I always thought that if I decided to stop blogging, it would be a bittersweet thing. It has been almost a year since I last wrote a review and the truth is that I've been able to enjoy - or outright hate! - a lot more of what I take in now. I've stopped having experiences solely for the benefit of reviews, which has been very nice when it comes to foods.
The truth is, though, there have been several times in the last year that I have sat down to write a review and I just haven't felt it. Don't get me wrong, there have been many things I have been passionate about, in all areas of the works I customarily reviewed. As well, when I was proximate for the live taping of a podcast where the podcasters were utter sycophants, devoid of critical thought, original perspective and clearly beholden to the idea of not pissing off their corporate sponsors, I absolutely saw the value of my work. While some of my opinions and articles have sparked backlash from readers, my perspective - especially my nitpicky devotion to established franchises - has come from a genuine and informed place. There were several projects I was excited to tackle with W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe: there have been some wonderful trading card sets recently (especially since I started making evaluations divorced from collectibility), some truly amazing performances I've seen and atrocious continuity in Star Trek: Discovery that made me ready to leap on my wife's idea of top ten lists for each episode with how the show shits on the franchise. I've had a lot of thoughts on the state of the industry with streaming services and I had a passionate appeal to Sir Patrick Stewart about his role in getting a new Star Trek series and on and on and on.
And there is so much stuff out there that I could keep blogging for the rest of my natural life and never run out of material. But, at some point, some things are just great, at least an equal amount are just terrible cashgrabs and while I can argue the intellectual points expertly and frequently, I just can't find the passion to continue writing about things for which most people will simply have a gut feeling about. You can't argue feelings and I've never wanted to; much of being a critic, though, boils down to raising up that which appeals to me and tearing down things some people have a visceral enjoyment of.
The blog kept my critical eye and mind active for years and it continued my writing at times when I could not devote my attention to writing one of my novels. My life is rapidly moving toward a place where the new novels are going to be written and I will publish them myself (the next two have strong concepts that are served best by being books I both write and physically assemble!), so I no longer need the daily self-discipline of writing reviews.
I would like to thank all of my readers. For years, I had people who actively read my blog and who commented (many of which were read, but not published or responded to publicly) and who cared about what I wrote. Thank you. The blog will stand for as long as such things exist and readers may still feel free to read, share, and make purchases through the links; one of the advantages to having such a voluminous library of reviews is that as new works are produced that are entirely derivative of other works, readers may return to the blog to see what I thought and figure out easily what I - probably - think of the new stuff. More often than not, I wrote in a vacuum and worked hard to self-promote the blog, but seeing hit counts go up on various articles always made me happy and I truly hope I amused, challenged and informed those readers who found my blog.
Thank you for many great years of reviewing!