Monday, December 15, 2014

This Is Not the Post You Were Looking For...

Hey guys. Yeah, I know. Once again we didn't post on a Walking Dead episode right after it aired. As usual. Last season we managed to post by the Tuesday after the Sunday episode only once, and it was retweeted and talked about and picked up all over. And the following week we went right back to our Thursday/Friday/Saturday/whatever posting.

And the previous post to this one — from November, I might add — featured three weeks all in one post because we just never got our act together to get things over to you.

But then again, that's not really the truth. Which is why this post will be in place of the finale post you stopped waiting for over a week ago. Because instead of focusing on a rushed back and forth chatter between a blogger and her co-writer, I wanted to talk about this blogger and that co-writer, and the problems with doing what we do. And how we constantly hang our heads in shame, but the following week find it difficult to actually do anything about it. And how appreciative I am that despite everything, someone is still actually reading this.

Way back in 2009, we were gearing up for the final season of Lost. I was posting not just once a day, but several times a day, keeping everyone posted on everything that was happening in the world of Lost, from filming rumours to casting announcements to just plain talking about the show. To fill the space between seasons five and six I ran a Lost rewatch, where we watched all five seasons that had aired to that point, and there was a lively discussion each week as I would post three nights a week on the episodes we were watching. At the time, we all had a lot of fun leading into season six. Now those posts still sit there, while some rude person goes through them one by one leaving nasty comments for me to find five years later on what an idiot I am because I didn't see certain things coming, how I'm a Jack hater and don't know shit about Lost. She posts under two different names, but I'm pretty sure it's the same semi-literate person. Sadly, I get all of these posts sent to my email, but I stopped reading them about a year ago when I realized this person had absolutely nothing positive to say.

In 2010 I continued posting like a madwoman. My kids went to bed around 8pm, and I had the evenings to do it in. I worked at an office where we could take a break in the mornings and had lunch breaks, and I'd sit at my desk and post during those times as well. Each week as a new season 6 episode aired, I'd post on it that night, often staying up until 1 a.m. to post some epic piece of writing that I tried to make thoughtful, but in essence was a reaction after watching the show only twice. I used many of those posts as the basis for my write-ups in the books.

And oh yes, those books. Between 2006 and 2010 I published five books on Lost, writing over a million words on the show between my blog and the published material. My husband took the kids to his parents' house on weekends so I could get the writing done, and through the week I posted in evenings and in those precious break periods. This blog was alive. After an episode write-up there could be up to 400 comments (the finale had even more). People were reading, and when you know the audience is sitting out there, you write for them. You're not writing into a vacuum, you're writing for people who have become your friends, in many ways. I was just writing my Christmas cards this week and marvelling at how many of them are being sent to people I know through Lost and Buffy fandom, mostly due to this blog.

When the final book came out in November, and I noticed numbers dropping off because people didn't have Lost to talk about, I announced the Great Buffy Rewatch in 2011. By the end of that year, I was officially exhausted. The beginning of 2012 saw the blog peter off a bit, and so did my numbers. By the summer, I was no longer receiving a salary because I'd moved away and went freelance. I can no longer take a break or a lunch period because if I do, I'm off the clock. I'm paid only for the times I'm sitting at my desk and actually doing real work. If I so much as take a phone call, I'm off the clock. I'm a bad freelancer, simply because I'm so damn honest. Most people would just inflate their invoices and not mention those lunch breaks. I can't in good conscience do that.

Here's what a lot of people don't realize: even when I was getting 5,000 people reading this blog a day — around the Lost finale it was hitting 25,000 per day — I never monetized it. My husband begged me to, watching all those hours he could have been spending with his wife being whittled away in her office as she clacked away on her keys for her beloved readership, but I refused. It would mess it up, it would be difficult to read. I've never accepted any money for this blog.

So now, when I decide to knock off a half-hour early from work (like I am now) and go unpaid for the rest of the day so I can write up something, when I try to give the kids some breakfast and rush down the hall to write up my next pass for Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead and send it to my collaborator so I'm not affecting my actual work hours, when it's 11:30pm and I think, crap, I should probably write up my next pass because my collaborator has been waiting all day for it . . . I'm doing it unpaid. And for someone who's now paid by the job, that's become a lot tougher. And, to be even more crass, when it results in small reading numbers and four or five comments, you wonder if anyone is even out there. Who am I writing to anymore?

Josh Winstead was one of my most avid posters back in the Lost days. Like me, he had a job where he could post on lunch breaks and morning breaks as well, and he was articulate and funny and brilliant, which is why I proposed he and I collaborate on The Walking Dead oh so long ago. And we've done it ever since.

But now I'm a freelancer and my time is extremely limited. Now my kids aren't in bed until 9:30 or 10. And until then I'm doing loads of homework with them and being there for them and talking things through. Personal issues have come up where I'm devoting my time to helping out a family member who needs my help, and whom I'm determined to make better. We have a crazy number of pets that need constant attention. I've got permission slips and am always dealing with teachers in a day and age where parents must be far more hands-on than my parents ever had to be. My kids are both old enough to be involved in separate extracurricular activities and I'm running from one end of the city to the other. And somewhere in there I'm trying to find time to actually see friends of mine, live, face-to-face.

And then I took on another book. Because if I'm writing, I should be paid for it. From May to November of this year I've been working constantly on my book on the BBC series Sherlock (coming to fine bookstores near you in fall 2015), and on the weeks when Josh gets things to me quickly, he waits and waits and waits.

But see, his work changed, too. He can't post the way he used to, and finds his time is sucked up. Some weeks I'm the dud, and other weeks I'll send him a pass on Monday and hear back from him on Thursday. He's a dad, too. And a husband. And one who had to deal with some unexpected health issues that came up in his family last week. It was a scary time, one that ended happily, thank goodness, but one that involved hospitals and worry and sleepless nights.

The last thing on either of our minds was this Walking Dead post.

The Walking Dead is a show about people who stick together in terrible times. It's about the relationship parents have with their children and vice versa. It's about the families we make and not necessarily the ones we're born into. It's about pulling together to make things happen, but knowing when to let go.

When Daryl walked out of the hospital in the finale with a lifeless Beth in his arms, and Maggie crumpled to the ground wailing in emotional agony, I thought it was a beautiful, extraordinary, shocking ending. I loved it. I didn't actually watch the episode until the next day, and somehow managed to remain unspoiled by then. I loved most of the finale, even if I had a few nitpicks. I thought the acting was extraordinary, and I loved the grey areas highlighted in the episode, rather than going all black and white like many other shows would have done.

And ... that's my review. I wrote up a much longer pass and sent it over to Josh and then his world collapsed, and that review no longer matters to me. What matters is that his family is OK, my family is OK, and I enjoyed seeing other people discuss the finale.

Josh and I were chatting earlier today about the lack of bloggage on this episode said I think it's time to retire this blog. He wrote me back an impassioned email begging me not to. So maybe I'll just let it hang around here when I need it. And if any of you need it, let me know and it's yours for the day or the week or however long you want to use it. Someone might as well use it. I read countless blogs and articles every day and rarely post any comments on them, so I should know better than to think of the lack of comments meaning no one is reading. I know a lot of you are still out there.

But I'm finally admitting that it's become a ghost town, with tumbleweeds rolling past, and I no longer want to apologize for that. Every year I open with a post promising to post more that year, and I post less. Without fail. It hangs over me like a weight, like this thing I should be doing but don't. And then I think, why should I be doing it? I have a million other deadlines and responsibilities. And I barely have time to watch television anymore, much less write about it.

If I'd monetized this blog back when it was at its peak, I could probably be writing on here daily because it would be worth my time to do so. But so many other people need my time now, and unfortunately this place that made me so happy, that allowed me to do what I love doing more than just about anything, just has to fall by the wayside because I can't keep up with it. I have kids wanting my time, authors complaining that I take too long to get things back to them, work deadlines to meet, and, frankly, books to be read. (Check out my Goodreads page, which probably gets far more action than this blog these days!)

I miss our Lost days. But if they taught all of us anything, it was that we stick together. So, I'm not going anywhere. I apologize if weeks go by and I don't post anything. When Game of Thrones comes back, I'll be here with Chris Lockett. I lobbied for shorter posts and everyone immediately said that we absolutely should stick to the 5,000-word posts that we've been doing, but to be perfectly honest, they take SO long to write and I'm worried I just don't have that kind of time anymore, not like I once did.

Blogs seem to be going the way of the dodo, but I'm reluctant to give this one up because it's where I met so many people. Yeah, I'm over on Facebook posting constantly every day, so if you want to make sure I'm alive, that's where you'll find me. And many of the things I'm posting over there in short form were what I used to use this blog for in long form.

So I'll stay. And every once in a while I'll have something to say. And feel free to say something back. And know that when I DO post, it's because I miss you guys and just wanted to say hey. Well, that or someone really pissed me off that day and I want to rant about it. :-D

I want to thank Josh Winstead for powering through this season, and even if we didn't make a single post out on time, I had a blast doing them with you, and I thank you so much for sticking with it, my friend.

In case I worried anyone, Josh and I are absolutely fine, and there's nothing to worry about. Last week just hit one of us with a wallop, and the week before hit the other one of us. It's just been one of those seasons, and we tried our best. But rather than think of it as a failure, I actually look back on this season as one of the biggest triumphs, because somehow, with both of us having jobs that prevented us from having any time to post, with both of us having extra work we had to do in evenings, with both of us having two older children, and with both of us having busy family lives, we still managed to get something up here. And you guys managed to still come and read it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And now I've got to run and get my kids from school...

P.S. It's now three hours later. I forgot to hit the Publish button before leaving, and my son has a grade 2 social studies test tomorrow that I had to help him study for, my daughter has a ton of math and science homework, and both of them are now running through the house and using my office as their launchpad. It's taken me 10 minutes just to type up this P.S. because they won't stay out. And that, my dears, is how these posts fail to happen on time week after week. ;)

33 comments:

Efthymia said...

So, you're saying that you have a life outside this blog and that recapping The Walking Dead isn't your sole purpose in life?
INCONCEIVABLE!

We'll always have LOST.
And The Great Buffy Rewatch.

:)

Rebecca T. said...

I totally get it. This blog will always hold extremely fond memories for me. I met some amazing people here. And I'll be one of those who's hanging around to read whatever you post whenever you post it - even if it's once every five years ;)

(And that is a no pressure promise, I promise)

Never feel like you have to apologize for not posting or for life changing and shifting. It happens.

This blog has had a huge impact on me and the way I watch tv (for better or for worse :P ) and I will always be grateful for it. But all good things must come to an end.

Even if you never post again I know I'll be back here poking around and re-reading old Lost posts, the fake Lost episodes, Buffy rewatch stuff, etc. because memories!

KathyT said...

I'll miss you, but real life takes precedence over a virtual blog life every time.

Becky said...

I love this blog.

I love your honesty, and how the passion for whatever you are writing about shines through your words- whether it be your family, a tv show or a book.

I will probably never meet you, but if I did, I would thank you in person for making this blog so much more than the thousands of bits of code that come to my screen from the other side of the world.

I love coming here, and still will, hoping for something new to read, but knowing that like all of us you have your own things.

And if it ceases to exist? I'll be sad. But really, this blog is no longer just a website but made up of relationships and good memories. They're here for good.

God Bless.

Martin G√ľnther / mgkoeln said...

I must admit, this was the first post in a long while that I read from top to bottom. Because, yes, life changes and sometimes there just isn't enough time to write or read about your favorite shows. And yes, TV changes as well. As great as TWD or GoT are, they are no second LOST...

Thanks a lot, Nikki, for all your time and thoughts all those years. Visiting Canada is still on my to-do-list - and reading you on FB these days is a constant reminder of it. I hope, I'll make it one day - and maybe we'll even meet in person then. Or maybe, you'll drop by in Cologne ;-)

"We'll always have Facebook!" (Julia Walker, "Brothers & Sisters")

Sevon said...

I started following your writing shortly before season six of Lost. I've eagerly read every post you've produced, and often discussed them with my wife afterward. I do some writing myself, and you are one of the people who has inspired me to keep plugging away, to try and make something of it. To be a writer, for real. So I'm sad to see the blog come to an end, hiatus, break, what have you. I'll miss your voice and your thoughts on these shows. I wish you all the best, and hope you find both the time and the inspiration to return soon.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

A little over ten years ago I used to post a Buffy story a day. Yes, a day. For a year. And then I didn't. (but you can find them on Archive of our Own.)

I've enjoyed your blog,and read all the entries unless they were for something I hadn't watched yet (spoilers.) It's another thing that changes, but then, we're constantly changing too.

I only have one question - are you doing a Toronto launch for the Sherlock book? ;)

verification word usled. Usled, I sled we all sled - it's winter!

Ashlie Hawkins said...

Sadly, this is the way that many blogs are going these days. In the past year or so I've seen several bloggers shutter their sites due to falling numbers, too much pressure, family issues...it goes on and on. The blogging world is changing, more and more people seem to be turning to Instagram and doing more "micro blogging" through that.

All of that being said, it must be incredibly freeing for you to write this post. And your blogging is the reason that I started blogging, so I owe you so much for that. And if it wasn't for this blog, I never would have joined book club and been able to make so many awesome real-world friends!

B. said...

I love reading your insightful comments and hope you still write when it's fun for you. You and your family first.

Beachgirl5835 said...

Thank you for your insights on many a television series. I couldn't have gotten through Lost without you. (Am doing a rewatch now and have your books.) Will miss hearing your thoughts on TWD, but I'll live. See you around for GoT.

humanebean said...

You've more than earned the rest and renewal time for your family, your husband, and YOU, Nik! Those who know and appreciate your hard work will always be grateful for all you've done. In truth, each time I watch or read something I enjoy, I will be honoring the spirit of sharing that you created with this blog. Now, go breathe!

Marebabe said...

Ah, dear Nikki, I totally understand where you’re coming from. Life, and priorities, and all that. All I want right now is reassurance that your wonderful archives will still be here, even if you “shut down” your blog. What a loss it would be, for all of us, if the LOST Rewatch or the Great Buffy Rewatch just vanished into the ether. And those are just the main attractions on this blog. I’ve reread much of the content here, some of it multiple times. It’s rich, and it should be preserved. Please say it will be! Could you maybe just disable further comments and let all of the wonderful LOST and Buffy discussions remain as they are? Whatever you do, I will understand and support your decision. You’re a dear friend, and I’m so glad I got to know you and your far-flung minions. I’m thankful for Facebook, which is where our conversations continue. Merry Christmas to you, and to my fellow minions. Namaste.

Austin 'Teebore' Gorton said...

Totally get it.

Just wanted to let you know this old Lostie is still reading (though not as often as he'd like) and rarely commenting, because I barely have time to keep up with comments on my own blog, and combined with everything else (blogging, fiction writing, podcasting, working, and soon (oh so soon) an infant) there's just not enough time in the day.

But yours is a site I always keep my eye on, always make a point to check in with every once in awhile, no matter what else is going on, and read what you've got, even if the vigorous days of Lost discussions are behind us.

And I'll continue to do so, no matter how infrequently you post.

Write what you want, when you want. Don't worry about your audience. We'll be here.

BreezieGirl said...

I saw someone else in the comment said, "write what you want, when you want" and I couldn't agree more.

I'm one of those readers that rarely comments (I'm lucky when I have the time to read, let alone comment!) and find I'm reading less and less. My feed reader currently sits at 450 unread posts. Real life, it happens to us and it's allowed to happen to you too.

Be well, live well, write if you want or can, but never feel any pressure to do too much. We'll love you no matter what.

Andreas Krueger said...

I will definitely miss your intelligent observations, Nikki. But I guess it is time to move on. But your blog was an important part of my (literary) life.

In closing, thank you for everything you have done to make some amazing TV events even better.

Page48 said...

Nikki, no apology required as far as I'm concerned. And, you're right, blogs (the ones that I frequent) are fading to black at an alarming rate.

I check this blog regularly and, if there's something new, I read it. If it's tumbleweed, I just come back later to see if there is an update. Sooner or later there always is. If that ceases to be the case, then what has already been written here over the years stands as a public service, IMO.

Marebabe said...

Here’s an idea for you all everybody. Over on Facebook, there is the Lost Support Group, which is made up of a pretty darn nice and friendly and courteous bunch of Losties. Several times a day, someone will toss out a question or post a theory or a bit of fan fiction, and the discussion inevitably follows. I myself posted a question recently about the series finale, how Jack got out of the cave unassisted and woke up wounded and all alone beside the stream. It’s a good group, and I recommend it. (Just today, it was suggested that Lost Support Group could be shortened to LSG, and someone said he thought that was what was on Sayid’s sugar cube. I like it.)

Anonymous said...

Long time reader - hardly ever post...Like others I have many blogs I have read over the years and some are disappearing...honestly, as one who "works for the man" and has 2 kids, volunteer work, etc etc, I am always amazed that anyone has the time to write a blog...never mind the incredible posts found on this site. I'll always come back, re-read old posts, check for anything new - and if not - that's OK! I know you have a life and kids and other priorities. Take care of yourself and the ones you love...all of us out here in blog-land certainly understand!

EsDee

Anonymous said...

Long time reader - hardly ever post...Like others I have many blogs I have read over the years and some are disappearing...honestly, as one who "works for the man" and has 2 kids, volunteer work, etc etc, I am always amazed that anyone has the time to write a blog...never mind the incredible posts found on this site. I'll always come back, re-read old posts, check for anything new - and if not - that's OK! I know you have a life and kids and other priorities. Take care of yourself and the ones you love...all of us out here in blog-land certainly understand!

EsDee

Anonymous said...

Discovered your blog sometime in Season 4 of Lost which led me to buy 3 of your Finding Lost books. While I may have only commented once on a Lost blog and once on a TWD blog, I always looked forward, usually impatiently, to reading them all. Your positivity, while not always my take, was refreshing and created an amazing blogging community during Lost. Thank you for your time for these past years and as Kathy T. said, real life takes precedence over virtual life every time. Enjoy and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Namaste

Amy Maib said...

Nikki, a couple things: 1. You are the only person I feel like I know but actually don't know - I've only met you through the internet, and on top of that you're still one of the few people on my FB feed that I will read every one of your posts.

2. When I read this blog today, I felt the same feeling I had at the end of LOST because even though you are a real person (whom I have never met only through the internet) I connect you with those characters and I mourned for them, still do. (10 year anniversary, every time one of the numbers randomly appears, when I see the actors in other shows) I will mourn the end of your blog.

3. Don't feel bad about shuttering it, not for one moment. You do not belong to us nor to the blog. You belong to your family, and they should get your attention and time.

If you ever come to Central WA state I hope to meet you because I'm pretty sure we'd be best friends or something very close. (I know, it sounds weird coming from a person you don't know, only from the internet) Take care my friend.

walace said...


What can I say but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The spell i ordered from therapist Oniha email at winexbackspell@gmail.com did just as it said it would to my ex wife and even more,she is fully in my house now with love and respect,i am so happy she is back to me and my happiness home again. You are underestimating your spells my friend as they are more like miracles from Divinity. Blessing be with you and yours throughout life...

Thanks Therapist Oniha email him at winexbackspell@gmail.com and praise him for me. He must be an angel on earth to be able to turn my love around!

walace said...

What can I say but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The spell i ordered from therapist Oniha email at winexbackspell@gmail.com did just as it said it would to my ex wife and even more,she is fully in my house now with love and respect,i am so happy she is back to me and my happiness home again. You are underestimating your spells my friend as they are more like miracles from Divinity. Blessing be with you and yours throughout life...

Thanks Therapist Oniha email him at winexbackspell@gmail.com and praise him for me. He must be an angel on earth to be able to turn my love around!

Efthymia said...

Ah, look at "walace", generously offering some spam so that you won't feel bad about staying away from the blog...

humanebean said...

Aaaaaaaaand ... Walace wins the Internet. Is any further comment necessary? Or even possible?

"Fully in my house now with love and RESPECK."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Batcabbage said...

Totally get it, Nik. I'm sure it's been a long time coming. As for it being a ghost town, what I'd like to say about that is best said in a form I'm sure you're familiar with.

Those who don't post may
Not have anything to say.
We always read, though.


I don't comment much, but I still click here everyday to check for new posts. I'll continue to do so. Just in case.

Tony Boner said...

I'd just like to say thanks! I've been reading your blog since the Lost days (but probably havent posted a comment since then)and I obviously havent told you how much I've enjoyed the read. Hopefully you will still get some time to post occasionally and if you do I will try to add a comment so you know there are no tumbleweeds blowing past :)

Eric Fingerman said...

Hi Nikki I just wanted to let you know that you are appreciated. I have been reading your posts since the Lost days and I have always been more of a reader than a commenter.
It is totally understandable that you need a break from blogging. Most of us lead busy lives and have families that need our love and attention. Sometimes when something that you once enjoyed starts to feel like work or hard to do, then it is time to take a break.
Just know that if or whenever you post, I will be there reading your posts and enjoying every word I am reading.
Thank you Nikki.

Dusk said...

Totally get it Nikki. I still lurk here even though I'm not into GoT or TWD. Not because I wouldn't like them, because I don't want to pay extra for MAC and HBO and I know myself, I'd want to read the books and comics too. I don't have the fandom time to commit to that!

Still, I'll keep checking back every once in a while. Still would like to know your thoughts on Orphan Black sometime. And trust me, your family would love Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra animated shows.

Korra just wrapped up and the creators got both series finales done right. And may have made cartoon history not unlike Joss did with Buffy for live action shows. Currently a big topic is the romance implications but their is a lot more to the show and its characters, just like Buffy is a lot more then Bangel vs Spuffy. The worldbuilding, action, character development and animation are all deep and gorgeous even for adult viewers. If you get one last thing out of this blog I'm happy if these shows are it.

Best of luck to you are yours on your future!

sinoda said...

LOST was the only serialized show I ever committed to. Your blog was my favourite of all. I felt a part of a spiritual community during those years.
I never watched Buffy, or BB, or GoT, or WD...
I did finally see The Wire and searched back for your blogs on that show.
I enjoy your writing. I love when you write about writing or books or life. You're a great writer.
I hope one of your projects becomes so lucrative that you will be able to write whatever you want for the rest of your life.

Allison said...

Started reading a long time ago when you were writing about Buffy. Never watched Lost, but have enjoyed several of your posts (on various topics/shows) nonetheless. Anyway, just wanted to say that most of us here get it. At least I hope we do. At least I do. Thanks for all you've shared, and I look forward to reading more... when you have time, of course. ;)

Anonymous said...

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Benjamin Olivia said...

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dr ebosele for restoring my relationship back. I lost
my husband to another lady who happens to be his superior
at the office. my husband was going out with her after two
years of our marriage, when found out that my husband was
having an affair with another woman, i confronted him
and all he did was to send me packing. When i discussed
the issue with my friend jenny, she told me not worry
that maybe my husband was under a spell and she suggested
that we consult a spell caster named dr ebosele. my friend
told me she came in contact with his email on the
web when she was searching for answers to a similar problem.
we contacted him for help and behold he gave me the answers
to my problems. I was surprise the day my husband and his friends
came to my house asking me to come back to the house,at first
i taught i was dreaming but behold it was real and now we are
happy together again. THANK YOU DR EBOSELE i will forever be grateful.

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OR CALL HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348157534383