Priorities

After some time thinking about it, I’m going to be changing my approach to SDS and I wanted you to know both the changes themselves, and why they’re being made. 

I originally started SDS to give myself a space to enjoy and improve my writing on my own terms. The first few reviews I’d written published by Flickering Myth (always grateful for that and what they’ve done since), but it dawned on me that having my own space would allow me to write about what I liked, when I liked. 

Somewhere along the line I lost sight of that.

I took on more and more in constant pursuit of views/hits. Sometimes I’d write about things that I might not have, because I thought going a week or more without a post would be detrimental to my ‘presence’. This only got worse once I had a year’s worth of stats to compare against. Trying to beat last year’s month became a battle. I always tried hard to write well, but looking back I put far too much pressure on myself. I didn’t write to the levels I think I can, and my growth as a writer stagnated. It’s not fair on anyone.

Then my personal life changed drastically this year. My awesome little girl arrived, and I received a promotion at work. Two of the biggest things you can go through and I was doing them at the same time, whilst making an ultimately harmful decision to try and do everything I did before.

It all came to a head a couple of weeks ago when I realised I was doing far too much and was heading for a burnout. My response was to take a step back and look at everything I do.

My wife and daughter are obviously the priority, but I also took stock of the things that make me feel like me. That has led to cutting some TV shows out, getting on top of work so it’s not a source of stress, and re-evaluating what I do for SDS, among other things. Going forward there are going to be some changes.

  • I will no longer be reviewing each issue of TMNT comics. I might review each story arc as it wraps up but there are a lot now and I’m struggling to keep up.
  • Once Star Wars Rebels finishes I won’t be picking up any more TV shows to review. End of seasons reviews perhaps, but like the comics the schedule is too much. The Star Trek Discovery reviews end now.
  • Things will go out when they’re good and ready. If that’s not opening weekend so be it. I’m not rushing to get anything out as I make the most of being on my own timetable. I might even form a better opinion with a bit more time to think about things.
  • There may be some spoilers in my posts. Not sure about this to be honest but as always I’d clearly mark anything. I don’t want to limit myself, though I’ll always see them as something extra and not a core part of my writing.

The upshot is that there are going to be fewer posts. But each one will have a lot more love poured into it as I take more pride in what I’m doing, forget about how big an audience I’m cultivating, and work on improving my writing skills. I know there are those of you who read everything, and I really appreciate that. If the posts are written to the best of my ability, and with some passion, they’ll find their audience. I’m choosing to have faith in that.

I know I don’t owe anyone an explanation. But I want everyone who takes time to read what I write to understand what’s going on. Thanks for sticking around.

2 Comments

  1. It’s funny how life forces these changes! But you’re absolutely right – no one is forcing you to do what you do here (and we’re sure as hell not paid!), so the only thing you should be doing is enjoying the process. I spent a long time doing what you said (I did one thing called “A-Z” of films with really brief thoughts on films, etc. Not small, focused reviews mind you – they are still a great way to hone ways of being succinct – just disposable comments on a film I had on DVD. It was just rubbish in hindsight).

    One thing I’d recommend is write articles, reviews and stuff with no guaranteed intention to publish it. See where it goes and remind yourself that writing alone is what it’s all about. It has liberated me in many ways – and means that I have an enormous bulk of unpublished pieces that were merely practice, which is fine, as it’s just satisfying to put the thoughts down. I might edit them in the future but, probably not.

    • Cheers Simon.

      It just struck me that I need to sort my priorities out before I miss out on things.

      At the moment I’ve got very things on the go writing wise, but they’re things I want to write. I’ve seen two films that I’ve barely even thought about writing reviews for. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t!

      But I’m not going to worry about it.

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