Friday, July 15, 2005

What to do, what to do ....

To a large extent, this blog is driven by the old dictum that "Writers write." The best way to get better is to just keep doing it. I love writing at my internet home of Operation Sports, but there I am part of a staff and am always cognizant that I am representing a site, not just myself. Also, I don't find myself with that much to say about sports gaming these days. Focused Totality presents the entirely different challenge of a blank slate.

  • A weekly round up of capsule reviews? Lots of people do it, but A Finer World is my favorite.
  • Boundless enthusiasm and energy? Zilla's yer man.
  • Laugh-out-loud funny? Dave's Long Box does it better than I can.
  • Whatever you'd use to describe DIAL B FOR BLOG! is done as well as it can be by Robby Reed.
  • A woman's view of comics? Johanna and Peiratikos write wonderfully on the subject. (And, of course, I'm not a woman.)
  • Rounding up the Comics Blogosphere is the Rampage Way, and there's no need for two.
  • All the inside dish? Besides the fact I'm not privy, who can beat THE BEAT?

I could go on - there are many, many blogs that are incredibly interesting and provide unique voices.

So where does this blog fit in? Now that I can do what I want ... what do I want to do?

I've been thinking about where I should be focusing my energies, and where I should go with Focused Totality. My plan, as of now, is to continue commenting on things of interest ... but to lock down my reviewing to two types: One "Book Of The Week" which will be a longish (500-750) word essay on the single issue I found most interesting out of that weeks' books, and longer pieces dealing with complete storylines like the "Catching Up" pieces I've been doing, but without the cop-out of the bullet points. That's just sloppy writing, and I can do better.

P.S. - I know this isn't vital knowledge to anyone, but publishing this plan means I might do a better job of sticking to it. Also, I get to pimp some of my favorite blogs. Expect the first "Book Of The Week" later today ... I'll be discussing Desolation Jones #2.

P.P.S. - I also know that the sort of long-form criticism I'm looking at is handled well by many, most notably Ian Brill, Jog and The Fourth Rail.


zilla said...

Mark - about half way through your post i started to get the sinking feeling you were going to bail on this whole "blogging" thing - then i got the end and relaxed a bit. we're in this together buddy - back from comics after layoffs and all that jazz. i'm with you though - sometimes i'm not sure where i'm headed either so i just keep pooping out everything i can about anything of interest... i figure sometimes it's not 100% about what you're saying - but the voice/delivery behind it that makes it interesting you know?

keep writing and i'll keep reading.

zilla said...

ps can't wait for your review of desolation jones #2. i picked up #1 on wed and just got around to reading it today (wrote a mini-review i'm going to post tonight). it's the first ellis i've read (give me a break i was MIA for 15 yrs), and i enjoyed it. def "mature", but intelligent at the same time.

Mark Fossen said...

Nah - I'll stick around. I like having this outlet.

I think a little focus is just what was needed. I've been writing seriously for a couple of years now ... and my piece on Jones is I think the first thing I've really ever been pretty happy with.

zilla said...

let me go read it then ;) i have no writing training (or skills) at all and that's probably pretty obvious. i just write how i talk most likely. hopefully this "outlet" will help me improve that... plus it's almost like a journal you know?

Kurt said...

I struggle with this sometimes as well but in the end I write because I enjoy it and if mixing in a bunch of different 'types' of posts means I appear unfocused at times, so be it. You're doing a great job so far - write about whatever strikes you, at least you know Zilla and I will be reading.

Heck, if we ever get too worn out or lazy (in my case) to sustain our own blogs we can always start posting at Zilla's - the home for wayward comic readers. :)