After careful consideration and several changes of heart, I’ve decided to take the entire month of November 2007 off from Treasure Tables, for two reasons.
The first is that I’m going to be participating in National Novel Writing Month. I’ve always wanted to write a novel, and I need a kick in the ass to get one written. NaNo is that kick. I’ll be writing 50,000 words in November, and there’s no way I can also write TT posts at the same time and retain my sanity.
The second is that I just plain need a break. I’ve been writing for TT daily since November 2005, and I’ve never missed a day. That’s a good thing, but it’s also burned me out a bit. Lately, running TT has been more work and less fun, which I’ve always found to be a pretty good signal that it’s time to take a break from a hobby.
Thanks to our forum moderators, Scott M, Rick_TWA and VV_GM, the TT forums will be staying open. Guys, you’re awesome — thank you! If you find yourself itching for GMing discussion in November, I hope you’ll consider taking advantage of our forums.
And thanks to an excellent idea of Rick’s, TT won’t be “going dark” during November — instead, it’ll be going into reruns. There are over 800 posts in the archives, and I’d wager that not too many TT readers have read all of them. I’m going to be choosing
30 39 posts — some well-known, some more obscure — and running a post a day for the whole month from November 1 through December 9 (the extra week is to recover from NaNo!).
I hope this crazy, novel-filled break cures my TT-writing burnout, but I’m enough of a realist to know that with any break this long, there’s a chance it’ll become permanent. I’ll make that decision by early December, and either way I won’t just fade out: if I’m going to stop, I’ll announce it here; if I get back in the saddle, I won’t be shy about it.
Whatever happens, I’ve had a blast running Treasure Tables — and that’s due in large part to you, the TT community. It sounds cheesy, and I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: You rock. This wouldn’t be TT without you, and thank you.
Old posts are a great idea to fill the gap, and reading new TT in November will be SORELY missed, but I fully understand writer burnout. Even if TT went to a less frequent schedule (like an MWF, with old posts to fill the gaps on TTS, and something special on sundays)it would still rock, and might help with the massive workload that comes with having a daily posting schedule for 2 years straight. Enjoy the deserved break. Hope to see you back soon.
I think it’s a great idea to take a break, and a well deserved one at that! Good luck with the novel!
Take that well-deserved break Martin. An write a kickass Novel!
The rest of the DM bloggospere will keep the fort and we’ll link to anything cool you dug up during that time.
I think that the downtime is a great idea. And NaNo is a great challenge. Any hints for us what your novel may be about?
As for Re-runs, I have a few unsolicited suggestions:
–The Naughty List Article
–Your Interviews with Game Designers (especially Luke Crane and Mike Mearls)
Enjoy your Novel Writing. We TT fans can keep ourselves entertained on the Boards while you are hard at writing. Just put a post up on the boards to let us know how the writing is going.
Good luck and don’t forget about your TT fans when you’re a big famous novelist guy!
Enjoy the break!
I’m with the others have fun with the novel. I’m also considering the NaNo writing contest too. I found out about in November of last year.
I would enjoy reading some of the older articles myself.
A heart second (er, third? eighth?) to your time off and good luck with the novel.
As far as returning goes, I, personally was amazed you found something to write about EVERY DAY. Short of those “what’s happening in my life” blogs, daily content strikes me as way hard. Even if you decide to only post sporadically, I’d prefer that to a full stop.
In any case, thanks for what you’ve done so far. The resources here, and pointers to others elsewhere, have made my current GMing WAY better than it would have been otherwise.
…now if I could just figure out how to quit my job while still getting paid so I can stay home all day surfing, updating my wiki, playing the latest CRPG…
Rule -1 is “Real Life comes first.” (Rule 0 was taken.)
Take care of your sanity, and best of luck on the NaNo month!
I’ll do my damnedest to keep the forums chugging along…
I truly hope this is a break,
I hope you will think about guest posts
I hope treasure tables stays open
I will help in any way neccessary.
You deserve a break.
Go get those batteries recharged.
Hey THat sounds like a great idea, its important to relax and renew… I hope that TT comes back…
I have wondered why bloggers post daily. It is just too much. Why not give us a post on a schedule that is not so draining? D and D is great, but do we really need a post about it every single day? Nope! How about twice a week? There is too much to read already anyway. Relax, and go slower is my motto.
We don’t really need a post about DnD every day, but a post about gaming and the meta-elements, things that go beyond whatever system you are using. I can use advice and new thoughts on that all the time.
Still, I agree that I don’t require something every day. So long as I know that I will have it on a set and fairly frequent schedule, I am well rewarded by a site.
Take the break that you so richly deserve! We’ll keep the forums rolling, and after November we’ll see what happens.
Thanks for all the work you have done so far regardless of what the future may hold. I do hope to see TT around for years to come, but the ride so far has been excellent!
I think it’s amazing enough that you post everyday! When I first RSS’d TT, I expected it to update one to at most three times a week… then I’d forget to chech my reader in a while, and when I’d remember, I’d have five or six posts to check. So yeah, I don’t blame you at all for needing a break, and great job.
But I do hope you come back. Even if you don’t post as often, this site is too good (and fun) a resource to let fade out.
Thanks for all the work you put in Martin.
TT has been great.
I understand the needing a break. -I took one from my own blog for the entire summer/fall. I am just about to dive back in. The break was a very good thing.
I hope you feel refreshed and come back.
Thank you for the encouragement, kudos and kind words — I really appreciate it.
In this thread, in person and via email, I’ve gotten some great suggestions for how to bring back TT without getting burned out as easily. I’m disarmed by how many people want to see TT continue, and are willing to help make that happen — thank you.
My brain is wired for all-or-nothing sometimes, and the idea of writing posts only on M-F, with weekends off, or even just 3-4 days a week, is a very good one — and one I likely wouldn’t have arrived at on my own.
The daily posting schedule here was one of the best decisions I made about the site in lots of ways: readership, utility, motivation and challenge, to name four. But burnout trumps all of those factors, unfortunately. A lighter load makes a lot of sense.
In terms of rerun month, I’ve decided to expand that to “rerun 39 days” (also a reader suggestion — thank you). The first week after NaNo probably isn’t the time to be making decisions about writing anything, much less writing anything on a regular basis. 😉
On the NaNo front, I’ve bought my writing hat (oh yes, I have a writing hat) and carry-it-everywhere notebook, and I’m stoked. Aware that my brain and social life are about to get ganganged, but stoked nonetheless. 😉
I’ve only recently discovered TT so I’m a bit sad at the break but can totally understand burnout.
Best wishes for your Writing Month. I hope that your daily schedule for TT which has been so appreciated by your readers proves a good preparation for this month.
If you give it up, you might want to consider letting some of us more “Active members” to post. I’m pretty sure that: Telas, VV_GM, my self and other’s wouldn’t mind doing some posts even if it gets to the point where it is only one post a week. I’d really hate to see this go into hiatus forever. I know you can give different permissions in wordpress, give a few different people access to post content and run it kinda like stupid ranger does where there are several people posting instead of putting all the work load on your self.
I understand that this is your baby but would hate to see this awesome community die out. 🙁
Oh, please, don’t let TT die!! :/
Good luck with NaNoWriMo, I did it for the first time last year and it was extremely rewarding! I’m doing it again this year.
One word of advice: make sure to friend some people on the NaNoWriMo site! Nothing motivates like seeing one of your friends get their word count ahead of yours. I’m sure you probably have plenty of folks on your friend list, but feel free to add me as well!
Teamblogging in some is definitelty an attractive idea, and a great way to reduce workload for everyone involved. That’s one of the options I’m kicking around — thank you for the suggestion.
robustyoungsoul: Nope, I only know one person doing NaNo — consider yourself buddied. Thanks!
Have a good month off… I hope that a change is as good as a rest in this instance!
Like everyone before has said, I think it would be a great shame if TT were to continue on hiatus. For me, it’s the single most useful roleplaying resource on the web, period. Some of that is down to a community constantly trying to improve their craft, but a lot of it is directly due to your hard work and energy.
Personally, the daily post really is worth it; it’s what got me checking the site regularly in the first place. Teamblogging, or even getting people to commit to regular guest posts, may be a way to continue that AND your actual life. I’m sure there’s a number of us that would be interested in helping, in one way or another.
Best of luck writing your novel Martin I know you have a great one in you.
As for TT, I will echo what has already been said before – I would hate to see it go as I’ve garnered some really great info from you over the last year or so I’ve been reading the blog and feel you still have some more hidden away somewhere.
I also know first hand that a daily post is really hard to maintain without burnout or writer’s block (it’s why I’ve cut back on my own schedule) so I would also agree with others that cutting back your schedule a bit would help your sanity.
Once again best of luck with the novel and I’m looking forward to reading it.
Hey I am participating in NaNo as well!
If you want to add me as a writing buddy my user name is Stomphoof 🙂
Goodluck Martin! We are all gonna need it.
Millsy & Scott: Thank you. I’m still mulling over what to do with/about TT come December. I know I’ll miss it if I don’t bring it back, and there are lots of options to consider. Teamblogging/guest posts to keep the daily schedule is certainly one of them — thanks for your feedback!
Jay Neely & Clayton: Awesome! I’ve added you as writing buddies — and good luck right back at you.