Today is the 1 year, 2 month anniversary of this blog, roughly, which is the traditional time to look back and take stock of where you are and where you’re going. Right? If not, well, tough, I’m doing it anyhow.
I started this site because I was browsing at Barnes & Noble and saw a book—a sort of inspirational personal journey story about how someone got her (I think) ass off the couch and did a Spartan Beast or Ultra Beast or Mega Beast or Power Rangers Ninja Beast or something like that. I didn’t buy the book, and my subsequent searches haven’t found the book again, so I don’t have any actual detail about it.
I was of two minds in my reaction to the book. First, cool, someone wrote a book, and it’s about OCR, which I’m interested in, and it’s in a bookstore, which is neat. And second, ugh, because it’s an inspirational personal journey story that will inspire you to be inspired, and that’s a genre that just makes me cranky.
So my plan was to start my own site, which would be a demented comic take on the inspirational genre, with an OCR focus, and a long-term goal of turning it into a book. Yep, I’d like a book deal. Actually, I’d like about 50 book deals. I’ve had a book deal, and they’re not generally the ticket to easy street that people think they are.
There’s still some strains of that anti-inspirational focus, but as a main thrust of the blog it quickly fell by the wayside. I’m not really sure how to pull it off in the long term, or if a blog is really the right way to tackle it—I’ll freely admit that I’ve used this site for personal reflection, sometimes rambling in ways that amuse myself to see where those rambles go, and the anti-inspirational parody would probably need a lot more focus to pull off without becoming mind-boggling repetitive. Like, maybe even going so far as to create an alter ego to write as. Lots of effort—maybe worthwhile, but not really feasible for me at this time.
I’ve gone through my posts to roughly characterize them. If my counts are correct, there are 47 that I’d consider personal, 43 that I’d consider comedy, 25 that I’d consider commentary, and 22 that are event reports.
The “Personal” category is higher than I’d like, although I’m also not too concerned. On one hand, a lot of that is personal goal-setting, which I’m going to keep doing—in addition to being a comedy OCR blog, I’m hoping this will help to keep me honest and achieve my fitness goals. (Be inspired! Be inspired now, goddammit!) A lot of the more personal posts came in the early days of the blog, so the focus has already shifted in a direction that I’m more satisfied with.
The “Event Reports” category is also kind of personal, but I’m okay with that. I try to keep the information I include to that which is noteworthy, or at least interesting or amusing, so I’ll keep doing them.
“Comedy” and “Commentary” are the most interesting parts to me. First off, the line between the two is pretty fuzzy, which I’m happy with. It means I’m amusing (at least to myself) when I’m ranting, or being thoughtful (relative to my standard state) when I’m trying to be funny. Some good examples include “The Fiesta Bowel Has a New Sponsor,” “Why I’m Pro-Litter,”or “Giving the News about the New OCR TV Show an Arctic Enema.”
I’m really surprised that I enjoyed writing the commentary/nonfiction pieces as much as I did. I think there’s a couple reasons for that. First off, I don’t feel any pressure to comment on “the big news of the day.” Instead, I pick topics that amuse me.
Secondly, most of the topics that I chose are ones that I’m interested in but don’t have any personal stakes in. It’s a bit more of an academic interest. I’m definitely not arguing for the sake of arguing—I really hate the modern state of discourse, where you stake out your position and defend it without any regard for fact and anyone who questions anything you say is committing treason and anyone who you question is a liar and an idiot. Instead, not to be too immodest, I can be more nuanced. I like to look at a situation and say, this side is being silly here and here, and this side is being silly here and here, and here and here are things that are functioning exactly the way our capitalist system is designed, and it might be nice to curb that impulse but it’s not really practical, and so on.
I’m also not compelled to only make arguments that fit into a tweet, which is nice.
This definitely isn’t a news site—other places do that better than I could without quitting my job and doing this full-time, and I’m not terribly interested in a lot of the news anyhow. But I do harbor some delusions that I can introduce some analysis that goes a bit deeper than the hysterical hand-wringing I see on most OCR Facebook groups, and approach discussions from a somewhat different than typical angle. Maybe even raise the tone of discourse in the industry slightly, before lowering it again with jokes about sharting.
I’m still not sure if that leads directly to a book deal. Probably not, but that’s okay. Things will work out. Or they won’t. Things are like that.
(Hmm. If I keep spouting off wisdom like that, maybe I should forget about the book deal and start a cult.)