A Young Writer’s Notebook – Reviewing 2016

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Last year was not an easy year for ‘A Young Writer’s Notebook’. I started this blog back in 2013 with the idea that my blog would be about writing, and my thoughts on writing. I had been inspired by two things – the TV adaptation of ‘A Young Doctor’s Notebook’ and also by a sketchbook of an artist I know well.

The former I simply twisted the title a little bit and made the blog about my thoughts on writing. The latter though was more inspiring. I’m not a particularly artistic person – I love art but because I didn’t show talent in it I wasn’t encouraged in school to pursue it. I didn’t really understand what a sketchbook was for. To me art is the finished product – a sketchbook though is how you get from the idea to that product, which I learnt a couple of years ago at my friend’s exhibition.

Notebooks for me have always been the equivalent to the sketchbook though I didn’t know it – inspired by ‘Sherlock’ I turned the notebook into the modern day equivalent. A blog.

And I have never once treated this blog like a notebook. Very little of my writing on this blog is actually to do with my writing. It is to do with my thoughts on writing (via The Key to a Great Story) and then later the addition of  Young Writer’s Review.

While I did once have my Notes on Life Series, and I occasionally blog about what ever crochet project I deem worthy of sharing with you, I very rarely go beyond a planned blog post. Blog posts for me are either reviews or part of a blog series.

And this is where I feel as if my blog has lost the plot a little bit. By the beginning of 2016 I’d been blogging for nearly two and a half years, and I’d completed my largest blog series to date about creating a great story, and I was floundering for a plan. Enter in one little article I read about the films to look out for in 2016, and bingo a plan arrived.

Most of the films I was excited about in 2016 were part of a franchise (I know sit down, you must be so shocked by that!) Some of these franchises have been around for a while, including Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and even Harry Potter. Perfect I automatically had dozens of blogs all lined up for 2016 that I could plan and write in anticipation for the latest instalment of the franchises. Essentially I could blog about my favourite fandoms and I didn’t have to think too much.

I think I managed to get about as far as Captain America Civil War being released before I had driven myself utterly insane, because I hadn’t just kept to the plan of the franchises I was (emphasis on the word was) excited for, I expanded that to include tv series series I had been having a binge on, with a series by series review that could easily supply me with a few dozen more posts.

You have to understand though that for the first half of the year when I was doing this, I wasn’t doing it for the number of hits per day, (I will admit I was trying to build up a bigger audience) I was doing it because what I was hoping was that I could open up discussion with like-minded people about the fandoms I love. It sort of worked.

Despite being of the millennial generation though, and while I identify as a millennial, in many, many ways I’m also not. There are people on the internet who have been dong this for a lot longer than I have, who were blogging about these things at the time of their release not years later. While I nearly always find people are willing to discuss an old book, the world of TV and film is a lot less receptive to that – I was naive.

I was an industry of producing reviews for everything little thing I was watching, and while I actively sought new and original things to watch (such as High Rise and Anomalisa in the first half of the year, and then more recently the likes of Mulholland Drive and Kubo and the Two Strings, none of which I had predicted would make an impression on me this year) I also ended blogging about Austin Powers in what I can only describe as desperation (I mean it is a cult classic, and I love it, but I didn’t need to blog it though).

The turn of the new year always makes me very reflective on the journey I took in the previous year, and all I can say is thank goodness for Zootopia. I still haven’t reviewed Zootopia, but seeing it and realising its potential as the most important film of 2016, made me stop and really wonder why I had ever thought the franchise plan for my reviews was a good idea.

Seeing it, and thinking about it stopped me in my tracks, I took a break from blogging, and I actually started to enjoy films and tv again, because it was for fun, not an examination and a reviewing exercise to be undertaken. My crazy life in 2016 got a bit in the way as well, but the second half of 2016 was definitely a lot less productive and for the better really.

So what are my plans for 2017 and A Young Writer’s Notebook? Well I haven’t really got one yet.

I still have my current writing series Book (Re) Writing to dip into, but that doesn’t really have a structured plan; it is more of on outlet for me rather than as a guide for others. I have a few loose ends I’d like to tie up on some of the franchise reviews I have, and I think I might revisit a few thoughts I’ve had in the past about these franchises, but actually other than that I haven’t got a clue.

And I think I will be happier for it.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Marvel Revisited | A Young Writer's Notebook

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