I've been unhappy for a few months now. Super unhappy, having a really hard time getting excited about much of anything, feeling like I was worthless. So I've been searching for an answer, and I happened to stumble upon this episode of the Cracked podcast last night, and it got me thinking super hard about the way I've been spending my time. If you've had any doubts of your own, I recommend listening to it.
A Return to the Dreaming
I've said before and I'll say again that I hate editing podcasts. I love doing them though. Guesting on other podcasts has always been the best because it means I get to show up to discuss and then do nothing afterward. For my own, I definitely don't want to present the idea that I hated doing Strangers from the Internet or A Return to the Dreaming. I love talking to Bethany and JD (as well as our guests on SftI) and I think we had some really great discussions on both shows. As I listen again to edit, I enjoy our discussions again. There's nothing cooler than when you're sitting there listening to a show you recorded a while ago, and a topic comes up and you're thinking about the topic while you edit and then a little while later, boom, that thing you were thinking is right there because we're awesome people so of course it occurred to us then. It's getting down in the weeds, having to clear up every single stutter and verbal tick, listening to a sentence three, four, five times in a row as you slowly clean up those things and make sure it still sounds like a normal proper sentence. Deciding if it's better to leave in that goof up because taking it out may make the rest sound stilted or odd without the context. I know from listening to other podcasts that too many verbal ticks can drive a listener crazy and I want to provide a quality product, but the tedium of editing means I can't do it for more than small bits at a time. So far I have kept A Return to the Dreaming to a once a month schedule but every time it feels like I'm going to end up taking longer. And knowing I've still got five episodes to get through after the one I'm on isn't helping things, it feels like there's no end in sight.
My point being that I am committed to getting the episodes out, but I don't know what kind of schedule it will be at going forward. If past history is an indicator, it may stay on schedule. This may just be a mental thing I need to get over, is my point. Stop imposing a deadline on myself for no good reason.
Bill Murray Project
Here's an honest confession. I care a lot about what other people think. Way, way too much. I frequently set expectations from myself based on how I think others are going to react. An image that I feel like I need to uphold. "If I don't post frequently, people will forget about my blog entirely." Ha! As if there's ever been a large number of people paying attention anyway. "If I abandon a project, people will think I am irresponsible/somehow worth less." Because all those people I know who start projects and abandon them are totally hated by the people who follow them, right? Yes, it's true that when those people announce a new project, internally I'm thinking "we'll see how long this lasts" but so what? It's their time and they can do as they please with it. Ditto with my own.
I came up with this project because there are a few Murray films I want to revisit. I added in all Murray films as a way to "post more often." I switched them to videos in an effort to make videos again even though I didn't have the time to edit. Also because I quickly found out there's only so much to be said about most comedy films. I look at the remainder of Bill Murray's work, and I still see some of the movies I want to revisit, but I also see some I feel no need to revisit because I know I don't like them (I'm looking at you, Coffee & Cigarettes) or because I know perfectly well that they're enjoyable, and most of them are popular enough that you don't need me telling you that Ed Wood is good and you should see it.
So going forward I plan to revisit the films I want, check out some of the others I haven't seen before that look interesting to me, and I will post about them if I feel like there's something I want to say about them.
I also plan to find a way to use the "5 minutes about..." videos in another fashion, because I really do enjoy talking to the camera. The time limit has already proved helpful for Pop Culture Revolver, where Jak, JD and I all felt like knowing that we were limited on time kept us all on point and focused for the discussion.
Unlike the Bill Murray films, I'm interested in all of these because I'm a big Beatles fan. Even the ones I've already seen I want to revisit, and even if hardly anyone is listening, I just like explaining Beatle references and talking about them. These have obviously already been on a "whenever I feel like it" schedule and will probably continue as just that.
Monthly Midnight Movie Exchange
Once a month I sit down to watch a film and then talk to Jak and Noel about it the next day. Some of the choices haven't been particularly enjoyable for me, but I still like the idea of the project, I enjoy talking to them both, and I see no reason to change anything about it. I would say the main possibility is if I feel like I run out of movies to share.
Castle Rock Companion
Noel and I already worked together on the Golden Years posts and I enjoyed them. I listened to The Gunslinger audiobook because I want to revisit the series, and conferring with Noel he agreed I should cover it for CRC regardless of whether or not an adaptation ever appears. Basically, the name of the project is vague enough that it can encompass any and all King related works we wish to cover. Like the Beatles, I really enjoy King and I will continue to talk about his work in one form or another. The most likely change that could happen would be not posting so regularly.
No Game New Year
A large part of what started this post is that I started drafting a post for the end of the year, a "what I have learned" kind of thing. And the ridiculousness of waiting until December 31st for things I already know now began to seem super-duper ridiculous to me. So I asked myself why, and once again it's all related to these promises I made to myself and not letting myself down, which in my reality means not letting other people down or the imagined "other" down. So yeah, that post will probably go up pretty soon and I will lift this foolish embargo. Because giving up on new year's resolutions before the year is up is normal and human, and I'm not going to win the love and adoration of millions just because I make it all the way to December 31st. Especially if there's a game out there that I have the time and money to play. And I haven't had the time lately because I've been forcing myself to do these other projects.
Wolverine and the X-men posts
The X-men are up there with the Beatles and King for me. I love them, and will always want to talk about them and share my love with others in some fashion. I'm going to keep re-watching this series because I think it's great. Will I keep writing about it? I'm not sure. I've noticed that my last couple of posts were really just me recapping the show, pointing out some cameos. Some of which I have to confirm through Wikipedia because I missed a good decade of X-men comics. I think I just took that from a "not sure" to a definite "no," unless I find something I really want to say about them.
Pop Culture Revolver
I think what you can kind of tell over all is that a lot of the above is about slimming things down or slowing them up. A good portion of them could even be incorporated into Pop Culture Revolver instead - for instance once I get to the end of Wolverine and the X-men, I could invite on anyone else who has watched the series to talk about it. I don't feel like I need to force myself to watch The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or Moonrise Kingdom again because I know I like them, but that doesn't mean I couldn't do an episode about Wes Anderson films in general. There are many Sandman related comics not directly written by Gaiman that JD and I didn't do an episode for, but could totally be covered here without giving me yet another episode to edit. My general idea is to do this podcast every other week, but we'll see how realistically that can be upheld.
Things that have nothing to do with posting on the internet, gasp!
I have multiple Excel spreadsheets that I use to organize my time. There is "Week Schedule" where I have columns for Monday through Sunday and rows for hours that I'm awake. I block out the time when I'm at work and use the rest to plan my meals and activities the rest of the time. There's "Creative Projects and Ideas" where the first tab is a calendar where I fill out what posts on what day and the remaining tabs are separated by project and I organize what needs to be done for them. There are abandoned projects, current projects, and possible future projects. And one thing I noticed is that recently I've been adding tabs that are not necessarily related to something I could post on here.
- I'm tracking which of those gifted comics I've read regardless of whether or not I'll review them.
- I've got my Netflix disc queue prioritized so I can see when I can realistically discontinue that part of the service.
- I recently put my amazon wishlist in there, seeing what I can change from physical media to digital, to see what I can experience through a streaming service instead, and whether there's stuff there I truly want/need.
- I've got a list of movies I only have via VHS to determine whether I should get better versions or just copy them over via a VCR/video camera hook up.
- I've got a list of books sitting around my house that I've never actually read
- The No Game New Year tab is really just a list of games I haven't played yet
- I've got some helpful links on how to make a t shirt quilt out of some old shirts that no longer fit me but I'm too attached to part with.
The point is, my house is currently full to the point that I can't get to things easily. And I've realized I'm just not that attached to things as a I used to be. I'm not going to know what is worth keeping and what's not unless I have the chance to go through these things, and going through them often gets deferred because "I must edit" or "Gotta watch this so I can make progress on this project" while I allow myself to be continually miserable because I feel cramped in my packed house.
It's stupid behavior. I have to stop making myself guilty if I want to be a consumer rather than a producer. I have to stop telling myself that cleaning up the house isn't an accomplishment because it's not a creative endeavor.
I'm not going to be rich and famous. I'm not even going to be internet famous. Honestly, the idea that that is somehow a good thing to be is ludicrous when you see how those people get harassed and criticized on a regular basis. Obviously it means enough to them to continue, but I'm so tired of putting things out there and being disappointed because people didn't get excited about it the way I hoped they would.
I've been really stupid. I started doing videos because no one reads but people like to watch videos, so maybe if I make them they'll love me like they love those other people! I sit around like an asshole and think "Oh well, Igor and Noel will like this, but no one else will notice" totally under appreciating the fact that I do in fact have two awesome friends who enjoy what I do. And they're not the only ones, they may be the ones who comment the most but sitting around expecting comments is just sitting there going "Love me! Validate me! Need me! Convince me I'm special!"
There's a line from a Liz Phair song. She's talking about something else, but she says "If you do it and you're still unhappy, then you know that the problem is you."
So this is the point where I say no more. No more putting something out there in the hopes that others will notice. I will write when I want to write and I will work on videos when I want to do them and I will discuss things with my friends and record them when I want to. And if I want to sit at home and play a game or watch a show or read a book I will without stopping to think about whether or not such thing is something I can review. And the world will not end! Imagine that.