Thanks to everybody for the great year. None of this would be possible without readers perusing the work, linking to it on their blogs and social media accounts, engaging me in conversation via social media, email or comments, and keeping me motivated and honest about the work, and offering donations via the paypal, amazon and onebookshelf links. My only new year’s resolution is to keep at it, because over this year I’ve found that there are a lot of people who read this blog and like what they see, and I want to give them more of everything that I do that has inspired them so far. I also want to indulge other writing interests of mine. I started a fiction tumblog for example, and I hope to comment and read other blogs more often. Read on for the end-of-the-year retrospective.
This year saw some jet-lag from the previous, as I had moved away from blogging about D&D 4th Edition, which was one of the things the blog was founded to do, and decided instead to do my own thing, and focus on world building, story writing and other “fluff.” This was a difficult transition and I probably lost many readers as I shifted focus, but I think it was for the best. I felt like I didn’t have much more to say about 4e. It went from being like the one game I’d play, to just something else I do. I didn’t “lead the D&D lifestyle” like a lot of other bloggers seemed to do, I wasn’t keeping up with it. When readers asked about D&D Encounters and D&D Insider and stuff like that, I couldn’t give them an answer. I felt that what I was doing wasn’t really useful anymore, and that I just didn’t have anything to say in the D&D space anymore. I started wanting to do my own thing and write stuff without any constraints or preset expectations.
I plan to try new writing projects. I had a lot of fun writing those two adventure scenarios I did on the blog and hope to do more, maybe once a month. I’m also definitely going to keep working on and release my homebrew Expedition RPG system before Spring time. My main writing love has always been fiction. I like fiction of all sorts, and I just completed my bachelor’s degree in English, with a focus on British Literature and Early American (mostly African American) literature. I want to write the kind of stories I want to see written, about characters, events and ideals that I don’t see very often. It was the mission statement of my homebrew setting to write a setting with elements I don’t normally see and with a level of introspection that is normally looked down upon as unnecessary. I hope to expand this world into fiction with more or less that same mission, doing things that I want to see done.
As far as stats are concerned, according to WordPress I received in the neighborhood of 40,000 unique visitors this year. I think that’s not so bad for such a niche blog, after shifting from talking about the 1000 lb Gorilla of RPGs to talking about a fictional fox-eared people’s views of gender and sexuality, and how they have tanks but they’re not really pervasively technologically advanced because their religion leads them to venerate the simple pastoral life of socialistic farming communes. That’s a set of subjects that are niches within niches, so I’m satisfied. I got to write what I want to, and what I love to write, and a core of readers has been engaged by it.
The top posts for the year, according to stats, in order from 1st to 5th place:
Worldbuilding Diary Introduction: This post got huge traction from being replied to by Bartoneus from Critical Hits. So I’m not surprised to seeing it at the top. I explained some of my methodology for worldbuilding, using World of Adel as the example, and laying out the elements that I consciously thought about as I wrote for it. I’m glad it was such a hit and I hope it brought some attention to the stuff I tend to do on this site.
This is also the only post past 2009 that made it into the list. No post from 2010 was on the top five posts list. Most of it was from 2009, the peak of my D&D 4e blogging years. But at least it’s number 1!
My Top 10 D&D Monsters: Placing at number 2, this was basically a filler post I wrote one week! It has had a ton of staying power, mostly because it deals with D&D and opinions, always sure to drive hits.
It’s a very common gaming subject to ask what your favorite monster/race/spell/thing from D&D is. Nonetheless I’m surprised it got enough hits to be the solid number 2 on the list.
Character Archetype Terms You Never Heard Of: This one is probably on top because of the constant searches for “what is a tsundere?” I’m an anime fan and so I know all these terms, and of course when gaming with other anime fans, and even non-fans, I’ve dropped characters in like that. It’s pretty fun.
Also this was back when I thought that hiding humor titles in the URL that were not the same as the actual post title was humorous, and totally not annoying and troublesome for people. Sorry.
Monster Mash, MM2 Review Part 2: The monster manual reviews have been some of the most well-trafficked posts on the site. I’ve been trying to revitalize the series (twice) to no avail. I don’t really have it in me anymore to go through the monster vault or monster manual 3 and comment on every monster again. Still, it was nice to finally finish the original series and people really, really liked it. I do wish I had the energy for another one.
I wonder why part 2 is the most popular though. I guess it has SUPERIOR SEO.
Wyatt And Friend’s 4e Houserules: The oldest post on the list, which pre-dates even this blog (I cross-posted it from my first blog, when this blog came online). This one is from 2008, and has had huge staying power, pretty much making the top ten or top five posts every single year. I guess people really like 4e houserules!
So it’s 2012, and I’ve got six months of vacation before Graduate School. I hope I can make them count, and that you can come along for the ride. I hope that in this year, I’ll interact with you, the reader, more than before, and with other bloggers on their blogs as well. I hope to engage, interest and mystify you more than ever before, and that 2012 will be a huge year for the Spirits of Eden and for everyone who’s been a fan, or will be a fan.
Thank you all so much for your support, and here’s to a healthy new year!