car for no good reason …

  17. Tenjin says:

    I find your ramblings entertaining to read. So if you do make that non-Druid blog, make sure you post it so I can subscribe.

  18. Hess says:

    Keep writing John. I started reading because I was curious about druids and tanking. I’ve kept reading because I like the stories. I can appreciate many of your RL situations as a father, husband, DON employee, and a friend to many active/prior-active duty Marines. It’s the same reason I continue to read Daniel Howell’s blog(s). Two guys that I don’t know personally, but enjoy their writing, humor, and topics so I keep reading. It is your blog and up to you what you write. It’s also up to you on how you deal with the hate mail from folks that came here only expecting druid tanking info. Can you equate it to listening to Howard Stern, back in the free radio days? If you don’t like it, change the channel.

    OBTW, have any more LEGO Universe beta invites? I’m frigging STILL waiting to try it.

    Also, thanks to you, I’ve been reading “The Name of the Wind.” Would not have picked it up if not reading your fiction posts. Thinking about digging up my Drake books for more Hammer’s Slammers. Keep on keeping on.

  19. Sarabian says:

    Make another blog about “Ramblings of an Old Gamer”, or if you’re my age, “Ramblings of an Old Geezer” and I bet you’ll get a TON of subscribers.

    Not only that, but isn’t the true value of a blog shown in how many people go to it and comment on a regular basis? I have a blog that no one reads. I really mean no one, I checked the views. I don’t write anything anyone wants to read. You do. What use is a blog no one reads? You enjoy writing that “rambling” stuff and we enjoy reading it. I think making a new blog about “stuff” and also having this one about “WoW stuff” would be uber-spiffy. Seems I’m not the only one that thinks that, and isn’t that really what matters?

  20. Feature says:

    Keep Writing! I won’t read if it hurts, I promise :D

  21. Goad says:

    Write what’s in your heart. I didn’t see anything in the banner stating that this here wow blog would never deviate from our favorite topic. If anything, talking about non-wow things reminds me that there is a larger world out there.

    I would also recommend against writing a second topic-limited blog. My wife once had three, and the weight pf three target audiences was eventually to heavy.

    Moar rambling plz!

  22. Tesh says:

    Wait, BBB… did you just suggest that NIN would get you *out* of a downward spiral? Never heard that before.

  23. Gnomeaggedon says:

    Meh, write about Smurfs or Fire Mages… hell, you must be one hell of a closet Fire Mage if the Living Bomb is ticking away annoying people that much.

    I had a Druid once, I abandoned it a long time ago cause Druid Tanking is a bitch.. well actually, back then they didn’t have the zing that Boomkins have now… anyway I rerolled Mage and I have never touched that Druid (or any others) since (OK, well I might have touched up my tree hugging mate… but that’s between us… kk?

    Something tells me you don’t read me for Fire Mage stuff, or even PvP stuff for that matter.

    I sure as hell don’t read you for Bear stuff.

    Swipe… blah, blah, blah eyes glaze over, Swipe…

    I read you because you are just as dumb as me, prepared to comment about stuff that is on the periphery, of WoW, life and even your knowledge.

    - Was I pissed at you for writing about PvP – never!
    - Did I love that it gave be an opportunity to interact further with the WoW community – hell yeah!
    - Am I pissed that I screwed a few things up and got corrected – Ummm, I think that’s what life is about.

    We know you have pissed some people off along the way (I do the same… let’s me know that some people read, well read once anyway). We also know that some people are going to troll, to hate, even if you gave them their life’s desires on a plate and sometimes purely because you piss them off (which is a reasonable reason – but worthy of ignoring them in the future).

    If this does stop you blogging, then I hope it’s successful in only one sense… that you stop blogging what you believe other people want to read, and instead write what you want to write.

    Those days where you write what people want to read is a bonus for them, all the other days are for you.

    It’s your style, not your content that has us reading

    If you really want my advice… I don’t care if you asked for it or not of course… I suggest you reroll Mage and share you experiences here…

    If you are a FailMage – all the better!

    …then you will discover whether people come to drain you of your BearWisdom, or come for the love of reading an old nutta that talks all sorts of rubbish, including, occasionally, Bearstuff.

  24. Drew says:

    It’s the lull between expansions now, so it’s no wonder that there isn’t so much to post about. Lords of Kobol know the wowhead forums are pretty dry too. Don’t fret. Just keep writing as you feel so moved.

  25. Nimizar says:

    As others have said, it’s your blog, you get to decide what it’s about. If it shifts from being a “Feral Druid blog” to a “John Patricelli’s ramblings about whatever is on his mind, which may occasionally include feral druid stuff” then so be it. Some subscribers will stay because they like your writing style, some won’t, but as long as *you’re* still enjoying yourself, does that really matter?

    We’re big kids, if a particular Bear Wall(TM) doesn’t pique our interest, we know how to close the browser window or skip to the next item in our RSS reader :)

  26. Neil says:

    Reading the comments so far reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in my earlier comment:

    In college, I was a member of a group called “Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers.” We’d get together once a week to spend an hour in a vacant classroom discussing various issues of consequence, and another hour in a nearby sushi restaurant discussing various issues of no consequence whatsoever.

    We almost never discussed atheism or agnosticism. We’d talk about politics, classes, current events, interests, families, plans for the future, memories of the past … but, as my friend Jeremy once put it: “What do two atheists talking about religion even say? Hey, I don’t believe in god. Hey, me neither. Huh. Neat.”

    We were brought together by similar views on one issue, but discovered that our initial common ground gave us the ability to have some fantastic conversations about any number of completely unrelated issues. We weren’t always in agreement – I remember some truly ferocious political debates – but we always had good discussions.

    Likewise, I was first brought here by our common interest for WoW and Druids. However – as you pointed out – there’s not much to say about WoW and Druids right now? Once there’s new content, I’ll be excited to hear your impressions of it, especially if you start venturing off into areas I haven’t seen yet, leveling classes I haven’t leveled yet, etc. But at the moment, there’s precious little to discuss on the “original” topic of this blog.

    But what keeps me here is how much I love hearing you write about other issues, though! I like hearing your take on novels, on families, on road trips, on work, on any number of other things. I like how you have absolutely no tolerance for those who are oblivious to (or worse, like to flaunt) their privilege and entitlement. I like how you’ll readily express your emotions without descending into incoherence. If you decide to keep on writing, then I’ll keep on reading.

    Unless you start writing Twilight fanfiction, in which case, I’m out, have a nice life, kthxbye.

    Alternatively, if the lumping of many different things into one whole bothers you (although given how your Bearwalls go, I can’t imagine it does), you could do what BRK and Pike did: have separate blogs for WoW and non-WoW issues. I think Pike has three separate blogs right now, actually – personal life, hobbies, and WoW. It’s an elegant solution, albeit with slightly higher overhead.

  27. I initially found your blog because I was playing a druid, and I needed to learn how to tank. I also needed to work up the courage to start tanking. You helped me with both of those things.

    But that was a long time back. ;)

    I don’t even really play my druid anymore, but I still read your posts every time there’s one in my RSS reader. Why? Because I actually like the way you write and the stuff you write about. Basically, if you keep writing, I’ll keep reading, champ.

  28. kaozz says:

    Write about what makes you happy. I write about what I play. On occasion I may write about a specific topic. People like to read about what other people are doing. You wrote about your rogue, I thought it was interesting especially since you guys did those older sets which was really neat.

    You get a lot more readers than I do. I sometimes wonder if I’m just talking to myself haha. In the end I do it because I enjoy it. Write… not talk to myself ;)

  29. LazyPeon says:

    You come for the Druid Info, but stay for the Big Bear Butt.

    I read very few WoW Blogs these days – but your’s has stayed on my list. I don’t have the time to read Bear Walls, but I enjoy your passion for whatever you’re talking about.

  30. Demajen says:

    As a writer, a reader, and an English teacher, I’m very glad you *did* make that post about books and artificial categories – it’s close to my heart too! I’ve classified my writing as ‘urban fiction’ since that’s what I’m told it most resembles, but ‘resembles’ there is the key word for me!

    And i agree with many of the above posters. It’s you blog. You write about what you want! I don’t come here just for info on feral Druids. I come here because I like your style of writing, your outlook on life, and I’d like to see more of what you have to say, about whatever you feel the need to talk about.

    Writing is all about expression and creativity, no matter what the subject :)

  31. James says:

    I loooved reading your Dungeon Set 2 saga! I started playing towards the end of TBC, and I love finding out about “hidden” gems of Vanilla.

  32. Russ says:

    Hi, BBB.

    I see you did post that book article. I’m glad you did. As many of us have said before, a) blog for yourself, and because you like the interaction; and b) people come to read what you have to say because we like your writing, not because you’re giving us info and analysis on how to bear. Personally, I have found articles both on druids, WoW-general, and non-WoW topics alike.

    And LOL at Tesh’s comment :)

  33. Tactician says:

    Rather than seeing your splinter topics as a devolution from your real purpose, might you not consider them a sign of growth and increasing maturity? As long as you reflect on your topics – not just rant – then you stand to gain as a thinker, which can only benefit your readers, regardless whether we agree with you. To paraphrase both the Greek/Roman stoics and the Buddha, everything is by nature impermanent; holding on to a concept that something exists without change only creates suffering when it inevitably changes. Embrace your changes as a writer, but keep an introspective eye. That is what separates thinkers from “that guy.”

  34. Colerejuste says:

    “Be what you wanna be, do what you wanna do, yeeeaaahhh”

    It’s your blog, BBB. You post whatever you want to post, and I’ll read exactly as much as my brain can handle. You’ve got a special spot, just above Big Red Kitty in my WoW category in Google Reader, and come Cataclysm, I’m sure the muses will throw some inspiration your way. And I’ll be looking forward to it, since I’ll be leveling my second druid, and while I’m fairly certain I’ll be having a go at doing it Balance style, it’s good to be aware of what’s going down for bear form.

    Personally, I run 3 blogs to serve different purposes, none of which have any sort of readership worth bragging about. There’s my WoW one, which is mostly a timeline journal for myself, my RL(tm) one, which covers software development, home and other stuff which could come under “real life”, and a third for the occasional twisted bits of humor I feel I need to share, but not limit to Facebook/Twitter/Buzz audiences.

  35. Mannyac says:

    Hey, I check out your blog on a regular basis. If your post is about WoW, I move on. But when you are on a rant, talking about books or movies, telling a story or.. ahem… post a PBeM chapter, I stop and read. So as one of your non-WoW readers, just keep putting it out here, there are a lot of us who like that stuff the most.

  36. John says:

    Frankly, your ramblings on issues beyond WOW enriches our lives. They are much enjoyed. Carry on =)

  37. Drudesa says:

    I came here for the druid tank infomation.

    I stayed because of the entertainment.

    The infomation is still there, and as long as your willing to provide the entertainment I’m willing to be entertained

  38. Lytstep says:

    BBB you can do what you want. Whether you wish to write about WoW or something else it is up to you. Your stories and other articles are well written, thought provocking (sp) and entertaining. I cannot remeber exactly why I came here as I don’t bear tank, but I have stayed checking each day when I can to see what is on the Bear Wall. Your non WoW articles are the best, and the bear tanking ones give me an insite to a sub class I haven’t been able to master. I also agree with you that rogues do not seem to have a place in WoW except to open lock boxes ( have you ever had one shoved in your face (show up in trade window) in a city with no whisper please or thankyou). Some people touch their communities ( Mother Teresa and Ghandhi come to mind) on a level that they themselves I don’t think realise, thinking what they contribute dosen’t help, but it dose. I also think your blog is one of the few that are realy a personal journal you are sharing with us, which in the past when they were written almost never saw the light of day and if so years aftet the writer was gone. You are affecting and influencing people everyday in many ways without knowing it.
    What you write and the quality of writting many people get paid for. Fire off some articles to some of the puplications both internet and non internet you may be surprised.

  39. Eryius says:

    To be honest, I enjoy your non-WoW posts even more than your actual WoW-posts. Like that piece about the road in front of your office :)
    All the WoW-related stuff, all the theorycrafting, we can find that everywhere…
    It’s just the grumpy old point of view on things that makes your blog so funny. And frankly, I feel like I recognize a lot of the feelings you blog about, the things you think about situations, it’s all very recognizable :)

    So do continue!

    (just post a bear-wall warning next time you post something like that reading sci-fi/fantasy lol)

  40. feorfin says:

    BBB, like many of the other readers I came here to learn how to tank, and I kept comming back because I enjoyed what I read regardless of the topic. Please don’t fall victim to the labeling you spoke out against in your latest post. Sure, this blog started as a way to express yourself about WOW and your favorite class, and maybe help out some fellow gamers along the way. However, like yourself, the readers of your blog aren’t just gamers. All of us have varied interests and thoughts about things outside the World fo Warcraft. I would never suggest you continue something that you aren’t enjoying just for my benefit, but if you proceed with this blog please feel free to write whatever comes to mind. I will continue to check in as long as you are posting.

    thanks for the effort.

  41. Omni says:

    John, knock it off, okay? :) Seriously, the druid stuff is still right here and I still reference it and forward people to it – it’s still valuable and pertinent. But you know what else I say when I point people to your blog? I say something like this: “It’s not just a druid blog. The guy’s an entertaining writer and he does a damn good blog. You never know exactly what you’re going to get, but it’s always at least interesting and most of the times, really good.”

    Just write, man. Don’t you categorize it much – let us do that :)

  42. Lisa says:

    From the look of the comments above, it’s all been said.

    We love your writing style. Fancying myself a writer, I admire the “in-your-face” eloquence of your blog and the beauty of your story. Reading your blogs and the story you’re working on gives me inspiration to write when I have to time or energy for it. The fruits of your writing are many – not just for others, but I would assume for yourself as well. If you didn’t get SOMETHING out of it, you wouldn’t continue to write.

    I also stopped playing my druid about a month ago, but your writing style is enchanting, intelligent, thought-provoking and I can’t help myself when your feed arrives in my email box. Wherever I am, whenever that may be – I stop and read. And more often than not, I read it to someone else after I’m done.

    I look forward to what’s next…

  43. Synna says:

    I miss a couple days then read from the top down, so I read the post about the categorization of books 1st. Whole thing. Nodding along the whole time.

    I found this place from a BRK linke a couple years back I think. I didn’t (and still don’t really) play a druid.

    I stayed for the writing, opinion, life stories, etc.

    *shrugs* don’t stop writing for you. Some of us will still happily read it. If you DO move to a new site the way Critical QQ did, let us know where it is nice and bold like.

  44. Stupid Mage says:

    You can write whatever you want and I’ll read it. Because knowing you it’ll be good.

    You could write about the poop some dog left in your front yard and it would probably either make me think or make me laugh.

  45. Zahraah says:

    I like reading blogs because I like reading the person. It may start off that I start reading a blog because of Wow, but listening to the person has to be the best thing about blogs, if you don’t have your personality in your writing, and its guide after guide , people will follow you because of information you have – but that is all. They aren’t reading ‘you’ less likely to stick around when you stop providing them with the information they want. No relationships are built, and you end up apologising for a offtopic post when you don’t have to.

  46. Drew says:

    P.S. The “Gift that Keeps of Giving” post was among the best ever. I love love love that you were the man responsible for that. The schaudenfreude is delicious.

  47. poppycock says:

    I kinda enjoy the off topic stuff. I don’t even play a druid, in fact the only reason I found your site was through BRK’s way back when. I enjoyed it and so call back from time to time to see what’s going on.

  48. Milk says:

    What everyone else has said.

    My brother got me started on this blog because he wanted me to stop sucking at druid tanking in BC. Although I’ve already figured out tanking to an extent, I still read your blog. The off-topic stuff has been what’s keeping me reading the blog, not the theorycrafting (theorycrafting is for lames anyways).
    Please don’t stop writing!

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