The existential nightmare of working as a hobby.

This is all off the cuff. Bear with me, please.

I have had this website for four years and have posted on it for almost as long. I stopped doing it as frequently last year due to burnout and the overwhelming sense of dread surrounding my written work.

“Will anybody read this?”

“Does any of this matter?”

“Why should I bother?”

These are the thoughts that permitted through my mind for around three years. I originally started writing media reviews because I wanted a solid portfolio of work for a potential job if I chose to pursue writing. At the time, I didn’t want to create videos or stream or anything. I wanted to see if I could make it as a text reviewer. I wanted to try to find ways to make my writings as engaging and insightful as possible.

And I FUCKING hated it.

My writings were so sterile and non-critical that they were practically unreadable. Then, I decided I wanted to try and inject humor and informal speech into my reviews as a form of stress relief. I wanted to have more fun.

And you know what? I did.

Giving a piece of media the critical eye while cracking jokes breathed new life into me and helped motivate me to write more and more. It was then that I took a break from writing about movies and mainly focused on games. I mainly did new releases at first but as time went on I started to go through my massive backlog of video games to find inspiration. I was having a lot of fun.

Until I didn’t.

I stressed myself out writing and finishing games so much that I started to resent playing video games. I also couldn’t watch a movie or a tv show without thinking “Oh I HAVE to write something about this to justify my time!” That’s a shitty way to view something you genuinely enjoy. So I quit.

It was then that I started Kuma & Kumo Present: with my friend Sam, a podcast exclusively about movies. I had the idea at 4 am and just took off with it. We’ve been doing it for a year at this point and I love doing it so much, same with a solo podcast I do that I call In The Thick Of It. These are both projects that I’m incredibly proud of.

So why do I feel stressed out when I think about them?

I can’t do Kuma & Kumo as much as I’d like because…well Sam and I are adults. We work. We have lives. We’re busy. That’s fine. And Thick Of It is a podcast about me so it’s all dependent on if I want to talk or if I have a funny idea. The issue more comes with this sense that I’m not doing enough. I always stress if an episode takes too long or if there’s been a gap in releases and it brings me down so much.

My dream has always been to entertain. To bring people joy. To lighten their mood. Yeah, it’s a little silly to attribute these serious feelings to writings and podcasts about garbage media but I do! I love talking about this stuff. I like working on things. I don’t want to make money off it persea, but I do want people to engage with it. To provide feedback.

And I think that’s my problem.

At some point, all of this became about “eyes”. About “viewership”. This should all have been about having fun and personal satisfaction from the start. I want to make things for me, who cares how long it takes to come out. It will be fun. And I will be satisfied.

This is why I’m working on something new.

Let’s see where it goes.


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