Today I’m going to write a post on a gaming topic, and how I think it is applicable in real life.

That topic is gold efficiency (also known as cost efficiency, or just simply the topic of efficiency).

Gold efficiency is a concept I’ve encountered primarily while playing the game League of Legends.  It compares an item’s purchase price in the in-game shop to the amount of gold that item is actually worth, based on the stats it provides.  Items that are considered “gold efficient” give a better return than other items with similar costs and stats.  Buying efficient items maximizes gold as a resource and allows players to gain an edge over opponents who do not purchase as efficiently.

So what does this all mean with respect to life outside video games?

The concept of gold efficiency works with the concept of “min/maxing” resources.  The jobs we work earn us money, which we then in turn spend.  If you look at tags in grocery stores, you may notice the price per volumes listed ($1.38/oz for example) and larger amounts of a product tend to cost less per volume.  So it’s more cost efficient to purchase food in bulk, provided you can use it all before any spoils.

I think about this concept with my writing, both the cost efficiency of individual posts and the value overall.

When people talk about online metrics, they often use the measure of something called “engagement”.  Engagement is the percentage of your total followers or subscribers that interact with content.  That percentage varies based on which social media platform we’re looking at, but the basic values I’ve heard are that 1% – 3% engagement is a good number.  I hit that consistently with the majority of my posts.

So where does the efficiency come in?

It comes down to time commitment.  If I spend an hour writing a poem (which is normal for a longer style), I get a return of 1% engagement.  But if I write a blog post (which can take two or three hours, or even longer), I still get the same 1% engagement.  In terms of efficiency, blogging doesn’t return an engagement equivalent to the time invested.  It’s less cost efficient with my time.

So what does that mean for me and my writing?

Well, it means I need to look at things differently.  I started writing blog posts as a means of practicing longer-style content, and many blog posts have 1000 or more words.  Some even have close to 2000 words.  That’s fulfilling my goal, but not in a way that’s efficient with my time.  I now spend so much time working on blog posts that I don’t work on other writing content.  I don’t write short stories or flash fiction because I’m spending so much time on the blog posts, and that frustrates me.

So I may start experimenting with shorter blog posts, or different styles of storytelling.  I’ve looked into options for recording audio, and while that’s not a method with which I have much experience, it could be a viable new option for storytelling.  The past few months have shown me that while blogging can be good, it’s not the be-all end-all solution to my writing needs.  I have to keep looking, and my writing will grow and be better for the journey.

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