Well, one year old and a day. I’m having trouble finding enough writing time during Christmas season. My goal is always to write more. That’s what today’s post will be about too. Not only goals but also reflections and lessons from the last year of the Masked Library.
A lot happened a year ago. I was upset with my job at the time. My site was threatened. I resigned myself to a mantra of life sucks and this is as good as anything will ever get. While at my lowest I switched jobs and discovered a feeling known as fulfilment. I also refused to give up on over a decade of writing work and absorbed the previous site into this one. It all seemed a perfect time to change my focus.
The previous site accepted advertising and had a LOT of sponsored posts that meant nothing to me. But I was all about more hits, more money, more eyes on my content. This also caused more pop ups and possibly more malware. I also didn’t want to agree to write about things that I had no passion for. Even if I hate something, it can still inspire some interesting writing. Apathetic reactions on the other hand frequently aren’t worth me writing or you reading.
Working at a library also made me appreciate archiving work. This became the focus of the Patreon posts but many are on the main site as well. A new desire to shine a light on forgotten works. Everyone can react to a new billion dollar movie but it takes some effort to carve out your own corner of the internet covering quarter bin comics and no star VHS. My personal media library has exploded over the last year in hopes of producing this content. Tapes, comics, magazines, books – much of which no one has ever heard of. I’m turning into an old man. Instead of researching World War II, I’m digging through old interviews about comic projects and great wrestling in front of 10 people. I’m not breaking fresh ground yet but I’ve been lucky enough to amplify the work of others. Every history of comics book I was lucky enough to review this year led to hundreds of notes for future posts.
The most surprising development this year is co hosting two podcasts. The Pop Culture Pub existed and in many episodes from last fall you can hear my debate over a new blog name. Something that rolled off the tongue a bit better. Then while in quarantine/shut down we started The House Show podcast on the Retro Network. That has been a blast and brought me even closer to two of my best friends. Speaking of friends, imagine my surprise to find out who supports my work, downloads apps, hears my voice, and more. I’m still soaring on that one. (Let me know when you see this and tell me I’m such a nerd.)
On the other hand though I feel like I haven’t done enough. I have review copies sitting here. Tons of notes. So much to watch. A podcast idea that I debate constantly. Stacks of comics. I need to buy a VCR and an old tube TV. Plus, my own creations keep bubbling up wanting to get on paper. I swore to write a comic when I turned 40. Depression got hold of me. Corona got hold of my time. I’m learning a lot about how my mind works. First, I need to let go of what I could have done or should have done. There’s no time machine. I can only move forward. Most of all though, I need to cut back on social media. There is no good reason for me to spend an hour and a half on TikTok when that 90 minutes could have been a movie, wrestling, reading, or sitting down to write a post. Looking at my screen time today, it is dominated by taking pictures and listing on eBay. Checking other apps is under 10 minutes. 6 of that on TikTok today. That’s a huge drop and I needed to see those usage numbers to see the problem.
So what will 2021 bring? The two podcasts will continue. I might pull the trigger on my other podcast idea, but I want to make sure I can commit to it first. There are tons of ideas in my head for posts on this site, and ones I want to share with The Retro Network. As announced earlier this week, I’ll be writing for Retrofied magazine as well. Most of all though, I want to get that ISBN. Writing my own comic, a children’s book, collecting old posts, whatever it might be. My goal is to have my words bound and available for bookshelves around the world.
Scrolling through minute long videos isn’t going to get me there. I also wont get there if there is another shut down and I treat it the same as the previous one. While home for months of 2020 I kept wondering when it will end, when money will arrive, and fear over every cough. I know better now. I don’t want to do it again, but I know better. “What will tomorrow bring” will still be a question but it is also largely out of my control. I can only control my own reaction. It’s far better to use that time creatively instead of staring into the sunset with blank confusion.
There are still Christmas commitments that will steal me away from my personal library but this is my own push. Self motivation. I’ve defeated and removed myself from every negative voice in my life besides my own. Its time to prove I can achieve my dreams.