Memoirs of a Goober: Why I’m Semi-Retiring As An Unpaid Movie Blogger

I’ve been writing on this blog for six years now, which is a pretty long time to do something that’s both as unimportant as it is rewarding.  If that statement doesn’t make full sense, that’s because I was never really that great of a writer.

But as I attempted to put together a collection of mini reviews for the things that I saw in the last month, and sat here on a relaxing night trying to come up with jokes for two Charlie Hunnam movies; King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (which sounds like a botched foreign translation of a better title), and Lost City of Z , I just went…  “Nahhhh, this might be it.  This might finally be it.”  You don’t have to blame Charlie Hunnam for this happening, but I’m also not telling you not to blame him.

For the last few months, I’ve had the intention to write this post *after* I went through all of 2017, making 2017 the last full year I did all of this.  But I thought, “why bother drudging it out until then?

I’m also aware that probably no one *needs* this post, and I could have just went away; but after listening to the Missing Richard Simmons podcast, I figure an explanatory goodbye is way less confusing than just dissolving into the darkness.

So, I guess I’ll reflect a little on the past six years of blogging, if you care to read it, which you probably don’t, WHICH WAS PART OF THE PROBLEM.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

A QUICK HISTORY ON HOW IT STARTED

Back in 2011, my friends Keith and Joe and I wanted to start a crappy blog where we could share our thoughts about whatever.  We had no direction, and all of the posts were random (and often angry).  This was a very ranty place.  Then, as Keith and Joe (and several other small contributors) slowly backed away because they came to the realization I did right now several years ago, it became a place where I started just reviewing things.  At first it was movies, food, and even some music.  Then it just became movies.  Then for several years it was me just posting all the time about movies all by myself, and turned more into my blog than it did some collective like it started.

TIME HAS BECOME A FACTOR

During the early days (which also happened to be my lonely single days), I was pretty enthusiastic to write blog posts.  I liked getting my mind out there.  That makes sense because I used to also enjoy writing on my Xanga, which was kind of phased out when I started writing on Dino Bone.  Haha, remember Xanga?

Then something big happened to me in the second year of Dino Bone’s existence…  I lost my job.  All of the sudden, I had a LOT more time on my hands in between looking for work and feeling bad for myself to write weekly movie review posts.  Heck, sometimes I would write TWO in one week!  That concept seems almost hilarious to me now.  When I had virtually nothing to do, I could go see a movie at 10 AM on Tuesday, write a review that afternoon, and then go see another movie at 12:30 PM Thursday and get a review done by Friday.  More time = more reviews.

But in the last two years I have definitely bounced back in the job area, and I’ve actually been busier than ever.  I work longer hours, and more days, and that also makes me more tired.  That doesn’t really stop me from taking two or three hours out of my life every week to see a movie or two, but then when it’s Monday night and I should really get a review post done, I’d rather just not try to think about writing a post, and just relax instead.

There have been so many times in the last two years when I had all the intention for writing a post one night, and then I chose to just take a post-work nap, or watch three hours of TV with my wife, and I didn’t regret my decisions.  With me having less precious free time on my hands than I ever have before, it becomes harder and harder for me to justify spending so much time writing on here.  And as much as you may think my crappy posts look like they were spit out in 15 minutes, they definitely took longer than you thought.

As you may have noticed if you’ve followed this site for a while, I used to write full length 1500+ words reviews for a single movie every week, and then over time it turned into me posting once every 3 or 4 weeks with a multi-review post consisting of 300 word reviews of several movies.  That’s because I don’t have time to be the same writer I was when I had more time.

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF SEEING SO MANY MOVIES

One advantage of wanting to output content for this site is that it forced me, in a way, to see as many movies as possible.  I would go see movies I didn’t even really want to see, just to have something to talk about on here.  That’s a staggering commitment to a website that never gave me any additional income and only gave me a medium level of reader reaction.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that by not writing for this site, I won’t feel that almost insane sense of obligation to see something like a 2017 sequel to The Ring.

I love movies.  And I won’t stop loving movies,  But I think in the future, I’m looking forward to only going to movies I want to see, which is still going to be a lot of movies.  But I will start to phase out theater trips to see things that probably don’t deserve my money.

For example, I was going to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales this weekend, *just* so I could eventually write a review about it.  Now I don’t have to see it.  Now I don’t have to see it ever!  [high fives everyone]

BUT THIS PLACE KEPT ME SHARP, didn’t it?

I’ve always found this to be a hobby where I could be creative and keep my mind sharp.  I would attempt to write things in a way that other sites didn’t.  I don’t know if I was completely successful in that, but I tried.  On top of that, I would often come up wth jokes to write while I was watching movies, chuckling to myself in my head, and then type them into my phone in the movie theater parking lot while I walked to my car, before I would forget them.  It’s fun to do.  This place has kept me witty.  I like making jokes, and I’ve always liked the thought of making people laugh on here, but that also leads into my next topic…

WHAT’S THE POINT, REALLY?

I have always appreciated any feedback or response I ever got for anything on Dino Bone.  Like, if someone says something to me in real life about something I wrote, that makes it feel worth it.   I felt an almost bashful amount of pride for this site when both my Dad and my friend Nate gave shout outs to Dino Bone in their speeches at my wedding.  I even felt good when someone would do something as small as liking or commenting on a post on Facebook.   But…  that didn’t really happen as often as I would have hoped.  Or more so, I don’t think it happens *enough* to justify the time and energy spent writing on here anymore.

Take my last year’s “year end” list, for example.  I wrote 100 original haikus for the movies I saw in 2016.  On top of the hardest part (writing them), it also involves ordering them, formatting the content, finding and placing pictures for all of them, and proof-reading them.  It took hours.  HOURS AND HOURS.  I spread out over a couple of weeks.  Those year end lists are always very time consuming.  And I was even rushing against some imaginary deadline hoping to get it done before the new year, as if anybody cared or looked forward to seeing it at some specific time.

And what was the reaction, really?  Maybe five people mentioned it to me or commented on it.  Five people had a fleeting enjoyable moment enough to say something.  Maybe a handful of other people read it and closed it and moved on with their lives.  I will say after that haiku list last year, I definitely got a huge feeling of “WHY DID I DO THIS AGAIN?”  There were a lot of posts that felt like that. Like I did a decent job on them with basically no response.  For all I know, nobody actually read them at all.  I was just yelling into an abyss.

And I don’t blame anybody for not showering me with encouragement.  I’m not angry about that.  I don’t even *expect* it from anyone.  Why should I?  I go to websites all the time and read them, or half-assed read them, and then close it and show no acknowledgment to the person who wrote it.

I mean, who knows, maybe a bunch of people did actually like reading my stuff, but just never acknowledged it in any way?  I did have people who I never thought read Dino Bone come up to me in real life and talk to me for a few minutes about something I wrote.  Which was awesome!   Conversely, I also have people ask me all the time “Hey, did you see that movie?  What did you think?”  And while I politely answer their question because I’m not a total jerk, part of me just wants to go “Ya know, I wrote about that movie on my blog two weeks ago, brah…  Check it out…

This was just a time consuming hobby that I don’t really feel like doing anymore, because I don’t think enough people care about it to justify the work put into it.  As much as I’d love to say that I do it all for my own sense of satisfaction, the truth is there’s always ego involved in writing, and I definitely wish more people would have read what I thought were amusing things.

Maybe if more people liked this site, I wouldn’t be writing this post?  At the same time, I never did much to expand the audience or advertise this website, because it felt like a waste of money for a hobby that was already so consuming of my time and money.  So that’s pretty much my fault.

It’s gotten to the point where it’s either I stress about coming up with something to say to a niche audience (who I appreciate) about a dull movie like King Arthur, or relax for the few fleeting hours of free time I have each night.  I think I’d rather relax.

But if I ever even once, in the last 6 years, made you laugh, or think, or even if I got an angry response out of you because you thought my opinion was stupid; then I’m happy I did it.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE FUTURE?

Like I said in the title of this post, I’m only planning on semi-retiring from this.  What does that mean exactly?  I’m not sure.  I know it definitely means I’m not going to bust my balls trying to review everything I see anymore.  But I’m also definitely planning to post more on here eventually.

What that is; whether it’s random lists, or a quick compilation of three months worth of movies, or just writing year end reviews, I don’t really know.  My current stance on Dino Bone is that I’ll write when I feel like it.  Which probably won’t be for months.  Which a smart ass could point out is kind of what I currently do… but now I’m going to do it without the made-up sense of obligation to anyone.

Heck, I might go a few months without posting on here, and see a bunch of movies and really miss writing about them…  and then I’ll be back here like it was before?  I don’t know.  That’s what I’ll learn from this separation period.

It does feel like a tiny weight off my shoulders, though, if that makes sense to you.  Which only becomes more insane to think about when you consider that no one was expecting me to write anything on here in the first place!  But now I can go through my life not trying to schedule time in my mind for when I could potentially write reviews on a website that barely anyone reads that I don’t even get paid for.  Again, that’s probably because I’m nuts to begin with.

TL;DR – I might be insane for doing all of this the way THAT I did it.

Maybe you could think of this more as a hiatus?  In which case you can call this post click-bait, and stop reading anyway.  But since I don’t make any money off the clicks, I don’t know what your point would be, brozilla.

However… if someone wants to pay me $50 a review, I’ll go right back to posting stuff multiple times every week, haha.

Thanks for reading, whoever did.  I’ll be back eventually!  I swear!

…And for what it’s worth before I gave up my normal post:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:  A-

Alien: Covenant:  B-

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword:  D+

The Lost City of Z:  C

Sleight:  D

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9 thoughts on “Memoirs of a Goober: Why I’m Semi-Retiring As An Unpaid Movie Blogger

  1. Susan Kay Spreenberg says:

    Good bye Truman… I have enjoyed seeing you “grow up”. And I think you Are a good writer. Enjoy your family time, it goes by so quickly. And Thank you!

  2. gayleroberts268 says:

    I will totally miss your reviews and writing. I think you are a very good writer and shouldnt give up writing. You will still be my go to for movie reviews. Enjoy your free time. GR

  3. Wish says:

    I’m one of those people that have probably commented a handful of times. For what it’s worth I think I found my way here probably around when you first started on a link from a Simpson’s article. I bookmarked it immediately since I liked the smartass witty banter. As it morphed into a movie review kinda site I actually liked it more and relied on your opinion for lots of movies. Plus reading your blog was a great way to waste time at work while pretending to be productive. I will say I probably should’ve commented or showed more appreciation for your posts, but being the introvert I am didn’t want to come across as a creepy habitual commenter. I’ll miss your infrequent posts but enjoy your time, and feel no second thoughts on continuing or not. I log in yearly to my old blog scroll a few times log out then don’t think about it again for another year. You may not know it or see it but I’m sure a good number of people enjoyed your blog and appreciated your hard work. Do they still have those traffic trackers you can install on blogs? I bet it’d show you your traffic. I did one and apparently Portuguese people loved my blog, I’m mean Portugal? Why? .. Sorry I’m rambling. Back to you. I wish you the best on whatever your endeavors are. If you’re ever in San Antonio TX, I’ll buy you a beer or drink of choice and talk movies with you. As Obi Wan said, may the force be with you….always.

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