So now that I passed a million views on this blog…now what? Good question. I’ve been wrestling with that answer. (If you’re short on time check out a Patreon account I just set up.)
Jon Krakauer touches on the theme of how fleeting mountain top experience can be in his book Into Thin Air as he explores the quest to reach the summit of Mount Everest. His says behind most mountain climbers desire to reach the highest peak in the world are years of dreaming, training, and a lot of money for travel, gear, and sherpas to assist in the climb.
A climb in which people have died. One that if you are fortunate to accomplish that feat (as Krakauer did in ’96) when you finally arrive at the top of the world you are light headed from the altitude and are sleep and food deprived. As Krakauer stood “28,028 feet up in the troposphere” he didn’t have much time to take in the view due to needing to descend for survival purposes.
“I’d been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But I was finally here, actually standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care….I snapped four quick photos…then turned and headed down. My watch read 1:17 P.M. All told, I’d spent less than five minutes on the roof of the world.”
Into Thin Air
Back in college I used to have a Nike poster with the tagline “THERE IS NO FINISH LINE.” Looking back I see it as inspirational, but with a twist of futility. Finish lines are good. They let us know how good someone like nine-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is in the world of sprinting.
Speaking of Olympic gold medals…as an athlete I never came close to winning a Olympic medal—well, I did win a first place blue ribbon in a potato sack hop during the English Estates Elementary School Olympics when I was ten, though I don’t think that counts—but I can imagine the let down after the real Olympic games are over. A lifetime of dreaming and training for an actual moment that, in some cases, lasted less than a minute of actual competition. Then what?
Well, after nine years of posts, I can see the finish line.
January 21, 2018 to be exact. (About 15 months away.)
That would complete 10 years of writing Screenwriting from Iowa…and Other Unlikely Places blog posts. My goal was never to blog for ten years, or to get 1 million views, it was to blog about 50,000 words—enough for a book. (In case you’re wondering, I’m finally within striking distance of completing the book. More on that in coming weeks.)
Crossing a finish line doesn’t mean the end. To switch metaphors, I’m not quite sure how I’ll land this plane, but I will continue to create content in some form. And while blogging will be an element it will evolve into something much broader than just screenwriting and include video essays—and possibly a podcast, infographics, ebooks, and whatever ever new technology seems fitting.
But those things are going to take even more time and resources, and probably more help from others to help pull off. For the 2,323 blog post that I’ve written I would say I invested an average two hours of time per post, meaning I poured into this blog at least 4,646 hours. And that doesn’t include all the books read, movies watched, commentaries listened to, internet searches, interviews recorded, transcriptions written & edited, and research in general.
A little crazy, I know. But that’s why they call passion projects, passion projects. There was no business plan written, no accounting books kept, no marketing plan prepared. No army of people gathered to study analytics. Just a strong desire to write informative posts and curate the best screenwriting and filmmaking advice for you and the next generation.
But as I attempt to climb the next mountain I need some assistance, so I’ve set up a Patreon account to see if readers like yourself will assist me. Please check out the website and thank you for consideration. And since this is a new venture it’s bound to have a few kinks to work out so I welcome all your input. As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. If you’re familiar with Patreon and support others already, I’m especially interested in hearing about your experiences.
Scott W. Smith
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