Some hard thinking after one year of writing articles for a website almost nobody reads.

I started this website one year ago today with almost no direction. I gave the website a title with almost no meaning,  all I had was this vague ambition to write, and so I did. Somehow kept this place consistent for a whole year. In that year this place has grown far bigger than I ever thought was possible. I don’t like sharing much about myself on here. This place is supposed to be about media, not about me. Be that as it may, this is still my website and everything I’ve released here thus far has been an extension of myself.

There has been one big misconception about me many have been falsely claiming as truth. So I figure I would take the time today to clear that misconception up.

So here’s a revelation: I am not a reviewer or a critic. I know! Crazy! But yes, I do not consider myself a reviewer or a critic. The purpose of this website since the beginning has been to analyze media and entertainment and for the most part, I think I’ve done a good job at keeping that theme consistent, with a few minor exceptions of course.

There’s an awkward stigma associated with critics that I find myself distancing from more and more. After all, this is Turn off the Bright Lights, not Buring the Celluloid. All joking aside, I’ve detested the critic typecast simply because of the little importance it denotes. This is not to criticize people who do reviews. There’s nothing wrong with being a reviewer. I just wouldn’t like to consider myself one. To put things bluntly, I have terrible opinions. I wouldn’t call myself contrarian, but others certainly have. I have a fixed way I view most things and if I were to speak with that perspective constantly at the crux of my articles, I don’t think anyone would bother reading. Not like many people actually read these things, but I’d like the keep the choice few that do.

Some may begin to call into question the fact I’ve done reviews in the past and that is a completely valid point. However, I’ve realized the fault in doing so, and because of that, I’ve only continued my 150-word track reviews but even in just doing those many people still get the wrong idea about my website. I was recently contacted by an independent artist who wanted me to write a review for their new EP. I told them I don’t do reviews and we settled on a track review instead. When I did that, however, something still felt wrong to me.

Originally I did track reviews to fill empty space between articles. At the time I didn’t have a consistent schedule like I do now. As things have progressed here I’ve slowly begun to realize how unnecessary they are now.

So as of today, I’m killing all reviews on this website. Instead, I’m going to be replacing them with a new segment that I call “artist spotlight.” This is going to be my chance to expose general audiences to artists they wouldn’t have bothered to go find otherwise. There is a chance track reviews will return in some form, but their overall structure will be completely reformatted to the point where they will be almost unrecognizable. Anyway, the first spotlight will be out next week.

And with that, my stigma has hopefully been effectively killed. Now I can go on to focus on yet another question. A question that I’ve wanted to answer for a very long time.

Something I’ve asked myself at least a hundred times is why. Why do I write? I’ve mulled it over for a while and the answer has come to me in short bursts. It takes a lot to admit something to yourself, when you’re younger feelings aren’t the most simple thing in the world. Regardless, I’ve kept this website up for a year. While it hasn’t remained entirely consistent I’ve made the effort to always release something. Even if it was just once a month.

Once again, I ask myself, “Why?” Why do I do this? Why even bother? Why do I put up with being called a reviewer by people who have no idea what an analytical essay is? Why do I continue to write despite being ridiculed by people around me? Why do I write for a website that not even my own girlfriend reads?

It’s because I love it. There is nothing in this world I’ve ever felt more accomplished doing and I mean that wholeheartedly. I want to do this forever. I want to release the countless thoughts I have on a regular basis and show them off for all to see. I am a writer and if we want to get really personal, I am an artist.

For every callow comment I’ve received there’s another that inspires me to keep going. Even if I have to pull myself back up there’s never been a doubt in my mind that I love doing this. Regardless of the few people who actually read these things I’ve told myself I have been doing this for me and that intent hasn’t changed. I thank everyone who has supported me through this year. I’m genuinely glad I’ve made it this far and can’t wait to go even farther. The new year is upon us as we are beginning to move into a new era where we turn off the bright lights.

Thank you.

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