1 year. 1 long, interesting year. A lot can happen in a year. Birth and death, creation and destruction. We’ve had riots, shutdowns, global pandemics. I mean, hellooo? But back to the point. In a year, I’ve made 60 posts. I’ve gotten likes. But you’ve heard me brag about myself. Today, the full story. From start to today. How AIO Writer’s Block was made. Let’s start at the beginning.
I guess it started when I got the Adventures in Odyssey Club for the first time last year. The world was in mass panic, toilet paper was off the shelves, and among the chaos, Focus released a 4 week-long free trial. I had just bought a new pair of earbuds, and I thought, “What better way to test them out?” When I opened the website for the first time, I was weary. I mean, was this legit? But I played the first album episode I saw, Album 67. I wanted my first episode to be a good one, so I picked out the one that looked coolest to me. A Sacrificial Escape. (this will be key later) It played, and this was legit. I had found a jewel. For the next two weeks, I downed episodes like candy bars. After reading the Bible every morning, I’d listen to Odyssey from dawn to dusk. I started with A Sacrificial Escape, jumped to 68, and “worked” backward from there. My earbuds went with me everywhere. Doing laundry? Odyssey. Riding a bike? Odyssey. (Don’t worry, I hadn’t ridden on roads). Even using the bathroom was an Odyssey activity. I listened to the “5-year period” in about one week. Some episodes that didn’t seem as interesting to me, I skipped, but otherwise, I’d listened to about every episode there was in about two months. (I had a lot of time). However, I was intrigued by this Morrie Rydell character. I had listened to The Blackgaard Saga several times and heard the beginning and end of Novacom as well. But this seemed… ongoing. Something of which I could be a part. And I arrived just on time.
At the end of May, school was, for lack of a better word, out, and I had more time than I knew what to do with. Sure I still had to clean, and I liked playing the piano, but all in all, I was back to the beginning. Nothing to do. I thought I could just look up this Morrie Rydell thing. That’s when I found… AIOWiki! Another jewel. I hadn’t really used Wikipedia before, and this was knowledge unlocked. I found out about lots of episodes, books, stuff I didn’t even know existed. So I edited, did the regular stuff and of course, figured out more about this Rydell guy. And boy, were theories everywhere. The Rydell Revelations released, and so did a whole slew of Was Morrie Right? posts. (I found these blogs through Odyssey Nerds). By now, school was starting back up, but I was still home about 75% of the time. I started listening to AIO Audio News’s “Was Morrie Right?” episodes, and boy, were they interesting. Then a latecomer arrived in my Odyssey discoveries, Welcome to Odyssey, which lead to the biggest event of all…blog creation. But something had to happen in the despised Club forums first.
I had signed up for a WordPress account to make a comment on one of the last Was Morrie Right posts, and they spammed my inbox with lots and lots of “create your own website!” mail. I completely ignored them. Until, during the last week of September, the day before I decided to purchase the Club on October 1. Me and some Club commenters were talking about who would make good couples or not. This took, forever. Long story a little less long, a moderator came on a few hours later saying we couldn’t talk about this subject because “it may be a little too mature for some of our listeners”. I thought for a moment, and since this was “my page”, I decided she was right and everyone went on their merry way. But I was concerned there were very few places to let people know what I thought. AIOWiki was alright, but I couldn’t share ideas, just straight up facts. This was when I turned to those spam WordPress emails. Yup, this is when I made the website. And I had no idea whatsoever where to start. I looked at templates, but none of them really seemed right. So I looked at what the experts had done. Odyssey Nerds and Welcome to Odyssey, namely, the most successful blogs of which I knew. I couldn’t think of a name or logo, so I just thought of the first name I thought of: The New AIO Blog. (WordPress said I could change it later so I wasn’t really concerned about how generic it was) This I made with my own(ish) format, and boy, was that a piece of work. I’d go in and manually and change it every time I made a post. Speaking of which, since my comment on AIO Audio News was what started this whole blog business, I figured that elaborating on that should be the first thing I did. So even though I wanted to start on the 22nd, I really ended up starting about two weeks earlier. And did that feel good. I then remembered that I had to have something else that I could keep doing. I thought again Welcome to Odyssey and their Let’s Talk Tuesday posts. It wasn’t exactly what I was going for, but it was a start. I thought of analytical posts, and who to start but with the most in-depth character of all…Connie. So that’s how Let’s Talk Abouts were born. After that post was all scheduled up, and I released two posts already, I turned my attention to another blog, Adventures in Opinions. I thought its first, second and third YMBAAFI posts were pretty cool (the blog has 17 now, wow), so I thought I would imitate that in Things Only AIO Fans Understand. (yes, everything here is inspired by something). I succeeded that with a second at the end of the month, as well as another Let’s Talk About. By this time The Perilous Pen had reached out to me, but that’s a different part of the story.
It’s all systems go. I just joined a Discord server and found out I can make an Instagram account to expand my reach to the vast reaches of AIO Fandom. But it bothered me that still hadn’t found a name or logo for “The New AIO Blog” yet. AIO Revelations had made a new blog now. So after listening to Jumping Off, Jumping In, I was going through episodes I thought I might like and realized, hey! “Around the Block”. But I still wanted something less generic. “AIO Writer’s Block”. It was perfect. And it encompassed my vision for the website to ultimately be a community of fans to share there ideas (mostly) freely, aside from the dreaded Club comments. I wanted to take a break anyway, so I switched from the old, manual updating home page to a new, automatic one while changing the website entirely. I replaced the old, Wooten “logo” to a fresh, new one. Finally, we were back at a normal school schedule for the first time in almost a year, and I didn’t have time to post on a consistent basis anymore. And at last, it was alive again. On January 1, AIO Writer’s Block was opened for figurative business. The sad thing was, I also ditched Let’s Talk Abouts. I had a few I’d written up, but I tossed them in the junk drawer of abandonment. For most of February, there wasn’t really anything to show for all these changes I’d made. So I talked to The Perilous Pen, and she was willing to make a Fan Fiction for me. But when March came ’round, I ramped back up. I started with what I had originally intended to be the first post, Top Ten Funniest Episodes. In May, I wanted another guest, and John Tuttle III readily offered. He wrote two posts, both co-written. One of my last school assignments was a post about Phil Lollar, published before John made a new post about Club forums. And in all that, AIO Writer’s Block was still missing something that made it key.
So Let’s Talk Abouts were now a thing of the past. Gone, but not forgotten. I still wanted something that would be a regular staple of the blog. but would be beyond the typical stuff, I had just finished reading a bunch of Babylon Bee post when I thought, “Wait! That’s it! That’ll be the AIO Writer’s Block Signature Post! Satirical Odyssey News Posts!” A change of name to the Satirical Odyssey News Network and a logo made it all set. These would be posts written by fictitious reporter Don O. Treply, who’d write on random events surrounding Adventures in Odyssey. With satire, I could make it as tame or outlandish as I wanted. Starting with the very mild President Farkus declares today “Flick Buddy’s Ear Day”, to completely crazy such as SONN Instant News Report! Album 73 and 74 Episodes Revealed! I covered everything. In August, inspired by JaySmouse’s 31-day posts, I thought about using that to create an anniversary series of my own.
Anyway, that’s where we are now.