Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday to You, Blog!

Dear 22-year old Jenn,

Hi there. I’m you, two years from now. That’s crazy, right? But it’s true – I’m sitting here, typing out a letter to you, back there in 2011, to let you in on some important tidbits of information. First and foremost: you’re going to have a whirlwind two years in terms of writing.

You’ve started this blog, you see. You’ve named it A Still and Quiet Conscience, because it derives from one of your favorite Shakespeare quotes and also because you think that this will just be a placeholder – that eventually you’ll stop keeping up with the blog anyway so it really doesn’t matter what you name it now. You don’t even really know WHY you wanted to start this blog in the first place. You tried your hand at another blog earlier this year, where you wrote entries spring boarding from famous quotations, but your updates started getting fewer and far between so you’ve kind of given up on that venture entirely.

You really like Community right now, and I’m here to tell you that in two years’ time… that won’t change a bit. In fact, over the course of the next two years, you’ll become even MORE invested in this series, in its characters, in the plot, and in the writing of the episodes. You still have this blog two years from now, Jenn. Can you believe that? You’ve managed to go two WHOLE years without giving up on writing as a side project. That’s pretty awesome for you, so be excited!

Can I let you in on a little secret? A week from now – your second blog-entry ever – you’ll review “Geography of Global Conflict.” You’ll sit in the corner of your office at work and contemplate tweeting the link to your review to Dan Harmon. Do it. The trajectory of your blogging will actually be altered in ways you could never imagine when you do. Because, you see, Dan Harmon is going to READ that review. Moreover, he’s going to respond to you, via Twitter, about it. He’s going to praise it and you.

It will be a moment that you revel in, that you talk about two years later (still) because you can’t believe it actually happened. Dan Harmon is the reason you’re even writing that first blog-review right now – he’s the one who created Community, after all. And Jenn? Dan Harmon is going to be the reason you continue to do this. His tweet is going to be the greatest source of encouragement for you. Because without it, you may have succumbed to the writers’ block and likely would have let this blog fizzle out entirely.

But that one tweet from him? That’s going to open doors.

You thought that this blog would slow down and then out after a few months like your other one did. You’re thinking, right now, that this adventure will probably be short-lived. But you see, Jenn, when Dan Harmon responds to you… your entire blogging life will change. You’ll review every single episode of Community’s third season and you will gain new Twitter followers and readers. A woman named Kim is going to reply to one of your entries and start following you on Twitter.

You and Kim? You’re going to become really good friends. You’ll Gchat nearly every day. You’ll text and talk and eventually you’ll get to know her good friend Sage. And, down the line, you, Sage, Kim, and Jaime will end up starting a podcast together where you discuss fandoms and pop culture and television shows. Can you believe that?

It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows though, I’m afraid. You see… you don’t know it now, but the Community fandom is going to get a shake-up soon: your beloved show will be put on hiatus. But that’s not going to stop you. Because you’re going to take part in a movement to bring the show back – it’ll be called #sixseasonsandamovie. And it’ll be one of the best things you ever witness on the Internet. Hundreds and thousands of Community fans will come together: they’ll start flash mobs, they’ll tweet advertisers, they’ll write letters and bombard social media outlets about their favorite show. They’ll convince the network to bring it back.

And you’re going to witness that first-hand.

Moreover, you’ll be a PART of it.

Once your show is put on hiatus, you’re going to have this idea, because you’re so passionate about the series and about writing your reviews, to do a #CommunityRewatch mini-movement on Twitter. You’re going to start at the pilot and work your way through the first and second seasons while the show is off the air, watching each of the episodes and writing reviews of them. You’ll gather fans on Twitter and together, you will live-tweet the episodes on Thursday nights at 8 PM, just as if they were airing for the first time.

You’ll write a review of “Debate 109,” and post it on Twitter. You’ll claim that you’re no Alan Sepinwall, but you’re doing your best at reviewing the series. He’ll retweet that and note that re-marathoning the series as if you were watching it for the first time is one way to deal with hiatus. (Your page view count will skyrocket after that.)

Your Twitter friends will help you promote your blog-reviews, too. Yvette Nicole Brown will read two of them as a result of this and compliment you, saying that SHE learned from YOU about the characters and the show. (You’ll feel very flattered.)

During your re-watch, Megan Ganz will compliment your writing as well, and you’ll feel elated. She’ll read your season four finale review, too, and thank you. She’ll call your analysis “well-written” and “thoughtful.” One of your absolute favorite television writers will say those things about you. It’ll knock the wind out of you for a moment, but you’ll smile so much that you feel like an idiot.

Here’s the thing: you’ll never stop feeling extremely touched and grateful, Jenn. You’ll keep meeting people via Twitter and your blog, but it’ll never stop being exciting and exhilarating and weird to you. It’ll feel like an out-of-body experience when you think about it too much – when you consider the fact that the people you admire are actually reading what you have to say. YOU.

Community will be on hiatus for a while, but that won’t be the only bad thing to happen in the fandom. Dan Harmon will be fired as showrunner. Your heart will break, but – as you have seen happen before – the fandom will join together and make the night you hear about the news something so hilarious, so wonderful, and so random that you’ll stay up way too late just because you don’t want the experience to end. Community will get a fourth season. And it’ll even get a fifth season.

(You’ll still review the fourth season in-depth, even though you know that it just wasn’t the same quality as the first three seasons. You’ll lament this a lot.)

Things will eventually start to change for your blog, too. You’ll continue to write about Community more than anything else, but there will be this YouTube series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries that will emerge soon, and you’ll become utterly engrossed in it. When the series ends, you’ll write a lengthy goodbye/tribute post where you spend paragraphs dedicated to each of the actors and their characters.

That post will become your most viewed post EVER.

The cast (Wes Aderhold, Julia Cho, Allison Paige, and Christopher Sean) will promote that post for you, will profusely thank you, and will make you misty-eyed. As a result, you’ll gain some new friends in the LBD fandom and discover that they share your love of other series as well.

Jenn, you’re also going to start watching Suits. And when you do, you’ll fall head-over-heels for the best character on television: Donna Paulsen. She’ll be the queen of everything and you’ll write a post stating just that. Sarah Rafferty – the actress who plays Donna – will retweet that post and your little-blog-that-could will earn the attention of a lot more “Suitors.”

This blog – this thing that you think is going to fizzle out, is going to succumb to your writers’ block – will inevitably become an extension of who you are. People will know you as the girl who writes the in-depth reviews of Community. People will anticipate those reviews, just as they do Alan Sepinwall’s or Eric Goldman’s. You’ll be thrown, headfirst into this crazy, awesome, wonderful world of fandom. You’re going to grow so much as a writer, as a person, as a Twitter user, and as a blogger in general. You’re going to make friendships – LASTING friendships. That will be the best part, Jenn: the friendships. Because no matter how many page views your blog gets in the future, no matter how many writers or actors read your work… you’d be nowhere without the amazing friends and followers who constantly support you.

You’ll love them, too. They’re random and hilarious and kind and sweet. They’ll be there for you when your dead-end job sucks (because I wish I could tell you that in 2013, you have a new job but you don’t yet). You’ll be there to witness engagements and weddings and the birth of children. You’ll laugh with these people until your sides hurt, and you’ll cry when they encounter the worst kind of heartaches. You’ll tweet about movies, text about celebrity encounters, and Gchat about your weekend plans.

These people will become your community. Cherish them, Jenn. You’d be nowhere without them.

And you don’t know it now, but this one small step – this decision to start writing blog-reviews no matter how silly or insignificant you think the idea is (because right now you think it’s absurd, that Jaime will be the only ones you ever show these to, etc.) – is going to completely and utterly change your life. And it all starts when you hit “Publish.”

So don’t give up on yourself, kiddo.

Because I know, from where I sit, that you’ve accomplished a lot. And I can only assume that there is much more to come.

Thank you ALL who have been with me on this two-year journey. I wouldn't be here without you guys, and I know it may seem silly and insignificant to celebrate the birthday of a blog, but... well, then I guess that makes me silly! ;)

While I prepare the cupcakes and streamers, hit up the comments below and let me know how you discovered this blog & which post or posts have been your favorite thus far! Have a great week, folks, and thanks for being a part of this adventure with me!

1 comment:

  1. Discovered this blog via an AV Club commenter linking to the "(In Which I Discuss My Internal Struggle in the Wake of #RenewCommunity)" post.

    My favorite posts of yours are the "Virtual Systems Analysis" recap and the Nick/Jess vs. Jeff/Annie analysis.