Thursday 21 March 2013

3 Year Anniversary

Beware Of The Blog 

Beware of The Blog, 
It creeps, and leaps and glides and slides
Into your brain,
And then, it starts, to do it all again,
A fog, a dog
Be careful of The Blog.
With apologies to Mack David and Burt Bacharach

That is to say... I can’t believe I’ve managed to find the personal discipline to regularly update this thing for three years now without giving up on it... although I really did come close a couple of times. However, that was because I was having trouble with outside forces and so I didn’t feel I could write anything other than bile and depression at those times. I find it interesting that it’s something I keep coming back to no matter what... and it’s a double edged sword too.

I am seeing far less movies than anyone who loves film as much as I do should have to put up with these days because I end up spending most of the time writing about what I’ve just seen. At the same time, though, if it’s been a few days passed by without me writing anything for it, it becomes my obsession and, also, my curse... as I get withdrawal from this strange behaviour of sitting on my bed, at my laptop, figuring out things to write.

I’ve not done too badly out of that though.

I am now happy to consider myself a writer (of some sort), in that... with almost 600 posts, most of them fairly longish reviews, I have probably written enough wordage to fill at least two goodly sized novels. I often wonder, in fact, why I don’t go ahead and get back to the novel I started writing decades ago... I’m still interested in it and chomping at the bit to get back on it one of these days... I loved the slightly surreal place it was going and still remain interested in knowing what’s really going to happen to the characters in there...

But, of course, if I started back in on my novel, I’d have no time to write movie reviews on this blog and that would just be a bad move for me right now. Maybe if I didn’t have a full-time job which I struggle with to pay some of the bills then I’d probably consider doing both... but as it happens I get barely a couple of hours a night, if that, to work on it right now... so something has to lose out. Right now it’s the novel. And the scripts. And the short stories I started writing about a UFO “Disinformation Man”... it’s all on a back burner.

That’s because I love this blog and it’s taught me that I do have the will power to see it through... not to mention it’s kinda fun to be writing about films... even if some of those reviews aren’t always that favourable.

And I’ve been happy to discover along the way that there’s no such thing as writer’s block... a condition I wrote a short, metaphorical screenplay about once. I’ve often thought about the film I’m supposed to be reviewing later and realised I have absolutely nothing to say about it... but then it gets kinda strange and, maybe, even mystical. I sit there looking at the blank page waiting for me in QuarkXpress and then just start typing. I may not have known what I was going to write before I sat down, sometimes, but as soon as I start typing I suddenly discover the right words finding themselves and, more often than not, they’ve got something at least remotely interesting to say about the subject and this has happened every time, so far, when I’m due to meet a self-imposed deadline that... I just don’t really believe that “blocks” are anything other than a symptom of self-delusion when you want to go and do something else.

And maybe that’s my good fortune. 8 times out of 10 I really don’t want to be doing anything else other than writing about a movie and sometimes... well... sometimes I learn things about my response I didn’t initially realise was there.

A case in point was a film I saw back in 2011 called Attack The Block. When I sat down to write the piece I was convinced I hadn’t had a great time at the cinema and that it was going to get a bad review. But as I started writing about it, I realised I was actually using that writing as part of my thought process... and as I went on and realised that there were little subtleties about the movie I’d not considered when sitting in front of it at the cinema... my appreciation of my initial memories of the film grew as I wrote and analysed it more and more. I ended up giving it a pretty okay write up in actual fact, although it was far from what I’d set out to say. I also bought the DVD and really enjoyed it quite a hell of a lot the second time I watched it... so my writing about my experience at the cinema taught me something and, I guess, properly clarified my thoughts during the short gestation time from watching the movie to getting home, firing up the laptop and writing about it. So that was kinda interesting and something I learned from a little bit, I think.

Now my life is changing ever so slightly again at the minute because, at the time of writing, I seem to be going out one or two nights a week on, well... I guess they’re kind of “dates” with a girl I’ve seen around on my morning bus for a couple of decades but only just started speaking to. So I’m finding my blogging time slightly impaired by all this (that’s okay... I’m pretty sure she’s well worth it) so I have to say that you may find that this blog might be a little less frequent and drop to only two or, maybe, three posts a week instead of me going at the writing like some kind of “get a life” blog machine... so apologies for that but don’t worry, I will still be here and I will still be writing about films regularly on this blog. All kinds of films. Whenever possible. There’s also a project which I need to get started on soon for someone else I’ve known on twitter a while because of this blog.. so that will eat up some time too, of course.

Rest assured though, if you’re a regular reader, I will be doing my best to “watch and review” as much as I can. I may be busy but I haven’t had a complete personality change and, if you haven’t already figured it out by now, this blog/review site really means a lot to me and I’m honoured that so many of you come here month after month to read the odd review (the odder the review the better say I). So thanks to all of you reading this post now... it’s kinda heart warming actually.

And that’s all I’ve got to say today really, as my blog writing is now three years old... except maybe to say one thing which supports one of the observations I made to myself earlier in the post. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write for my blog’s three year anniversary before I sat down a little while ago and started tapping away at the keys. But here we are again and I filled two pages of A4 Quark up with my reaction to that dilemma. So if you’ve made it this far to the end of this post, I want to say a special thank you to you now... because by reading this you’re one of the people that makes me feel that this thing is worth carrying on with.

So thank you kindly.

And please come back and read again sometime.

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