Today we talk to MMO veteran Liore. She’s been around the block when it comes to MMOs (WoW, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, Rift, you name it). Her blog has been around for a long time and she’s still going strong (Since at least 2009?). She has since started contributing to Rift Junkies and WildStar Junkies.
So who exactly are you and what do you do?
I’m Liore! By day I write user manuals and banner ads, and by night I make stuff for the internet about video games.
What do you feel are your strongest post types as a blogger?
I mostly write opinion pieces. I have a lot of opinions.
Where can we find your work?
Art of Productivity
How much time do you spend on a weekly basis just reading and researching for blog posts?
I don’t do a lot of research specifically for posts although I do read a lot. I listen to podcasts on my work commute, and watch Let’s Plays instead of television. My Twitter feed is full of game stuff, and I hang out on IRC all day with smart people who are also gamers. I guess you could say it’s kind of an organic research process.
How do you prepare yourself before blogging?
My mantra is basically, “Why am I writing this?” and if I can’t answer that in a sentence then I know the post needs to roll around in my head more.
How would you advise a blogger to beat procrastination?
Routine! Try to set a realistic routine, and accept that writing X times a week is just what you do now.
When is the best time of day for you to blog?
I do the actual writing at the office during lunch. It’s a good time for me — I’ve had coffee, I’m sitting in front of a computer, and I’ve warmed up my brain with work stuff.
How many hours a week do you spend actually blogging?
I don’t spend that much time actually writing. Maybe 20 minutes per post, with 20 minutes of editing. I spend way more time editing than writing.
How many days a week?
Ideally 3 times a week, or twice plus a podcast.
Who are your favorite inspirations and authors?
It feels silly to say my “inspirations” because, like, I write nonsense about video games, but the works of Hunter S. Thompson, Molly Ivins, and David Sedaris have strongly influenced my writing style.
What quote best defines you?
“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – The Beatles
What type of music do you like to listen to when you write (or none at all)?
For the most part I can’t listen to music when I write. I find the lyrics distracting. If I’m listening to anything it’s probably Daft Punk’s Tron soundtrack because there are only a few words and it’s a hell of an album.
Are there any areas you’re looking to expand into as a blogger?
I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Video. Seriously, I love the written word like crazy but I think in 10 years time we’ll all be watching videos instead of reading blogs.. which sucks because one of the best parts of blogging is that you can do it in your underwear while wearing a ridiculous hat.
How do you crush writer’s block (if you believe in it)?
Remember that not every post has to be a masterpiece. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay to just write 25 words and post a great video you found.
Follow up: Where do you go when you’re drawing a blank on ideas?
I only recommend this if you are in the direst of straits, but if I’m totally out of ideas I’ll go start reading some big MMO’s official forum. It usually doesn’t take long before I see something that irritates me so much I want to write a post about it.
Are you a risk taker or do you play it safe when it comes to broaching potentially controversial topics?
Ooooh. You know, I try to not shy away from topics because it feels intellectually dishonest to me to not talk about something that I strongly believe, and I like to think that adding my voice to controversial topics contributes in some small fashion. That being said I try to write about them in an approachable way because that’s kind of why I blog — to participate in conversations about stuff.
Art of Blogging
How would you define a truly great blogger?
Consistent, opinionated, interested, and great with a turn of phrase.
What platform do you blog on?
Which blogs do you try to keep up with the most and why?
Kurn mentioned Blessing of Kings in her interview, and I think Rohan has been hugely influential in the MMO blogging community. The Ancient Gaming Noob (tagn.wordpress.com/) is not only an interesting read but also Wilhelm posts more frequently than the rest of us put together. Right now the blog I’m most excited to see update is In An Age (inanage.com). Azuriel plays totally different games than I do for the most part, but he always has interesting things to say and I like his style.
Is there a specific program you use for blogging?
Not really. I write into Notepad++ or EditPlus and then copy it into WordPress.
Other than using a focus macro, how do you stay focused on your task?
Honestly, I don’t. Hell, I’m watching a movie and playing Candy Crush while I answer this question! I just really enjoy writing and podcasting, so somehow it gets done.
What challenges or problems have you run into when blogging?
I’m too Canadian! Seriously, I have a hard time being forceful when I want to. It feels like I’m writing, “I think it’s really stupid when games do X” and then I read it later and it’s more like, “I’m sorry, I kind of don’t like X but it’s okay if you do because games are fun yay!”
Have any strategies on staying organized?
Inbox Zero. Love it. Live it.
How do you unwind after your day is over?
Foreign reality shows on YouTube! MasterChef Australia, Project Catwalk — everyone is always so nice and I like watching talented people do their thing.
Art of fun
What is your biggest annoyance right now (blogging or otherwise)?
Under otherwise: the lack of empathy in “internet culture”.
What has been your proudest achievement?
This is more “most recent” than “proudest”, but I just got confirmed for a Media Pass at PAX Prime. Putting aside for a moment the many complaints that people have about Penny Arcade (and I wouldn’t disagree with them), getting in a position to apply for the pass took good effort and I’m proud of it. They’re letting me interview developers! How crazy is that?!
Choose a celebrity (alive or dead) that you would like to have dinner with.
Geoffrey Chaucer and Francis Bean Cobain.
What do you wish to do more of (or get started doing) this year?
I love doing the podcast, so I want to play with that some more. Also video! I have plans to do my first full-on Let’s Play in August with a partner (Saint’s Row IV, aw yiss) which should be a lot of fun.
You travel back in time to meet your younger self when you started blogging. What piece of advice would you offer?
I started my first blog in 2000, but I’d tell myself to start blogging about games sooner. I came in at the tail end of WotLK, and I’m perpetually sorry that I missed the glory days of monolithic WoW blogs.
Where can readers find you online?
What else would you like readers to know?
I once killed 24 of my guild’s finest raiders by starting the Magtheridon fight early and locking them in. And I regret nothing.
Thanks for sharing your battlestation with us, Liore!