Reasons why blogging is a pain in the ass

Friday, August 6, 2010 11:08 AM By Simon

Recently, the entity known as Castor (that link be for the most recent post) has been hosting a '31 Days of Blogging' thing, so as to improve all of our traffic and whatnot. It's informative and interesting, yes, but I wonder, what makes you think I want more traffic anyway? That just means I have to write more. So:

1) I over analyze every movie I go to see
Panicking if I don't have any immediately-eloquent opinions on any one film, over thinking every trope used, eye twitched, cliche whispered.

2) I over analyze every post I write
Is this review not clever enough? Funny enough? Informative enough? Smart enough? Goddammit, there's so much pressure in having people be able to read a post the minute it comes up, they'll be criticizing your criticism, it's terribly frustrating.

3) There are so many rules
You have to have a picture on each post. Everything must have a point to it. You have to respond to every comment (which I don't mind, unless the comments are two-wrd 'good job' deals, in which case, gah), link every reference, have a nice and creative template, even though I'm limited to whatever free blogger templates I can find on Google and, besides, I like my template. You have to pick a topic and commit, god forbid I want to write about, say, the latest Jonathan Lethem novel (seriously, go read Chronic City, it's trippy), or write a 1000-word essay on why The Smiths are absurdly awesome, or a five-sentence Dear John letter to SNL. WHy can't I have a movie-centric, pop-culture general blog, anyways? And why must I tag everything? Why does everyone care so much?

4) Comments make me nervous

5) I'm up to all hours going through my Dashboard
Maybe I shouldn't subscribe to so many.

6) So. Many. Podcasts.
Seriously, am I the only one who likes the fact that blogging is strictly reading? And that podcasts defeat the purpose? I mean, some of you dudes make some really interesting podcasts, but damn, it's all at the same time!

7) You have to be coherent
Tell me, does one word of this list make any damn sense to you? It doesn't make half-sense to me!

8) We all have to like the same general movies
Vertigo did nothing for me. What are you gonna do about it?

9) There's always pressure to make link-worthy posts
Specifically, list posts, insightful posts, witty posts. I'm not any of the latter, and this is hardly a list, more like a semi-organized rant. ...

10) Everybody reviews the same movie at the same time
When it's new, anyway. I can only handle so many Predators write ups a day!

11) Commenting on every post you read
Sure, you don't have to. But fuck it, you kind of do.

12) Seeing movies because everyone says they're genius, even if you really don't want to
Saving Private Ryan looks depressing, alright?

13) Losing followers
Am I that grotesque?

14) Lists must be an even number

Have a nice day.


Ryan T. said...

I'm not really into getting more followers. I mean it would be nice if more than one person reads my blog, and that already happens, so I'm ok.

I totally hear you though about the general "pain in the ass" blogging is. I don't know how most of the blogs I read write so much and so eloquently. I've already realized that I'm not them and I'll continue doing what I'm doing even if only two people read it.

But yeah, you do have a good blog. So don't stress. It should be fun!

August 6, 2010 at 11:46 AM
Zach S. said...

a great article. I feel all those same pains.

I also do the "hump and dump" - where I'll drop a comment and then forget to go back and see if anyone replied back.

August 6, 2010 at 12:04 PM
SugaryCynic said...

I'm hugely insecure when it comes to followers, if one drops me I will totally obsess over it like a weirdo. Also I've noticed that I totally over-analyze movies now too >.<

August 6, 2010 at 12:25 PM
Fitz said...

Remember it's also supposed to be about enjoying yourself too.

August 6, 2010 at 12:27 PM
alana said...

I get what you're saying. Most of the blogs I read about feminist/social issues are so ridiculously polished and intelligent that sometimes I wonder why I even bother. It can be easy to feel like you're not smart/funny/interesting enough in comparison. At the end of the day I still keep trudging on though so who knows.

And I would say screw the rules. The only rule should be to credit other people's words/images if you use them cause that's just the right thing to do. Beyond that do what you want. Maybe some people won't read it. Maybe others will. I guess it all comes down to why you blog in the first place, but what's the point if it doesn't make you happy?

August 6, 2010 at 1:08 PM
Alex said...

I second what Fitz says. I blog for myself because I think it's fun and I like discussing movies. While of course I love having comments and feedback and readers, I wouldn't go out of my way to make "link-worthy" posts or special content just to get more readers, because then I'd be blogging for other people.

If you're not getting paid for this (which most of us aren't), you shouldn't worry too much about following certain rules or becoming internet-famous. What good will it do you, besides helping out your ego a bit? (which of course is nice too)

August 6, 2010 at 1:09 PM
Mike Lippert said...

You've basically one the money here. Actually this might be one of my favourite posts of yours. So a couple things:

1) I hate the pictures most of all especially since blogger loses it's mind the moment you load a picture.

2)I personally don't listen to any podcasts for more than 15 minutes. Even that is stretching it. Siskel and Ebert was only half an hour long and that was just right considering those guys had the benefit of A) being great debaters and B) being seen. I'm sorry but unless you are a geniues or have the most unique podcast ever, it's just vanity to think that anyone wants to listen to it for more than 30 minutes.

3)I like how your blog, like mine has nothing you'd really consider a feature that shows up on a regular basis. Just write what the hell you want.

4) Disagreeing with the critical mass opinion is fun assuming you're prepared to defend yourself with a strong point of view when they come to hung you up.

August 6, 2010 at 2:03 PM
Jose said...

if you hated Vertigo I'm dying to know why :D

August 6, 2010 at 4:06 PM
Anonymous said...

I like your blog.

I like blogging.

I also, however, love lamp, so take that as you will.

To comment on all your concerns, though:

1) Over-analyzing is fun.
2) Repeating things about over-analyzing is fun.
3) Rules, like spirits, are made to be broken.
4) Damn the comments - full speed ahead!
5) Just read the links to posts that have the prettiest lead-in pictures.
6) Don't listen to 'em; at best, write 'em for a transcript.
7) Sensei horseshoe malfeasance?
8) "Vertigo" was okay, but "Jamaica Inn" was more fun.
9) No, there isn't; NO ONE links to any of my posts and I've still been around for five years! I DARE 'em to link to my posts! daaaaare emmmm....
10) Watch older movies, review them first THEN review the new stuff when it's a year old! Simple!
11) No they don't! ...even though everyone who read this post kind of did. Okay, I commented but I didn't pay attention. There!
12) "Eegah" is grotesque, too; make the good film snobs watch that before you watch "Saving Ryan's Privates" or whatever.
13) No, you're not.
14)Oh, really?
15) Refer to #3.

By the way, I've been trying to get a hold of you since the end of July; I have a consolation prize over here from the contest I've been trying to get to you but you hadn't replied to my last couple of e-mails. Write me!


August 6, 2010 at 4:19 PM
Simon said...

Ryan T: Losing followers sucks more than not having any in the first place...that means they have to go out of their way to reject you...

Zach: That's why I subscribe, it's so much easier.

Sugary: I can't even watch Donnie Darko anymore, I'm so over-analytical. Obsessing over followers isn't that weird...

Fitz and Alana: Right on.

Alex: Sometimes I wish I did the whole YA-book blogging thing. They get swag. And I don't really want to be internet-famous, I'm just paranoid about rejection.

Mike: Why, thank you! Blogger does spaz out everytime I try to post more than one picture at a time, podcasts are getting to be the bane of my existence, and I like that about your blog too. Reaccuring segments, I can never keep track of them. And I can never come up with an argument that sounds as good out loud as it does in my head.

Jose: Okay...I didn't hate it, but the way everyone goes on about it, I was extremely underwhelmed. It really didn't register with me, maybe I should try again?

August 6, 2010 at 4:21 PM
Simon said...

Great White Dope: HA! There is no number 15! I'VE CAUGHT YOUR DECEIT HAHAHAHA!

And thank you for tolerating my whininess, you (and all, I guess).

August 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM
Zach S. said...

I actually came back Simon. This is where the party is, right?

August 6, 2010 at 9:09 PM
Rob said...

I get to worrying about how everything will be perceived too, but if it helps, you're a lot more literate and witty than I could ever hope to be. Not empty compliments, not at all (I love reading all sorts of blogs, but sometimes it seems like most are written by serious film students who've forgotten more by sophmore year than I'll ever learn!)so screw it-write whatever you like.
Predator remake: I read enough to feel like I've already seen it.So that's that. Ditto The Crazies.
Vertigo: I get it, I get it, I GET IT, it's a MASTERPIECE! What's good in it's good, but it just gallops along at a glacial pace.
And I don't think you're grotesque at all-you remind me of Melba Toast!

August 7, 2010 at 12:16 AM
Jason H. said...

I'm an obsessively neurotic blogger. I constantly check for comments, and I do everything I can to get noticed, but I fret over whether my blog is worthy of attention or not. So many rules! But its like my caffeine addiction: its probably not healthy, but dammit, I just can't stop!

August 7, 2010 at 12:09 PM
Yojimbo_5 said...

Okay, Okay.

Look. Do what you do. If you feel bad about your blog, forget it, because it's your blog. You don't have to be "perfect" (whatever that is...) or be like anybody else's (because then it's not you). You are the most important element of your blog. That's why it's special. That's why people subscribe and follow to it (It's why I do!), and if someone drops off the list...that's their problem, not yours. Just build it, Si', and they will come (but don't care about the party). Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. Put it on the stoop and see if the cat licks it up. It's fun to watch the reaction, but it has do with your creation of it.

You're doing fine. There, there. Don't go changin'.

Now: "Vertigo?" It's not a woman's picture. Yeah, it's sexist to say and think, but it still isn't. "Vertigo" calls into question the very nature and the very existence of Big "L" love. Think about it: Scotty falls in love with a woman who never...ever...existed. She's a ghost..a figment...a role. And when he meets the genuine article (the woman who portrayed his ideal), he can't accept her unless he changes her (kinda like marriage).

So, what IS love? If it's not a construct between two it just us? And if it's just us...why are we so obsessed? I love "Vertigo" (or do I?) because it questions that trope of all fiction and that we run after like a carrot before a plug—"love" and more extreme, the "ideal love," the One, the Soul-mate...and then we get disappointed if "it's" not "like in the movies."

"Vertigo" dares to call love a fantasy, and leaves us on the precipice of that knowledge, with a guy who's afraid of falling.


I think "Vertigo" is Hitchcock's perfect movie, but, like his best's awfully chilly, and emotionally dissatisfying. So, it's perfectly normal not to like it. It gives me the creeps...but, God help me, I do love it so.

I can't listen to pod-casts, either. I don't have the time.

August 7, 2010 at 1:27 PM
Wild Celtic said...

Way to call it like you see it. Very honest, I like that a lot. I think every blogger hits this crisis of why they blog. Excellent post, I'm glad you chose to write it!!

August 7, 2010 at 3:31 PM
Liam said...

I like the concerns you raise, and I agree with the majority. But at the end of the day, the way I see it, the blog should be more for you than for anyone else. If people read and/or comment, great! I personally love having discussions in the comments, since most people are far more informed than I and it's nice to learn.

Anyway, your blog is awesome, so don't fret it :P

August 8, 2010 at 2:00 AM
Ross McG said...

seriously though, you make a lot of good points Simon.
i guess you go through phases - sometimes im super keen to get round everybody's blog and read everything, other times i just cant be bothered. am sure we all feel like that.
agree with you on podcasts - no matter how much i want to listen to em, i just dont normally have 45 minutes to do so. i could go listen to Nebraska by Bruce in that time. Or Bring it On by Gomez. Or any Hold Steady album i liked.
yeah, everyone reviewing the same shit movie at once is also an (often-unavoidable) pain in the whole. although its nice sometimes to compare reviews.
basically, what youre saying is... movie bloggers are dicks.
and as one myself, i cannot help but wholeheartedly agree

August 8, 2010 at 10:28 AM
Franz Patrick said...

I wasn't that impressed with "Vertigo" either. I saw it 3 times and I'm still "eh?" about it.

Interesting post. It gave me something to think about because I can relate. Except for the podcast thing. I think it's a fad. Like BluRay.

August 8, 2010 at 10:18 PM
Anonymous said...

Good job.

Just kidding, I have more.

There's only one boring scene in the movie (the one where old Jimmy Stewart follows that 25 year old girl, both are in cars), and it's boring enough to make me dismiss that whole movie.

I'm not gonna do the 15-point rebuttal thing, but there are at least two extremes of movie criticism. 1) It's good/it's bad. 2) Analyzing it to bits. It sucks that we have to talk about the race and gender dynamics or how many facial expressions did Nicole Kidman get to do THAT time, but if we don't go the extra mile on the latter, we might as well just be doing the former.

Also, English is technically my second language. A friend of mine said I had terrible word usage on my blog and I thought I was gonna kill myself.

Lastly, blog stats/Google analytics(?) make me feel like I'm on a drug infinitely more potent than heroin or crack.

August 9, 2010 at 2:24 AM
Anonymous said...

Mwahahahaha... thanks for the laugh, I totally could use it on Monday afternoon Simon!

"Everything must have a point to it." Says who? I know mine don't always have one but so what? And like TGWD says, rules are meant to be broken! But as for the picture thing, I'm a visual person, so I'm a fan (unless the pics are too distracting or make you lose your lunch!)

I'd say blogging is like men... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!

August 9, 2010 at 12:11 PM
Kevin said...

First of all, I like you and I like your blog. Seriously, it's one of the few I actually visit on a regular basis.

The most annoying thing I find about blogging is fake bloggers who copy/paste the same comment on your posts. Seriously, I've had comments on some reviews only to turn around and see the same exact comment on my friend's blog. It's insulting, and a sure-fire sign that they didn't even read the post. They only commented to get more traffic their way.

For the record, I didn't like Vertigo that much either. I've seen about a dozen Hitchcock movies, and that's my least favorite outside The 39 Steps.

August 9, 2010 at 7:33 PM
Reel Whore said...

Let me chip in my "right there with ya!" sentiment. I overanalyze my writing, never listen to podcasts b/c I can barely get through my Reader as it is. I try to comment what I can, but sometimes good job is all I got in me. :-)

As to 14, that's yet another reason why I chose 7 for many of my lists and my 'Best of' awards.

August 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM