The reset button has been hit. The new era of the blog is here. Or at least, the gradual change is about to begin. The long-term plan is to make some aesthetic and back-end things to make the site run smoother and seem more professional but that will slowly unveil over time. I've got some major projects that are going to take a bit more time to get into place, but the plan is to launch most of them by late fall or winter. What I can do right now is start focusing more attention on writing on here and putting together some features that I've been planning and promising for several months now.
Now, as I write this, I've realized that it may have been smarter to delay the Soft Launch 2.0 once the summer vacation for my kids officially ends and they are back in whatever is going to constitute school this year (as of now, it looks like they will at least be at their school most of the week in what I am trusting will be a safe and as-good-as-can-be social distanced environment). The big reason for a delay is that next week is going to be another challenge to post daily content, which then kind flattens out this week's grand declaration of a new beginning.
Next week will be easier to keep up at least short daily articles than last week where I had no Wi-fi connection, and it is better to just dig in and work with what I have then keep coming up with reasons to delay getting the blog in a position to be a destination spot for my loyal (thank you so much for those that have stuck with me despite infrequent postings) readers and hopefully, new readers.
Just jumping in and writing stuff will helpfully be the best of the new additions on this blog. My goal is to be a lot less precious about my writing, which has been my downfall. I tend to scrap pieces that I feel have lost their timeliness or hold off on something because it hasn't achieved perfection. I've had several reviews series that I've wanted to launch but keep getting cold feet because I fear that I can't do justice for the significant work that I'm analyzing. I keep wanting to wait for when I'm firmly planted in the magical place of elegant flowing words to begin some of my more ambitious pieces. I've realized now this has been the work of my long-time nemesis self-doubt poking me hard with the stick of self-worthlessness.
My goal is to just write. If I all I have time is 350 words for a major movie review, then fine. If I tend to meander over a major news piece where I am still working through my thoughts, then fine. If I realize time has caused my piece to be days after everyone else has given their thoughts, then fine. I need to trust my voice. I need to allow myself to suck sometimes. If I ever want to draw back my larger reader numbers, then I sure as hell need to make sure there is close-to-daily articles on here that give a reason for readers to keep on coming.
Let me be clear, my goal is write high-quality and entertaining pieces, but the dark voices have made me doubt my skill in that area in the last long-while, so I need to just trudge ahead and have a little bit of faith in myself. I really want this site to take-off, and I have some big plans for it. The growth of this blog is one of my biggest goals outside of publishing novels and landing articles/stories in specific magazines that I've adored for decades. If my goal is to grow this place bigger than ever and I believe that to be the truth, the best thing I can do is make this site seem professional and credible, and the biggest part of that is daily entertaining and valuable articles.
So, what should be expected in the new future for Soft Launch 2.0?
The review series where I review every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in order of release is a definite thing this time. I will also do the same with every Disney animated feature, with the bonus of including some of the classic shorts that initially started out on the big screen. These two series will take a good amount of time to accomplish considering I'll still have The Movie Breakdown podcast movies to review each week. My hope is to at least write mini reviews for most of the movies that we discuss on the podcast as well.
Another big thing coming with the Soft Launch 2.0 is that movie theatres have now opened in Ontario and with them are coming some new releases. I'll be back to reviewing theatrical releases with usually at least one new release a week. The first movies will be the animated adventure, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and the Russell Crowe starring thriller Unhinged. I also will talk about what it was like returning to the movie theatre and the adventures I had taking the kids.
That is another thing that I am going to focus more at, realizing that the appeal of this site is that I'm the writer and so I'm going to be more honest about where I am at and sharing how I feel and what is going on in my life. The goal is still pop culture blog over personal diary, but I want my personality to come through more, since it'll never be a site that gets exclusives or the first peek on something but it will be a place where we can start an authentic conversation about pop culture together.
I also want to start a review series on a TV show but haven't pinpointed what that will be. I am leaning towards both Friends and LOST, because both are major pieces of pop culture that changed the TV landscape, and one of them I've never ever even seen an episode. But I also want to review The Simpsons, Stranger Things, The Americans, Muppets Now, Fargo and a few others, so I wrestle with what to devote my time to right now. If you have a preference, have at it.
Though I probably shouldn't hold my breath for a response. I had asked last week what people wanted out of the blog, and I didn't get any responses. I should take that as everyone is happy with my planned direction. But I better hope no potential sponsors get a sniff of me admitting that I couldn't garner any of that sought after 'user engagement.'
While I'm not getting any responses anyway, what does everyone think about a tip jar? Tacky? Something you'd never consider putting money in? Something you really wish I adopted awhile ago because you'd love to support me? Anyway, I've got a few plans on the monetary front but most are needing some time to implement, but the tip jar is something I could set-up right away if anyone thinks it is a thing they'd like. Or maybe I should concentrate on writing pieces other than proclamations of a new beginning, first. Give you something to read before expecting anything else, seems fair.
A few other things planned is a tribute for the recently passed wrestler Kamala who I was a fan of in my younger years even if I have to admit the gimmick of an African savage from deepest darkest Africa is very problematic. And there are many tributes of beloved figures that I never wrote on here for many silly reasons that I will finally do over the next several months (years). I might get around to sharing some highlights from our camping trip along with photos. I have some emotions and thoughts on my kids being sent back to a physical school this fall. Even though I've dreaded writing about politics because I think the current discourse has been toxic, I think that I should share some occasional thoughts since it is going to be a wild fall. I want to keep on writing about things I've learned as I try to implement more positive thinking. Plus I'll share any major parts of my creative process as I work on short stories and a novel, life as a parent including some of my kids recent responses to movies I've shown them and I'll write a few creative pieces on here like I used to years ago. Plus, there is the serialized fiction story that I've been threatening for months now.
I also know for a fact that I'm missing a few significant things that I'm planning on writing very soon, but they can be surprises for when the time comes. For now, welcome to Soft Launch 2.0, the next few months are going to be exciting and the months after that will be an absolute thrill, and then you just wait for the proceeding months after that.
Okay, here we go. . .