Notes from a relatively new film blogger
2) For a time, and after hitting upon the pretentious moniker of The Film Doctor, the new critic drops many reviews on to his new blog. During this early, naïve period, he also greatly enjoys tinkering with the font, design, and background color of his blog until he realizes that some of the best film critics don’t care a whit about the look of their blogs, but instead rely upon good writing instead. Also, in his innocence, the film critic writes several severe, extravagant posts making fun of other established critics in his quest to suddenly attain worldwide renown.
3) The worldwide renown does not happen right away. The film critic begins to notice that every time he writes about a contemporary release shown at the local Cineplex, about 500,000 other bloggers do the exact same thing. This sense of massive competition and redundancy gives the man pause. Every day, an exponentially growing batch of new film blogs appear, many of them writing about newly released movies. So much commentary, so few readers. One day, he learns from a blog expert, everyone will have his or her own website. Is this a good thing?
4) The new blogger also tries his hand at writing some comments. His first comment elicits an amused guffaw from the other readers of that particular post. The new blogger resolves to be more careful in the future.
5) As time goes on, the new blogger realizes that when he mentions another blogger’s post, the other blogger might respond in kind, creating a sense of being noticed. For a moment, the new blogger feels a sense of achievement.
6) That sense of achievement begins to fade as the new blogger realizes that some of his competition are not only very good writers, they also seem to have massive amounts of time to theorize about every frame of every great film. The influence of these other writers, however, remains one of the truly positive things about the film blogging universe. This constellation of critics challenges the new blogger to write better than he ever felt obliged to when working for the newspapers. Of course, he can only try, but the intimidating fact of the surrounding excellence proves one of the best, enduring benefits of blogging. In this respect, he feels particularly honored when he gets his blog listed on the blog roll of a critic he admires.
7) After six months, Google starts to include more of the new film blogger’s posts on various people’s searches. Ironically, a lightly dashed-off review of a minor horror film proves by far his most popular post according to Google. Also, just when the new blogger really gets busy with his job in the fall, that’s when his blog suddenly gets the most notice. His wife, by this point, would prefer that he never bring up his blog again in civil conversation.
8) Now, seven months later, the new blogger finds himself with enough positive reinforcement to continue, even though he still has moments of doubt. He knows more than ever the terrible truth of Samuel Johnson’s words: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”
It's rather spooky that we're kind of going through a similar thing in our lives; I was made redundant from my job and started the blog to fill the time, I've just got a new job and my blog is more popular than ever. Bizarre.
Good luck with your new job and long may your blog continue. I have to admit that I love the moniker The Film Doctor and wish that I had thought of it.
Resonates with us all I am sure.
However, I can't seem to find enough time to blog of late. I'm trying to endure through the end of year hell ride that is University. If I even get a chance to watch a film, heaven forbid I get a chance to write a review....
My own ramblings aside, keep up the great work Doc. If you keep blogging, I'll keep reading! :)
I don't think I've been blogging as long as you have, but I do often wonder why I work so hard on something I actually pay (in domain names and bandwidth) to do. The rest of your list really struck home with me.
The only thing I'd add personally (and yes, you want to know this, doesn't everyone?) is the discouragement from some older film bloggers can be pretty irritating. When I first started blogging a well-known old-timer quit, saying he was sick of all us newbies showing up and posting crap that took precious attention away from his own blog.
He came back, of course, wasn't even gone very long. But it really highlighted the competition and active discouragement some people in blogging engage in, and one of the things I have to worry about is staying away from that kind of blogger.
Blogging should be simple, but it's not.
Which brings me to #5.
I've got a new post up on The Magnificent Ambersons which I actually labored over for once (rather than sitting down and jotting off an often grammatically obtuse missive which has to be tweaked after it's up and running). No comments yet!
Come on by and let me know what you think of the movie, my perspective, etc. That goes for your commentators, too.