In his article last week, the Holy Kanoot wanted to know why the readers aren’t writing Magic articles. While I can’t speak for you, I can certainly speak for me. There are many reasons why I’m not writing Magic articles.
1) The writing on StarCity has gotten better since I was getting articles published. My writing has not.
I used to write with semi-regularity back when The Ferrett was editing this here site here. I used to write about what happened with my weekly multiplayer get-togethers. The Casual Reports were interspersed with other articles about multiplayer strategies, and general replies to other articles on the site. In those days, The Ferrett posted almost any article he received, assuming the writer had some understanding of grammar and could press the spell-check button. I only remember one or two articles that ever required a rewrite. Those days are long gone.
Getting something posted on StarCity now requires a writing talent that I don’t have. Geordie Tait, Ken Krouner, michaelj, Holy Kanoot, Bleiweiss, Tan… this list just goes on and on. Even if you forget about the Featured Writers and focus on the articles being submitted by those who don’t hold that status, you see significant talent. While I understand that everyone has to start somewhere, that place to get started is no longer on StarCityGames.com pages. You had best head to another site or write in the forums to improve your skill, assuming you have the talent to start with.
2) I’m here to read articles, not write them.
I click on StarCity to read the articles, and occasionally buy some cards. I have shifted from being a writer to being a reader. I would prefer to let others spend their time making their articles into something that I want to read. I’m going to leave the writing to the writers, and they can leave the reading to me.
3) No one ever read my articles when I was writing, and they sure aren’t going to start now.
I wrote over twenty articles and received a total of four responses (not including the responses I got for the chicken deck contest). The whole point of writing these articles is to feed your ego. If no one ever responds to the article, your ego takes a beating. After a few articles, you just stop caring and stop writing. The effort just is not worth the result.
And now, the forums are filled with people ready to bash every article all over the place. So if I finally get a response from anyone, it will likely be something along the line of”n00b” or a thoughtless”this article sucked” from someone who wants to up his or her response count on the forums. Who needs that kind of abuse? Unlike Geordie Tait, who seems to enjoy the odd flame war, I just could not be bothered. I get enough abuse in my life already that I don’t need any more.
4) I am lazy.
I have written to several authors, congratulating them on articles they have written and they have told me that they rewrote their articles several times before they were accepted. Huh? I almost never rewrote an article when I was writing. The higher standard here at StarCity now demands a better article. It is not likely that I’m going to rewrite an article more than once to get it published. Law school already sucks up all my time; spending more of it on a rewrite for something that isn’t going to get me a better grade doesn’t seem worth it.
Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the effort and time that go into articles that do get posted on the site, and I’m happy that the level of writing has dramatically improved. Better writing makes for a more interesting read, and that’s why I’m here. It is a rare day indeed when I click on a link and think to myself that the article was lousy or poorly done. That is a testament to the work that the author put into the article. That is work that I’m not willing to do.
5) I suck.
Both Flores and Krouner have recently told all of us that we are bad Magic players. They told me that I suck at Magic even worse than I think I do. That means I’m really bad. If I suck that bad at Magic, why would anyone want to read what I have to say? Why would StarCity want to post it? There are talented players and writers who write about limited, constructed, Type I, and all the various tournament formats. Any thoughts I have about that are thoughts I should keep to myself. Leave that sort of things to the professionals. I could get hurt.
Perhaps if there was a part of Magic where I don’t suck…
6) I could write about multiplayer… if I could find enough players to have a game of multiplayer.
It is said that you should write about what you know. I did that years ago when I knew multiplayer Magic. The problem is that since moving to Winnipeg to come to law school, I haven’t been able to find enough people to get a multiplayer game together. Winnipeg is clearly a wasteland when it comes to Magic. If I include myself, I think there are four other players that would play a casual multiplayer game in all of Winnipeg, and I only know one of them. I haven’t played multiplayer in almost two years. Maybe that will change while I’m in Boston over the summer, but right now I’m in Winnipeg.
Until I actually play in a few games, I can’t say with any authority what looks interesting or fun. I can’t even tell you about the great time I had playing multiplayer last night. I need to play before I can write about it.
7. I could write something funny. But I’m not all that funny.
To write funny Magic-related stuff, you have to be up on current Magic, and I’m not. I was funny two years ago when I gave forty reasons why I wasn’t playing in tournaments (at least Rizzo thought I was funny), but not so much any more. I’m the guy who would think it was pretty funny to equip an Ornithopter with Skullclamp. Yeah that’s me, Chuckles the Clown.
8) I could write about myself, but I’m not a featured writer who can get away with that.
While michealj can write about his life, it is interesting to read because he is Flores. He had a level of personality. He is Magic. I am not. Do you care that I think Daly Burger offers the best burgers in Winnipeg? Do you want to hear about a bunch of my friends going on a Friday afternoon to Daly Burger? Of course you don’t. I wouldn’t want to hear your opinion about that either. However, if Flores wants to spend a page telling you about an extra slice of pastrami on his sandwich at the most amazing deli in all of New York, you’ll read it. Just like you read about Rizzo’s move to Maine, or Wakefield’s non-Magic diversions.
9) I could link you to cheesecake, but that’s the editor’s shtick.
It is very bad form to steal another man’s shtick. That’s why I don’t write about the Magic books either. That is Daniel Crane territory. [I find it odd that, in spite of inviting everyone and their dog to steal my schtick, only Romeo has risen to the challenge. – Knut]
10) StarCity rarely publishes anyone other than a featured writer or a pro.
There were seven submissions contending for the $50 prize last week. Two of them had Skullclamp in the title of the article. I haven’t even held a Darksteel card in my hand yet. I don’t know why StarCity doesn’t publish more articles by non-Featured Writers, so I’m not going to guess. [The short answer is time constraints. – Knut] But for whatever reason, from among all the articles received, only seven were published. I certainly don’t think that anything that I would write would be worthy of one of those seven spots. [Apparently irony is spelled B-R-U-C-E in Winnipeg. – Knut, again]
11) I have no time.
I whipped this off in less than an hour. A real article would take much longer and require actual thought. While there are others who attend law school and find time to write about Magic and play Magic, I do not. I get one evening a week to play Magic with my friend Troy, and another evening to play sports. The rest of my time is spent studying, writing papers, attending classes, trying to spend time with my girlfriend and living my life as it is right now. I spend fifteen minutes in the morning while I eat breakfast, flipping through the articles on StarCity. I have no more time to write articles that would pass muster to get on the site.
These are just my reasons for not writing. Everyone has their own reasons, and they are all valid. I just hope that when it comes time to buy your cards, you are buying them here. StarCity is a premier Magic site and will only stick around for as long as we buy the cards. Not writing for the site is a forgivable sin. Not buying your cards here is a crime. If you are going to take what the site has to offer, you need to give back to it. Not supporting the site means that we will lose the great writing that it offers.