Wednesday, April 26, 2017

1,000,000 Words, Year 4

Course correction from previous year
            April 26th is the anniversary of when I first started keeping track of how much I write and really aiming to say more with my writing.  I embraced the adage, “The first 1,000,000 words are practice and began keeping a journal as to how many words I wrote each day (quickly shifting to just logging the number of words and writing down the date).
            I logged college papers, memos, journals, emails, and more often than not these blogs.  Because so much of my writing was tied up with school and the nature of the assignments I was participating in was shifting and dropping off toward the end of things I also noticed a drop off in the amount I was writing.
            It may shock you to hear this, but just sitting down and writing can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a topic already in mind, especially-especially if you are not required to do it for grades or pay.  Writing as a means of self-improvement is like the mental equivalent of working out, except it doesn’t make you look more enticing to people which is a motivator all its own.
            Writing can be tiring and daunting and when you have been keeping a steady measure of your writing like I have you start to understand the size of the goal I have set.  This is the 4th year of this project and I am still just short of 500,000 words.  But this last year was an improvement.
            2016 had the most blog entries of any year I have been on Blogger.  It was a rather productive year of writing.  Not counting this entry, I have written 162,749 words in the last 12 months.  That I have logged anyway, there is some old trash that I wrote down as half thoughts and never hammered into anything workable.  That is 445.9 words a day.  The year prior only averaged 128.1.  I managed 3.5 times as much.  Good for me.

A Change in Perspective
            It is kind of silly to talk about this so short after talking about the 6th year anniversary of the blog as a whole just two months ago.  Which I coincided with the 400th entry overall.  This is the 419th entry… That is not a milestone.  It is not even a mildly funny number like 420.
            I have made some changes since then.  For instance, I have started using Google analytics.  Boy, is it a confidence boost.  According to them more people have been to the moon than have stayed on my page long enough to read an entire entry.  I could be putting anything on here and no one would read it.  Maybe the fat that I do put so much disparate stuff on here is why no one is reading it?  Whatever.
            I should have put analytics on this blog years ago and I have no idea why I chose now of all times to do so.  It makes more sense when I look back on my management of this blog.  I added the "Please like and share..." to the end of things in February 2015.  I didn't start using "+1" and Twitter until May 2014.
            I guess it is a good thing that I am not in charge of online communication for any political campaigns, my guy's online presence would be thin on the digital ground, in spite of it all being well written.  Maybe I should have written all of this into my 400th entry. Once again, my writing about something causes me to become introspective enough to find out what the topic of the thing should have been.

Projects for Scope and Benchmarks
            I have been writing about Dungeons and Dragons near weekly.  I have been doing more 30-day blog challenges (and plan to do another one in October).  And I have been trying to write a blog entry for everyday on the calendar, which has been going well, I will update on that project’s progress on the anniversary of starting it, November 22nd.

Some Old Tripe
            Sometimes I start writing about a particular movie or show and it just doesn’t grab me as a topic.  I figured, for a change, I would just throw some of these half-thoughts onto this thing to give an example of what my typical starting points look like.  So here are things for “The Purge”, “50 Shades of Grey”, and “Hail, Caesar!”.
            My thoughts on “Freddy vs Jason” were destined for here, but I somehow made them just enough more to be their own thing.

“The Purge” Franchise
            The movies are all about how "It's my right!" to commit violence and to destroy each other is an idea sold by the rich to the poor so that once a year the poor slaughter each other.  So, in real life when you hear someone say, "It's my right to smoke/drink/own-guns/be-a-dickhead" you can realize that it is all a part of having poor people take pride in being poor.

            You can take the movie in a completely literal and skin deep reading, which provides ZERO insight.  Or, you can float the idea that the movie is pointing to how small legal transgressions that people claim as "rights" are propagating a system in which the poor are killing each other and the rich prey on the poor.

            If you ever find yourself justifying what you are doing by saying, "I can" instead of "I should" or "I must" then you are most likely doing something bad or at the very least unproductive, even if it is only destructive to you, it is still a bad thing. All of those movies are about people justifying their bad behavior with "it's my right".

            HAPPY CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY! Remember it's about "states' rights" and "heritage".

“50 Shades of Grey”
            I saw this movie on an invitation from a woman I would have liked to sleep with.  That is why this writing exists.  I actually saw this in the theater I might as well talk about it, even though the woman who I went with got bored and played on her phone the entire time, fun evening that went nowhere.
            It is clear that everyone working on this movie knew that it would be on their resume whether they wanted it to be or not, so they tried their damnedest to get this shit together.  They did not entirely fail.
            Unfortunately, only Rumpelstiltskin has displayed an ability to spin straw into gold, and since King Midas is dead this movie had to do without their assistance.  Danny Elfman, mysterious creature from the universe where music comes as naturally as speech can only do so much.

“Hail, Caesar!”
            So here is a quick review of a movie I disliked by writers/directors I respect, the Cohens, and a bunch of actors I like, in a setting I find interesting, and with a plot that should be great.  The thing was a boring slog.
            “Hail, Ceasar” is nominally a comedy but I only laughed in one scene that in retrospect wasn’t all that great.  The whole thing feels like several episodes of a hypothetical TV show (like “Mad Men”) that were pushed together to make one movie that would appeal to a particular type of person.  That type of person can be summed up with the phrase, “works in Hollywood”.

            I think that "Hail, Ceasar" might be the first Cohen Bros movie that would have been better if it were directed by someone else.  Shane Black would have made it funnier, David Lynch would have made it stranger, and Nolan would have made it more mysterious.  As is, the thing falls into a strangely dull middle ground.  It is boring.

The Beg for Attention
            If you do read my blogs, thank you.  I hope you continue to do so and hopefully I sometimes write something good enough for you to share with others.
            I would also encourage others to do similar self-improvement projects akin my writing.  Try new recipes.  Walk to new places.  Go to the gym.  Read more.  Practice playing an instrument.  Try to be better at the things that you want to be better at.
            Even if you can’t make money doing it.  Try to be a better you because it will make you happy.  I’m happier than I was.  Maybe that feeling will hang around.

            Have fun.

            If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

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