It’s been a quiet few months here at The Slog, indeed, a quiet year after launching this site in January 2015. While I was still in school and working less, the Slog was more or less my main focus as far as writing, helping me do so consistently and freely. It’s a tool I took way too long to embrace and I look back on the 100+ posts here on the site with degrees of fondness and pride.
Writing (and I think many writers relate to this) is a potent combination of perfectionism and procrastination. As long as it is in your head and imagined, it is protected and safe. And as long as you don’t, you know, write it, the idea can remain such, unsullied by reality.
I discovered as college went on that, outside of my academics, I wrote little and read even less. What I did write was perfunctory. What I read was what I needed to read to move on to something else. I don’t know if this is common experience for those in college or pursuing writing as a vocation, but as life filled with a number of other opportunities and distractions, writing and reading for pleasure fell by the wayside. The Slog was the antidote to that, giving me a platform, however small, to be the writer I wanted to be.
I spent a lot of my time away the last few months from The Slog writing elsewhere. As is my lifelong endeavor, I worked on my book The Darkest Fate, the first volume in a fantasy series. I reconnected with my dear friend and artist John Vitale to collaborate on an untitled comic pitch that I will hopefully tell you more about soon (gotta actually write and pitch it first. You may sense a theme here).
Another project that fell by the wayside was going to be a Slog original, a reason why I created the site in the first place: my serial. I’ve long-loved episodic storytelling and wanted to bring that to short-form fiction. I even did a poll to see what I would write. The winner was Caged, a crime drama that is essentially my take on the Sherlock Holmes/Gregory House/Robert Goren archetype.
I am getting back into these projects, but slowly. Slowly is probably for the best, lest I overwhelm myself and claim defeat early in some sort of self-destructive defense stance. As of this moment, as is typical, I am way overdue on pages for my comic with John but I feel buoyed, from his encouragement and from finding my own again.
I was fortunate enough to get hired in February at Heroic Hollywood, a burgeoning site founded by noted fanboy journalist Umberto Gonzalez, who now works at The Wrap, one of the four big Hollywood trades. The site has been a boon and replaced the Slog as my primary vehicle for writing.
My passion for storytelling growing up led me to inhale film & TV like a hyperventilating hobbit and to, in turn, inhale the work of the pop culture journalists like Umberto who chronicled it. I followed the field as the blogosphere exploded in the early aughts, taking fans from message boards all the way to the sets of their favorite films. Being one of those journalists seems like a fun way to use my writing and love of storytelling.
In between, I’ve worked several jobs in and around Athens, most good experiences. Rapping, always a passion of mine, is on the backburner (which is probably in everyone’s best interests). Hip hop will always be my jam and inspiration but, as the son of paramedics, “triage” is a useful and necessary tool when it comes to goals. Perhaps there is a future for SPF, but first things first, I would like to work on my creative writing pursuits, Heroic Hollywood and posting weekly here. Once I get that down, we’ll talk blessing/cursing the Earth with my music.
The site will be updated weekly but the features will be more intermittent due to my role as a writer & editor at Heroic. I can’t, for example, review The Walking Dead season 7 regularly like I did season 6 due to reviewing Westworld at the same time. But there will be more one-off reviews of film & TV as well as columns on politics or writing and whatever else interests me.
The Slog has been my ever-present, slightly-neglected home, complete with a doorway made for confronting my fears. Obviously, it’s a doorway I don’t use enough. Too much of my time is spent confusing success with effortlessness, comfort with distraction, fear with authenticity. Combined, it’s a cocktail for self-sabotage.
Routines like that become the narratives we live, the filters for our world, the stories we repeat to ourselves. What I want now, I suppose as a consequence of writing this note, is both an outlet and liberation. To chase feelings faint as wisps of smoke without expectation. This lone post is just a start, of course, the first brick in a foundation. In the eternal quest for truth, it’s worth remembering an uncomfortable one: anything worth doing takes effort and focus.
Thanks for reading,