Gotta Make a Move Like Jagger

In my last blog post I discussed how I was burning out over the whole entertainment journalism thing, and that I needed just a little more convincing to finally call all of this quits. Tonight, let’s just say that I’m almost convinced. If it weren’t for an uptick in my health, then I think I would have pulled the plug on the site by now. Alas, I’m feeling just healthy enough to accept more punishment.

The situation at my day job has gotten just uncomfortable enough to prevent me from devoting the time I need to really keep the site competitive. Before these recent developments at work, I had the flexibility to run out to LA and cover a junket or an afternoon event, with my work/life balance intact. If a breaking news item hit my inbox I could jump on it and grab some of that early Internet traffic, and maybe score a quote from one of my insider contacts. Or, if things were just slow, I could always knock out some run-of-the-mill entertainment buzz to kill time. Management was OK with this because deliverables were delivered, e-mails e-mailed and projects projected, er…completed. It’s not so easy to do that these days, with new management taking over and my day job installing security cameras over my cubicle farm to monitor every move I make. Now all of my Working Author content must be separated into after work hours.

If I’m spending roughly two hours sitting in freeway traffic and another two hours covering the event, then that doesn’t leave me much time to write, edit, manage writers, nurture professional relationships and update the site; let alone eat and decompress. Simply put, I just don’t have the time anymore. I’m tired of napping in my car during my lunch hour to make up sleep.

And let’s not forget why all of this began. I’m trying to be a screenwriter, but I can’t remember the last time I had time to work on a script. I keep telling myself that I’ll just get through the next batch of movie reviews, talent interviews and entertainment news, and then I’ll work on my next script. But the entertainment industry is a beast that never sleeps. There will always be more entertainment to cover. I’m reminded of the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel get jobs at a chocolate factory to show their husbands that a day job isn’t as hard as housekeeping.

As it is, I’m way behind on some work I owe publicists. I hate being in that position, because I’m usually very good with deadlines, and I’d hate for my reputation to be marred. But the reality is that I just can’t keep up. I write good content, and publicists talk, so I’m getting pitches from people I’ve never heard of before. And that’s a great position to be in except that I can’t handle the workload. Just last week – in one day – I had to go to work, then drive out to West LA for a screening, then drive home to watch an entire other movie, review that movie, publish the review, then draft questions for an e-mail interview, then sleep close to three in the morning. Then get up for work at six. What am I doing?!

I don’t know anymore. I’ll give this thing a little while longer. After that, it’s time to start focusing on something else.

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