When The Shaft Podcast announced that their 5th-anniversary episode would also be their last, I was rather taken aback, even though I’d not been involved with the show for some time. But it’s rather understandable, given that Minecraft’s sort of tailing off in some regards. The Shaft became a big part of my life, not only because I enjoyed the dynamic between Brent Copeland, Eric Fullerton and Wes Wilson, but also because it made me aware of the Minecraft community – the first gaming community I’d ever been aware of. And as a result of joining the community, the wonderful Kristal Crow (@thecrystalcrow) came into my life, just over four years ago. I’ll always be thankful to The Shaft and Minecraft for that 😀
Speaking of Kristal, there’s something the guys said in the anniversary episode that I have to clarify. Pretty early on, I got permission from them to let me include Kristal in the production of the show notes. I’d been able to dig up some material for the show, but the vast majority of sourced news was made available because of her. It got to the stage where she’d source all the news, we’d discuss the Listener Contributions and decide which ones would make it onto the show, and then I’d write it all up. And then Kristal would look at the show notes and point out/remove the idiosyncrasies of British English (which happened a lot). Basically, without Kristal, the show notes wouldn’t have ended up anywhere near as good as they were. Thank you, my darling! 😀
Going back to what Eric said about me emailing the show a lot… yes, that was true, I’m a little ashamed to say. I was so caught up in how wonderful I felt the show was, that I went into “gush mode”, and pretty much reached the point of obnoxiousness with the number of emails that I was sending! 😦 So when BitBurner suggested I start a Minecraft blog, I thought it would be a great idea… partly because I wanted to impress Brent, Eric and Wes (I know, I know), but also because it meant that, instead of bombarding the poor guys with emails, I could redirect it all into the blog 😀
In the anniversary episode, Wes talked about the various dynamics involved in the show, including me having conversations with them via the show notes. The guys may not remember how that started, but I do… There was one episode where they were all really drunk, and derailed quite significantly from the notes. When they finally decided to return to what they were meant to be doing, they couldn’t remember where they were at. So, remembering that Google Docs was all about live editing, I wrote “YOU ARE HERE” in huge letters at the correct point in the notes 😉 It all took off from there, and was a handy way to pass on relevant information more directly than trying to email them during the show, or trying to make myself heard in chat.
And finally, I’m not sure I ever really properly wrote about why I stopped writing for the show. I’d cited “health reasons” when I wrote up the relevant bit about me in the notes – and this truly was the only reason I made the decision to leave what had been a thoroughly enjoyable part of my life. Here’s the thing: Even before becoming unemployed back in January 2012, I didn’t (and still don’t) have a proper sleep schedule to speak of. Basically, I try to sleep when I’m feeling tired, and get up when it seems my body doesn’t want to sleep any more.
So there’d be occasions where I’d start feeling tired about an hour before a show was about to start, and I’d have to force myself to stay awake until the recording was done. The end result was that I’d wind up feeling really nauseous.
Then there’d be other times when I’d managed to wake up about an hour (or less) before a show, and find that Kristal, with her wonderfully determined attitude towards keeping the notes as current as possible, had come across more stuff that needed to go in. And it would need to go in, because delaying it by a week would make the material irrelevant; Kristal always did a far better job than I when it came to sourcing news 😀 So I’d be frantically trying to write up the new bits before the show – and I recall at least a couple of occasions where I was updating the show notes with the new material as the show was being broadcast!
And it was all becoming too much for me, and making me horribly depressed. I wanted to do my best for the show, but felt that I couldn’t deliver any more. When I told Brent that I was planning to leave, he was incredibly helpful, making suggestions to accommodate me and allow me to continue. But, unbeknownst to him, all of his suggestions were things I’d tried previously and failed with. Brent was, as ever, gracious about my final decision, and I’m very grateful to him for that.
Anyway, thank you to Brent, Eric and Wes, all the subsequent hosts, guest hosts, and the listeners for a wonderful podcast series! And a special thank you to Wes for his reaction in the anniversary episode – I’ve never had someone splutter on their beverage and applaud me before! 😉