I need your help, my friends.

I have gone past 1500 posts.

Now, that is not in itself a cause for celebration, it’s simply a testament to the fact I can’t seem to shut the hell up. I’ve got an opinion on EVERYTHING. I ain’t bashful about sharing it, either.

On a side note, did you know Lewis Black is on Twitter @thelewisblack ? Not sure why that suddenly occured to me.

I’ve gone past 1500 posts.

That may seem cool, until you try to find something buried in that mess.

I tried to find one particular post in my archives the other day, and I came to a stunning realization.

I can’t find SHIT.

I even have a search function on my blog. Nope, really can’t find shit.

Now, you can’t help me find what I was looking for, I forgot what the heck it was already.

There is something you COULD do that I would be truly grateful for. Please?

You could let me know in the comments to this post what posts I may have written over the years that stand out to you as ones that would be worth having links to on the sidebar.

If the answer is none, then that’s fine with me. :)

I’m not looking to fulfill any particular criteria. It’s enough to me that, if I wrote something that for whatever reason stuck with you and you think would be a good one to have linked on the sidebar, that you let me know.

If I actually get some suggestions, I’m going to add a section on the sidebar for reader recommendations, and it will bring some stuff back to life from a dead and gone archive.

I’m not joking, by the way. If you think nothing I’ve written deserves to be on the sidebar of the blog, that’s cool. Hey, if you think it’s all fishwrap… there is absolutely NOTHING wrong in my mind with aspiring to write words that last for a single day before fading away into the past.

There are a few things driving this today, besides my not being able to find shit in my archives, that is.

The first thing is, every once in a while I get the thought that maybe I should have links to some of the stuff in my archives on the sidebar for new readers to check out. I do not, in any way, expect anyone to read through 1500 freaking posts. With the size of my bearwalls? Really?

Not a chance.

But buried in that mess there might be posts people enjoyed, and think new readers would enjoy too. Or at least would give people fair warning over the kind of crap I’m known for spewing.

I do have some posts on the sidebar. I’ve tried to keep the Storytime posts I like doing and the Tales from the Truckstop, and Druid Tanking posts from back when what I thought was, for a brief millisecond, relevant. A wonderful reader also recently asked me to add the Alex the Bunnyslayer posts there, and if someone asks you to do that, how the hell can you resist?

Those posts on the sidebar already, some of those are very old, and yet they still seem recent and fresh to me. I think part of that is because they are on the sidebar, where I am reminded of them and the good times we had writing and talking about them. If you think I don’t like to remember good times I’ve shared with you, you’re nucking futs.

The thing is, I’m not capable of judging what someone might think was worth linking to or not. For this kind of thing, it doesn’t matter what I thought about it, what matters is your opinion.

There is yet another reason for this, too.

If my pagehit post caused some people to wince in irritation at my bragging and to liken me to being the kind of person that would tell a crowd of people how many conquests I’ve had, then the whole concept of my pandering to my massive ego by begging readers for suggestions on what posts of mine were most awesome ought to cause ‘em to blow a fucking gasket.

Cherish that visual with me for a moment. The beginning of reading the post, the dawning realization of just what it was I was asking for, the gradual darkening of the cheeks as blood pressure soars, the sudden pop…

Nirvana.

I kid, I kid. I do that. It’s all in good fun.

There is an even further point to all this.

If you are a blog writer, or any kind of writer at all, and you sometimes feel discouraged at not finding an audience or recognition, take a good, long look at me for a moment.

I’m not a great writer, I’m probably not even a good writer. But I do put myself into my writing, and I keep writing. I’m the energizer bear of blogging, I keep writing and writing and writing. It may suck, people may want me to shut the hell up, but here I am.

If I’m not actively writing, I’m thinking about writing, thinking about story structure, thinking about characters and concepts and shit, and I want to write it all down.

It’s not about pagehits. It’s not about recognition. It’s about writing for the love of writing. If you’re doing it for a reward other than doing what you love, then it’s a means to get you something else you want, and you’re not likely to keep going unless you get that thing that is your true goal.

I was writing long before there was an internet, and I sucked then, too. I’ve got notebooks full of story ideas, role playing game scenarios, poetry, character backgrounds, you name it. I’ll be the first to say, none of it is any good.

Every few years I come across one of those notebooks, flip through one, and think, “Holy shit, I was a complete IDIOT. This is crap! Oh my god, I can’t believe how immature my worldview was, how lacking my understanding of history, the inter-connectedness of events, how shit works together, geopolitical views and just wow what a bloody idiot I was.”

Then a few years pass, I pick something up, and read what I’d written just a few years prior, and think the same damn thing.

Every year I look back on the person I was a year before and think, “Wow, what an ignorant idiot.”

The lesson here is… I know, based on past experience, not think but KNOW, that I am an idiot NOW. In five years, I will look back on the person I am today and truthfully think, “Wow, what an idiot I was.”

That doesn’t stop me from writing. Maybe it should, but it doesn’t. I keep writing. I wrote in notebooks, I write here, and who knows where I’ll be a decade from now. Dead in a ditch, victim of the zombie apocalypse everyone tried to warn me of, or writing something completely different on a new venue I can’t imagine? No idea.

If you love writing, sharing your ideas, playing with words and cleansing yourself of the ideas in your skull that threaten to drive you nuts unless you get them out where you can twist them around to get a better look at them… DO IT.

1500 posts don’t all happen at once. They happen because you wrote something today, and tomorrow, and every other time you were fired with enthusiasm to get the shit out of your head someplace where you could see it, and you did it by typing or scribbling or scrawling.

Honestly. Look at this place. Look at it, and be sure of one thing.

You can do better.

So do it. Be yourself, let your love for writing explode on the screen, and if you are honest with yourself and what you’re saying, it may take time, but people WILL find you, they WILL link to you, and you WILL be part of the community whether you want to be or not.

For every writer pouring their heart out, there are people who will find those words resonate within them. It may take time, but it will happen.

But start with the writing.

28 Responses to “Gratuitous Self Promotion!”
  1. I think the big issue is many of your posts, particularly posts on tanking need updated pretty frequently as game mechanics change, and I probably enjoy those insights most. The other thing I remember is certain lines, the one I still laugh about (and still holds true) is from the old Paladin vs Bear discussion:

    <blockquote cite="Perhaps others feel differently… but I challenge anyone to tell me that you can easily picture what the difference would be between Shield of Righteousness, Holy Shield, Sacred Shield, Divine Shield and Avenger’s Shield, or between Hammer of Wrath, Hammer of the Righteous or Hammer of Justice, or what about Divine Shield, Divine Intervention, Divine Protection or Divine Plea, or how about Righteous Defense, Hammer of the Righteous, Righteous Fury and Shield of Righteousness, or…

    Well, I think you get my point. It’s damn silly, is what it is.

    I think the new level 85 ultimate ability for Paladin tanks in Cataclysm should be called Divine Holy Shield of Righteous Hammering. A single Paladin protective self-bubble that casts a Judgement dealing Holy Damage on each individual target that tries to hit him. Just go with it. Give in. Do eet!”>

    Bearwall comment? I’m sorry! here’s the link to the post: http://thebigbearbutt.com/2010/02/11/tanking-test-druid-vs-paladin-ii/ Though I don’t think it in and of itself should go to the right, too much has changed since then. Perhaps an updated version? But it’s a good example of your personality shining through.

    So I agree on writing because you enjoy writing and putting yourself in your writing, especially if you’re not doing it professionally. I write only when I feel I have something to say, which is pretty often, though getting the strength to at times is hard.

    But keep that bear butt tapping the key……no, keep those claws tapping the……How does a big bear type anyway? I think….boxing gloves. (points for the reference)

  2. Ayerick says:

    Off the top of my head (I know some of these might be in there already but it might be nice to know that they still stick with people)…
    The RPG GM story where you blow up the car
    The one where your mom tries to bring a loaded gun through airport security
    All the trucker series
    Alex punting goats (?) off the ledge in badlands
    Your dad shooting at his girlfriends cat

    PS. Every time I see a Devilsaur pet in a dungeon I look to see if the name is AnnCoulter

  3. Valorum says:

    truck, snowy night, owl

  4. Dortrine says:

    http://thebigbearbutt.com/2010/07/13/reader-mail-finding-the-confidence-to-tank/

    This post will never be irrelevant. When I was a baby bear, trying to tank, this post did more to help me than anything else I found in the whole internets, any advice my guildies gave me, or anything else.

    Don’t ever let it become unfindable, please.

    <3

    Dortrine.

  5. Minos says:

    I’ll have to scan the titles to jog my memory, but meanwhile have a stupid song about bacon as congratulations on your 1500th post:

    http://thefump.com/fump.php?id=1517

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Just to be accurate… I have 1523 posts published at the moment.

      I just said 1500 so as to make a point. I wasn’t tracking. After all… who the hell really thinks about that kind of stuff? Might as well make a big think out of having posts to the power of 8 or something.

      Why?

      Because EVERYTHING can be a cause to celebrate, damnit! Everything is. That we continue to do what we love and love what we do is cause for non stop celebration, and kiss my ass if someone walks away disheartened instead of revitalized.

  6. Matty says:

    When I was an Art Major, people told me not to try because I went to the University of Delaware and the “real” artists were only taken serioiusly in New York.

    Stupid me, I believed them.

    When I started writing again* in my current career, I was basically told the same message, that I was a cliche, that what I did for a living was going to get in the way of being a “serious” writer.

    Oh, those voices in our heads. Sometimes they just need to STFU.

    Let me see if I can articulate this:

    Thank you. Glad you’re out there, Bear.

    *cause I have always been a writer, from first letters to big-girl words.

  7. Hasteur says:

    Personally I like the search feature, granted it might be a good idea to weight recent posts to the top of the list, searching works fine for me.

    *I am a web developer by trade so my viewpoint is skewed.

  8. Eryius says:

    Ok, so you already have the truck tales in there :) I still laugh hard at the thought of the owl and the fishookturn in NYC with that BMW under your trailer :)
    The Cubreport is obviously there.

    I think you’re missing 2 things atm: a Bacon category
    And the custom made rings that Tesh designed! You had a website that could make those rings and Tesh went in and designed a whole bunch of them. They should be up on the mainpage :)

    Apart from that, just keep writing! I only read 1 blog cause it keeps making me smile, guess which one :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Oops, you’re right, I need to get a permalink to Teshs druid rings there. That is just fail on my part.

  9. Syl says:

    I really liked your article on “to thine own self be true” http://thebigbearbutt.com/2011/02/27/bearwall-be-yourself-wait-didnt-i-post-this-before/
    It’s one that stood out to me and made me decide you were blogroll material.
    you have a very conversational style of blogging which is unusual – you claim it’s not good writing, but it’s actually a difficult ‘mode’ not many writers are good at. it’s something you’ve every right to feel proud of imo.

    as for the blogging tips, they’re simple but true; keep writing. keep writing for yourself, find your voice. readers and followers will find you, just be patient. if you spend as much time on writing as you’re spending on comparing yourself to others (which is bad 99 out of 100 times), you’ll be there in no time.

    oh and I would recommend using a good tags system maybe to manage so many articles. I only have a fraction of yours and I’m already struggling to find stuff sometime. I like to collect my own favorite reads of the year in my anniversary post, just so I have them at a glance somewhere and those who want can find them. I like it when other bloggers do that, it’s easy to miss great reads with so many bloggers around. nothing wrong with linking to yourself, after all we put hours and hours into trying to create something worth reading.

  10. The Ancient says:

    I keep lurking hoping other people will do all the hard work and find the ones I liked. It’s worked a little but there’s one I can’t find. It had Neil Gaiman’s syndrome in it, the one where if you think you’re good you’re probably not and vice versa. Duh, it just occurred to me if I searched Neil Gaiman I’d get it and I did, http://thebigbearbutt.com/2011/03/30/the-meltdown-heard-round-the-world/.

    Really enjoyed that one!

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Holy cow… I not only forgot about that post, I forgot the events behind it, I forgot the study, I lost everything from it.

      Sounds like a blogging version of me I respected a little more than I do now. I read the part about hitting publish and moving on, letting people who are upset at something I wrote deal with it in their own way, and I felt embarassed with myself for taking that recent post down.

      No excuse for it. I’ve had people show me crap going on in twitter, and it just reminds me why, if people read shit into what I wrote that I didn’t put there, I need to let them. I don’t know where I lost that along the way to the point that I pulled a post and changed things, but lesson learned.

      I always write what is in my heart, and if other people read something into that, whether it was there or not, how they handle it is in their own hands. Making an apology to them is good, but taking down something I wrote because of it was an overreaction and wrong on my part, for whatever ‘good intentions’. Once posted, it should have remained to show exactly what kind of person I am, for good or bad, and be done with it.

      As I said… lesson learned. For this month, anyway.

      • Matty says:

        Leave it to Tome to find one I needed to read–

        bookmarked that one —

        wow.

        PS And all cub stories–heart officially melted, and have those “sunrise, sunset” moments

      • Tsudrats says:

        :) I suspect someone out there has a copy of the lostpost :)

      • The Ancient says:

        I never ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I luckily have that fuckityfuckity disease as a kind of emergency filter, I can’t write when I’m mad. I just write whatever nonsense comes into my head with no worries as I always feel hey, it’s just me and a few friends here. If I thought masses of people were flocking to read my every word I’d be dumbstruck for sure. Not a word to write. Pretend we’re all not here, I’ll try to be real quiet but I have sinus problems so I’m kind of mouth breather, sorry. Don’t pay any attention to me leaning over your shoulder and all.

  11. Hugh Hancock says:

    Well, I thought the various posts of yours that hit the Piggies were pretty good ;)

  12. Andrew says:

    I can’t see the side bar, as I’m on a mobile browser, but, if it isn’t there, I think “The Gift that Keeps on Giving”, or something to that effect, about your installation of Jersey barriers in the middle of your company’s parking lot (with pics!) is my favorite that no one else has mentioned. So much awesomeness! I love reading about ‘hats being thwarted. :)

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Oh yeah, you know I don’t remember if I added that or not in the storytime section. I’ll definitely have to do that. I checked a while ago, and you can see the barrier from earth orbit. I really like that. :)

  13. mannyac says:

    I’d like to see a “list of favorites” (as in books, films and/or music) section

  14. Synna says:

    The job hunt/resume/what I look for when I am interviewing a new employee posts were well grounded.

    They could be quite useful for some to stumble across when browing best of links.

    Any other I may have thought of were scattered away by the “oh ya, that post! *giggle*” reactions of those listed already.

  15. Honorshammer says:

    I found your piece on military ranks, modern and medieval to be very helpful to my writing and gaming. http://thebigbearbutt.com/2010/10/26/military-units-and-ranks-for-rpg-game-design/

  16. Rizamp says:

    Would it be possible to add a link to your first post? I might be wierd, but I read blogs on my phone when I smoke (not in my house). Because I’m a fast reader, I run out of things to read rapidly, so am always looking for. Dw writers. When I find someone who’s style I like, I then back track to their first post so I can read them all in order. Most blogs require me to scroll through the first page of current posts, then hit the older entries button, then scroll, etc etc till I get to the beginning. Much less frustrating if there was a link.

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