When I started 2019, I had this idea I’d consolidate all my blogging. Actually, wait, no, when I started 2019 I was going to start a TV blog (A Televisual Feast, natch) and do a lot of TV blogging, starting with a watch-through of “Penny Dreadful” because I’d gotten it for real cheap on Blu-ray in the late fall. Maybe on Black Friday. But then we wrapped up “Comics Fondle: The Podcast” and decided to do a relaunch, “Visual Reflux,” and if I was setting up a whole new site for the new podcast, why wouldn’t I just do some blogging there… I was getting excited about self-hosting again. Old time blogging. Bringing the geekery back into it.
So, funny thing… Comics Fondle: The Blog turns ten in a couple months. When I started Comics Fondle back in the day, it was too late to be starting a new comics blog. I already had a “brand” as far as it mattered in 2009 blogging, but it wasn’t CF, it was Stop Button, of course. And, because I clearly wanted to give myself an out, Stop Button was never part of the Visual Reflux: The Blog concept. I should’ve known launching a secondary blog in 2019, even if it consolidated, was a bad idea. Especially for the amount of work I really wanted to put into it. I had a lot of TV to watch, potentially, and I think I’d already decided on the Punisher MAX read-through. I swear I should have a little style guide with all these various boldings and dashes.
Anyway. It’s now September. 2019 is almost over. I’ve managed to read two books this year, as opposed to a book a week—Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History, by Blair Imani, and Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets, by Feminista Jones. Both are great. HERstory would basically be a great older kids book, like fourth grade, but also to old age because it’s a who’s who. Imani’s got some great chapter introduction essays too. And Reclaiming Our Space is an amazing history of social media in the last ten or so years. And Jones is an excellent writer.
So good books. But only two.
And many, many, many months apart.
But I have successfully completed—almost, one more to go—an intentionally scheduled Punisher MAX deep dive, which had always been a problem before; not finding or making the time, but getting to the write place with the writing. Because if blogging is just going to be my writing, the posts have to be about the writing, not the subject. Figuring out how to talk about the subject while still being about the writing… it takes time.
Basically, it turns out I was doing constraints wrong. In the many years Comics Fondle and Stop Button had strict per-post word counts, I learned how to write concise, which is great, but it turns out general word count targets work a lot better for how I write now. I shoot for 650 words on something, or 450 on a shitty movie, or 1,000 on a great one, and there’s no ticker—the writing app, Ulysses has turned out to be a great investment—just knowing if I hit it and where I am in the writing impulse… it works out.
My writing practice—my blogging practice—has changed. Some of it, which I don’t really want to address right now, has to do with recognizing the difference between blogging as writing and blogging as work. I don’t do the latter, I do the former. One of The Stop Button’s earliest subtitles was “An Appreciation of Amusements” (in 2019, I don’t even want to think about how much The New York Times influenced the blog’s style, but, suffice to say, Oxford commas are now a thing) and I’ve now come to think of the posts more as the amusements themselves, separate from the discussed media.
Then today I decided… why not bring back Summing Up, since I never got around to archiving its posts and it’d probably be easy to clean up and it’s not like micro.blog is working out for longer form colloquial blogging.
So instead of having two primary blogs, one The Stop Button, the second comprised of one secondary (Comics Fondle) and two tertiary (Televisual Feast, which never launched with new posts, and Summing Up, which has been in a very strange place for a long time), let’s just do all four.
I’ve got the domains anyhow. And MarsEdit. So it’s very easy.
Also… self-hosting a blog in 2019. Icky bad.