Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Significant Other Side of Film Blogging



Today marks an important day in the history of this blog. It marks two years that my wife and I have been married. What does this have to do with a film blog you ask? Well, a lot actually. If you stay with me for a just moment I will elaborate further. In the two years since I became a married man, a lot has happened in my personal life. Most of it has been good (i.e. the birth of my son) and some of it has been bad (i.e. getting into a car accident over the Christmas holidays), but my wife has been my rock through all of it. One of the biggest areas in which she has been unconditionally supportive is in my blogging endeavours.

Although this blog has been kicking around since 2006, I only really started to take it to the next level two years ago. Those of you who are bloggers, or follow blogs, know that maintaining a blog can be both time consuming and often thankless. This is especially true when you are a film blogger. While it is fun to converse with others on all things film the fact of the matter is it takes time to watch films, let alone write about them. Throw in the increasing day-to-day responsibilities that come with having a job, a family and raising a child and you have a recipe for a stressful situation.



When I first started the site my goal was to post once a week if I was lucky. Over the years it somehow evolved into posting content almost daily. Again, though I enjoy it, it is still rather time consuming when so much of my day is allotted to other more pressing things. While adding JBT to the staff has been great from both a creative and time standpoint, I know I will eventually have to add another writer or two to take the blog to where I would ultimately like to see it go. Regardless, it takes a lot of patience for someone, who is not a hardcore movie lover, to let me indulge in my cinematic obsession the way I do.

I would often joke with others that “even my own wife doesn’t read my blog”, which is partially true. Although she occasionally pops up in a few of our conversational-style reviews, my wife does not frequent the site that often. This is partly because she often will read the stuff I write long before it is posted on the site. I find that getting her “average Joe” thoughts on particular pieces helps to gauge whether certain points get across the way I intend. Even this act requires my wife to take time out of the numerous things she is doing to humour me by reading my piece, even if it is only a few minutes.



If my wife was not as encouraging as she is, I have no doubt the blog would not be where it is today. Yes, in the grand scheme of the blogosphere, Big Thoughts from a Small Mind, is but a mere speck. However it is a speck I can be proud of nonetheless. To be honest, I never thought it would provide me with the opportunities that it has. In the past two years not only have I had the chance to meet and become friends with many local film bloggers, but I have even managed to become an accredited member of the press for several of the local film festivals (e.g. Hot Docs, Reel Asian, Toronto After Dark, etc.). Whether it was encouraging me to accept my pal Ryan’s invite to attend my first blogger pub night, or enduring hours of me being away at various film festivals, my wife has been one of the driving forces behind many of the key moments in my brief blogging existence. So to all those bloggers who may have a significant other, a family member, or even a close friend that provides support to your film geekery, take a moment to thank them for all they do. Film blogging would not be as rich and rewarding without them.

26 comments:

  1. Courtney, this post really strikes a chord with me. I started my blog last March, and my wife has been so supportive the whole time. Our daughter is just turning three this month, so I'm in a similar situation to yours. However, she's still supported me heading out to see films, do podcasts, and also joined me to watch a lot of movies at home. Like you say, starting a blog can be thankless at times, but it's been a great experience.

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    1. That is exactly the kind of support that I am taking about! I also like that your joins you in watching films at home. My wife has started watching films with me that she would not have picked out herself (i.e. foreign films, documentaries, etc).

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    2. It's definitely more fun to watch the movies together, even if it's something she isn't that excited to watch (odd genre films in particular). Glad to hear you're doing the same at home too.

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  2. Congratluations on the anniversary!

    I know what you mean about "not even my own [family] reads my site". I just hosted my extended family for Easter and the question I kept getting asked was if I was still doing the blog (which obviously means they can't be bothered to read it.) I was kind of pathetic in how big my gratitude was when one person (of the 19 who came) told me that she reads it most every day. (And she wasn't lying to make me feel better, either. She mentioned some things specific to my posts.)

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    1. The one thing I told JBT when she started on this site is to write as is you only have one reader...even if that one reader is herself! Of course it is always nice to know others enjoy what you are doing as well. Regardless of whether all 19 family members, or just one, reads your site, every little bit helps in keeping the motivation going.

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  3. That's fantastic. I know that feeling very well (during a serious relationship of mine a year ago) and it can be a great thing to have that support even when you can say that she "doesn't visit the site" all that frequently. She used to get mad at me for not mentioning to her about side guest writing gigs I got.

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    1. Showing interesting in your various writing projects is definitely a plus in my books. Even if you are not in a relationship, it is great when your friends show that level of support as well.

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  4. First and foremost, a hearty congrats on two years. Next time I see you, the first round is on me.

    Secondly, to the neverending challenge of balancing life, marriage, and the desire to write online. You are 100% correct in pointing out that a supportive spouse is key in chasing down your passion. Like you, I'm married to someone who doesn't read what I write, but also like you and D it's because 95% of what I write is something I've discussed off-handedly with her first.

    So here's to those that give us the drive and determination to keep stepping up on to our little soapboxes: We're very lucky to have them in our lives.

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    1. Thanks, man. I am not one to refuse a free pint. :p

      Yes we are indeed lucky to have them in our lives. It takes a special person to tolerate all the little aspects that come with constantly obsessing about films.

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  5. Lovely post, Courtney. It's great to read about the support you get for your passion. And in an indirect way I feel helped, as well. Your wife encouraged you to go to pub night and then you invite me out to it. So thanks to you and thanks to your wife. Supporting you supports us all.

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    1. Funny how things end up “paying it forward” in regards to the pub nights. The Toronto bloggers have also been very instrumental part of my blogging life in the last few years as well. If my wife was the first, and most important, ring on the chain, the pub night crowd would probably be the second ring.

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  6. Well I'm 17, so no spouse for me. But my parents are certainly supportive, helping me to keep going.

    Good post Courtney, and let's hope you keep going.

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    1. Your parents definitely count in this regards. It is fantastic that they are supportive of you, a lot of parents would simply scoff at the idea of film being a passion.

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  7. Happy Anniversary!

    you are right, film blogging can, at times, be quite thankless. But know that we are thankful for you and your posts!

    cheers!

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    1. Thanks. The support of all our readers, as well as the film blogging community in general, is another thing that keeps this site moving forward.

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    2. Great post, Court, and a great way to honour your anniversary too. A big thanks to you for exposing me to this wacky, wonderful and time-consuming world of film blogging. I'm grateful for the time I get to spend watching, writing and reading about movies and for the patience and support my husband gives me in proofreading my posts and helping me come up with creative titles for them!

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    3. Funny enough, post titles is my wife's weak spot. I try to run creative ones by her but she rarely can come up with a catchy one on her own.

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  8. Congratulations on your anniversary. Loved this post. This post definitely struck a chord. I absolutely love blogging, but it sure devours time.

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    1. It is actually quite crazy to think of how much time we all devout to film blogging. Even though we enjoy it, there is no denying it takes up a heck of a lot of our time.

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  9. Congrats on two years! What a lovely way to honor your wife, Courtney.

    My husband rarely reads my blog and has NEVER listened to an episode of the podcast, but also has never looked down on my obsession either. Movies just aren't his thing, but that's fair because I don't really read his medical blog either. And he always agrees to hit the theater when we have nights away from home. His show of support but lack of involvement is nice because I feel it allows me to have something all my own.

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    1. You make a good point in regards to there being a positive side to your spouse's lack of involvement. We all need to have activities that we can consider our own. Couples that do everything together do not necessarily stay together.

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    2. What?!! He doesn't listen to the podcast?

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  10. What an excellent, heartfelt post to add to one of my favorite film blogs. Truly passionate commentary here. Love it. Congrats on you and your wife's anniversary!

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Once and a while I step out my usual Rambo-like facade. :)

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  11. Congrats on your anniversary, CS.

    And you are right, people who support you should get a thank you and mention. I already did when I interviewed my friends for a post last valentine. And to think I 'dragged' my boyfriend to some 'serious' movies he normally didn't want to see and watched The Artist at midnight time :)

    This is really a great post.

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  12. Congrats on the anniversary and keep up the good work! Film blogging has taken over my life. And my fiancee is supporting me (and pretty much singlehandedly planning the bleeding weeding) while I spend hours reading and writing! I should thank her more! God help her if she doesn't 'like' one of my blog posts on facebook though! Then there's trouble!

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