This was a weird year.
Working on this blog has become one of the many joys in my life. It helps me feel productive and it’s great writing practice. I’m tossing out passive voice and thwarting wordiness for when it finally comes time to publish a book. And from working on this platform, I’ve learned a lot of things in the past few weeks that I think are relative now that we’ve finally put the monstrous year of 2016 behind us. To that end, I wanted to share some thoughts about myself, this blog, and what we can look forward too for the new fight that’s 2017.
The Wide-Open Web
This will be my 59th post for this blog; that’s a lot of writing. With each new post, I learn a little something new. I’ve gotten some praise, and I’ve gotten some hate.
And you know what?
Out of all the things I’ve written on this sight, from faux-conspiracy theories to semi-political journalism, the one thing that’s netted me the most hate is…
Yep. I could write about the election and Donald Trump until my fingers fused to the keyboard, but nothing has been more controversial than what I said about Cloverfield.
That was a surprise. After talking with other viewers, I assumed the thoughts on the movie were universal. Not so. Because the internet is a great place to form a community, especially if that community is a minority. Talking trash about Cloverfield brought those people write to my comment section. Perhaps they’re a minority, but it’s a BIG minority. By exchanging some words and talking through comments, I learned a little something.
For many, it’s not as much about the film. Remember when I said they had a great PR campaign for the film with their ARG? Well, it was bigger than even I knew. After some research, I began to see just how expansive the project was, and it became a blueprint that other films tried to follow. But they lacked the pieces that made the one for Cloverfield fun: a mysterious creature attacking a city, creepy found footage, a real city with real locations, underground and clandestine organizations monitoring the situation as it progressed before the film. There were other characters, people that never show up in the movie, are never talked about, that have to do with the events in the film. For those who followed the trail all the way back, the film was a payoff. Some have admitted the film wasn’t very good in the end, but for those determined enough to pool their resources and discover the clues, they got insight into the universe that other watchers didn’t.
So talking smack on the film was like talking smack on something people had devoted themselves too, and I get that. Plenty of people have told me this whole writing venture isn’t worth my time and I should do something else, and to me, that’s a personal affront. Now I understand more about the film’s viability as well as about what I say and how it effects communities, especially online.
I still want to give my thoughts on the things I watch and maybe give some reviews, but I’ll do my best to change the language and try not to call people out on liking things I don’t enjoy. Hell, I like watching BBC’s Sherlock, and plenty of people read the negative things I had to say about that. Watching something is not always indicative of character, so I’ll keep that in mind for the things to come this year. If I say something you don’t agree with, let me know, (maybe in a not hurtful way though?), I learned a lot from it.
My Little Slice
Despite having some words with internet citizens, working on this blog has become one of the great joys in my life. Until now, I wanted to write, but rarely found time or inspiration. It was only when, in the midst of one my diatribes about hating driving, Sam told me I should start a blog. The rest was history. Turns out, writing here has made me feel more productive – certainly more fulfilled. Each post teaches me something new, I’m developing my own style, and my writing is getting progressively better. I can actively call myself a writer, and that feels good.
Thus, I’m in the process of learning to appreciate the things I have. Like I’ve said, it’s impossible to not take this life for granted, but in this case, I’m truly blessed. I’m lucky for the love of my life telling to start this blog in the first place. I’m lucky for supportive friends and family – specifically parents who have never had a lot of money, but still bought me an awesome laptop for Christmas that I’m using to write this. I’m incredibly lucky to have had an education, no matter how flawed, that fostered my talent for writing and at least taught me how to teach myself in that regard. There are a lot of things wrong with education and I’ve suffered for them, but in that regard, they did right by me.
So, into the New Year, I’m taking this blog with me in the hope to create a lucky place like I have had. I really value my independence and places that are just my own, and this blog is one of those sacred places for me. It’s safe, I can talk about what I want. I’ve always had the dream Professional Daydreaming would become a safe place not just for myself, but for the people that read it and contribute to it with their dialogue. I intend to work harder toward that goal in nurturing a community here not around my ideas or the things I write, but where people can have constructive and meaningful discourse in a non-hostile environment.
It’s a little preachy, I’m aware of that, but such is the nature of dreams. You can’t help but lift them up on fluffy clouds and well wishes. I should know, it’s what I do for a living.
The Hard and Fallible Future
We’ve learned a few hard lessons as well. If the election taught us anything, it’s that we still have a long way to go in accepting one another for our differences and not being so afraid of the world around us. There are plenty of things to be afraid of: black holes, spiders (to a point), fire, drowning, meteorites, gamma rays, solar winds, super volcanoes… The list goes on, but humans shouldn’t be on there.
Donald Trump has increased our investment stock in fear, but here, I would like to reduce that tally. For all our fears, are can be solutions, and on this blog, we can pursue a greater understanding of the world around us and those who are different. That’s a lofty goal, but we can break it down into steps. Posting inclusive and well thought-out content, having respectful conversations with one another, directing our anger into productivity and delusion into curiosity. In that spirit, not only is this blog going to continue as a safe place for people, I intend to make myself, Greyson, into the same kind of safe space. Be the change you would like to see in the world, and there’s a lot of things I would change right now. Start with yourself, orientate your spirit in the proper channels of peace, love, and respect. Practice self-reflection and self-awareness, be willing to acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings, and once you’ve learned from them, forgive yourself. All those things represent this blog, and so, I will represent them in myself as well. I encourage anyone else who reads this to do the same. We will need all our strength for the coming year, the fight is not over. But we’ve learned, and we know better what to expect.
I appreciate all of you who have stopped by to read a little of what I’ve made here, I really take it seriously. Like I said, all the way back in my very first, lazy post, I don’t expect it to crowd around here. Maybe I’ll write something that goes viral, maybe I won’t, but that’s not the goal. It’s to write things that I care about and have a voice on things I think need discussing, so for anyone who came by, even if you just read one thing, thank you.
I’m looking forward to a year spent improving this blog to be what I know it can be. Maybe the look changes a little, maybe I move some buttons around, but the content and quality can only get better the more we work. Happy New Year everyone. Fuck 2016, but don’t forget it. Hold hands and keep each other close, we’re all we’ve got.