On Writing, and Other Selfish Ramblings

I just turned 25, which brings me to a weird little crossroad in my life. I’ve been taken aback with strong feelings of inadequacy for quite a while now, but now that I’m officially halfway through my twenties, it definitely feels like I should hurry up and do something worthwhile for a change. I’ve been living in San Francisco for five years now and am really feeling that it may have not been worth it. To show for it, I’ve got a degree that’s useless in the real world and a job that, while helps me pay the bills, rarely feels satisfying these days. It’s true that I’ve made some of the best friends of my lifetime while up here, and have also found someone I love with whom I could share my days together. Still, as far as self-fulfillment and motivation to better myself, I constantly feel that I’m at an all-time low, not helped by my ever-increasing anxiety over a seeming inability to escape this rut. I know that I need to stop comparing myself to others because it only fuels the fire, but it’s hard when it seems that most everyone else in my graduating class has it together, at least relatively speaking. And I know that I’m not alone with these feelings either – so why do I feel so small?

I think this is why I’ve been less and less motivated to write in length about film as each day passes. At eighteen, it was all I wanted to do when I “grew up”; I had aspirations to become a film historian and get paid to write about movies of all kinds and possibly even get into film restoration. Of course, these goals have been fading quickly as the years past, and I’ll partially blame the changing climate that makes it damn near impossible for anyone to make a living off of their writing. But I’ll also blame, once again, my own inadequacies. Simply put, the style of writing that I am most comfortable in isn’t exactly the kind that publications and movie sites want to feature. There are so many other more talented, devoted writers who can pull apart and analyze a film more excellently than I can, even on my best days (here I am comparing myself to others again). As for the film restoration part, reading more into the tireless efforts and sprawling amounts of experience required to get even a somewhat decent career in this field has, once again, made me feel completely unworthy of this role.

So here I am, at 25, unsure if my seven-year efforts to make a name for myself in the film community have deemed themselves worthwhile at all. I’ve been running this blog for three years now and rarely do I ever get more than 500 views a month (the vast majority of these probably being just from spambots). I’ve tried Twitter, but I fear that I’ve built up too much a reputation of a depressed young woman who is never satisfied with anything and happens to enjoy film. It probably says something that my Billboard challenge posts have been more popular than anything I’ve ever written about movies. Still, I haven’t gotten to the point where someone shares a post I’ve written, attached with a caption like “Wow. This is a must read.” or something like that. My writing is, simply put, nothing remarkable. While it might connect with someone who agrees with whatever thoughts I put into words, I don’t really bring anything new or exciting to the table. And I see so many talented writers – many of whom are also really great people in general – and while I so deeply respect and admire all the efforts they all make in creating something that sticks with me for days, weeks, months even, there remains this nagging desire for my own words to affect someone else the same way. And after seven years of trying, I’m trying desperately to hold onto any semblance of the fact that I’ve still got time and room for improvement. I’m trying my hardest to not simply accept that I’ve hit a wall and cannot ever move forward.

I want to engage more with the film community. I want to involve myself in popular conversations in film Twitter. I want to attend popular film festivals and be up on the latest buzz in movie news. I still feel magic every time I watch a great film, and even if the picture isn’t so great, I still feel compelled to engage in discussion for hours afterward. And I completely understand how selfish this all sounds, but it’s something that’s been eating me up inside for quite a while now. After running this blog for three years, I’ve almost run completely out of ideas. I don’t intend on giving up any time soon, but I often feel that there’s no point in any of this if I cannot improve myself. And since I don’t really have any other talent at all, artistic or otherwise, it feels like this is my only hope at achieving true greatness, in any sense of the word. And if I can’t tap into that one moment of resonation on anything I write, even for just a little bit, then even this is just plain trivial. I think that’s what I’m most afraid of.

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