Last year around this time I was addicted to an on-line interactive game, World of Warcraft (aka World of Warcrack). This game is very fun and very addicting. Sometimes I miss it. In playing WoW, you create a character (mine was a dwarf gnome named Yekopog) who goes on quests and has great adventures. Your character can become a member of a Guild, a collective group of players who work collaboratively. You can go on adventures together, but the guilds are needed for "runs" when the team tackles the more complex and challenging areas loaded with loot. My guild-mates were very helpful. I always knew I could find someone to help me if I get into trouble on a solo-quest. They invited me on runs and were patient with me as I learned the game.
Now I play World of Blogcraft. I spend about as many hours per day sitting at the computer, and about as much time daydreaming about it when I'm away from the computer. My guild is made up of a few fellow-bloggers. As with WoW, I know that many of the other players enjoy the interactive aspects of the game, sharing and networking. I'm just as happy playing solo, but sometimes, admittedly, I'm envious of the people who are at a higher level, more powerful, better networked.... I have to remember the times when my guild-mates helped me level-up to a point where I was in over my head. I hadn't developed the skills I needed along the way. The quests have a purpose - beyond acquiring gear and "scoring points" they give you much needed training in doses that are easily swallowed.
Some of the players came to WoW from other, similar games. Their skills were already honed and leveling up was more of a chore. I wasn't there in WoW and I'm not there in WoB. I can't lose sight of the fact that I blog to practice writing. I'm working to overcome years of communicating in terse e-mails. I'm developing the skills required to extricate thoughts from my brain and to put those thoughts into sentences that flow and entice the reader to follow the train to the end of the track.
If I'm successful, there will be folks with me at the station, ready to board the next train.