An Open Letter of Support to the Bear

Master BBB has been feeling rather drained lately. I don’t blame him one bit and I just wanted to echo his sentiments.

I know exactly what he’s going through.

Sometimes I yearn for the days when my blog was little known and I was getting under 100 hits a day. I could write whatever I want and be damned with what readers think. I made a comment in BA chat one day that writing a blog is akin to a parent-child relationship: Both want to be like the other.

The kid wants to grow up because he wants to do all the cool things that adults do like drive cars and watch R rated movies.

The parent wants to be young again so they don’t have to worry about all the responsibilities.

I suspect the same semblance here applies to blogging or at least in my case.

Between the time I  started my blog last year and now, I some how became an authority. I don’t know where it came from but when you start getting a steady stream of a 1000 visitors on a daily basis, people read you for a reason. Whether it’s to laugh at you, to read about you, to find out more about you, they’re there for a reason.

I’ve always written my blog to teach because healing is not an innate skill. It can be easy to pick up but it can also be difficult to master and at the core of, I am here to teach. That doesn’t mean I can’t learn. I guess it’s always been a little easier for me to adapt to then the Bear since his blog was first for himself and for his buddies and pals. I’m a long term thinker and I knew that if I kept plugging away at writing and blogging and healing, I would reach a point where several things will happen:

  • People start disagreeing with you
  • People start emailing you
  • People start looking up to you

A great case in point are my two posts on Karazhan and Zul’Aman requirements. if you look at the comments, you’ll see like 50+ comments combined telling me that I’m wrong, or that my numbers are off, or that certain classes aren’t required and so on and so forth. There’s also comments that say “Great starting point” or “Excellent guide” and the like.

When you enter the public light of blogging, it helps to have extremely thick skin. I credit Doc Holiday for having toughened me up for the past several years with his constant slandering and demeaning ways. Of course he’s joking, but after a while you learn to not let it get to your head anyway.

Writing for WoW Insider is incredibly different then writing for our own respective blogs as BBB would surely attest to. Our audiences are different, our expectations are raised, and we have a job to do.

I know I’ve expressed retirement many times in the BA chatroom. But I know if I did that, I’d pull a Niedermeyer and come back around Christmas. I would rather not leave at all. Some days you’re the pigeon, other days you’re the statue.

Bear, TJ’s words were right on the money. There’s got to be a reason for you to do something and it’s not necessarily always fame. While we may not always agree (DEVILS SUCK), she is incredibly blog savvy. She knows what to expect and what will happen because she’s done this whole blogging thing for a while now.

So to all of you young and aspiring bloggers out there, be careful what you wish for. The responsibility and the workload you ‘feel’ is tremendous.

When I first started playing hockey as a goalie, I was terrible. I’d let in like 10 goals per game. However, to be fair we were playing half court and I was the only netminder (teams had to carry the puck back to the center line and then cross back again if possession changed, similar to basketball). I’d get teased, belittled, degraded by my friends but I knew they were joking and I knew they were also trying to get me fired up so I’d play more and prove them wrong. My first stint in backyard hockey, and I came way out of the net way out of position allowing easy goals to go in. I didn’t have faith in my team allowing the opposing team to set up “back door” plays where they would utilize 3 or 4 different people to get me confused. But I kept plugging away at it, played as often as I could, read as much I wanted to in order to get better. Fast forward a few years later, now I’m communicating with the players in front of me more.

2-on-1 plays don’t work as much as they used to because I’ll keep shouting to the player in front of me to “block the pass” while I “take the shot”.

Criticism is always going to be inevitable and the degree of which will range from stinging to “ouch, that actually hurt”. I have never listened to any of the podcasts that I’ve done. I also don’t often read the comments I get on my WI columns (I get Wyn to do it for me and she sends me all the good ones). Major insecurity Matt, shame on yourself, right? I’ll grow out of it sooner or later.

Despite all my responsibilities, all the things that I want to do on my blog, on WI, in the BA chat, and otherwise, there’s a great crew of people that I know of that have my back. And whether Bear knows it or not, he’s got some staunch supporters covering his furry backside as well.

Every so often I’ll question myself, my purpose here, my blog, etc. BA Chat’s used to it by now because I often scream “RETIREMENT”. Sometimes when I’m not doing anything, I’ll wonder what would have happened if I never played WoW or started blogging. Sometimes I want to throw it all away and I came close to doing so at one point (then I met Wyn, but shh, don’t tell her that. Her ego’s getting as large as mine). Sometimes I wonder if there’s anything I could have done differently on my blog or if I could trade it for anything else in the world.

Then I realize that I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I love what I’m doing. I love to write and to teach and if I had to do it all over again and endure every pain staking email and comment I’ve ever received, I’d go through it all over again because this job and hobby rock just like every single one of you who read this blog.

A quick WHOIS query shows that was created on August 18. We’re coming up on one year. If it were possible, I’d hold like an e-barbeque and serve up some e-steaks and e-beers. I wonder how tasty e-tauren would be. I’d love to do something special, but I’m not quite sure what.

Keep your chin up and hold your head high.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I know a few e-Tauren who would be e-pissed about the e-cow steak comments! But meh, fry ’em up. I’m sure they taste better than Gnome.

    /ducks in anticipation of Gnome hatred

    Joshs last blog post..The Perfect Raid – Alternate Composition

  2. You know, it really does seem surreal every time I look at my hits and realize I have like 250 people subscribing to me and another 250 coming to my actual site to visit every day. I don’t get it. Why do that many people want to read my random hunter rambles? I dunno. I’m glad that the desire to write hasn’t left me, though. I’d feel bad about quitting my blog, if this many people do seem to like it for some reason =P

    I suppose I have a different way of looking at blogs than most people: I have always assumed blogs are for debating and stuff. That’s why Anonymous commenting has always been open on my blog and always will be, and that is why no comment has ever been deleted from my blog unless it’s like gold-selling spam or something. Because right from day one I thought, “I am going to have people disagreeing with me, and I want it that way.” One of the things that spurred me to start my blog was to get out of my comfort zone and get some disagreements going. I guess it’s ironic that my blog is always rather tame and positive and I really haven’t started any debates =P

    That said, I can understand why one would get run down or discouraged by a lot of that kind of thing. I think I would too. I enjoy Bear’s blog and I think he is a talented writer, heck I dunno if he knows who I am cause he’s a million times bigger in the blogosphere than I am, but I’d like to think he counts me as a “friend” that he speaks of. I may not agree with everything he or any other blogger says, but I respect his opinion (and those of all other bloggers!)

    Pikes last blog post..Stats for a Hunter: Part 2

  3. Arduanne says:

    Honestly, it’s that kind of feeling that has made me hesitate to start a blog. I do all kinds of guides and posts for my guildies on our forums but starting a blog just for helping people in WoW is a near terrifying idea for me. That and I feel like I wouldn’t be contributing anything new 🙂

    I love your blog Matt, mainly because I like your style and you’re down to earth with good tips and tricks. I like BBB for the same reason, and I love when he is on the WoW Insider Show (and you and Matt Rossi too!). I think you both do a great job.

  4. I’m a young and innocent blogger (even though I’m 40 years old) and very, very happy with my 16 lovely subscribers and on average 30 visitors. Looking at my comments I guess I know every one of them by name! You are my guests and my friends.

    Honestly e-fame isn’t anything to strive for at all. Not for me at least. I’ve been a professional journalist with thousands and thousands of readers. But do you know? It’s not nearly as awesome as writing whatever stuff you like and know there’s 16 people there who want to share it with you. Maybe it works differently if you’re a wannabe-journalist. But for me blogging is about something else.

    It’s a shame how BBB is treated. I always had the feeling the Blogosphere was a peaceful and loving spot, a sanctuary. It’s been invaded now by the annoying, screaming voices you recognize from the forums. It’s really a shame.

  5. Dynasor says:

    I don’t blog, but I read quite a few regularly (including yours), covering an extremely large range of topics. I don’t expect a blogger to be an authority on what they write about. All I expect from a blog is perspective (whether I agree with it or not). Keep up the good work!

  6. I am not a blogger, but I have my daily round of WoW bolgs I value. They are part of my day. Recently BBB has been locked out by my worksite as a “Personal Page”. It’s a wierd feeling I experience in not being able to read it, (I have to wait until I get home – sad life, eh?). Mate, as the old adage goes, ‘never let the bastards get you down’.

  7. Nice “words of warning” for those who are starting up… I don’t think I will pack up yet, but mus get a Tauren hide cloak for my little gnome so the future kicks don’t hurt so much.

    @Josh Gnome wings are ok, but not very filling… but there are always lots of Tauren ribs to go around 😉

    gnomeaggedons last blog post..Gnome Googles on: Talented

  8. Matt your like a dear friend. You’ve earned my respect.

    I got your Back! BBB too, as I read there often.

    Galohearts last blog post..Casual Raiding 25 Man Gruul Lair

  9. BigBearButt says:

    Matt, the thing is, I like comments that disagree with me. have from day one. People that just nod their head and say ‘oh yeah, you da man’ don’t teach me anything new. Unless the person is saying “Yeah, I agree, and here is my experience why” and I learn something from that.

    the core thing jhere is that I had a bunch of impressions swirling in my head about the PvP stuff lately, I was tired and cranky as hell, and I slammed them down on the post draft… and then, instead of doing my normal check to make DAMN sure that what i said and what I actually MEANT were the same thing, I got an emergency engineering problem at work and had to rush off… and absentmindedly hit ‘publish’ instead of ‘save’.

    What I write deserved a lot of criticism, ebcause things I don’t even believe apparently got into the minds of people who love PvP. The most common being that I gave the impression I want to make it much harder for people who PvP to get their gear.

    Hell no, I don’t want to screw over PvPers. but that was just one of the wonderful impressions i gave. Yay me.

    But I didn’t want to corect that impressions right off the bat, cvause I said it, and i figured the comments would balance out.

    Instead, along with constructively worded rebuttals like 4haelz telling me why my written post was bullshit, I got an ever increasing wave of hate mail on my contact form.

    I tried to head it off with a second PvP and PvE gear discussion… and it only grew.

    Thanksfully, most of the really nasty stuff stayed off my blog comments.

    But… yeah, I just don’t care when people disagree with me, as long as they challenge my argument, not make personal shots at me.

    I will say one thing, though.. not one email I got mentioned nazis or hitler. So it wasn’t as bad as it COULD have been.

    The day is young though, you never can tell.

    Take care buddy, hopefully we’ll still be on the same podcast one of these days.

    Go Ducks!

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