So as you may or may not have noticed my Blog game has been extremely, pathetically, unconscionably weak as of late. It’s not necessarily because I haven’t been up on my movie game, though I will admit I’ve slacked off a bit on that as well. No, what it more to the point is I tired of writing about movies or TV shows or even music, for that matter. I grew tired of analyzing and criticizing all these various art forms for little more than my own entertainment and the entertainment of my few readers. I still love those things. I still enjoy unpacking the meaning behind them and getting the most I can out of every bit of creation. It is honestly one of my favorite things and I firmly believe it will be forever. That being said, doing the blog and feeling the need to constantly update and keep on schedule made the whole process feel like work. Work, and this is very important, for which I was not getting paid. Sure, I’d love to be an online movie critic for Rogerebert.com or cover shows like Fargo and The Americans for Vulture.com, but that isn’t what I was doing for this blog. All that said, I don’t believe it was a total waste of time. I was writing and there is little in the world I enjoy doing more.
That brings me to the main reason I am moving on from the movie blog. I am ending the blog because I want to write more.While this may seem antithetical, I shall explain. I loved writing about movies, but the more I did it, the more I found that the writing, sitting in front of the computer hammering out ideas as they popped into the old melon, was far more enjoyable to me than analyzing and even watching the movies. The movie gave me something to write about, but it was the writing I truly enjoyed, leaving me to wonder whether there was something more worthwhile about which I could be writing.
The more I’ve thought about it over the last couple months, the more I realize that maybe, just maybe, I’ve always really wanted to write fiction.
When I was younger I dabbled, with the help of fellow kind-of-fiction-writer and good friend Ryan Woerner in writing fiction. We would write stories with fart jokes and anatomically incorrect sexual innuendos at recess and lunch and in between lessons in Mr. Kauffman’s fifth-grade classroom. It wasn’t serious, it probably wasn’t any good, and I have no proof that it actually happened aside from the very faint memory of chicken-scratched notebook paper with characters lists and doodles splashed around the margins. But shit if it wasn’t fun.
The years went on and I was never really pushed into anything creative. I was a sports guy and maybe that had something to do with it? I really have no idea and anyone who claims to know what the hell they were thinking between the ages of 12-18 is kidding themselves. I just kind of floated, my life a blend of what I thought others wanted and what I thought I wanted. The little to no ambition I had focused squarely on the pursuit of friends and girlfriends and that elusive, nebulous cool for which every teenager strives. This is not where I bitch and moan about my teenage years. I wouldn’t change much about that time (Perhaps a little less pot?) but maybe, just maybe I would have wanted to keep scribbling on those notebook pages, keeping writing corny jokes and hair-brained stories for no one.
So I go to college at Shippensburg because, well, because I got in and that’s what you’re supposed to do. What else is there for a nice, affluent suburban kid to do, not go to college?! You must be crazy. College was where everything fun you ever imagined happened. It’s where the parties were bigger, the drugs better and the parents goner 1 . How was I going to miss out on that? As it turns out, that is all a little lackluster – just like those American-Pie style high school parties that never, ever occurred. But I had fun, made do, shared plenty of good times with the best friends I brought with me from high school (Although, in truth, they probably brought me).
It took me almost two years to decide why I was there aside from all that, and even this was more aimless wandering than anything else. I got into the student radio station WSYC, a place where I figured my love of music would be put to some use, though I wasn’t sure exactly how. There, however, I found a purpose. Something to grasp to. It was a good thing too, cause it was just about the time I was forced to choose a major. I don’t know what hell I would have gone with if I didn’t choose the logical Journalism tract into which WSYC led. Maybe psychology or history, maybe teaching? I have literally no clue, which makes me think I wasn’t the most forward-looking 20 year old on the planet.
Regardless, this led me back, in a way, to that fifth-grade chicken scratch. I was writing again, this time for class and about music. Eventually, I made a blog for the radio station and got into the Arts and Entertainment section of the student newspaper. It felt good, getting my opinions down on paper, writing about shit I loved. I enjoyed working for the first time I can remember and it invigorated me. I knew, vaguely, what I wanted to do, which was certainly something new to me. It was awesome.
Jump ahead to now, some 4 years later. I have written a lot since then and I still love it, but the certainty started to wane. For one, getting a job writing, about music or movies or TV or pretty much anything else is really a lot harder than I imagined. Like pretty much impossible. Which sucks but it is what it is. Maybe I’m still not all that forward-looking but I’ve never been someone who’s concerned myself all that much with my financial future and all that. I just want to make something to do what I love. I love writing, so I want to make something for writing. That something doesn’t have to be all that much, just something.
That being said, I had to accept I may never make any real money writing. Maybe a few freelance pieces here and there but nothing super permanent. So I came to the simple conclusion that writing, while a great passion and something I want to continue for the foreseeable future, may never be a career. Okay, that’s fine, I can live with that. But – and this is an important but – if it is not going to be a career, it sure as fuck better be a passion.
When I first got into journalism back at Shippensburg it was a passion, sure, but it was also my major. It was the course of study I chose which, in theory, would lead me straight into a career. I mean, that’s what college is right, a kind of career boot camp? 2 I was lucky to find a nugget of passion in the subject I chose to study, I know this isn’t always the case, but it was still only small a portion. A passion cut with responsibility and career aspirations. So now, if I look at the writing landscape and accept that maybe I will never have a full-time career writing, shouldn’t I strive to make it full, pure passion? One not influenced by anything but my own inner inertia pumped straight into the bloodstream?
So that’s why I am ditching the movie blog and that’s why I am not doing TV show recaps for free-labor-hawking websites. Fuck responsibility, fuck amorphous career goals, I’m heading right back into the fifth grade. I’m going to make some shit up. No more analyzing and interpreting. I’m just going to sit down at the computer each morning and follow the twists and turns of my imagination. I’ll write fart jokes or alien dramas or serial killer mysteries or epic fantasies or love poems or filthy sonnets or literally whatever pops into my head. I won’t know whether it will be any good, not that it’s really for me to decide anyway, but I will have one hell of a good time. I may never sell a single story, there may be some that no one ever even reads, but hell if I won’t be excited to sit down at the computer every morning.
So this is what the blog will be now; a collection of shit I make up. It could be short stories, maybe longer stories, if I’m really feeling myself I might drop a poem or two. My hope is you will like it, or at the very least not see it as a waste of your time. But even if you don’t I’m still going to do it, cause I enjoy doing it, and I mean, c’mon, that’s really all that matters here.