Boards and Bees Limps Into Turning Eleven!

On October 4, 2010, Boards and Bees launched with an overview of an upcoming game from that year’s Spiel, a game that has since faded into obscurity called 7 Wonders.

Eleven years later, I’m still here! BARELY!

This year has been one of the toughest in the history of this blog. Back in 2013, I very nearly burned out at the end of the year. At the start of 2014, I retooled things a bit and got into a groove that sustained me. However, last year, I started feeling the burnout coming again. I tried to reinvigorate myself – if you’ve been reading the blog, you may have noticed some increased traffic in reviews this year. I joined a Facebook reviewers group, and have been able to connect with some publishers and designers that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and that’s been really cool.

But around the end of June, I hit a massive wall. I wasn’t inspired, and it became really hard to write. I finally lost the momentum I had been building for seven and a half years, where I had be writing 2-3 posts a week. Now it was down to one a week, and sometimes less than that. There’s a lot of reasons why it happened, but there’s one major one.

This freaking pandemic.

I’m just so worn out. We’re still trying to protect our six-year-old and our nine-month-old because, even though my wife and I are vaccinated, they aren’t. So even though much of the country seems to be going about their business, we’re still holed up at home wishing more people were taking it seriously. And so while there are conventions going on, and people are restarting their game groups, we’re still home and not interacting with others. And that kind of sucks for someone who is trying to be a content creator.

So here I am, exactly eleven years after starting, wondering what’s next. And right now, I have no ideas. Well, no…I have a couple. But I don’t know how I’m going to go about them, or if I’m excited enough about them to jump start things here. The most exciting idea I have is for a video series, but I don’t have the technical skills or know how to get that started, and anyway it would be something different than this blog.

Sorry, I know I’m usually a lot more positive when it comes to my birthday posts. The simple fact of the matter is that I’m running a free blog in a world where people are more interested in video content. I think video content is great because you can see the game and watch the pieces being moved around. But I’m also adamant that there’s still a place for written content. I think written reviews are often easier to digest, and I still want to be doing that. I do recognize that, for me, there needs to be a change in how I approach other content. I don’t feel as enthused about writing my basic game previews anymore. I discontinued the Kickstarter Blitz back in July, and am frankly much happier for it. I tried to do a random Gen Con preview this year, and it felt much more like a chore than it has in previous years. I did enjoy doing my Games I Haven’t Played series, and I may revisit that sometime.

Overall, I’m having a hard time motivating myself to write. I’m sure a lot of that is personal stuff. Our family grew last December, so we now have two kids, and finding time to write with a baby and an attention-seeking six-year-old in the house is tough. Plus, work is busier, which is a good thing. But, then we also lost a really good friend earlier this year, which has been kind of devastating.

I usually try to get 100 posts in a year so I can hit that 100 mark right at the birthday post. This year, I got 82. Last year, in my 1000th post, I mentioned that burnout was starting to affect me, and maybe I should give myself permission to scale back a bit. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m not going to force myself to write when I don’t feel it. And there may be a time in the near future that I decide this blog is done. I promise not to just disappear – if I’m done, I’ll tell you I’m done. But I don’t foresee that happening yet. I still want to do this, just not with the intensity of the past.

OK, enough rambling. If you are a regular reader, I thank you so much for sticking with me. If this is your first time, I thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Let’s get back to games next time, shall we?

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