Weeks ago, I promised that I would return to fiction and more writing guides. Sadly, I haven’t had the time to do any of that. You might not believe it but keeping The Mental Attic on its 5-article a week rotation, plus the YouTube channel and the Twitch streams really take its toll on me and I often find myself struggling to keep up, to deliver an article with a level of quality we can all be happy with.
True, it’s my fault for taking on so many things at once, but when you really want something and you have goals in your mind, you know you’ll sacrifice whatever you have to and do the work. Still, I do wish I could return to other forms of writing, perhaps take a breather from the gaming world and look at some of my other interests for a while.
Over the past year I’ve added a lot of structure to the site, in terms of how I format the articles I post—though I occasionally still screw up the formatting completely—and now come to the realisation that the formatting sometimes stifles my creativity. If want to write about a TV series, just rant about it and tell you what I think of it, when I sit down to do it, I find myself stuck in the “review” box, where the article has to go through a list of items of analysis. It might seem silly for me to say this, but I’m now wired to think in terms of article types and when it comes to offering critiques or speaking of something I like or dislike, the “review” format is the one always end up in.
I think it’s because of this that I’ve felt so tired and worn out lately. I want to take a break from the formatting, from the structure and just go nuts, to write what I want to write without even bothering with making sure the analysis is fair or if I’m making the right points. In many ways I don’t want logic anymore and just write how I feel, which is often the most rewarding form of writing.
As I sat here thinking what to write I decided: “why the hell not?” and it’s a simple thing, but those who know me personally can attest to my main personality flaw: overthinking. In my head I can’t just write what I want sometimes and then do a structured article or video, because I’ll wonder if it’s the right thing to do, if by doing that I’ll alienate some readers and from then it’s a spiral of doubt. It’s annoying to be in my head sometimes.
But one thing I like is facing up to my own nonsense so I’ve decided to cut loose for a while. I have some reviews to do from keys sent to me by the developers, but I’ll also endeavour to write a bit more freely at times, to just tell you about a subject I’m interested in, even if it’s not within the realms of gaming, writing or even other forms of entertainment. I’m often fascinated by random things, subjects that people question whether I’m serious or not. I tend to keep them to myself and don’t explore it here on The Mental Attic.
And by doing so I realised I broke TMA’s goal, to be a place of growth and learning, where we might share our ideas, feelings and interest and not only have a good time but get something out of it as well. It’s about time I got back to that, and not just on the writing. It’s time I also shook things up in the video department as well, something different to the gameplay videos, something with a bit more meat to it!
But it’s not just me. The Mental Attic started being for me but I’ve since opened it to other writers. Timlah from GeekOut South-West is a recurring writer and he loves to tackle both important and completely silly subjects. If you’re reading this and you want to write something here, let me know. If you have your site but it’s focused on a particular subject and you want to have a one-off where you write about something else, then let’s do it! If you wanna hang out, have a few rounds of Overwatch, chill and talk nonsense about the game, then let’s do that as well and we can even turn it into a weird kind of podcast.
I’m tired…I really am, exhausted from keeping this place running as I envisioned it, and even so I’m not about to stop, but I’m not proud enough to not ask for help, so that’s what I’m doing. Help me make this place even more special than it already is, help me encourage discussions and get us all talking, having fun and learning from each other as a community should.
On my end, I can only promise I’ll keep the door open and make sure I cut loose as well and write about some random stuff I like or find extremely interesting. I don’t know if they’ll be enlightening and entertaining, but I’ll certainly try!