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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Random Thoughts of a Movie Insomniac # 8: Blogging = Pain & Joy.


As I write this, I am lying in bed being being covered by my blue blanket while being surrounded by tissues everywhere.  On my nightstand I have some OJ,a bottle of water,and even more tissues. I am a very sick fellow, and yet I continue to post things on this site because I am extremely thankful that you read them.  This got me into thinking about writing and blogging in general.  Many of us start these sites as just a fun little hobby.  A way for us to express our opinions on a variety of topics out into the world. Movie bloggers I feel have a much more difficult task because it's hard to keep up with the latest news on upcoming productions and review the latest films as well.  Not only that, but there are tons upon thousands of other movie sites out there already. How does one compete in a market that is flooded with blogs that do the same thing? 
Some writers end up focusing on just one genre, but then others begin using the same one.  So in order to be different, a writer may then pick a sub genre instead.  Which then could cause others to do the same and therefore the cycle continues. Many bloggers including myself are just thrilled beyond belief when someone follows us on twitter or leaves comments on a post we've written. Even if their opinion differs from our own.  The fact they took the time to read it and respond is very humbling.  I try my best to not only respond back to those comments but to visit that person's site and leave a few comments of my own on there too.  I also like to plug their sites,and so I will sometimes find myself spending a good few hours scoring the web looking at different movie sites, checking out some new podcasts and then posting them on either my Twitter account as well as my Facebook wall. When I first started this whole blogging thing.  I just wrote once every week and the articles were really short.  Now, not only do I write for this site, The Video Vortex, and sometimes The Cinematic Katzenjammer.  I'm also the audio editor and co host of The As You Watch Podcast and recently I've been editing the last few episodes of KTZR:Katzenjammer Radio.  Trying to keep up with this as well as two jobs is not easy. Not to mention watching the latest movies too.  My parents who rarely leave the house have seen "Gravity" before me.  Some writers get press passes and are able to attend screenings.  I do not have that luxury because even if I did get the pass.  I wouldn't be able to go because I most likely would have to work that night.  Being a film critic/blogger is not a full time job for me, but sometimes I feel like it is because of the number of hours I spend on it.  I swear some days I feel like I work more hours on my site then I do at both of my jobs.  This has lead me to ask the question I never wanted to answer myself and that is. 

Why do we continue to do what we do? Why do we continue to post review after review or show after show when the market is just really large. 



For myself the answer is easy.  It's being a part of the whole film community that makes it such a thrill.  Not only have I been able to be associated with other great sites and writers.  I have been able to meet and interview many great filmmakers who have been interested in my reviews and podcasts. Sometimes a sponsor will pay for ad space on one of my sites,(Before you start getting upset.  Keep in mind that has only happened twice in my many years of blogging) and I like that, I really do. I just get a much bigger charge when an actor favorites one of my reviews or when a site wants to feature me for a blogathon or on one of their podcasts.  The Large Association of Movie Blogs(AKA The Lamb) have been amazing at getting me more views on my site, and I am completely honored to be in the same company of many great writers and podcasters.  Will I become rich and famous of what I write or say.  I sometimes dream that, but that is not why I continue to write, and it shouldn't be your sole reasoning either.  If you are just posting things just  to get more views and nothing else.  I can't really take you seriously as a film critic. Not saying that the stuff I write is amazing,or anything.  But at least I don't fill up my reviews with tons of pics and videos.  I'm getting sick of the ones that are filled with nothing but photos of the movie and it's premiere, but then feature one small paragraph describing the plot we already know. 

Many people feel that success should come to them instantly because it's what they want.  A lot of  them tend to forget that it's the journey not the destination that makes the trip worthwhile.  Kids are sold at a young age that everyone is a winner.  That is why you will see awards for participation handed out  at most youth sporting events. This puts a false sense of pride inside the kid's head who doesn't really achieve anything or barely tries.  You can sometimes learn more from your failures then you do your triumphs.  In short I will close with this.  Write because it makes you happy, not because you hope it will make you money.

Thanks again for reading and have a great day.




50 comments:

  1. Nicely written Vern. I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Thank you sir. I have been listeing to a few podcasts and watching some great vlogs. Yeah I feel better already

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  2. I hope you feel better soon! I definitely agree that the community makes blogging so much more fun. I never expected to find so many other kind bloggers when I finally worked up the nerve to start posting my thoughts.

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    1. Keep up the great work with your site. I try my best to stop over there and read what you write. It's is really cool how everyone is supportive of eachother

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  3. First of all. Get well soon.
    Secondly, great question, why continue when 100s of other film blogs are posting similar writing? I guess everyone has a different opinion about each movie, so I feel there is still variety, even if writing about the same movies.
    Being a part of the whole film community (the interaction) is also a big reason for me to continue as well.

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    1. Thank You Chris. I agree , reading different opinions on movies is a nice thing. It helps me see both sides when I go see a flick

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    2. I was borderline computer illiterate only two years ago. The newest computer in my house was running Windows98 with a dial up connection. I'm edging up on my first full year running Movies At Dog Farm now, and I'm amazed at how far I've come.

      I was goaded into creating the Dog Farm by a good friend for whom I'd programmed a weekend long movie festival. He called me out about posting exceedingly long comments on the Facebook group that I created to promote his event (still active). He further explained to me that what I was actually doing was writing blog posts. So what the hell, right? I'd been chafing at the limitations of the Facebook comment mechanism anyway, so why not just go ahead and start a blog? I did, and here I am a nearly a year later contemplating what I did, how I did it, and why I did it.

      First off, I thought I would have at least a small built in audience from the start. Surely, the friends I'd made on the Dog Farm Facebook group would follow me to my new blog. Nope. Almost none of the (semi) regular readers I now have came from that group. Hard lesson number one. At least, though, I came to realize that readership was not guaranteed. I had to give visitors a reason to visit. So what could I offer that others couldn't?

      Well, I still haven't entirely figured that out. I'm constantly surprised by what prompts comment and what doesn't. I'm almost always wrong. By the way, I'll totally cop to being a comment whore. I think bloggers who claim they aren't are being disingenuous.

      I don't need much to keep plugging away, but I don't believe anyone works as hard as a blogger has to just for the satisfaction of howling unheard into an empty abyss. We're mostly not getting paid, we're mostly not getting famous, and the personal satisfaction of a job well done only goes so far. It is nice to know - via comment, follow, or like - that someone is paying attention. If I go to someone's page and find worthy content with no comments, I just feel sad. Comments, follows, and likes are free, folks, so be generous with them. You probably can't even imagine how much it's appreciated, unless, of course, you happen to be a blogger yourself.

      I love to write for the Dog Farm. I love it even more when I write something that someone else appreciates. I'm still learning what I have to offer that may be unique. I'm still learning how to better express myself. I can go to the Dog Farm any time of the day or night and be proud of what I've already accomplished and excited about what I can accomplish in the future. I'm creating and publishing content that - theoretically, at least - can be read by visitors from around the world. That's pretty freakin' cool. Me. Little old me. International superstar . . . lol :)

      Great post, Vern.

      I'd already been thinking about a post for the Dog Farm's anniversary next month - all about the trials and tribulations of my first year - and you've gotten my gears turning. Thanks.

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    3. Sorry, man. I didn't realize quite how long that was until I posted it. lol

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    4. Thank you Brandon. That was a great reply. I'm still computer illiterate to this day. Your point about getting friends from Facebook to be a reader or follower on your site is a good one. Most of my friends who liked my Facebook page won't follow either of my sites. Keep up the great work. I love visiting the Dog farm from time to time.

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  4. I completely agree with everything you said. Nothing brings me greater joy than receiving an email or a comment on my blog. I just recently was asked to contribute to a horror-movie website (a huge milestone for me). I originally started my review site for one simple reason: to write a diary of every single film I watch. Then, in years time, I can look back on them and remember it all. Then the blogging community really sucked me in with their amazing reviews and great support, which makes me want to improve my writing and just keep on going. It's the best feeling.

    I agree, the best advice is "write because it makes you happy." I would like to add that the second best thing is to be yourself, because if I wanted to read a carbon-copy of a famous or successful film-critic, I'd just go to their website.

    Best post I've read in a long time :)

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    1. Thank you, Thank you for those very nice words Ben. Congrats on being asked to contribute to the horror movie site. That is huge. What's the name of it. I would like to check out your posts on there.

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  5. I've wondered myself why I keep working on the blog, especially with kids at home, a new job, and a lot going on in "real life". I haven't written as much lately, but I still enjoy doing it. The communal aspects are a big part of it and make it a lot easier to write something after a long day. I don't have goals of having any type of financial success (that ship has sailed) with my writing, so it's really just a fun passion project. That makes it easier, but it's also sometimes harder to get motivated to keep rolling along. Great post, Vern!

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    1. Thank you Dan for those words. I agree trying to stay updated on posts is very tough thing to do. I find it becoming more and more difficult to keep both sites updated while still working and trying to find a new place to live while still working on paying off rent at current place.

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  6. Great article, Vern! My real life is getting in the way a lot at the moment, so I'm on some kind of part-time hiatus for a year or longer, but like you said - this community is so great, I never wish I hadn't created my blog. That doesn't mean I ever wonder what the purpose of it all is, and whether I should be writing a novel or drawing beautiful pictures instead of writing about movies. But yeah. That's life.
    Btw, I passed the Sunshine Award over to you: http://limereviews.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-sunshine-award.html

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    1. Awww Thank you very much for the Sunshine Award Mette. I really appreciate that I understand how real life can get in the way of writing, Besides hosting movie reviews on your site. It would be cool to post some art or a short story on there. I may be flat broke, but I feel really good about myself that I know all of these great writers like yourself.

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