On Writing

Day 4,819, 21:05 Published in USA USA by Trekker Tlumac

It’s been a week since I posted my last article. I figured if I am going to have a vested interest in eRep and whether it continues as is or improves, I should probably make an effort to keep up with the module that I think has the most lasting potential. Obviously I am speaking on the media module.

It is the one part of the game I truly always enjoyed. It is, in no small part, the biggest part of eRep where I have felt the most at home. I have a history of articles that stretch from November of 2013 to August of 2015. I just did a quick look through. Looks like each page of articles has five articles on it, there are nineteen pages to my newspaper. Minus the three articles I published this year (before this current article), that puts me at over ninety articles during those twenty two months where I was really active. That’s a respectable amount of time writing. Especially as I used to write so much slower back then.

The writing module of eRep helped me become a better, more articulate writer, in a number of ways. It is a vital part to the game. Below are my thoughts on the matter.

When I became active in the game (back in late 2013) I was forced to actually engage in dialogue with people that I would have only exchanged polite “bumped into them at Wal-mart” style of greetings. The ever popular “Hello. How are you? Take care.” greetings that we all (at least most of us) offer up to everybody we come in close proximity to. At some point I tapped for a job in-game and it forced me out of my comfort zone.

I found myself forced to write a lot of articles. That was difficult for me. I spend a lot of my time writing, for pleasure. I love constructing stories, characters, plotlines, overarching tales. That is just me. It always has been, though at the time I started getting active I had literally just finished my largest project at that time (a twenty-five day binge of writing to complete a novel length piece of work for NaNoWriMo 2013). Of course I made the mistake of mentioning it to the people I was starting to talk to in-game. And found myself tapped for the Fed party media.

The articles I was asked to write were something much closer to real journalism. Mini-newspapers. You know, detailing party, national, and international news. I hate journalism. I find it soul sucking, horrendous, and creativity killing. And those are the best points of it, in my extremely humble opinion.

I literally learned from the ground up about writing a newspaper in a web game.

The first couple weeks I spent a couple hours a day reading other ingame papers. I focused mostly on the political newspapers, detailing the state of the game, the alliances, other news that could be considered “news” and less of a personal lean.

I used those papers as a basis for stylizing how I covered things, and sources for some of the news I reported on. Read five articles about the collapse of an alliance between two countries? Eh, probably enough information between them to report on the common facts, at the least.

I spent a lot of time reading in game articles. Like a lot of time. It was ridiculous. But it provided me with a bedrock for an understanding of most common game mechanics, strategies in use at the time, and some understanding of the political climate abroad.

Obviously that left me with a lot of questions.

I was fortunate that,
for the most part, people understood when I asked a question I genuinely wanted an answer. As opposed to asking to provide me a springboard to rebuttal against. So I ended up learningthings (which is something I highly encourage).

Later, when I started holding more public offices, I was required to start writing in another way. One that was more akin to a blog than a newspaper. Yet another thing that I had never done. So I found that difficult at first too. How do I find my voice while still hitting the points that I needed to? I think I found my voice eventually. In any event, I definitely have it now. There is very little that a Trekker Tlumac article has in common, stylistically, with any other. I am proud of that. That is my voice.

I consider the forced writing as something that greatly benefited me, even if it didn’t always feel that way at the time. At the time it was stressful, difficult, and I was quite sure everything was utter crap. That was because I was expanding my skill set, that is something that is rarely easy.

It has been over seven years since those times. I am far more comfortable writing in those two styles (Journalistic and Blog) than I ever thought I would be. Sure, I am not great with either, because I have very little use for those themes in my everyday life. That shows. But neither am I without a life-preserver when either is thrust upon me once more.

So I would say that I am completely in favor of the journalism module within eRepublik. It has made me a better writer. It helped me find my voice. I am sure it has for many others as well. If nothing else, it is a valve for those looking for a place to output their thoughts. I have read articles about game stuff, real life stuff, and thoughts that belong neither here nor there. All of it is valid, as expression is important.

I wish there were more activity in the newspapers of eRep. That, as many others have hit upon, is one of the saddest parts of the decline of eRep. We have far less writing going on, despite that the writing aspects are definitely among the best parts of the game.

I remember reading the super-colorful articles where people took a lot of time to construct an imagined place for interviews performed over IRC. I miss those times. They were entertaining.

Yes, yes, I am aware that I can either complain about it or try to fix it.

Is not writing this very article an attempt to revitalize the media?


Then obviously I have not come as far as I had hoped in the writing. That’s okay, I can be blunt.


This is in no way a slight on the people currently writing. I have the utmost respect for your verbosity; keep it up.

My barbs, if we must assign barbs to my message, are for those who think about writing an article, but never get around to it, the people who are afraid of writing in a community where they do not know anyone well, and those who are afraid that their writing is not good enough to be seen.

My message, because I want it to be encouragement and not a demand is:

If you are willing to contribute to the community, the community will grow.

We are all here for different reasons. I, for one, am curious about your reasons for being here. Fill up the boards with articles, any articles. The level of media is so low that we need anything.

Had a really good burger? Tell us about it.
Had a really bad date? Tell us.
Learned a bit of bbcode? Load us up with all that bracket knowledge.
Proud of an in-game achievement? You guessed it, tell us.
Have an actual statement about the game? We need to hear it!

Endorsing media was not my intent when I started writing tonight.

I do not regret that this is where my words took me.

The media module in eRepublik has enriched my life in tangible ways.

It would be wonderful to see it do something similar to another generation of eRep writers.

Take care everyone,

Trekker “That Sexy Lizard” Tlumac

Dissenting opinion? Write a rebuttal. Let's engage in meaningful media.