Letter to self (and to others, if you so wish):
Have any of you ever contemplated starting your own guild? Did you follow through on that? If yes this post is not for you. I mean, you're welcome to stay and delight in my nouns, adjectives and occaisional adverbs. I assure you, however, that not one gerund will be utilized in the making of these thoughts.
Avoiding reality was never my strong suit. Dancing on the ceiling was evidently only possible by Lionel Richie and his select group of gravity-hating friends. (Ok, so I lied about the gerunds, so what!)
Creating a guild has been an ambition of mine from early on in my playing days. Once I learned that people organized themselves into guilds for various purposes I became instantly entralled by the motives that drove people to such actions.
Coupled with that was my own experience trying to get to know people (for my own reasons). I came into WoW with no RL friend, that I know of, but by mere chance actually. I saw that some of the content avaiable mandated that you either be super powerful or be part of a group. I could see the advantages of being part of a guild, where you have access to resources of supposedly like-minded individuals that, given their availability, could support me on my way to achieving my in game goals.
But everyone is different, no two people are alike. That may be too obvious of a statement, but it's a real truth that both brings people together and drives them apart.
Here is a list of some of the reasons why I wanted to have my own guild:
1) I like to help people. What better way to foster an atmosphere of help and support than to be the leader of the group and set the example. I believe that leadership sets a tone for a guild, and those who are open minded often will be influenced by the attitudes and behaviours of said leader. I knew that it would be difficult given the individualistic nature of many of the people on my server, but I set high standards for myself.
2) Access to Resources. Although I am quite self-sufficient, I quickly began to see the benefits of a group of people pooling their resources together to help each other skill up their professions, provide others with greater power in battle, and instill in the group a sense of community or a closeness that comes from being a part of each others success.
3) So I can experience more content. Even at low levels, I wanted to experience more content. But I wanted to do it in an environment where one death in a group would cause a complete disbanding of the whole (which sadly does happen every now and then). At higher levels I could be the means of taking people who just reached 80 for the first time and lead them through content, again with a group of people who would be supportive and undersatanding of the learning curve that everyone passes through (albeit some faster than others). It wasn't just MORE content, it was more content with understanding and good natured people.
These are just a few of the reasons why I've always wanted to start my own guild. Now you may say to me "Gronthe, you can achieve all these goals without starting your own guild, you can do these things with a pre-made guild and still be an example to others and earn their respect. Why go through the hassle of starting your own guild?"
Well let's look at some of those problems that may arise out of guild leadership. Contention in the ranks, recruitment, retention, money (gold - i.e. policies on taxation...er, contribution, etc), obtaining start up signatures, difficulty of finding "like-minded" individuals, or at least people that are close enough to what you believe a guild should be.
Yes, I admit that those are some sticky issues, and are examples of things that I would never have to deal with as long as I kept my nose out of guild leadership/ownership. So back to the question, "why go through the hassle of starting your own guild?"
Being a leader FEELS different than being a soldier. Sure, you have more responsibility, but I think you also feel more gratfied with your successes. Imagine how your guild creator feels when a group of people that he/she put together downs Arthas. Now compare that to how you feel. No doubt you feel pretty darn good, but I guarantee you that the guild owner/leader feels A LOT better, is satisfied in a way that you simply cannot be due to your position.
I don't have a need to feel powerful to know that I'm of worth. But I can't shake the feeling that I was never meant to follow, but to lead. Have you ever known somebody who was an outstanding teacher during your brief or long years of your educational career? Imagine that person denying his/her talents and how the world would be different without their influence. I'm sure there would always be somebody else that would have been hired to teach that Spanish class, but your life would never have been touched by that person, ever.
I am not saying that I am a great teacher or a great leader, but I've had enough life experience to know what my talents are, and it's not in following.
So why haven't I done anything? Because along with my strengths I have some debilitating weaknesses. I'm insanely shy, except when I choose not to be (which takes a mighty effort on my part). I have a speech impediment, and have since I was a child. Interestingly enough that impediment never surfaced during my brief acting career when I could stand on a stage and deliver flawless lines. It surfaces more when I have to actually talk to somebody real, which is just about all the time. I make excuses...enough said.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I'm scared, and always have been. I'm scared of rejection, I 'm scared of failure. So to compensate for that I follow. I can guess at some of the comments that may arise from this post (that is if anyone actually reads this stuff).
"Just do it!"
Thanks, Nike spokesman(woman). Ever heard the cliche "easier said than done"? Yeah, try saying "just do it" to somebody with serious social anxiety disorder, that goes over real well. I think I would do it if I had a plan, it's just that I've never sat down and carved one out in stone yet. Maybe you could help me. How would you (if you were me) go about leaving a good guild with good people to start your own guild without creating resenment among the friends that you have made? Would this require a server transfer?
With Cataclysm soon upon us, this may be the best opportunity I have to experiment with my beliefs and start my own guild. Casual v hardcore? Raiding v leveling? So many things to think about. Maybe all I need is the right kind of encouragement, I'm not sure. But I do know that I want to, I just need to find a way to overcome my fears and, for lack of a better term, just do it!