Aug 24 2010
I’ve decided to get a little bit personal today, with a post that’s a “better know an editor” without simply listing my favorite movies or videos games or what not. I get questions all the time about what I do for a living, which is well….this, and I thought I’d share just how exactly the life of a blogger works. Well, at least the life of this blogger.
No one had more questions about my job than my girlfriend, who I’ve transformed from blogging skeptic to avid reader over the past six months or so, but at least when we first started dating, she had a very specific idea of what I did for a living, and what it meant to be an entertainment blogger. She generalizes sure, but sometimes she’s actually right. Here are the most common things I’ve heard from her about what my life appears to be like, sentiments I often hear echoed from family and friends:
“So you play video games all the time?”
Mmm yes and no. Working from home as I do, it would be easy to just sit around and level up a WoW character all day, but if I did that, I probably wouldn’t have a girlfriend to begin with (no offense WoW fanatics). I just simply don’t have TIME for that.
I write anywhere from 13-15 articles a day for this and other sites. I do seven for Unreality, three or four for my news editor job at JoBlo.com, three for my partner’s site Uncoached and one for my video game column at TrueSlant.com (soon to be assimilated into Forbes). All of this adds up to a full-time salary, and this shit has to get done EVERY DAY without fail. For example, I went on vacation last week, and instead of just taking paid vacation like most jobs, I had to write about 60 articles ahead of time before I left. Once my girlfriend saw that I get up at 9AM and write without stopping for three hours before even considering “breakfast” before going back to writing even more, I gained a few respect points.
But she is right, I DO play video games for a living, at least in part. Video games are harder than movies to keep up with because well, they’re $60, and I can’t pirate them off the internet with any sort of ease. But yeah, I do have to sink some time in, especially when a new title comes out, to write a review on it, which is why when she calls and asks how my day went, I often immediately start talking about how many cattle rustlers I murdered in Red Dead Redemption or the new Krogan I befriended in Mass Effect 2.
On average, I maybe play forty five minutes of games a day, if that. Lately that’s been Starcraft 2, as I think I have one more installment of my journal series to write there, but I keep getting my ass so thoroughly handed to me, I’m almost broken. The next thing I’ll probably get into for a while is Halo: Reach, but it is hard to balance games, which are such a huge time sink, with my everyday writing and social life duties. Guess I’m growing up a bit?
“You look at boobs all day”
Uhhh hmm. Yeahhh, alright, maybe she’s got a point there. If my gf searched my “Pictures” folder on my computer, she would probably think I’m some sort of weird cosplay fetishist, with entire archives dedicated to sexy Night Elves or sexy Disney Princesses or sexy Pikachus. My internet history would turn up a list of sites that regularly feature half naked chicks all over the place, but the fact is, for the most part, I don’t even go to these places out of the desire to see such imagery. It’s just part of my routine, hunting the web for content to post or link to or be inspired by.
There is a simple formula in the blogging world. Boobs = 5x the clicks of non-boobs. What I had to quickly explain to my girlfriend so she didn’t think I’m some sort of creep is that simply, it’s what people want to see, and I would be stupid not to abide. The fact is, the analytics tell me that all of you, yes you, reading this right now, will click on a story that’s “The 15 Hottest Pictures of Christina Hendricks” over “10 Ridiculous Video Game Speed Runs” or anything else non-boob related 500% more often.
But it’s all about balance. I try to keep the site’s content in check so we don’t turn into a cosplay-themed girly mag. Fact is, in addition to the gf, my parents and grandparents and pretty much everyone I know read this site, so I like to maintain at least a few decency standards, and not get too top-heavy (pun intended).
When I can’t bring you the boobs myself, for risk of overload, that’s why we have our link dumps, and friends of the site like Maxim or Sports Illustrated or Playboy’s Smoking Jacket. We link to their boobs, they link to our Pokemon galleries. Which leads me to my gf’s next observation:
“What’s with you and Pokemon?”
Hah, oh man. Yeah, here’s the deal with me and Pokemon, which is apparently ingrained into my day to day life so much, my girlfriend asked me if I would appreciate it if SHE dressed up like sexy Pikachu for Halloween (she’s a keeper). The answer is obviously yes (I believe I’d find myself an Ash Ketchum costume) but not for any reasons that make me uncontrollably desire anything yellow, furry and electrically charged.
To be honest, I haven’t played a Pokemon game in close to ten years. But when I did, oh man, you cannot get better than Red and Blue where I had all 150 Pokemon leveled up to 100 (of course I used rare candy, shut up). I even played Silver and Gold, but that started to be too many Pokemon to keep track of.
Now there are damn near 500, but the real reason I still focus on them so much here on the site is simply because I FIND interesting stuff relating to them everywhere. Much rarely a day goes by without some kind of pop culture Star Wars reference, the same is now true of Pokemon, the fad that has lasted more than a decade already, and shows no sign of slowing down, at least judging by DS sales.
My actual involvement with Pokemon (outside of any real life sexy Pikachus I may encounter this fall) will likely remain limited to the occasional post. But once Nintendo FINALLY wises up and releases a LEGITIMATE Pokemon console game, I’ll be first in line to buy that along with a Wii.
“How many galleries of LOST fan art can you find?”
The gf is a big Lost fan (that was our second date, watching it on DVD), but even she doesn’t quite understand why I find so many art galleries based on the show, or any of the art I post for that matter.
Well, in short, because I think art is awesome. I’m an amateur artist myself, but when I find something I really think is worth sharing, I feel like I should post it for you all to appreciate.
I’m fortunate to have discovered DeviantArt which is an incredibly talented community of artists who have produced some of my favorite images I’ve ever posted on the site here. It’s also a proven fact in blogging that people love picture galleries, as they’re far easier to consume than video galleries. And if we’re being honest, they’re easier to post than long articles, as I don’t always have time to write a two thousand word article every day like this one.
So if you come across any fantastic entertainment-themed art out there, always be sure to send it my way, and I’ll give proper credit to both you and the artist. Oh and note to the artists, always remember to SIGN your stuff with either your name or website so I can give you credit if I randomly find your shit on imgur.
“Why do you watch so many terrible movies?”
I’ve subjected my girlfriend to a fair amount of awful films, mainly because before we were dating, I had to go see them by myself at noon on a Saturday. Why would I do such a thing?
Wellll, I kind of have a not-so secret desire to be a movie critic. I was the film editor of my college newspaper, and now with my own publishing platform, I’ve tried to carry that on here. That means seeing a lot of movies in theaters that I normally wouldn’t, and also buffing up on films I may have missed over the years, even if they turn out to be “shitty,” which a large number of them are.
But in terms of actual reviews, I have found that it’s almost always more fun to write reviews of bad movies than good ones. It can be a really good time to tear into something you just found to be absolutely terrible, but conversely it’s usually quite difficult to actually put into words WHY you loved a movie so much. That’s why my favorite reviews I’ve written are ones like Legion or New Moon or Transformers 2, but movies I actually like, such as The Road or Inception or Inglourious Basterds, it can be harder to express my appreciation.
But I’ll keep doing a mix of both, as my ultimate goal is to become a critic featured on RottenTomatoes. I have to get into a film critics society, and the minimum requirement is 100 reviews over two years. I’m just about approaching that mark, but I had my first critical breakthrough when I actually had a quote in the latest Expendables trailer, albeit for my other site.
I’m not a “real” critic yet per se I guess, but I’ve been trying to bust my ass to get there, and I appreciate all you guys reading my work as I’ve made this journey over the past two years.
So in the end, my girlfriend (and friends and family) have accepted that I do have a “real” job, albeit a pretty cool one where yes, I do play video games, look at boobs and watch endless streams of movies. It’s a pretty ridiculous life when I stop and think about it sometimes, but I like to think I do work pretty hard, as it ain’t easy to live as a writer in this day and age. It never has been, but I often feel like if I came out of college to start at a newspaper or magazine, I’d be unemployed right now.
So that’s just a little bit about my life I thought you all might be interested in. If not, and you wish this was a gallery of Christina Hendricks doing Princess Leia cosplay while playing Call of Duty, I can’t say I blame you. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
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