How I'll Ensure 'Beyond the Balcony' Rocks Off Your Socks

I'm actually happy with how Beyond the Balcony has kicked off 2023.

I know, I know. My thing is usually to apologize for the lack of original articles and reviews, and then swear up and down that things will be better right away.

And then write seven more versions of the same thing over the next month.

But I am not doing that. I wrote a silly piece of fiction that turned out to be popular by the current standards of such things on this site. I posted a movie review for a 2023 release. I did the required gushing of my kids' skills, while also applying some self reflections and positive thinking. I also posted a an advice piece that got some decent engagement from readers. And yes, I confess the last two weeks have been crammed with reposts, which is a thing that I hope turns out to be very rare for most of the year.

But I am proud of what I've written, and I am confident that this will be the best year ever on the site and there is oodles of creative writings, think pieces, and movie reviews coming your way throughout 2023. 

Here are a few strategies and plans that I must do to make sure that when you look down at your feet that you've noticed the pure awesomeness of the site has caused your socks to fly right off.

Focusing on 2023 movie reviews. My big issue in past years has been the goal of writing reviews for not only new releases, but also for classic pictures and various themed review series. Then I end up getting overwhelmed and frustrated, and all we end up with is The Movie Breakdown. 

For at least the start of the year, the plan is just focus on writing reviews for 2023 releases. As well, the plan is to try to write a review for a movie before I watch the next one, so I'm not overwhelmed with five movies screaming they need an in-depth review. I'll also allow myself to throw together a few quick reviews rather than believing each movie needs thousand plus words.

This new strategy is part of the reason why there has only been a review of M3gan this month. I have been trying to juggle mounds of administrative work, strategic planning, client writing and some other creative projects, so I knew there wasn't time to write reviews. Especially, since I'm still striving to recapture my review writing mojo.

The plan is to write reviews for Plane, Missing, A Man Called Otto, and The Whale, but I haven't rushed out to see them due to knowing I wouldn't be writing them right away. As long they all remain in theatres over the next two weeks (and I can find time to sneak out to see them), then reviews will be posted for them.

Not obsessed about timeliness. My reader numbers are much better when a review is posted close to the opening day. A tribute and analysis of news draws in more readers when it is still a hot topic on social media. But at this point, I am just trying to make sure the highest quality writing that engages readers shows us up on Beyond the Balcony. Once I hit my groove and am writing quality pieces every day, then I'll worry more about timeliness. 

I have actually somehow avoided having an emotional meltdown over the fact I haven't seen a few releases this month. It is very likely that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania will be the first movie review to actually get posted on opening day (or near to it), due to how my next few weeks are looking. And I am fine with this, and rather more concerned with just crafting quality reviews that provide some unique insight and conversations.

More creative pieces. A few people has asked me why I don't do more creative writing on here, and I got really tremendous feedback on what was a rather silly throwaway fiction piece to kick-off the year. This has given me a bit of confidence that various forms of creative writing should be regular features on this site.

The fact that I want to do a variety of different writing from short fiction, goofy poetry, humour pieces while also still doing pieces that analyze major movie news, share experiences as a parent and writer, and various other things is major reason why I'm just committing to reviewing 2023 movies. Cutting down what I'm expecting from myself in that regards, will allow me to explore various forms of writing.

Whatever ends up connecting with readers will then finds its way on the site more often.

Newsletter. This won't be right away. There are several things that I've promised through the years that due to various reasons have remained hidden in the shadows. I am brainstorming what type of exclusive creations could find their way on a Patreon and a Substack or various other monetized mediums that with charging a small subscription fee would help me justify finally pursuing them.

I don't want to jump into this, because I am not entirely confident that I have the reader-base that is willing to pay for anything from me yet. The idea this is looming around the corner to strike is a strong motivation, and I am excited to create some ambitious and fresh art and entertainment for readers, listeners, and viewers. 

It probably won't all be behind a paywall either. It will just be various forms of mediums that could attract different type of audiences with some of the things supported through a subscription.

In order for me to have any faith in it, I want to increase my daily numbers. This means I need to continue creating new and interesting articles and other writings. The motivations and goals should drive the site to be far more interesting and unique in 2023.  

Mastering Social Media. Social media has largely just been a thing where I post links to my articles. I know it can be much more than that. My goal throughout 2023 is to make my accounts as engaging, interesting and valuable as the site and podcast (and future YouTube videos). I haven't quite solved the puzzle on how to increase engagement on them, but just like with my writing, I am constantly talking to other writers for advice and being open to learn.

I have convinced myself that my writing is good, but the low numbers have been the lack of consistency on the site and the lack of awareness of my writing outside my small circle. Since the only way to stay positive is to believe this is the truth, I need to focus on correcting my two issues. Rather than readers just trusting yet another site address, it should become obvious on the site in the coming weeks and months.

It also should be clear that my top goal is to always strive to be better every day, and create writing that is meaningful, fun, and original. I hope the above will help with that.

What are things you hope to see on the site in 2023?