Friday, January 30, 2015

Celebrating 10 Years of Madness!

So today marks the 10 year anniversary of This is Madness (though the 20th of this month marked the 5th anniversary of this particular incarnation of it on this site, so yay!). I first started blogging on LiveJournal 10 years ago, and I initially used it as a means to really just vent about certain things going on in my personal life at the time, and generally just goof around on it, much in the same way that I currently use Twitter nowadays. Hell, that's just how all of my friends used LiveJournal back in the day.

So there were a few "proper" blog posts at the time, but it would be a while before I really started to focus my blog and take it more seriously. And once I did, at the time, my main focus was wrestling.

I wrote in depth reviews for various wrestling events that I'd either watch on Pay Per View or attend in person, as well as write articles speculating on certain aspects of the business, and what I'd like to see happen moving forward. But then I guess I hit a point where my interest in wrestling began to wane a bit (though I do still remain a fan today, just not nearly as passionate as I was then), and it was around that time that I started going through a shift in focus with my blogging habits.

During this time I also did a lot of blogging on my personal life as well, including fabricating really bizarre stories that over-exaggerated actual events in my life for maximum comedic effect. And it was during my brief stint where I moved over to Myspace as a means of blogging where I possibly went the most over-the-top in this regard, writing out an entire weekly series chronicling the silly antics I experienced at my job at Toys R Us at the time, in an action anime/comic book inspired series called TRU ADVENTURES. My co-workers at the time got a kick out of it at least, but seeing as most of it was based on inside-jokes within the store, needless to say most everyone else was just kinda confused about the whole thing.

However, writing out that blog story did give me quite a bit of practice with narrative writing, which I only further honed during that year's NaNoWriMo (my first!), and continued to improve upon through attending writing workshops and the like until I was finally confident enough to actually publish a novel. So it's pretty cool to look back and see how my blogging has actually contributed to my other writing aspirations, but I digress, we're here to celebrate the blog, and that brings us to the next stage in my evolution of blogging.

So after almost all of my friends who frequented LiveJournal and Myspace left those sites, I was left looking for a new outlet in which to blog where people would actually be able to find it and read it. And so that's when I just decided to start up my own blog site a little over five years ago, which is the site you're currently reading on right now!

By this point, I was still in a bit in a transitional phase in terms of finding actual focus in my blogging, as can be seen in the first several posts on this site, where I clumsily jumped from talking about movies to wrestling to video games, and all within the same posts. It took me a few months, but finally I found a new sense of focus with my blogging, where, much like how I once used to discuss and review wrestling, I would now mostly be discussing and reviewing movies.

And I've been at it ever since, learning along the way and getting a little more comfortable with my particular style. And at first, it was still only friends and family who were aware of my blog's existence. But it was about a couple years into just blogging my thoughts and reviews on movies that I suddenly started gaining attention from outside sources as well, and only then realized there was a whole world of film blogs out there that I was completely oblivious to.

For a good long while I got sucked into the whole blogging community, meeting new bloggers and trying to discover new blogs and gain new readers and commenters in my efforts. But then, as I continued down this path, I eventually found myself becoming more and more stressed over my blogging activities. I found myself stressing over a lot of stupid things, such as the overall success of my blog, and I found that I was blogging for all the wrong reasons now, and it basically stopped being fun for me as a result.

So just before the turn of the year, I decided that I was going to make some changes in a number of my online activities, including my blogging, with the purpose of removing the stupid stress and bringing back the fun. So, for those of you who may have noticed, that's why I've scaled back on some things, including turning off comments for the time being, and why you may not be seeing me leaving as many comments on other blogs as well. It's not that I'm not reading your blogs anymore, mind you, just that I'm not forcing myself to feel obligated to leave a comment, as I never really have on any other non-blogging medium.

And honestly, ever since I've made even those seemingly small little changes, it's sort of amazing just how much of a difference it's made for my mindset as far as it concerns my blog as of late. And I've also noticed that I've actually been far more consistent with it at that as well, which is definitely a cool deal.

So yeah, all things considered, this celebration of blogging really couldn't have come at a better time. There's been some highs and there's been some lows, but right now, as I celebrate 10 years of blogging, I'm at a point where I feel pretty good about this whole thing, and look forward to where the Madness may continue to evolve from here.

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