To whom it may concern (oh boy here we go again),
Time is weird.
For someone that likes to live in the here and now, I find it easy for time to get away from me sometimes. At times, I will feel like I haven’t played a game in god knows how long, only to find I installed it in my Steam library not two weeks ago. Conversely, I get the feelings that I have been doing something for a very short amount of time, only to look back and watch my progress shooting out behind me, and I find myself a bit stunned as to where I’ve come from. It’s rare that I am squarely reminded of how much time I have spent doing this life business, or to be blunt, how much of it I have wasted. It has been four and a half months since I was invited to work for GamersFTW as a volunteer reactionary feature writer, and just shy of two months since I was subsequently fired by a brand new editor for asking one too many questions about his shady business dealings. With that in mind, it has been two months since I have written anything at all.
Have you ever had a point in your life where you realize that something that has happened again and again only to find that it is a set pattern of stopping and starting that is primarily caused by doing the same things over and over again? This is that moment for me; to add to the growing list of times spent not writing, it has been nine months and nine days since I last published a piece to this personal site, and a staggering one year, four months and twenty-two days since I last had a piece that talked about how useless and lazy I am being. Much like this one.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not beating myself up here. I know exactly what the roadblocks are, and the cycle that I go through. It goes like this, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before: months of silence, realization, soppy post (much like this one), blast of activity, months of silence, repeat. I have done it with every single media that I have dabbled in, from writing to journalism to the several unfinished creative projects sitting in my documents folder all the way back to the years that I spent perfecting 2D animation in high school. So many opportunities that I have left to sit by the wayside as other things came to the forefront to take over and, eventually, overshadow everything else.
(image courtesy of Hyperbole And A Half, they are awesome check em out)
This is not okay, but it is not abnormal. It could also be something that I have reconciled in the past, and will perhaps one day reconcile again in the future. I am becoming a jack of all trades, I will reason, and this knowledge will be put to use somewhere down the line even though I’m putting it down now. It is not a particularly bad trait to have either, but it is not conducive to creating a solid career for myself, or for shaping what I want the rest of my life to be. Having a catalog of skills and experiences means absolutely nothing if you have nothing to focus it towards, and this is where the trouble lies: in a lack of focus, for the menagerie of reasons that everyone reading this, and people who know me and have read my work in the past, will have cottoned on to by now.
However, there is one stretch of time that sticks out in my mind as I write this. It was a late night in December of 2001, and two of my best mates had come over for a miniature LAN party to celebrate my friends birthday. We only played one game – Need For Speed 3: Hot Pursuit – and we played cops and robbers for hours and hours and hours. There are experiences from that evening that I still remember today, and maneuvers that are still relevant in the newest games in the franchise. Most importantly, though, is the feeling that I had when I looked up from my game in between setting up matches, looked at my computer, looked at my friends that were happily chatting away, and I had a small watershed moment. It was that moment, fourteen years and nine months ago, when I realized that I never want to stop doing this. I never want to stop playing these games, I never want to stop talking about them, and I want to dedicate my life to having fun and growing within these games.
It is time to take my problems and change my perspective. I want to change the lens from me not doing things because of my problems, to me doing these things despite these problems. With a future looming and a career to foster, it is no better time to reboot this website and start posting consistent and quality content in the hopes that, one day in the distant future, I can make that 2001 version of me proud and say that I fulfilled what he always wanted to do.
So. Here is the plan. From now, there will be two pieces of content posted here every week: one brand new piece of content written by myself talking about something that intrigues me or is relevant that week, and one piece of legacy content from my resume at GamersFTW and ByteSizeGaming, remastered to include revelent contextual information and to bring it up to the standard that I write to today. With all of the work that I have half-produced, has never seen the light of day or has been stricken from the internet because of the machinations of asshole editors, there should be enough content to last me a while. I also bold the relevant buzz words mainly for my benefit, so I know exactly what I have to do at a glance, although you can go ahead and think I’m exciting you guys, I guess.
There is also the small matter of the project that my blog takes its name for: Breaking Backlog, that particular stop-start chestnut. I make no promises, and it will become a casual thing that breaks me away from the seriousness of producing the day-to-day content. I love playing brand new games, reviewing them, taking them apart and making them tick, and it is an attitude I never want to let go of, so it would be remiss of me to drop one of the few Rosetta stones of that passion. That being said, I’m not going to force it, because something organically being written is what produces the works that I am most proud of. The project is not going to go away, but it will certainly be on the backburner until I can, for lack of a better term, get my shit together.
Lastly, I want to take the opportunity to thank the people that kick start these letters. The ex-GamersFTW crew, my good friends BigBlind, EarlGrey and MrMensa7, my loving and always inspiring partner (who is an internet wraith and would like to keep it that way, so they know who they are, for they are bees) and possibly more than any of them, my former editor for GamersFTW, Tom Killalea. These people are the reason that I continue to get back on the saddle, on top of the aforementioned memory binge. I have my problems and my quirks, and many other people would have not bothered with mine. The fact that these people have, and continue to do so, says something about the work that I produce and what I am capable of, because these people are no slouches themselves. If I can meet and exceed their standards, I might actually be able to warrant these people fussing over me someday.
Oh, and feel free to slap me upside the head if something is late. I may be turning over a new leaf, but I am nothing if not a stubbornly immovable bastard.
Liam “Doc” Watson.