What is Blaugust?
With the beginning of August rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a good time to do another general rundown post for the Blaugust Initiative. The idea is really simple, and honestly was inspired by my wife doing something similar in the math blogging community. This all springs out of something I decided to do 442 days ago that I called the Grand Experiment, where I got up every morning and made a post… even if I didn’t really want to. Through doing this I have learned a lot of things about myself, and as a result the community as a whole has learned a lot about me. I feel like at this point I have almost transcended writer block, in that I can sit down at the keyboard and start a stream of conscious flowing and at the same time make it somewhat relative to the purpose of my blog.
Thanks to cramming together of blog and august, Blaugust was born, and the idea is to take the challenge during the month of August to write a new post every day. More than anything this is about pushing you out of your comfort area and into undiscovered territory. When you have to produce posts without being able to rely heavily on multiple days of pre-writing it can be a scary thing. What happened for me is that I also began to allow more of my personal life to slip into my posts. As a reader, I am far more interesting in the people behind the screen than what they might happen to say. I’ve never been a big fan of building myself a personal echo chamber filled with only people who think like I do. As a result I am interested in whatever my friends and fellow bloggers have to say, and I think free writing like this really brings that point home.
One of the questions to come out of the whole contorted process of this initiative being born, was if we had to write on a specific topic. Ultimately you can write about anything that happens to suit you on a given day. You can diverge from gaming in any fashion if you like, and your blog doesn’t even have to be gaming related in the first place. Liore gave a really excellent example early on of writing a gaming related Foodie blog, and this would be an amazing thing and should totally happen. The purpose is to get used to writing on a schedule and not so much dictating what you happen to be writing about. Inspiration can be an extremely fickle thing, and if you want for it there end up being some massive lapses in your posts. The plan here is to make you realize that you don’t really need the muse to crank out interesting posts. If you allow yourself to do it, your personality will inhabit the writing and inspiration will find you mid paragraph.
Since I also decided to make this a proper contest and give away some prizes among those who manage to finish I realized that I really needed some basic guidelines. I am not trying to bog this initiative down in rules, but at the same time the only way to have a fair ending is to make sure that everyone has followed some really basic guidelines.
- Write A New Blog Post of no less than 10 sentences in length. This is essentially two large paragraphs, and feels about right for the minimum size.
- Include a link back to the Blaugust Initiative Page. My hope is as this starts others will join in the challenge and play catch up.
- Advertise the post on the Blaugust Blog. You will be given “blogger” level permissions to do this. More than anything this simply serves as a central repository for all of the awesome posts. Some folks have mentioned that they want to write some deeply personal journal style posts on occasion, and with these just make sure I have access so I can credit you.
- If you advertise the post on Twitter, please include #Blaugust hashtag. Again trying to help spread the word and get folks to join midmonth.
- Over the course of the month, repeat this process 31 times.
I will be keeping track of who has posted a post each day during the course of August. On September 1st I will be holding a drawing for several prize packages. I hope you like games, and want to acquire more of them… because that is what is going to happen here. As someone put it.. write awesome stuff and get games! Over the course of a few years of the various bundle series, I have accumulated a bunch of duplicate game download keys. I can think of no better way to give away some of these than to reward the hard work of participating in this grueling challenge.
I hope you follow me on Steam, because I will be picking a game off of your Steam Wishlist and purchasing it for you. In addition to this I wil be letting you pick a game from my Humble Bundle surplus list as well. For this prize specifically I will be looking for someone who has actually posted a post on each day individually, rather than someone who has posted 31 posts in the month, but not necessarily one a day. This prize should represent the truest form of the challenge.
Additionally I will be picking three individuals at random from the total pool of contestants to win the “Also-Awesome” award. To qualify for this you have to have started your posting on August 1st, and have written a total of 31 posts over the course of the month. I will have each of these folks in order drawn pick two games a piece from my Humble Bundle surplus list. I am varying the requirements here a bit to allow someone to have missed a day here or there but still have posted “catch-up” posts to be in the running for something.
The Catch-Up Artist
– Anyone who joins the initiative late is going to be in the running for this prize. To quality you have to have joined after August 1st, but managed to catch up and still write a total of 31 posts in the month of August. You can procrastinate however long you like, but I am expecting 31 well formed posts to get this one. After the above prizes have been picked from my Humble Bundle surplus list, the winner of this prize gets the chance to name one of the games for themselves. I promise the surplus list is more than big enough to support a wide variety of choices from all of the winners.
I will be crafting some sidebar badges and banners that can be affixed to your website showing that you won the Blaugust challenge. Additionally you will be able to bask in the warm afterglow of knowing you accomplished something really awesome. Depending on the number of participants I reserve the right to make up a bunch of other awards along the way.
I have honestly been staggered by the amount of interest I have received since concocting this loosely strewn together plan in the first place. For ease of maintenance I am asking that all participants sign up on the Blaugust nook. All you have to do is go there and click the join button, and of course have an Anook account… but everyone should at this point because it is an awesome site. Right now we have several members ready to go, but I am hoping this last push for people will help get us a few more. I really appreciate each and every one of the people who have shown interest in participating in the challenge. Through the course of the month I will be posting some prompts on a daily basis that you can use if you like to help you out with coming up with something to post about. The goal right now is to give you two to three a day at the bottom of my own blog posts for the month. I know I risk forgetting someone in the process, but here is the list of the folks that I know have mentioned interest in the process.
- Ash’s Adventures
- XP Chronicles
- Alternative Chat
- Star Shadow
- Lock & Bolt
- Echoes from the Abyss
- JVT Workshop
- Why I Game
- The Mystical Mesmer
- The Ancient Gaming Noob
- Gaming Conversations
- Missy’s Mojo
- Simcha’s Many Lives!
- The Keen Gamer
There is still plenty of time to add your name to the big long list of folks who have already mentioned they are interested in the process. Even if we get no more people, this is more than enough to make sure we have an awesome month. I thank you all for following me down this path to madness, and I hope we make it out the other side unscathed.