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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay, not my actual birthday. But yesterday was my third "bloggerversary!" Yep, I staked out this small, warm, welcoming piece of virtual real estate just over three years ago. It has had its ups and downs over the years, but I think this is a good point at which to look back, assess, report on things, and take stock. Think of it as a "State of the Blog Address."

First of all, I must give a huge thank you to all of you for reading. Like the proverbial tree falling in the empty forest, this blog would be a worthless exercise in vanity and futility if it weren't for all of you (yes, I realize that ended up as a somewhat ineffectual mixed metaphor -- tough). So I honestly thank you from the depths of my heart, and hope that you enjoy, learn and most of all -- return!

Let me get into some stats. In the three years since I began the blog, I have written 384 posts (this is my 385th). So I guess that averages out to approximately one every 2.85 days or so. Not too bad, considering the times when I've gone long periods without posting at all. Over that span of time, I've received somewhere above 130,000 pageloads, which is pretty cool in my book.

What kinds of posts were they? many of these numbers will be approximate, based on how you define the categories. But I've written 51 posts that were reviews of movies, DVDs, or screenplays (e.g. my FFFJ posts), including 4 quasi-reviews in which I offer my opinions on films I haven't even seen! 60 posts address the craft of screenwriting while 65 focus on the business of film and screenwriting in particular. And 48 have focused on the specifics of my screenwriting -- the safari script, Hell on Wheels, my effort at collaboration, my struggles with maintaining schedules, or my "process" in general. The other 160 posts I'd classify as miscellaneous. Writing-related memes, announcements about events of interest, links to blogs or other things around the web, 2 spoof fake news stories, etc.

And what of those gaps in posting that I mentioned? At least 11 posts included an apology for not posting in a long time! The first year, I posted very regularly, with few gaps. I also posted far more times than either the second or third year. In year one, I published 237 posts. The second year saw me take a full-time job, which greatly affected my schedule and time to post (not to mention my exposure to screenplays and the number of ideas I had for posts). Thus, over the second year, I only posted 61 times. That year also saw my first extended gap in posting, nearly a month from mid August to mid September 2006. Two more 3-week gaps followed during the winter that followed.

Year Three was better than Year Two. I posted 86 times (still not a ton), and also experienced 3 large gaps in posting. But at least two of them were what I would term more "acceptable." The first was a month long, in September/October, but that was while I was in Africa doing research for the script I was hired to write. And there was also a nearly 2 month long break that just recently ended, but that one was while I was deeply engrossed in actually writing the first draft of that script. So I consider both "excusable" and also beneficial since they gave me more knowledge about screenwriting, more experiences, and more insight -- all of which find their way into the blog itself. (The third gap of the year was about 3 weeks long in Dec/Jan. I was also traveling during that period, so it may be understandable, even if not screenwriting-related.)

Year Three also saw a big step in the evolution of this blog. When I started the blog, I wanted to help people who were earlier in their career paths than I was. I saw that I was sort of "on the cusp" of advancing my career, and though there was definitely traction before then, this past year saw the first big step forward for me since then. I got an assignment to write a screenplay for an independent production company, and officially became a professional screenwriter. That development has added a new dimension to the types of posts I've written, with greater attention paid to the business and my experiences in this first pro gig. I truly hope they've been helpful and enlightening to some of you, and/or that they will be to future readers.

I've always been proud to be one of the earlier members of the so-called Scribosphere -- the corner of the extended blogosphere to focus on screenwriting. I don't know exactly, but I'd guess I was among the first 10-20 members. Now there are well over 100, and possibly even 2-300 (or more). I've seen many wonderful blogs come, and unfortunately a few go as well (including some of those that I particularly enjoyed). I've always been honored by anyone who links to me (which is why I always thank anyone who does, as soon as I notice the link), and have felt a certain amount of responsibility as one of those early adopters. It is for that reason that I feel a certain amount of guilt whenever my posting slows. Hence the exposition above about number of posts, and periods of non-posting.

It is also the reason that I've kept my blog so focused, posting almost exclusively on screenwriting and film. I know that I might be able to get more hits if my blog had broader content. But I feel that the message would be watered down somewhat. Thus, I hope it is that focus that brings you, my core readers, back -- even after my long gaps in posting.

So in the end, thank you all for reading over all these years. I was just talking last night to a few other screenwriting bloggers and marveled about all the wonderful people I met due to this blog. People I never would have met otherwise. To me, writing is about connecting with people and communicating with them. Just as I hope to do with my screenwriting, this blog allows me to do the same. I look forward to posting more Q&A posts in the future (I have 4 or 5 waiting to be answered), and furthering that connection in the year(s) ahead!

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Anonymous D. Montoya said...

Happy Blogaversary Fun Joel!

Thanks for all the good advice and wacky stories.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

randomly, i have many elephant safari stories should you need a traveler's POV. great to see you!

4:09 AM  
Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

A blogblessing on your head, mazal tov, mazal tov! Jerusalem also wishes you well on this milestone. And let me tell you, Jerusalem knows a thing about stones. Although milestones, here, are kilometerstones. FWIW.

11:16 AM  
Blogger John David Roberts said...

Truthfully, if a little too-earnestly, it's guys like you making their way by deliberate increments that inspire me more than the breakout hitmakers. Cuz I'm more likely in the middle of the bell curve with good company like you.

Keep up the inspiring work. And incidentally, Darkness has moved to www.johndavidroberts.com, a work in progress

6:16 PM  
Blogger John David Roberts said...

Thanks for being the first commenter - attempted. I fixed the site so anyone can register now.

Sally forth!

6:34 PM  
Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

You really think there are 200 to 300 screenwriting blogs? I find a lot of defunct ones and only a handful of really good ones.

6:47 PM  

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