Facebook Q & A (5/23/2022)

Did you know that, if you have a Facebook group, there’s this whole other messaging system hidden under a weird tab that luddites like me had no idea existed? Well, there is! Maybe I’m just an idiot… but, I’m only just now discovering it. At least I think I’m just now discovering it. Anyway, there was a comment there the other day, that I wanted to discuss here. Not sure this is worth an entire article, but — I wanted to share.

Rather than copying and pasting the comment verbatim, I just wanna address and respond to a couple of the points/questions.

Right off the bat, this person apologized if I felt like I was being pressured into creating daily content… and, that made me feel kind of bad. I know I haven’t always been the most gracious host, but I want to assure him (and anyone else reading this) that, that couldn’t be further from the case. The only person pressuring me to adhering to such a silly schedule was… me. Prolificy (if that’s even a word) hasn’t always been my strong suit — I often begin projects with a whole bunch of excitement, only to abandon them just as soon as the novelty wears off — or, it starts to become routine… which, I suppose is the same thing.

If you’ve been following the stuff here and at the channel, you may have noticed a few projects that have gone this exact way. Various podding projects, off the top of my head: Learn Me the Legion with Al Sedano, MazeLighting with Ed Moore, … to the Choir with Dave Schultz, and Questerdays with Chris Bailey. Projects I started with such passion and excitement… that I just kinda petered out on. Now, that not to say that those projects are, ya know “R.I.P. Dead” or anything… at least not as far as I’m concerned. I really only mention them now to establish/reaffirm my normal “pattern of behavior”.

With projects like Chris is on Infinite Earths and X-Lapsed, I was able to prove to myself that I could keep plugging away… even after the novelty wore off. Granted, there are a lot less “moving parts” involved… and I don’t need to worry about coordinating with a partner, but — these two projects really broke me out of my usual “creative” M.O. Any and all pressure to continue was strictly from me. If you’re reading/listening to anything I do — I want you to know that I couldn’t be more appreciative. You’re not “holding me to” anything… you’re only making this “creative” endeavor a little less lonely — and I couldn’t thank you enough.

Second, they apologized for what I’m currently going through in my real life. And, again — that made me feel really bad. I wasn’t looking for pity, necessarily, when I shared some of the details of what’s going on “behind the screen”… though, in retrospect, I can totally see how it may have come across that way. I’m a huge believer in transparency. Frankly, our willingness to be honest and open is one of the very few things that makes us unique. I feel, if you’re going to invest any amount of time enjoying my nonsense, the very least I can do is be genuine. If I’m reviewing something that resonates (or fails to resonate) in any way — based on something I might be going through… I try to best paint that picture, and… I dunno, frame what I’m saying, uh, contextually? Does that make sense?

Maybe I shouldn’t do that. I don’t know. Maybe I should keep real life separate from comic discussion. Maybe I should open up a LiveJournal to write all the “real” stuff. Does LiveJournal even exist anymore? I dunno. In any event — I share from my personal life here, because a) I’m not great at hiding my emotions, and b) I don’t really have any “real life” friends to bend the ears of. I’m not looking for pity, as much as I wouldn’t be looking for praise if I were sharing stories of grand success.

One of their paragraphs — this was a fairly lengthy and wonderfully thoughtful message, started with the words: “If this truly is the end…”, and again — it caused me to take pause. Ya know, I’ve said it before — I’ll say it again: I’m not a great writer… and so, as honest and whatever as I try to be — I’m not always sure that I get my intended point across. That’s not a lack of understanding of a reader/listener — that’s just me not being very good at this. In looking back at my last few posts here, I can totally see how/why someone might think this “truly is the end”. That wasn’t my intention. At least not in my own muddy and addled brain.

It’s more the realization that — sticking with something (especially a hobby), even if it no longer makes you happy — is unhealthy. I mean, very few people like their jobs, right? As in, “like-like” them. Can’t wait to go in, can’t wait to put in the work. I’d have to assume those folks are in the minority — but, even if you hate your job — ya gotta go in, r’else ya don’t eat. With a blog and podcast — those aren’t things that put food on my table. Those aren’t things that keep a roof over my head — and so, when the passion wanes a bit (or more than a bit), it’s time to maybe put it on the shelf… for a bit.

Writing was something I loved to do — I lived to do. I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning — grab my cup of coffee, and hunker down over my laptop to put together my next piece. It went from that to… being something I still wanted to do, but wasn’t near as excited about it — to something that I tolerated doing, because it filled the time, and gave me purpose… and something I could sorta-kinda “control — to something that brought me no happiness at all — and finally, to something I absolutely detested. That’s not where a writer (fake-ass or otherwise) ought to be.

I did a little exercise yesterday — a bit of naval-gazing, if you will. I grabbed a few random review pieces from over the years, and compared them. It was pretty illuminating. In my older “work”, I was reading the words of someone who clearly enjoyed what they were doing. Even when the book I was discussing was less-than-ideal, I could feel the passion I had for the “craft” of blogging. I still wasn’t very good at it — but, dammit, I was having fun. There was a less cynical “wit” in my writing. I realized how much I missed being that guy.

I feel like, until I can be that guy again, I need to — ya know, just not write. Or, not force myself to write.

There are still things I really wanna accomplish here. I want X-Lapsed to continue. I wanna keep working our way through Dazzler. I wanna stop letting my partners down, and get back behind the mic for our shared shows. I’m not done. Whether I like it or not, this will very likely always be a part of me. I just need to get 100% back to the point where I do.

There was much more to this Facebook Message — largely complimentary, which — honestly, made my morning… but, rather than stroke my own fragile ego here by going line by line — I’ll instead just say thank you.

I hope this has been, um, illuminating? If anybody has any other questions/comments for me while I continually work at reframing these efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Facebook Q & A (5/23/2022)

  • May 26, 2022 at 6:11 pm
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    You should know that there are many people out there who truly appreciate you and what you have done here at CIOIE. It is always nice to hear how others feel about you especially when it is someone saying thank you for all you have done. So thank you for all the hours you have put into this website. You have made my life much richer by doing what you have done here. You have touched my life in a very positive way. And coming from someone else who really doesn’t have friends to vent to, you can keep on venting here. I may not have any great words of advice but you can know I’m reading what you have to say and I’m listening.

    Reply
  • May 28, 2022 at 4:12 pm
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    Gotta echo Chris U on the above!

    I can’t speak for others, but I know I enjoy getting your thoughts and such on things…so even these posts that aren’t technically about comics, it’s still you, sharing your thoughts/etc, and that makes ’em worth reading!

    I know I’m typically the “lurker” and don’t often comment/write….farrrr too many days I’m mostly absent from the internet in any “real” way.

    Recent stuff has especially shifted me to work, dinner after work, and crash early. Nothing really gets done.

    Again, just rambling from me.

    Reply

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