We Need To Talk

So here’s the thing…

I think it’s fair to say that this site has been an abject failure since it launched.  No, I don’t mean in the sense that it’s not become the biggest thing on the entire Internet and showered me in fame, riches, and beautiful men and women who would like to make me feel a little less lonely – I’m not delusional and I’m honestly used to traffic on my articles looking as barren as a back country road at 1am on a November morning.  I mean in the goals and promises I set out when I first opened this site.  Let’s look at them again real quick, shall we?

A one-stop-shop where you (eventually) can find almost everything that I have ever done.

…a constant stream of new, and new old, content for your entertainment.  More reviews, more Box Office Reports, more Screen 1, more film editorials, more in-depth films analyses, the return of old features, and some brand new features…

…there will also be an infrequent article or two giving you my personal recommendations on what you should read, both on here and around the Internet.

Well, it’s been 3 months and the site’s backlog still only really comprehensively goes back to January of this year, along with sporadic articles from 2014, so that’s a bust.  As for the “constant stream of new content”, I have written precisely 21 non-Box Office articles since launching the site.  For somebody who takes pride in his work ethic, that’s pretty goddamn embarrassing, albeit not as embarrassing as the front page not having been updated by anything non-Screen 1 related in the past 3 weeks.  And as for the recommendations piece…  OK, that probably wasn’t going to happen anyway, sorry if you were hoping for it.

Now, you may be expecting this thing to be the prelude to a flurry of content over the coming days – the moment where the athlete psyches themselves up by giving themselves a pep talk in the mirror before heading out to kick ass.  Unfortunately, this is not that post.  This post is the post I really don’t want to write because I fear it makes me come off like an egotistical asshat, as the guy who deludedly believes that he needs to announce his taking a break like it actually means something in any scheme of things.

Oops.  Blew that surprise too early.  But yeah, this is the post where I have to say that I officially have to step back from writing for a good long while.  I feel I owe you folks an explanation as to why, and relatedly why this place has been so dead for so long, so let’s get into them.

The reason why the site received bugger all new writings all Summer, typically the time when I am at my most prolific due to not having any other commitments and having to distract myself from the miserable reality that I’m back at my parents’ for 4 months, is because I spent the entire time tired and miserable.  I really hated being back at home, for many reasons that I covered back in my piece on why Inside Out affected me so deeply, and I don’t like writing when I’m miserable since that often bleeds into the work and the last thing the Internet needs is yet another miserable writer whose schtick is that they’re miserable all of the time.

But, more importantly, I was just tired all of the time.  I had no energy, no desire to do anything.  Every single time that I would start up the laptop to write something, it would either take forever as I battled that lack of energy and focus to get something out, or I’d just shut the thing down without having even started.  I assumed that this came from the crushing misery of being stuck at home all Summer, feeling exceptionally lonely and out-of-place, and that I’d feel loads better once I got back to university.  I even brushed off my slowly deteriorating physical state – always being thirsty, being incapable of doing any kind of exertion for more than 20-or-so minutes at a time, constantly being ill – as something that would magically disappear when I got the hell out of home and went back to uni.

Then, the Wednesday night before I went back, I got sent to a doctor to see about my constantly clogged throat and was informed that I had Type 1 Diabetes, that I was currently undergoing Ketoacidosis, and that was why I had absolutely no energy all holiday.  Which, hey, as far as explanations for why you slacked terribly when it comes to your work ethic go, “dying slowly of undiagnosed diabetes” isn’t a particularly bad one. I don’t tell you this as some crocodile tears attempt at guilt-tripping you all into sympathy for me – I get enough people patronising me with that sh*t as is, and I’m slowly adjusting to the frustrating life of being a diabetic – I’m just telling you cos I feel you require an explanation, since I promised you content that I didn’t really deliver on.

Now, as for why I’m having to step away for a good while…  So, I’m in my third year of university – most likely my final year because, good lord, academic writing is The Absolute Literal Worst – and things are a lot busier than I thought they would be.  In the past two years, I’ve been more than capable of balancing my university workload with my personal writing, which I always found as a nice relaxant after a long day of university work.  I figured that third year would be somewhat similar, especially since the teaching side of things has been cut back due to a focus on the dissertation.  Plus, how hard and time-consuming could my new (unpaid) role as Hullfire Radio’s Head of Music be, eh?

As you may have already guessed, especially if you’ve looked at my Twitter at any point in the last month, I’m a blithering idiot.  I wouldn’t wish my current schedule on my worst enemy.  This means that once I finally get home, kick off my shoes, and can just stop for an hour or two, the very last thing I want to do is turn on my laptop and do even more work, regardless of how much I normally enjoy it.  Not to mention the other more pertinent issue of there just not being enough hours in the day for me to write anything anymore.

So, rather than force the time and push myself well past the point of exhaustion, I’m just going to have to drop writing on a consistent basis until the time becomes available again, which will most likely be in mid-to-late May of next year.  That means that written reviews won’t be posted that often – as you’ve likely already guessed, since reviews of Hotel Transylvania 2 and Equestria Girls: Friendship Games are nowhere in sight – in-depth analyses and editorials are being dropped, and Lost Cels is already going on hiatus.  It really hurts to have to do this, because I love writing so much and it makes me look and feel like a failure when I don’t write at least 3 full articles a week, but unfortunately that’s how my life is forcing my hand.  Dammit.

That said, the site isn’t going to be completely dead.  The Screen 1 archives will still be going up every Monday evening – or you can just listen live on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 2PM, or you can listen to myself and Lucy getting syndicated on real radio if you receive West Hull FM which is all kinds of exciting – I’m going to try and bring back the Box Office Reports and Month In Movies UK again, since those don’t take too long and are fun to write, and I really want to find the time to properly do What I’ve Been Watching.  Also, and I really mean it this time, the site’s archives will be periodically updated with my older articles, since I’m not splitting my time between the Old and New anymore.

There will also, of course, be a giant spurt of content throughout late-December, as I go through my Best Of and Worst Of lists, and January, as I’m on uni break then and therefore can hopefully afford the time, but this place is being cut back to the absolute bare minimum until May, when the time becomes available to me again.  I’m really sorry to those of you who enjoy my work, or those who expect content on the regular from your Internet writers, but at least I’ve given you an explanation.  I feel you all deserve that.  I hope you’re all still around when this place roars up again at some point.

Also: the Histeria! entry of Lost Cels will hopefully be up 2 weeks from now.  I’ve watched too much of that show, and heard the title shouted way too many times, to not get that article penned as soon as possible.  But don’t hold me to any specific dates.  It is coming, though.


Callum Petch

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