Saturday 5 January 2019

Ten Years of Blogging

Ten years ago today I started writing BigLee's Miniature Adventures with the rather vague intention to chronicle my little adventures as I played different games, painted miniatures, explored museums and made new friends. Since then it has become so much more than its humble origins and is now a cornerstone of my 'hobby life'. As a kid I'd always wanted to write a diary and had even started a couple of times only for the enthusiasm to wane and the entries to dry up. Then in the late noughties I 'discovered' wargame blogs and was introduced to a huge resource of inspiration, new game systems and manufacturers; vastly broadening my limited horizons. By January 2009 I felt that I was ready to take the plunge and with relatively little planning, threw myself into writing my own gaming blog... and incredibly ten years later I'm still doing it!

So after a decade of writing have I achieved the goals I set myself when I started? Personally I think my painting is definitely better now than 10 years ago but I think a lot of that has to do with new techniques I have picked up. Back in 2009 most of what I was painting was for RPG's, Skirmish and Fantasy wargames, and it was almost exclusively 28mm. Now I paint across a much wider range of scales and almost all of it is exclusively for historical wargaming. This has necessitated some changes to how I paint because my aim nowadays is to achieve a good 'wargaming' standard rather than aiming for single stand out figures. That being said the Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting Challenge has encouraged me to work on some figures purely for display with a greater emphasis on basing and groundwork in the models I produce. I'm not going to win any painting competitions (tried that, just once!) which has most definitely 'upped my standard' generally.

My hobby origins were in RPG's and 
Skirmish Wargaming. 
The other initial goal for my blog was to make new friends. This has been massively and unequivocally achieved, without a shadow of a doubt. For a start I wouldn't be part of Posties Rejects were it not for my Blog; and my wider circle of friends in the gaming community is almost entirely due to the connections I have made via my site and the other social media I use to promote it. I sometimes wonder where I would be today if it were not for the connections I have made in the last ten years. I certainly wouldn't be gaming as much and I doubt if I would be playing the range of genre's, periods and scales I do now. In short, my hobby life is fuller, richer and broader than I could ever have hoped for a decade ago.

I've said this many times over the years, this blog wouldn't be the same place were it not for its readers. I always enjoy the comments that people leave and I have made a lot of friends via these interactions; in the real world as well as in cyberspace. I'd always encourage readers to come over and say hello if you see me shows. I don't bite and its great to put a face to a name. 

Some BLMA Statistics:
  • 2,537,679 page views and counting
  • 65% of my pageviews come from North America
  • 21% from the UK and 14% from Europe and Russia
  • I've written 1833 posts
  • I have written 81 Battle Reports
  • 201 posts about museum visits 
  • and 114 Book Reviews
  • I have attended 54 Living History shows and 59 Wargames shows.

    Clearly I aspired to the Cavalry in my
    early years. Nowadays my handling of
    cavalry in games has become 'infamous'!
    Ten years as a blogger means I have had time to see plenty of highs and lows. Blogging can be a demanding taskmaster, especially when I started out as I was writing on a daily basis. Nowadays my posting schedule is a bit more flexible and I'm happy to write on an irregular basis. There have been plenty of times when 'real life' has limited both my gaming and writing to a trickle but overall the last ten years have been my most productive and enjoyable of my gaming life. I've particularly enjoyed being exposed to a wider range of rules and styles of play. There seems to be so much choice available to wargamers today that I think the role of bloggers providing first hand recommendations is an invaluable resource. It has certainly broadened my hobby interests and encouraged me to spend a significant amount of money and time on systems I probably would have otherwise overlooked. 

    Having looked backwards what do I think the next ten years will bring? Well for a start I can't envisage any reason why the blog would come to an end (unless I 'cop it' of course). Like most gamer's I am always on the lookout for the next big thing and pretty much my only current limitation is one of storage space. That may change in the next few years as the kids move out and I get to claim the spare room as a games den. I may even get around to putting a roof on the shed.

    Once again, thank you for reading and following my blog and lets hope the next ten years is as much fun as the last ten.


    Thank you for leaving a comment. I always try to reply as soon as I can, so why not pop back later and continue the conversation. In the meantime, check out my YouTube channel Miniature Adventures TV