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.