It's time again for Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that comes to you this week from the desk in my upstairs bedroom, where I sit, pantsless (as is my custom), listening to chiptunes (Anamanaguchi!) and eating a giant bowl of Corn Pops. The wife and kids are out shopping, so it's just you and me, mages. Let's do this.
I've been writing this column once a week for over two years now, and each week, I follow the same general process. First, I figure out what I'm going to write about. Then I research my chosen topic (some topics require more research for me than others) until I feel comfortable enough to speak authoritatively on the subject. Finally, I sit down and write the thing. Then I edit the crap I just wrote until it resembles cogent thought, at which point I submit it to my editors. They notify me of any still-glaring issues with the column, and after a bit more polishing, the finished product magically appears on your computer screen, usually sometime Saturday night.
The hardest part of this process, for me anyway, is usually that first part. Sure, some weeks it's easy. Maybe we just had a major content patch and there's a fresh load of class changes to discuss. Maybe I'm writing the second part of a multi-part post, so I already know going into the week what I'm sitting down to write about on Friday. But most weeks, immediately upon finishing that week's column, I begin worrying about what I'm going to write about next week. It begins as a mild itch in the very back of my mind, a little tickle reminding me that in seven days I have a column due and I have no idea what that column's going to be about. Then, as the Friday due date approaches, that itch becomes a constant gnawing dread.