Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Point of All This

So I wore my Miniature Tim T-shirt to work the other day, and got asked quite a few questions about it.  What is Miniature Tim?  What kind of hobby is it?  Is it fun?  Is it expensive?  Do you really play with little army men…etc.

However the question that stood out the most came later in the day when a coworker came over and said, "So I read a few of your blog posts, and I like them and all…but what's the point of it?  Why do you do it?"

And you know, It took me a minute to answer him.  Not because I didn't know why, but because the reason has evolved over the past 7-8 months.

Why I started...
Originally it was because of the community itself.  I was so impressed with the blogging community as a whole, that I wanted to be a part of it. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready for it.  I originally started blogging two years ago, and while I had some health problems that made keeping up with a blog difficult, the honest reason I stopped was because I wasn't prepared or had the will to do it.  Then a fellow blogger and friend named Skarvald the Troll-Faced at Wolves for the Wolf God dropped a comment about how I should update more often, and it was a shame I wasn't keeping up with the blog.  His words stuck with me for almost a year until the next Adepticon (2011), when I got to hang out with the great folks from Dark Future Games again.  After that, I decided to invest my time and effort to put out a blog I was proud of, and be a part of a community of some really great people.

Why I keep blogging...
Ahhh...this one is simple.  The reasons are many, but they boil down to two main ones; the community, and to become a better hobbyist.  I love giving back to a community that has helped foster not just my own hobby, but so many others.  I become a better hobbyist by feeding off of your comments, and your very own blogs.  I crave feedback and criticism of my work, I've got a thick skin so never be shy in your comments...I just ask that you be constructiveadult mature about it.

There came a point in my answer to him that gave me pause to think, though.  The reasons I keep blogging will always be there, but there was something nagging at my brain that told me there was more to it.  I finally realized it towards the end of the day antowhee I told him, my thought process went something like this:

I love to write.

I've loved to write since high school and all the journalism I was a part of then and into college.  I've been a part of art direction for layout and publication design in my past, and I feel like I've reconnected with a part of my creative life that I hadn't touched in years.  I want to keep writing.

Ultimately, it dawned on me...I want to write for a gaming magazine.  I love this hobby in all it's forms, and I want to write about it.

Don't get me wrong, I love building, converting, painting, playing, all of it.  I'll always write about what I love in this hobby of ours, but this revelation of mine propelled that want to write even further.  I've begun researching proper writing techniques to brush up on them, and will be researching submission guidelines and contacts for the magazines that cater to this hobby.

Will it happen?  I don't know, but I do know that I am going to work my tail off towards that goal.  I've had a two-page spread in Cracked Magazine published of my cartooning, and I've had a novel cover published.  I had promised myself I would work to do those two things.  I'm telling myself now, that I will work to write and be a part of a hobby-industry magazine in some way, some how.

So tell me, what's the point of all this for you?

- Tim


  1. Best of luck with your goals. Of course it's not so much luck as it's hard work like you already know.

    I blog to share the simple things about the hobby. I am very fortunate, it all comes easy and I want to show others it can be easy to do as well.

    From the Warp

  2. Fantastic work with the published artwork Tim! Also good o pn you for being brave enough to wear the shirt into work. My hobby life is still very secret haha.

    Personally I blog for the feedback and to hopefully give a bit back and show people (with marines) a slightly different way of approaching their stuff. Wen I finish something at home and run out with it to show the lady, she normally gives me a 'Ohhhhh.... That's cool for you, I guess?' kinda reaction, the internets will actually give me some feedback about the different styles and techniques I have used and whether I need to go back and do some more work or what I have done looks passable.

    I also love to write! I'm jealous youre getting into the goals and good on you for attacking them. This is the year for it!

    Keep up the great blogging,

  3. Oh dear, the iPad completely destroyed that post! Bloody predictive text.

  4. Ron - Thanks :) And you're right, though while luck may play into things on occasion, perseverance, sweat and hard work pay off far more often than luck.
    You definitely do make it look easy at times too, Ron, with the projects you cover on your blog! At the same time, your honest approach on techniques and the ways you go step-by-step really helps translate that ease into ways the rest of us can do it. I kick myself at times for not taking those pictures of projects in progress to show readers step-by-step instructions, and need to plan posts out better in that way.

    Jack - Nah, no bravery to it...I just have no shame anymore :) Seriously though, I'm 34 years old, and happily play with little army men, what is anyone going to say to me that I haven't heard since high school?
    Trust me, Jack, you're giving back. I know I've looked at the way you accomplish that gritty, war-torn look and have looked at my own pristine models and wondered why I haven't done that before. I don't usually care for 'blood' painted on a model wither, but I love your Terminator Chaplain! You need to share how you did that again. Feedback is crucial to me as well, and it really pushes me in anything I do.

    Will I be unhappy or unfulfilled, or will I stop blogging if I don't get a chance to be a part of a publication? No. I wanted to make that PERFECTLY clear. I love writing about this hobby, and love giving back what I can. I need the feedback, as I've said. No, the only way I'll ever feel unhappy or unfulfilled is if I don't try in the first place.

  5. Good article, Tim!

    Originally I started blogging as an impetus to keep me chugging along on my miniatures. Didn't want to go so far as to set major (and potentially unrealistic) goals for myself, but having a blog makes me feel somewhat obligated to get at least SOME hobby work done and posted every month. I try to get at least one post out a week, or failing that average 4-5 posts a month.

    One thing that I decided at the onset was my blog would have a very specific focus - my own personal work (originally the Guard, but branching out into various other armies as time has gone on), and that has definitely helped me stay on track and keep cranking out the content. There are tons of blogs out there that do rumors and tactics and whatnot and they all do those things better than I feel I could, so I didn't want to further dilute the blogosphere doing that sort of thing. I also have stuck to my guns inasmuch as every post I do has at least one picture of something that I'm working on - no pic, no post. With some exceptions while I'm out perusing blogs I find I'll glaze over and move on when presented with a 'wall of text' post, but if there's a pic or two interspersed I'll take the time to read what a given blogger what written.

    At the end of the day however, it's the sense of community that keeps me blogging. I'm constantly amazed at the positive (or if negative, at least constructive) feedback I receive, fantastic tutorials/work in general that others do, and overall general awesomeness of the 40k bloggers at large. I'm thrilled and humbled to be able to provide some measure of inspiration to some, and am continually inspired by others!

    Keep up the great work Tim!

  6. If only you "knew" someone who was an editor of a magazine for wargamers...

    Dave Taylor
    (US Editor - Wargames Illustrated)

  7. Tim, I think this is the biggest compliment I have ever recieved in the time I have been blogging. I am extremely proud to know that DFG had something to do with the great work going on here and your blog, which has become one of my "must reads".

    I got into blogging back when the game for me, involved three guys playing in a gargae in South Carolina. I used to read the forums back then and ended up finding Bell (old school Bell) and From the Warp through a link. The tiny blogosphere community I found was exactly what I was looking to get into to experience and share my hobby, so I jumped in.

    I am a military photojournalist by trade, so writing comes as second nature to me, but to do it for fun was always something I wanted to try and it has been a fun experience that has been great for me on many levels. One of the things that keeps me going though is giving hobbyists in my local scene a global voice. The other thing is just getting to look at and give feedback on some of the great projects that are always going on out there.

    We have curbed a lot of our fluff content (rumors ect) lately, but we will always post projects of our own, be a mouth piece for other great work and generally just have fun with what we are doing.

    I hope you get into a magazine and look forward to subscribing wherever you end up! I also hope to get a game in with you or at least get a chance to hang out again at Adepticon or wherever, your work is always impressive and you are a guinuine great guy.

    Dark Future Games

  8. Free sexual favours.

    (I have failed).

    p.s. Good luck in your pursuits :)

  9. Wow. The responses to this article have been overwhelming, folks. Thank you. It really just reinforces my point of the strength of this community.

    Mordian - Using the blog as a motivator for yourself is a huge tool. Between that, and the focus on the community that it seems we all have in common, you have some stellar reasons to keep up the work you do for your blog. I know I'd miss it if you didn't!

    Dave - Right, you've got me there. Okay then. Not much to really say to that except to keep an eye on your inbox? :) This is me, feeling a little sheepish.

    OST - I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. :) I look forward to Adepticon every year, not just for the weekend of gaming, but for the people I get to reconnect with. You and your group from up north is a huge part of that. I'm not exaggerating in my comments at times to some of the posts on DFG articles about me being tempted to take a roadtrip up to y'all! At Adepticon 2011, when Steve found me and said "Hey Tim! I wasn't sure if you'd make it this year since you've been so quiet on the blog and all, good to see you!", I knew I needed to be a part of this community.

    You and I have much in common when it comes to our motivations for blogging. DFG is a big part of my hobby community, even if you're 9 hours away physically!

    I look forward to shaking your hand, facing you across the table in April and just honestly catching up with a friend in person. That goes for everyone else at DFG too :)

    Colonel - Fr... huh. SO, not working out too well for you then, I see? You sir, are a big part of the energy that keeps the blogosphere going. You, Ron at FTW, and honestly anyone who has a blogroll they keep up with and endorse. You just make and ENTIRE blog out of it! Thank you for that :)

  10. Great post, Tim. I've really enjoyed following and reading your blog posts, and wish you well with your goals. For me, blogging is just another way of trying to give back to the hobby beyond my local community. You can build terrain and paint figures for your local club games, but blogging is a way of offering something back to people you have never met before.

    I also have found blogging to be a great way of having some kind of form and discipline in the hobby, just like Mordian7th mentioned. After all, if you've blogged a platoon of figures to a half-way stage and said that you'll finish them in the next post, you really feel honour bound to keep that promise! I like that, not because it gives a sense of pressure but because you realise people are interested in what you're doing (whatever it is) and that helps with motivation.

    Good luck with the article writing, as well. I'd definitely read what you write!

  11. Nice article! Couldn't agree more- you just gotta grind it out sometimes and keep the activity going

  12. Good post! I've been following you on and off after I came back to the hobby in October after about 20 years(!). I really love that there's so many mature and informative blogs around which I can relate, learn from and get inspired by.

    For me, I'm really interested in the aesthetic and artistic component of our hobby, plus the rich mythology which feeds our inspiration to make great models. I want to push my modelling and painting skills as far as they can go and maybe even make a living out of this one day.

    Hopefully I'll be starting my own humble blog very soon to, so that I can add my contribution.

    I hope you achieve your new goal, it sounds amazing. Your experience combined with passion for writing and your hobby makes it attainable target so just go for it with everything you've got. In the meantime keep up the great work!


  13. What you've said really resonates with me as well, Tim. I only recently started blogging and am finding it hard to find the time to do it (though it's even harder finding time to paint or play, regrettably), but I too enjoy writing and even though I don't get as much real-time with the hobby as I'd like, i still enjoy discussing it and exploring its facets and even my own ideas for the game. If I could land a job writing and designing for GW i'd be as happy as pigs in poop, but i don't think that's happening anytime soon for me. You, however, have a very attainable goal: to contribute to the magazine side of the hobby. And you're doing that now, published between covers or not. I really believe blogging is a great way to get your foot in the door (one of the main reasons I started blogging too, to get more notice as a writer and exposure with (hopefully) my future audience and fellow geeks). Your foot's already there, man, just wedge your knee in there and throw some weight behind it -- your avaerage game nerd won't have the strength to hold you back!