Thursday, October 3, 2013

S.O.F.T Update: Alex eases his finger off the trigger...

[Alex] Hey Squaddies, I have an announcement to make.

As of now, I am stepping down from my 'S.O.F.T duties' of doing Nerf blaster reviews.

I am NOT quitting the S.O.F.T team though (and certainly will not be giving up on Nerf :P).

I will still be around for news and updates, providing modding advice and suggestions, and particularly remaining active on the S.O.F.T Facebook page for discussions (I am pretty much always around FB anyway...)

Every now and then I will be posting up 'mini articles' and my thoughts on blasters (new and old), but no longer in the fully fledged video or written essay format.

Why am I announcing this?

The main reason is I feel I owe it to our readers. This is for all the times I have said "I will be doing the ____ blaster review soon!" ... but either takes forever or never happens. I could have very easily just not said anything and just let it slide and hopefully be forgotten. But no, I'd rather get it over with rather than let it linger and cause future problems. Plus I still want to contribute to S.O.F.T and be a part of the team - just going down a different path that suits me better.

Why did I do blaster reviews? Because I enjoyed doing them; it was a great way for me to express how I liked/disliked certain blasters, how they worked, and to give advice on whether they are worth buying or modding, and to interact with fellow Nerf fans.

But doing blaster reviews for S.O.F.T to the level of detail and quality that I strive for is simply becoming increasingly difficult to uphold. I feel very discouraged seeing the days, weeks, months go past when I last did a review, and I keep thinking to myself "I have to do another blaster review!" and getting upset and feeling like a failure over not doing more reviews.

But that's just it; I used to do reviews because it was FUN to do; Nerf is supposed to be FUN! But if things are getting stressful trying to do an activity that I'm supposed to ENJOY doing, then there must be something wrong.

I eventually came to the conclusion that I am simply not in a position to do big video or written / photographic reviews like I used to or want to; my track record of reviews for this year clearly shows that.

I organise and run Wars for my local Nerf community; the Hobart Nerf Squadron. I do a fair amount of modding where I can, not just for myself but also for fellow HNS members. As the HNS group has evolved, my time and energy has become more invested in it. Combined with the fact that my retail job requires that I work Saturdays, means I don't get a nice 2-day weekend to work on big projects or spend much time on what I want/need to do.

Outside of Nerf, I've had a lot going on in my personal life - which needless to say, I will not discuss - but suffice to say it was a wake up call on how I run and manage my life which needed some serious attention. It has gotten to the point now that I feel like I'm putting too much on my plate for me to chew through to get done. Nerf is a big part of my life at the moment, and I want to look after my hobby, but I have got to look after myself first.

So stopping doing Nerf reviews is one of those things I've decided to get off my over-loaded plate, and in doing so get the unnecessary stress off my chest. I want to keep doing Nerf related activities fun; not stressful.

However on a more positive note; I *will* be doing a mini-review in the near future; a cut down version of the Centurion review that I was working on.

The future mini reviews will be *very* short, sweet (bittersweet perhaps?) but more importantly going straight to the point about what my experiences with the blaster/s have been like, and what mods I would consider doing. It will be cutting out a lot of the "bloat" that is either really obvious or self explanatory, such as how a blaster looks or operates.

So I hope you enjoy the upcoming mini reviews I have planned, but more importantly I hope you all understand where I am coming from with this post :) see you again soon!

~ Alex.

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