I had planned to post a review of a British sci-fi film with airships and pirates and whatnot and I still am going to, it will just be a day or two late. I haven’t been well in about two weeks and it turns out that a kidney infection was to blame. I am on antibiotics and on the mend but I am a bit too under the weather to produce the quality of writing you deserve.
Lately, I have felt like I have been treading water with the site, kind of stuck in a rut. Some technical issues this weekend led me to look over my older posts and reevaluate what I want to accomplish.
Movies Silently started life as Galloping Tintypes ten years ago and the whole idea was to create the kind of site that I wanted to read. I was still missing the wonderful Silents Majority and hoped to post the kind of interesting, enthusiastic reviews that they were known for. It was not a blog, just a hand-coded site.
I enjoyed the site but felt it was kind of static and airless and after technical issues with my old host, I decided to make the jump to WordPress. I transferred all my reviews over in a frenzy three-day posting session. It didn’t really matter that I posted something like forty reviews in the time frame, I didn’t have any subscribers.
I didn’t exactly plan to become a daily blogger but I so enjoyed interacting with other silent fans online and, I have to admit, it was the fastest way to build my audience. In the early days, I would even post twice a day.
And this is where we get to the point of all this: those posts were pretty “bloggy” which makes sense because, you know, blog. What I mean, is that they were perhaps a single GIF with a silly caption, things like that. Around the same time, I discovered that I loved debunkings and really, really long and intense deep dives.
Over the next few years, I maintained a balance of posts meant to be enjoyed once and forgotten and deeper material. And it was therapeutic for me because I dealt with some bouts of depression around that time.
But in 2017, a lot of things changed. Thanks to kind backers, I was able to crowdfund the release of a forgotten silent film. And this year, I launched my long-promised podcast.
When I posted my enormous review of The Dreyfus Affair in June, I felt absolutely drained of everything. Normally, I get a bit of an endorphin rush when I post a monster deep dive, so this was very strange for me.
Since I’ve been sick and had to perform a little site maintenance, I had time to think over my earlier enthusiasm and my current burnout. I want to be clear, I don’t have any plans to stop writing, I just need to adjust myself. So, here’s what I am going to be doing:
First, I am a bit of a compulsive workaholic and overacheiver. This means that I have to sometimes step back and evaluate my workload. While I feel that regular postings are essential for my site’s success and I want to keep them going, I am going to give myself permission to skip days if I feel I need to.
Second, I have been reposting some older material but I found a lot of old posts that I think newer readers may have missed and I want to repurpose them. This will not only relieve my workload, it will help people who haven’t been reading long to discover my older content.
Third, I thrive creatively in an atmosphere of chaos and destruction. In 2015, I had a disastrous issue with my host and had to evacuate my site to new digs. While I was at it, I completely revamped the site, redesigned everything and generally improved my web presence. 2015 saw my site traffic double and I enjoyed myself so much. I want to recapture some of that 2015 energy, so I am working on a revamped design for the site. I don’t know when I will unveil it but I am enjoying the process.
Fourth, I need to accept my own success. I have trouble with that sometimes and impostor syndrome is always hiding around the corner. But I produced a silent film release. I am working on another. My podcast is going well. I contributed to a professional silent film reconstruction. I am doing things I never dreamed I would be doing when I launched this site back in 2009.
But with success, I need to accept that I am not as footloose as I was when I went to the daily format. I need to decide which site aspects are the most important to me and focus my time on those. Reviews are obviously the backbone of this site and I want to maintain the weekly schedule (health permitting) for them. I am also looking over my earlier material and seeing what I want to revive there. What I want to avoid is posting for the sake of keeping up a streak and not because I think it’s the best content I can create.
Sorry to ramble on like this and a film review would probably have been easier but I wanted to keep you in the loop. As we get closer to the design relaunch, I will give you a heads up because there might be some outages and sometimes older posts get re-emailed. But that’s for another. Right now, I am just resting up. Watch this space.
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