|Posted by Ian StormStaff on January 19, 2015 at 9:05 AM|
I've spent years telling people that as long as there was Wizard101 there would be Wizards Unite. For the last 3 1/2 years I've devoted a lot of time and money to keep that promise. Almost 500 blog posts, hundreds of pages of information and content, tens of thousands of tweets; Wizard101 has been the center of my life for quite a while now. But close friends know that behind the scenes I'm not always as confident as I show. I have publicly faltered before; just last Christmas I was also on break for around a month, meaning I've done that twice now. However this Christmas break I sat down and thought about the future of my online gaming and writing career. I love love love Kingsisle and Wizard101, and I obviously love the community. But to be frank with you, I just don't enjoy the work tied to Wizards Unite anymore...
Before you go into anaphalactic shock; let me explain: when I started WU I wanted to write and play Wizard101. For the first two years that's what I did; I even invited other writers to join me! However things took a turn for the busier side the summer I hired 3 staff members to help me launch some larger and more complex projects. That summer we released the Crowns Shop Index, the Badge Index, and my School Spirit pages. Together is was around 80-100 pages of stuff added to WU. It was amazing; I was a big shot with tons of info and something other sites didn't have. I felt like I had a purpose now, not just blog posts. So I kept at it, and kept at it, and kept at it. Last time I checked I had over 200 pages of information like this on WU: half of it alone the CSI (and another large chunk the Aquarium). Since I now alone control the informational side of WU the maintenance and upkeep of these 200+ pages is solely mine; I have no help and have in the past tried to hire some. In the end though I do the brunt of the work; and lemme tell you that's a lot of brunt. I did the aquarium pages alone, all 80 something pages; and also suffered TWO emotional breakdowns while building it. I, the real Ian, cried in the real world over the deadlines for a project I created. I had given myself more work than I could possibly do alone in the time allotted. My mom would force me away from my computer to keep me from stressing myself over these stupid digital fish. That was when I realized maybe I was working too hard.
You'll notice since then WU hasn't had any large additions of info, minus the changes to the CSI (mostly cosmetic) I've tried to return to blogging more than big projects. But even so I've struggled to come up with content to write about. A large amount of this problem stems from the stagnant creativity in the community. Wizard101 is approaching 7 years of age. That's nearly a decade of the spiral. Since I've been writing about Wizard101 for nearly 4 years I've covered a lot of news, and even more original ideas and angles. But recently I've found it really hard to come up with anything new to write about, simply because there isn't much to really write about left! I'm not alone with this struggle; many other Fansites have converted to covering pirate101 as well as wizard101, or posted less frequently. I have striven for a weekly post since I started WU and met that more often than I thought. But I've also missed it a lot. Blogging in the KI community is at an all-time-low. Even official fansites don't post a lot, they rely on events, contests, and informational pieces to keep their views high and updates frequent. That's just the way it is now; there isn't anything to write about.
Instead of stifling myself and staying in the KI community; I'm quite literally removing myself from it. I of course could never quit the games, they're incredibly fun and I've made so many friends; but after a few months of serious thinking, I am closing WU. I will stop posting and updating it regularly, the domain will expire in February and from there the site will sit. I won't delete it, and I won't wipe or clear anything. All of the information, content, posts, will remain. I also won't change any member privileges, so if for any reason another WU blogger wants to post something on here, they still can. I will maintains WU through February, but at the beginning of March what is here, is it.
You're probably wondering what I'll do now that I don't have WU to work on. Of course I have other work to do. School is becoming ever so demanding and I'm working on getting season 4 of Ramblers going (it is behind schedule I'll admit)... But I could never stop gaming and writing; instead I'm going to rebrand myself with a new website and new purpose. I'm not quite ready to reveal everything yet, but I will soon enough. Until then, I sincerely hope you guys understand, and that you'll enjoy my next project just as much as WU. It's been an awesome four years in this community and I'm not done with KI yet. And I will never be done gaming and writing.
PS: I hope you all will be excited when my new project releases next month...