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Changing how I review games (for real this time)

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2021 in many ways was exactly what I expected, all the while absolutely not being that. I planned on moving out this year, getting settled in with a new job to which would hopefully open up a new environment and time schedule to bash out more writings for this website. I did move out, change jobs and indeed settle into said new structure, but none of it has quite abetted my desire to write more. My new abode has presented some challenging comfort issues, my new job’s wildly different shift pattern has made writing on the majority of days a non-starter, and all combined, I’ve been fighting with little time and little oomph to do anything.

I’ve made 23 posts this year, which going by my minimum goal of a post a week has been something of a major fucking failure. I’m not too down on myself about it; a new environment, especially two major life changes, is going to affect the most firmest of disciplinarians. It doesn’t help that one of the 23 posts was an article describing the ways I’m going to be changing my reviews, of which never came into practice.

When I wrote that piece, I can remember my mind was very much in a place of frustration. Not enough posts were coming out, and the quality of the posts were lacking. That said, it made no sense. I think I was making changes (or trying to make changes) for peace of mind, telling myself if I change something, anything, then something good will come of it, even if the proposed changes didn’t address the underlying issues.

Yes, I spend too much time on my reviews, but that’s because I’m an overly wordy writer and messy planner. I changed the way I plan reviews a few months ago; downloading a robust enough notes app for quickly jotting down my thoughts after every play session, and for once I’m pleased with the amount of planning points I have. I’m still a rather naff writer on the whole though, and the core issue is, I believe right now, condensing what I write down into a more digestible finished product.

If I take one of my favourite critics for example, Audish of Gold-Plated Games, his reviews rarely exceed six or so paragraphs, an intro and conclusion cushioning a handful of concentrated paragraphs. I want/need to take this route too, at least for now in my current position. This mostly means taking my short form notes and organising them into a proper plan, but due to the overall usefulness of the notes I’ve been taking as of late, it should be a breezy task. Reviews will then be influenced by the aforementioned style, shorter without compromising quality.

This post is more so for myself than anything, reiterating the process going forward, and hopefully this time next year, I can look back on this and see fruitful results from a more lucid mindset, rather than making changes for the sake of it.

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