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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Marching Beyond 1,000 Posts

Today's post marks the 1,000th entry in the Palouse Wargaming Journal (PWJ).  In September 2012, the PWJ started as an aid in documenting my wargaming activities.  A couple of my regular gaming comrades were blogging about their hobby activities so why not I?  When the PWJ reached the 500th blog post nearly four years ago, I reflected back upon that 2012 launch (see 500/5,000 Drawing).  Now, after a 1,000 entries, my expectations seem well-defined.  

I wanted the PWJ to become a place in which my hobby activities could be logged, archived, and tracked to provide some motivation for myself and as a handy reference resource.  Blogging as a self-motivational tool, for me, works.  Especially useful in keeping my work on track is the annual Project Planning post in which I guess where my efforts may be headed and plot a way to reach those goals.  Often successfully!

Some of my concerns when diving into the blogosphere in 2012 were:
  • Would I run out of ideas and content?
  • Would the novelty of blogging wear off as a passing fad?
  • Would anyone else find my work interesting or mildly entertaining?
  • Could I make a small contribution to the body of wargaming?
  • Would the effort required to maintain a blog quickly dampen my enthusiasm for the painting armies, reading, and wargaming?
Upon reaching 1,000 posts, I can say with certainty that I have not exhausted all ideas for blog posts.  I thought material would run out long before mow.  If anything, many more ideas and topics surface than I have time to consider.  There is a moderately sized list of draft posts on topics yet to be worked.  When an idea pops into my head, I make a note in the draft post folder with just enough detail to help resurrect the topic if needed.  Some day, I may revisit some of these topics that once triggered an interest.  Others will remain as skeletal reminders.

A thousand posts later, I have lost no enthusiasm for continuing.  For me, blogging was no novelty.  The PWJ has settled into a seemingly sustainable routine of a post every three days.  Often I am surprised that I can maintain this pace in a busy world but it is usually not difficult.  Slowing publication frequency has been considered but the ten posts per month works and provides a regular outlet for reflection and thoughtful organization.  The act of writing, like painting, is therapeutic.

Speaking of painting, since 2012, more than 8,000 figures have crossed the painting desk; many have been featured here.  What about the remainder of the blog content?  Besides painting, which represents the largest component of content, battle reports, boardgaming, scenario design, reviews, travel, and cycling fill in where needed.  While I try to keep travel posts historically oriented, I do drift off.  That is ok.  My family appreciates seeing our travels documented.  Cycling may seem an odd fit into a wargaming blog but it is reassuring to see comments when I do post a bit on my cycling routine.  Who knew that a number of wargamers cycle as well?  Another common bond! 

Besides the standard blog fare of parading painted figures and battle reports, I have ideas for a few other wargaming related topics to add into the mix on a semi-regular basis.  These semi-regular, serial entries have not progressed beyond a few thoughts but I expect one or two of these to begin filtering into the publishing routine before the end of summer.       

While I find many benefits to sharing my thoughts and projects in a public forum, the commentary received in response to my posts is one of the biggest rewards to blogging.  Every post exposes oneself to possible criticism.  I do consider this possibility before pressing "Publish."  A risk to take, for sure, especially in today's world.  However, almost without exception all comments are supportive, offer encouragement, and provide much motivation to forge on with this work.  Please keep the commentary coming.  Each reader's response is appreciated and strengthens to reinforce the bond between author and audience.  The Top Commentators widget is, indeed, a Wall of Fame.  Your participation is greatly appreciated.  Even more so now than 500 posts ago, I count the frequent contributors as friends.  I look forward to a day I can face these gentlemen on the field of battle.  For a very few, this has been a reality.  For others, this might be possibility.   

What no contest to celebrate this milestone?  Well, I considered a prize drawing, for sure.  The last few contests have had fewer participants and a number of readers opted out.  Perhaps many find themselves in a situation similar to my own.  I am running out of storage space and being enveloped in wargaming paraphernalia.  No room even for free stuff!

Thanks for reading and contributing to the PWJ.  As always, reader participation is much appreciated.  Blogging would not be nearly as rewarding without reader support.  We soon return to regularly scheduled programming as post #1,001 is being prepared.

72 comments:

  1. Congratulations on 1000 posts.

    I think everything you said is pretty much spot on and the bloggers view of things. Ideas do keep coming and new posts are written with fresh enthusiasm and I think the sense of sharing does partly drive that, together with, as you you say, supportive comments and suggestions being part of ‘the deal’ that makes it all work.

    You are of course very much part of that, being both creative, inspiring others to paint and also supportive of the online works of others.

    On your current form, you will reach your 2000th post in 2026! But by then will have painted 16,000 figures, where the hell are you going to put them :-)

    So Hoorah for one thousand!

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    1. Thank you, Norm. Your support, encouragement, and engagement is most appreciated. It would be a real pleasure to face you across the gaming table one day.

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  2. I can assure you that your friendly comments on other people's blogs are more than welcome too, it's very motivational, especially when like me you are just starting out. Congrats on your 100th post...keep 'em coming!

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    1. Happy to provide motivation for your efforts as you provide motivation for mine. I suppose, we find ourselves comrades in a virtual "self-help" group. I am in good company!

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  3. Congratulations to you on achieving the milestone. Painting 8000 figures is pretty amazing.

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    1. Thank you, Peter! Our cooperative FIW campaign was a fun one!

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  4. Congrats on this massive milestone Jonathan, that's some great output 1000 posts in 9 years! I started my blog around the same time and am 300 odd posts away from 1000pts!
    I couldn't agree more with the post, it mirrors my views exactly!
    Keep 'em coming you'll soon be in the 2000 club!

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    1. Thanks, Ray! Actually, I have been at this for under seven years. The blog began in September 2012. The posts showing up before that date were migrated over from my old website. 2,000 posts seems a very long way away. Keep watching!

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  5. Congratulations. I think all of us appreciate the effort that goes into writing a blog and yours is one of the best. Looking forward to the next 1,000.

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    1. Thanks, Dan! Blogging is work but enjoyable work! Sometimes, I think the time it takes may affect my actual wargaming activities, though.

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  6. 1000 posts of such a high quality! It's impressive.

    My favorites are your Posts about historical intersting trips and your 18th-century-battlereports.

    Cheers!

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    1. Much appreciated, Sir!

      I have plenty of untapped travelogues to document and Chotusitz will likely see action on the gaming table later this summer for another anniversary battle.

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    2. ouch, painful reminder that I still have the initial moves of that battle undocumented and still covered under the boards on my table....

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    3. I have been wondering what became of Chotusitz in 10mm!

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    4. Buried underneath the other projects and my waning free time. Your comment prompted me to at least finish the battlefield overview I started working on back in March. I intend to at least revamp the attempt and apply some lessons learned. To be honest the initial fog of war and '15min turns' for Honours of War turned it into a debacle.

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    5. I look forward to a reset and replay on your Chotusitz in 10mm game. By time you get everything worked out, we will be ready to try it in 15mm later this summer.

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  7. What a fantastic milestone, congrats Jonathan, I'm only 450! Good luck for reaching 10 000, always a pleasure to come here!

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    1. Phil, all along the way, you have been a source of much encouragement. Thank you!

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  8. An excellent start Jon! Like you I find this a rewarding addition to the hobby. Also, one of the few venues on the internet where reading the comments improves rather than diminishes ones enthusiasm.

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    1. Jake, thanks for your support and for the insight on the value of reader commentary. I find the comment section very interesting. Often the comments expand and enhances the blog post. I would enjoy seeing more of a dialog, though. Most comments are one time only per person/thread. A running dialog would be useful, I think.

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    2. I agree, it is just a difficult system to use to generate organic discussion. I have looked at some Facebook groups, but they have the opposite problem. The input is more immediate and 'reflection' seems more superficial. The blogs are an excellent way to present ideas and fill in a niche somewhere between a newspaper and a magazine. (The comments are essentially friendly letters to the editor.) I would love to find a way to open proper discourse.

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    3. The blogger system for identifying and responding to comments is clumsy. Perhaps using the "Notify Me" checkbox when commenting would help trigger an email notification when another comment is made on the post? I have not tried that but think I will.

      The ability to carry a conversation in this asynchronous setting is exacerbated by the fact that comments can be made days apart and readers lose track of what was said where.

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  9. Congrats, Jonathan! 1000 posts look exciting.
    I like the atmosphere in your blog it inspires and motivates me in my projects (but I have only 20 posts now)
    I wish you good luck and great mood in your engage.

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    1. Thank you, Dmitry! Very pleased to have you along.
      I appreciate your frequent and kind words and happy to provide painting motivation.

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  10. Well done Jonathan. Its very clear that a lot of would be wargaming blogs have gone the journey so its to your great credit that you have stuck to your guns and carried on.

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    1. Much appreciated, Robbie! Thus far, I have stuck to my guns on the blog front with no sign of tiring of the effort yet. Nearly seven years and counting...

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  11. Well done on reaching such an incredible milestone! I can only concur with your thoughts and others comments. Keep up the good work and look forward to many more enjoyable posts:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Steve! I appreciate your frequent contributions and encouragements.

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  12. Excellent achievement on hitting a 1000 posts Jon - still inspirational, and always a high standard. Here's to the next 1000!

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  13. Well done on your first 1000 posts, always interesting and information and the non wargaming interludes are always entertaining too!
    Best Iain

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    1. Iain, very good to see that you can enjoy even the non-wargaming posts! Thanks for your continued support and for securing the Top Commentators spot!

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  14. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to hit a thousand! Congratulations on reaching a formidable milestone!

    Oh, and 8,000 figures in seven years is no mean feat either!

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    1. Thank you, Mike! With discipline, painting a little bit frequently can yield big piles of painted lead.

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  15. Congratulations on your outstanding achievement Jonathan! I always enjoy visiting your blog. Your output never ceases to amaze.

    Christopher

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    1. Christopher, thank you for your support and encouragement over the years! The quality of your painting and terrain building never ceases to amaze me.

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  16. Congratulations on 1,00 fine posts, Jon. Like you, for the most part I find that my blogging enhances my enjoyment of the hobby. There are times when writing longer posts does diminish time for other wargamning activities, but on balance it is well worth it.

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    1. Thank you, Peter! You are correct. There are trade-offs to blogging. Time is a zero-sum game. Time spent on blogging is time subtracted from gaming and painting. I find writing battle reports to be big time-sink. Sometimes I fear it will never be done.

      Thanks for all of your support and encouragement over the years!

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  17. Well done! Always a pleasure to visit

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    1. Thank you! Always a pleasure to have you stop by and leave a comment.

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  18. Congratulation!
    One of my favorite blog.
    Always inspires me in historical painting :)

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  19. Well done on a 1000 posts Jonathan. It is indeed always an interesting read with a wide variety of posts and interests, although I am out of my depth when it comes to commenting on your cycling exploits (even though I find them interesting, in a vicarious kind of way).

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    1. Glad to see that you find content of interest to you, even the cycling posts! Thanks for your continued support.

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  20. Well done Jonathan...
    Always a joy to read...informative and entertaining.

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thank you, Aly! Always enjoy seeing you stop by.

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  21. Another congratulations and here's to 1000 more!

    The "Notify Me" can be very useful in keeping a discussion alive and current.

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  22. Big congrats on 1000. As a relatively new blogger myself I appreciate more the time and effort it took to reach such a milestone.
    We’re the ones who should be offering you prizes.
    I greatly appreciate your comments on my blog as I’m sure others do. Comments are really the way that blog becomes a online community. I count myself proud to be part of yours. I hope to be commenting on your posts for a long time to come.
    Well done my friend. 😀

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    1. Thank you, Stew, for your very kind words.

      Blogging takes time and effort, no doubt. Only those having attempted it fully understand that effort. I often wonder if the effort put into blogging justifies the ends. When this effort is rewarded by discovering like-minded and supportive friends such as yourself, it is a bargain and time well-spent.

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  23. Congrats, Jonathan! I'm a little late to the party, here. Here is to 1000 more!

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    1. DF, it's never too late when offering a congratulations! Thank you!

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  24. well.. all has been said for me from your followers with their kind commentary mention above..all I can say is Congrats Jon and you are, in my book, a Gentleman Sir...

    cheers,

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    1. Phil, you are very kind! So glad to see you popping up in the commentary section after your long absence. Hopefully, you are on the mend and we will be treated to more of your beautiful DBA armies.

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  25. Thanks Jon, manage to finish a few more DBA armies, and I think its time to stop or give a rest painting DBA and continuing working on my 28mm Successors units, also toying with the idea starting up a new series :o) 15/18mm Impetvs armies! :o)
    cheers,
    Mrs DBA

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    1. Mrs. DBA! I had forgotten that moniker! I am looking forward to seeing your 28mm armies take shape. You are already off to a great start. I would enjoy seeing your skillful hand tackling 15/18mm Impetvs armies, too.

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  26. Just catching up.....and that is one of the challenges of summer cycling. Congratulations on the 1000th post a good effort indeed. I think many of us that maintain a our small personal blogs/records would echo your thoughts. For me it provides both motivation and a fabulous network of people who despite not meeting I consider friends. One day perhaps 🙂

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    1. One day, perhaps, indeed! Thank you for your continued support and keep on cycling!

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    2. I have been drawn to the dark side and bought a new mountain bike !

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    3. There is no dark side. It is all good! Love to see photos of your new bike.

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  27. For some reason, my original comment didn't take, so coming late to the party. Congrats on the milestone: a marker of your contribution to the community and an aspirational achievement for developing bloggists :) Here's to the next 1,000!

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    1. Sorry about losing your original comment but glad you persevered!

      Thank you for your support and your kind words!

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  28. Fabulous Jonathan. The number of views used to be a benchmark for blogs, but with the recent increase of "attacks" from various locations this has become less of a measure of success, but 1000 posts is a real milestone. What is more relevant to the blogging community is the way you support other blogs - your comments have observed far and wide. I am limping towards 500 posts.

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    1. Thanks, Mark!

      At the rate you churn out units, I foresee 1,000 posts in your future.

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  29. Huzzah! Looking forward to the next 1000!

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  30. Congratulations! A fantastic milestone. Your blog is an inspiration to us new to blogging. Thanks for your continuing content, and support.

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  31. Congratulations on reaching this milestone Jonathan - not surprising really, given your frenetic output!

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