There is a blog post over at the Greedy Goblin, where Gevlon crunches the numbers to see how many bloggers are still writing a month and a half on from Blaugust. Needless to say, I am not surprised by his results. Writing events such as Blaugust and before that, The Newbie Blogger Initiative, have always had a high attrition rate. I know lots of good writers who cannot sustain a regular writing schedule due to their work commitments. This is especially true of those with families. Then there are those bloggers who simply run out of stamina. Posting regular content is hard and requires focus and discipline. Producing in-depth and longform posts with any regularity is even harder. So, Gevlon’s summary merely proves what many of us new in advance. But I guess you'd find the exactly the same results if you were analysing the aftermath of an event that encouraged podcasting, live streaming or posting videos of You Tube. Creating content of any kind takes time and effort. The better the quality of that material, the more time it takes. Hence some will cease their efforts.
Another point of note is how some of the blogs listed (such as my own) no longer exclusively focus upon gaming. I can shed some light upon this matter. There comes a point in the life of a fan where you look back through your past posts and realise you've pretty much said everything you can about that which you enjoy. I started blogging about games back in 2008 and the apple of my eye at the time was LOTRO and the MMO genre. Those halcyon days are gone and MMOs are now a specific niche, so unless a major controversy raises its head, then I don’t have that much to say about things. The gaming industry “is what it is”. It's corporate driven and focused primarily on satisfying the needs of shareholders. Hence, I am no longer surprised or appalled by poor business decisions, egregious monetisation strategies or the general indifference it habitually shows towards customers. It's like shouting at a compass for pointing north.
So regardless of the inevitable attrition rate that come with events such as Blaugust, if it leads to just a handful of new writers who stay the course and continue to post good material, then the undertaking has served its purpose. And if this event is held again next year, I believe you’ll see very similar results. Because Blaugust not only provides support and encouragement to new writers, it also offers a crash course in the realities of writing. It’s a bit like looking after someone else’s dog for a week while they’re on holiday, allowing you to realistically assess whether you really want one of your own. Furthermore, it isn’t always necessary to look at all leisure activities in terms of “success or failure”. For me, part of the appeal of events such as Blaugust, is the ongoing enjoyment of reading new posts and interacting with those who are participating. Sometimes it can be about the journey and not just the destination.