Achievements

I’m extra happy today, because things are just ”falling into place”. I’ve received an unusual amount of messages – letters, e-mails, etc. – bringing positive news, and plenty of projects I’m working on have turned out a success. Here are some of the reasons for my happiness in detail, in no particular order:

The TMU Blog – My other main blog, the TMU Blog, which is about the video game TrackMania, was my heart and soul for about a year and a half. It’s about a month younger than this blog (which turns two in October 😀 ), yet has been far more active over those years. With over 180 thousand hits, it simply outclasses JZ Blogger big time (this blog has only just over 6000 hits).

But then gradually I lost interest. At first it was because I played the game in question less, but the final blow was when I was asked to join the crew behind the website TrackMania Exchange (TMX), which is about the same game as the TMU Blog. Despite the success of the TMU Blog, joining this site was even bigger, even though I did hesitate at first.

However, ever since that time (which is a while ago now), I’ve been torn about what to do with the blog. Should I close it completely or continue it on the side? The latter was what I went for, as I was too attached to the blog to pull the plug, but time would show that two websites was one too many for me. The solution: I handed the blog over to one of my most loyal readers, who’d also written a few articles every now and then which I’d published.

Today, however, was the first time I realized that hey, it’s actually working just fine without me. So the blog lives on but I can focus on other stuff, which is a relief 😀

TrackMania Events – To continue on the TrackMania theme, recently I had a thorough talk with MrA, the boss on the previously mentioned website TMX. Mainly, I’m in charge of events, contests, etc. there, but I also do some writing. A larger event is planned to take place soon (can’t reveal what it’s about though, in case a member of the site comes here… the Internet is a dangerous place to reveal secrets on!), which we’re all excited about!

I probably won’t be much active during that event in particular though, as the planning has been going on for some time without my involvement. No point in transferring it to me when I don’t know the details. That would only cause more work for everyone. However, after this event we’ll want to take advantage of the increase in activity that we’re counting on as a result of the ”major happening”, which is when I enter the picture. I have a lot of plans for the site, and I’m happy that we now have a better idea of what the future will look like 😉

Military – On a whole different matter, I received a letter from the military today, saying I’m off the hook (not in those words, though 😛 ). I didn’t want to go as I’ve already started doing other stuff and have other plans (I was so sure I would never get a letter at all from the military, as I had already turned 18 when returning to Sweden), so I was glad to receive that message.

University – I’ve already said that things are going great at the university, both with the studies and regarding the social part. An important bit, however, is studera.nu, which is where you usually go to apply for courses. And it’s time to think about next term already!

The problem? I used my Finish ”personnummer” (Personal number? Or perhaps social security number? Not sure…), which meant I couldn’t receive the required activation code. That in turn meant everything had to be done manually through e-mail when I applied for the course I’m now on. Literally, it all became a big mess. So now, I was afraid I would have to do the same or create a new account, which might have meant even more problems and manual moving of data.

But today, I received an e-mail confirming that my Swedish number was now active, and that everything was fine. So this time I can apply as intended, hopefully without any issues 😀

GameOn Mag – Returning to the world of videogames. A few months ago I was asked to write two articles for a new free online gaming magazine (the TMU Blog and my work on TMX, as well as on other places related to writing, has earned me a few contacts and merits). I did write the articles, and for the following issue of the magazine (it’s a monthly mag) I was asked to join the team.

So now I’m a writer at GameOn.co.uk, an established gaming website. We’re a team of volunteers, so no money, but that doesn’t matter. We all enjoy the writing, and that’s what’s important. However, in the second issue all I did was writing a column (because university studies had just started, so that was my main concern). It felt as if I didn’t really contribute enough, as the others were writing full articles and reviews (in my defense, my column, which was about piracy, caused quite a discussion among the readers, which was just what I wanted to achieve – a success!).

But this month things are a lot better! Besides my column, which is now a steady feature in the mag (this month it’s about gender equality in games 😛 ), I’m contributing with an experiment: will I notice any physical effect and feel generally better if I work out regularly with the game Wii Fit? I have been assigned a two month workout plan (three sessions per week) with focus on various workout styles and body parts (muscle, balance and coordination, yoga, aerobics, etc.). Next month I’ll provide a half-way update in the magazine, and for the December issue I’ll provide a full summary and the final verdict/the results.

Furthermore, I’ve been working on a review of the game for the November issue as well as an article with tips for using the game, so hopefully Wii Fit – and thus my articles – will be a main focus of that issue and perhaps even make the front page. And when this whole Wii Fit experiment is over, I’m free to write about basically any topic I like, which feels great 😀

Sold Articles – Let’s continue on the topic of writing. For about a year I’ve been a member on Helium.com, a website which I’ve talked about on this blog long ago. Basically, it’s a site where anyone can publish articles. You earn real money based on advertising income and how popular your articles are, and real magazines and websites can purchase articles they’re interested in. For quite a long time now I haven’t been active, but I thought it was about time I cashed in the money I’ve earned so far. About $109, which arguably isn’t too much, but I’m just thrilled to have actually sold some of my work 😀

BookCrossing Article – And speaking of articles, I received a message from BookCrossing.com today, saying that they really liked the article I submitted a while ago about the day I spent in Gothenburg with Hingrald, a fellow BookCrosser I’d never before met in my entire life. They’ll publish the article with their next newsletter.

In short – This post turned out quite long, but that’s how it goes when you’re so happy about something 😛 In short, things are just going great, both online and offline. But I do miss things the way they were six months ago…

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