Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Breaking the Habit to Save the Baby, or, Triumph of the Random

I'll warn you, I have a history of starting things, and really getting into them... and then not seeing them through to the end. In fact, just before getting back to focusing on baseball cards and starting this blog, I went through an old movies phase.

No, you don't understand. I don't mean that I just enjoyed watching a few old movies. I mean that I restricted myself to movies that came out no later than 1939. And I created a huge database to record those viewing habits, cross-referencing the actors and directors, tracking down pictures for even the most obscure extras. And I read books about the history of motion pictures. And I attended a five-and-a-half-hour screening of the French silent movie, Napoleon, with live orchestral accompaniment. And I didn't watch a few movies, or even a bunch of movies, but an insane number of movies. This obsession lasted thirteen months. Unbelievably, from a baseball perspective, I started this at the beginning of October, 2011, so this coincided with two post seasons. (Though it should be noted that I missed, per usual, not a single inning of playoff baseball.) In those thirteen months, I watched 875 films. That includes a fair number of 20-minute comedy shorts, and a lot of movies lasted just over an hour in those days. But, however you slice it, 876 films in thirteen months is, well, a bit insane.

And that's what I'm warning you about, here. I thought about almost nothing but classic movies for over a year, and then, one night, right smack in the middle of another three-hour French silent movie, I was done. Completely. Couldn't watch another minute. Right now I have no interest, zero, in watching an old movie. I'm like Forrest Gump running back and forth across America until I simply don't feel like doing it anymore.

I've been so into this baseball card blogging thing that it's been more important than sleep. But I can feel the warning signs of that Forrest Gump moment coming on. I've painted myself into a bit of a corner. I love Feeding the Habit. But the habit is starting to rule the kingdom. There are a lot of different fun and random things I want to do on this blog. But the way I've started things, I've been feeling like there are things I have to do first. And those feelings of necessity and obligation are the precursors to moving on to something else. I've seen the symptoms. My posts have become less frequent. Top of the Topps has nearly ground to a halt.

But I don't want this to end. So this is an intervention, of sorts. A declaration. I want to keep doing this. I want it to be fun. I want to be able to do what I want here, not what I feel like I have to do. So, consider this a bit of a reboot. I'm still going to be Feeding the Habit. But only if I feel like it. If I get behind by a couple of weeks, I'm not going to feel obligated to catch up. If I want to share something I got tonight, it's not going to matter that I haven't posted about something from last week. I know that probably sounds obvious to you, and a little ridiculous. But these are the kinds of things I have to remind myself about.

It's gonna be fun. I promise. I'm gonna keep the "I Was There" posts rolling. I'll throw a card into the PWMD Set whenever I feel like it, whether it's been 15 minutes since the last one or 15 days. I'll keep Feeding the Habit, but in a far more random fashion. In fact, Random is going to the my mantra. I don't want to keep doing the same thing over and over. I want to take this in any unanticipated direction that may present itself. I just hope you stick it out with me. Because I'd love for things to become a little more interactive and fun. And I don't want to suddenly feel the need to move on to something else.

Can I get a "Run Forrest, Run"?


  1. It's perfectly okay to take a break from collecting and blogging. I've gone through similar phases at times.

    No matter what, remember that the blogosphere will be here whenever you're feeling the hobby a little more. Things like this happen from time to time, though.

    PS -- Please tell me you mixed a few Marx Brothers films into your pre-1939 run of old movies.

  2. Amen! When I first started my blog, I kept waiting to wake up one day and not care about it anymore. It's been going strong, but with school starting this year, I think I may be on a mini hiatus. I've really liked my '91 Fleer blog because I only update it when I have the time to, so it's more of a fun, leisurely posting session than an "I need to get something typed up for tomorrow" session that happens on Backstop Cards from time to time.