4 Reasons Why Pacman is a Metaphor for Blogging

Pacman is a Metaphor for Blogging
Drawn with Inkscape
Do you remember when you started blogging? You were out in the darkness. Looking up how to make your own website, finding a cheap hosting, purchasing your very first web address. Just you and your posts, aligned one after the other. And your fears hiding out there, fear of not being read, of sounding stupid, of givig up. Do you remember Pacman?

That was a hard perspective change, wasn't it? Why do you start talking about blogging and then switch to Pacman? Maybe you missed the catchy (I hope) title, but the driving force behind this post is how your post spiting works just like that pill eater game.

Pacman is a good metaphor for blogging. Your posts are those small pills, the ghosts chasing you, your inner fears of not being up to the task. But in Pacman and in blogging there is a holy grail for beating the ghosts/fears: a hit post. I hit mine last March, with 8 Reasons for Re-inventing the Wheel as a Programmer.

You know the feeling, that sense of accomplishement when your stats show an amazing peak, like the lance of a knight ready to kill the dragon and save the princess (or if you like, the mushroom of a plumber ready to kill a turtle and save the princess, but this is another game).

Pacman can show us a lot about blogging, believe it or not. I'll summarise it in four fundamental lessons

1. You can eventually eat the ghosts: if you keep hanging on, you will hit a good post and the fears will start blinking. You have won. This is only a temporary state... But you can get there, and once you have done it, you can do it again. And again and again.

2. Save your big pills for when you need them: there are times when you know you have a terrific idea for a post, but very recently you already had a big hit. Don't rush, and keep an idea incubator to let them grow. When you feel like your fears are lurking behind the next corner, post it and watch them run screaming down the aisle.

3. The game has no end, but you will be getting better on it. Blogging has no end, you just either keep doing it or you stop. If your fears get you, you may give up. But if you don't, you'll keep getting better until you can play effortlessly, and big posts come one after the other.

4. Don't devote your life to the game: in the 70's there were a lot of people addicted to the game (like today with WoW), spending his hours (and money) in front of an arcade machine. Don't treat blogging like this, go out with your friends, read books, play with your pet. In short, have a life aside from blogging. Even, you can use what you 'get' in your life as ideas for posts.

And what about the techno music? Nothing to do with blogging, unless you enjoy writing while listening to it. But if you are anything like me, put some upbeat (link to my Spotify playlist 'upbeat') music and blog as you listen.

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Written by Ruben Berenguel