Immortalizing vs. Inhabiting: 2014 Blog Re-Vamp

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Hi all! Welcome back to my little web world.

So I’ve decided that I’m done apologizing for blogging absences. Nobody follows Nine to Phive closely enough that they are devastated or even put out when I go a little while without posting–okay, nobody except maybe my mom and second cousin. Anyway, I’m back! Rejoice with me!

I hinted awhile back that I was thinking of quitting blogging altogether, the reason being that I didn’t like what it had turned me into. I had slowly become more interested in “living life” in hopes of getting a good blog post out of it than just for the sake of living. Sounds scary, I know, but I think many media-makers, especially journalists and other social storytellers, struggle with this same feeling. There’s an ongoing tension between experiencing one’s life and “capturing” it. Weddings are a prime example. We’re all too busy immortalizing the moment via photos and videos to actually inhabit that moment with our minds, bodies, and emotions. I did not like these qualities in myself.

However, I’ve realized since taking a break from the blog that it turned me into something else as well–a writer.

Well, at least it was trying to. The creative discipline required to make constant contributions to a literary publication curated only by oneself is both invigorating and challenging. It is a very healthy way to get into the habit of simply putting aside time to write. Of course, I didn’t always put aside time to write. That’s why towards the start of my most recent hiatus I was posting a lot of photos, videos, podcasts, links to other sites, and Awkward & Awesome Thursdays. So many Awkward & Awesome Thursdays . . .

I want to tell you about two of my many resolutions in this 22nd year of my life (this last Wednesday was my birthday. I accept your congratulations gleefully!) The first is to be more present. I’ve been working on this since taking a break from blogging in the fall and getting a demanding full-time job around the same time. Both of these things have helped me realize how precious my time is and how I don’t want to miss out. The second is to write more quality content. I want to write well, and I want to write often. I no longer care about views, comments, followers and the other mires in which today’s social storytellers can get entrapped.

I care about making good art.

I’ve realized that I need to keep a blog for me. Not to delight the populace of the interwebs. Not even for my family and friends to keep tabs on my life. I need to do it because I am a writer, and doggoneit, writers write! (Shoutout to fellow storyteller Rachel Henderson for reminding me of this, even if you didn’t realize it.)

What This Means:

You can definitely expect some changes from the Nine to Phive norm.

  • Less posts about me and Josh (and our cats), but seriously, it’s hard to be a writer and completely ignore what’s going on in your own life. We’ll still be around.
  • Not quite so many photos. Josh and I still love photography, but I’m thinking that maybe Nine to Phive is no longer the place for that particular passion. Maybe I’ll start a Tumblr!
  • More words. Sorry in advance to your brain, it just has to be this way 😉
  • Diverse content. Some of the same old, but a whole lot of new. Film, gender identity, food, social justice, comics, travel, experimental performance art, folk culture, mental health, fashion, pop culture controversies, commentary on the works of other storytellers . . . heck, I might even take requests!

I’d like to end this post with a challenge to my fellow bloggers. I know many of you who read N2P regularly are already doing this, as you are among the people who have helped inspire me to make this change, but to the rest of you–

Ask yourself why you keep a blog. If the answer reveals something about you that you don’t like, change it. Commit to saying something that people need to hear.

God bless you, your new year, and all of your creative pursuits! Thanks for reading.

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Spider-Man 2 Filming in Rochester

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An image taken today by the local newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle

I’m ashamed that I haven’t posted about this sooner, but my humble hometown of Rochester, NY has been graced by the presence of film crews from Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

While I received an audition to be an extra (eeeep!!!) I ultimately wasn’t able to participate since the filming happened right in the middle of finals week. Insert heavy sigh. An opportunity that will likely never reoccur in my life just happens to land during the one week when I can’t jump up to answer it.

My boss at my internship was actually offered a crew position, believe it or not. Even more amazingly, he made the excruciating decision to turn the offer down. His pastor at the church where he is employed as head of videography needed him for the day, and he “chose God over man.” Now that is dedication.

Since today is the last day of filming, I’m kind of saying goodbye to this exciting era for Rochester as well as to the chapter of my life where I neglect my adult responsibilities to chase impractical projects with the slightest hint of a possibility of fame on the other side . . . ’cause yeah . . . I tend to do that. With graduation a mere two days away, it’s time for me to pair my dreams and my somewhat fantastical passions with a means of helping to support my family.

I may need to say “no” to some of my own interests, but hopefully doing that will mean that I never have to say “no” to wonderful opportunities for my family.

Thanks for the life lesson, Spider-Man! I hope Rochester looks great onscreen and is everything you are hoping for.