When I hit publish, this will be my hundredth article for this website. So, instead of just blowing past a milestone like I would likely have done back in September or October, publishing multiple articles a day, I’ve decided to write a retrospective on the entire experience so far. You see, a couple weeks into this experiment, I thought of collecting every hundred articles into a book. (I’m) Not a Fanboy Vol. 1: Tarantino/Evangelion. And every book would be named after the big project I did in those hundred articles (as you can see: reviewing every Tarantino movie and Neon Genesis Evangelion). This was a clear and present goal I’d set for myself, but back in October, that was still a comfortable 50 articles away. It’s December now, and I only have 870 words left until I’ve completed the first volume of (I’m) Not a Fanboy. It’s got me thinking about a few things.
It’s said of my generation, often and by people with doctorates, that we see ourselves as the protagonists in the story of our life. We’ve lost touch with reality because we expect our lives to follow the laws of fiction. In fiction, when a protagonist sets a goal for themself and follows through on it, it represents the end of the story. My goal was to reach a hundred articles and publish, but as I got closer and closer to that milestone, it felt less and less like getting closer to the end of a chapter in my life. And as I realized, article in, article out, there’s no one at the finish line to celebrate this with me. Now, now, don’t leave now, I’m going somewhere with this. I know you’re here, Ailish, Dan, Steve, Dave, Chad, Mel (on occasion). I know you’re mostly here with me–Mel, maybe in February. But I didn’t just realize that there’s no one at the finish line–there’s no finish line. So, what’s to keep me from giving up on this?
I did a post on the first of November about how I was going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I got 20 000 words in over the first two weeks. Then, in week two, I stopped. As I was writing that book–which I intend to finish, but that’s a story for another day–I was also reading it. I didn’t know what sentence was about to come next, I didn’t know who was going to show up in the narrative–I was reading it for the first time as I typed it up. The Long-Slumber Bell tolled for that book the evening I planned out where it was going to go in the next three pages and didn’t write it all immediately. As soon as I knew where it was going, it felt finished. Sure, I don’t know where it’s going after that, but I’d already read it. Typing it up would just be a chore. Besides, only two people I knew wanted to read my daily updates and tell me to keep going. Everyone else I asked just said “I’ll read it when it’s finished” and moved on in the conversation. No, Mel, I’m not mad at you, don’t flame me on Facebook. You did over Harry Potter and you think I don’t remember, but I do.
I have a problem in my life with not following through on what I start. My mom will say that’s the understatement of the century and she’s likely right, but it’s the simplest way to put it. I started this blog in August with a simple timeline: 1000 words a day every day of the week except Saturday. I let this slip a few times by publishing extra articles when I could. Then, in November, I accidentally tapped my word-well dry by writing 5000 words a day for five days in a row and didn’t write a thing for a week. It’s that week that undid my schedule on this blog, but I still felt I had to write something and it was good to have an outlet here. So, for the rest of November and December, I kept writing–sporadically, but still.
For you lonely hearts out there. was the first article I wrote knowing it would be one of the last I wrote for this phase of blogdom. I’d been trying to write something important, something intelligent for days. It blew over into me and Dave up at two in the morning, angrily venting at each other about how badly we’d messed up our lives. Then, to lighten the mood, I told him what I thought was a rather melancholy tale of lost magic. He thought it was a hilarious story of me accidentally outside in my boxers, so I expanded it a bit and put it up here. The title is an expression of sympathy from me to you. If you’re lonely, if you’re hurting, remember–the stars are always there, and even if you forget your pants, you can experience something magical.
REVIEW: Kill Bill was the other article I knew I had to do before this one. So, after three days of pansying out in front of the four hours of movie I was looking forward to, I finally sat down and watched it again. Writing that review would have been easier drunk–I think it’s a little too technical, and my Hot Fuzz review turned out better inebriated–but I wanted to make sure I got the end of my Tarantino chapter right. I think I did, but my opinion only speaks for so much about my own work.
So, this is the last article I’m writing for the blog that’s going in the book. I’ll do some notes on articles and an introduction during the editing process, sure, but this is the last place I have to publish anything meaningful before I start work on (I)NaFb Vol. 2. I think my generation does see themselves as the heroes of the story of our lives, but I also think that the only change that represents from earlier generations is the vocabulary employed. The Baby Boomers were gonna “save the world”. Generation X was gonna “change everything”. And now we’re here to earn our happy ending. The only difference is that where the Boomers had music and X had coke, we have stories. Hundreds of thousands of stories, all telling us how to live our lives. We aren’t suffering a new form of psychosis because of this–we’re the new generation of people who have to grow accustomed to reduced expectations.
I’ve had to reduce my great expectations on what this blog can achieve. I know now, 100 articles in, that fame and success are not going to find me just because I write on the internet. It scares the living hell out of me that I’m following through on something of this magnitude. I may not have won NaNoWriMo, but I am winning entertainment blogging. There’s work ahead, to be sure, if I ever want to make money writing. But working to achieve that sounds a lot better than sitting on my ass not to. A hundred articles means I’m no longer doing this on the side. This is something I’m as capable of doing as audio engineering. And I want to do this, for a living, for my life.
So what’s going to keep me writing here? I think I know. And I think it’s because, no matter what happens in a day, no matter what I do tomorrow or yesterday, I have no idea where this is going. And that’s stopped being frightening–about 500 words ago, in fact. Sure, a hundred articles is the end of the first volume of this site. But it’s just the beginning of (I’m) Not a Fanboy.
Thank you all for reading. I got some really exciting stuff coming your way. … I hope. 😀