Over the past few months, I’ve been getting much less time to write reviews about all the books I’ve been reading. I’ve completely stopping watching any new movies given the whole backlog of reviews that I have. Even when I try to force myself to write, I takes some time to get into the groove and much longer to write anything meaningful about a book or a film. I’d also been pondering writing about other things, like my life or thoughts about the random things in life.
Given all of the above, I thought the first post to write should be why I started to write reviews in the first place, how I managed to keep up the practice, how my attitude to the reviews changed and finally, thoughts on whether I should continue writing or stop completely.
As already mentioned in the ‘About’ page, I wanted to start writing so that I could practice the articulation of my thoughts in a regular fashion. I also had this bad habit of binging a bunch of movies in one go, where I would be totally fatigued by the end of it. I still kept doing it though because it was like reading, but took less effort. So, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and force myself to write a review for every movie that I saw. And I wouldn’t see another till I’d written what I thought about the first one. The idea being that this would act as a self pacing mechanism while also building another skill. It also offered me a chance to restart my decrepit blog, although on a totally different topic.
When I first started writing, it was small two paragraph reviews filled with clichéd and derivative opinions about films. The books, I was able to write much more about, though I soon realized that coming up with original opinions for either of those required a thorough understanding of writing and filmmaking respectively.
Since that turned out to be too hard a problem, I often resolved to criticizing a film based solely on its story. Not the actual story, but whether it made sense logically. This resulted in the text being too drab and almost unreadable. To rememdy this, I also resorted to simply listing down the various pop culture references that I managed to note. This was a cheap way to make the process less tedious, but it always felt unfaithful to the original goal.
Initially, the self pacing tended to work, but I found a loophole when I discovered that TV shows were a much more efficient way of wasting time and I didn’t even have to write about them! They started becoming a majority of the content that I consumed and things soon circled back to the original problem I had.
On realizing this, I had a few options, either write about every episode I watch or stop watching TV shows entirely. But I knew that coming up with some opinion for every single episode would be an eternal process. Knowing that I have on average ~2000 weekends left in my life, it clearly wasn’t something I wanted to spend my time on.
Another option I have is to look critically at the process of writing itself. I’m almost certain that I will be able to spot ways of improving my writing style and throughput. There’s always a risk of becoming formulaic but fixing that can also be a first class goal of this new plan. Clearly, this is the most feasible option and one that is also in the spirit of the original goal.