Just Give Me Something to Write With and I’ll Be Happy

A wonderful evening

Dear Ray,

It’s been some time since I’ve written. It’s something that’s been gnawing at me for awhile. My website, my own private piece of cyberspace, has been an untended garden that I’ve been dying to do something with. I’ve left it vacant for far too long.

The website has long been a passion project of mine. I remember before starting the site, I would spend quite a bit of time writing and doing photography. With your suggestions and guidance, I finally starting publishing on the web back in 2002. It was an outlet for whatever was on my mind. Sometimes I would post a picture of something I saw that interested me, sometimes I was political, and sometimes I would just rant about nonsense (which is part of the reason for the name of the website before it even had a name).

It was fun back then. There was no pressure to post. Aside from dealing with someone who’s toes I stepped on (I was quick to find that local celebrities have the thinnest of skins), it was a joy to post (almost) every single day. What made it fun though was the absence of pressure to post something, anything.

As the site grew, I started to cater to specific niches that people enjoyed reading. I started creating podcasts and newsletters for movies and video games. In turn, I was getting movie passes, screener copies, and invites to cover notable events. Considering that the site was and still is a hobby and not a job or source of income, I tried to keep things working at a manageable pace.

However, even though I refused to take any money or parlay the site into something that could become a career, producing material felt like a chore. It started to no longer feel like I was writing or podcasting for myself but because I felt a need to write a specific review or analyze an earnings report.

In 2010, I knew I had a problem. I was about to start my teaching career, but I was given a serious offer to sell out and take on writing full-time (I could have theoretically still worked full-time as a teacher too but I think I would have burned out fairly quickly). It was easy to reject the offer for two reasons: the first was that I wasn’t interested in writing for someone other than myself and the second was I felt even though I was the only one controlling what I wrote, I was still not writing for myself. What was an originally an organic process that came from ideas in my head that I wanted to share turned into something formulaic that wasn’t fun anymore. Writing was frustrating and podcasting was a chore (spending hours editing out ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ was depressing).

Mentally, I had checked out and I stopped. The site went on hiatus for a few months. After the sabbatical, I felt recharged enough to write and podcast again, but I would fall back into the same problems and would take more time off to rest my mind. Moreover, teaching and building my career was my top priority and it felt like the website was causing more mental fatigue than anything else.

During my hiatuses, I would agonize over what to do with my little spot on the Internet. Every year or so, I would get an offer from someone offering to buy one of the domains that I own. Each time, my mind would go all over the place. Even though I was never seriously considering selling anything, I did think about whether I would write again and if it was even worth paying for the domains year after year.

This last break has been the longest. I’ve been thinking long and hard about a lot of things; not just the website but life in general. Lately, it seems like I’m pulled in so many directions that I feel the precious free time that I have left is a scarce resource that I’m in a losing battle to protect. The last few months have been quite rough both personally and professionally. I feel like I’m constantly doing things for everyone else but rarely for myself. It doesn’t help that the same support I’ve shown others hasn’t been reciprocated when I’ve been in need; and that has been soul-crushing. I’m fine though; just fatigued and frustrated. I just think I need to start focusing on a little bit more on myself and my well-being.

I miss writing tremendously. However, I don’t want to write again because I feel I must write. I want to go back to writing and making stuff on my terms rather than I feel like I need to.

So here we are. Another re-launch. But things are going to be a bit different. While I have a couple of ideas in mind for projects that I want to work on, I will most likely keep them close to the chest until I’m ready to hit the publish button. There will be considerably less writing about video games because: I still find talking about that industry tedious and I have little time to play games. Also, at least for now, there won’t be any podcasts. Maybe if I have more time in the future, it’s a possibility, but I think the market is saturated with podcasts, I don’t think another one about any given subject is something the world needs.

My goal though is for my site to once again be a source of enjoyment for me. Since 2002, the website has been a blessing and a curse, fun yet mundane, creative but also robotic. I want to go back to a time where after posting an article, I’d re-read it and give myself a chuckle or a pat on the back for its quality instead an letting out an exhaustive sigh for finally finishing a review that I worked on for weeks.

That being said, movie reviews will be back, but also the stuff that I started writing about in the first place that I eventually replaced with other material. I look forward to writing about things I’m passionate about, local news, and stupid rants. Perhaps I’ll even start publishing photo essays again.

Until the next burnout and re-launch,

–Jamie

Weekly Running Post–May 22, 2019

Running Schedule

Greater Montréal (Off Island)

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/25

Course Saint-Maxime à Chomedey

Laval, QC

1km, 3km, 5km, 10km

05/25

Courir Lorraine

Lorraine, QC

1km, 3km, 5km, 10km

05/26

Course Nature de la Rivière-du-Nord

St. Jérôme, QC

1km, 3km, 5km, 10km

Rest of Québec

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/24

Un Défi la Nuit

Québec, QC

5km

05/25

Enduro Trail Batteries Expert

Bromont, QC

2km, 5km, 10km, 15km

05/25

La Marche pour l’Alzheimer

Ste. Foy, QC

5km

05/26

Défi Saint-Ours

St. Ours, QC

1km, 2.5km, 5km

05/26

Course de Tournesol

Windsor, QC

1km, 2.5km, 5km, 10km

Ontario (Ottawa-Toronto Corridor)

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/25

Ottawa Marathon
(Day One)

Ottawa, ON

2km, 5km, 10km

05/25

Running4Home

Ajax, ON

5km, 10km

05/25

Run for Women

Oakville, ON

1km, 5km, 10km

05/25

Walk of Life

Toronto, ON

5km

05/25

Spring Into Action

Toronto, ON

2km, 5km

05/26

Ottawa Marathon
(Day Two)

Ottawa, ON

1km, 21.1km, 42.2km

05/26

Upper Canada Easter Seals Run

Newmarket, ON

5km, 10km

05/26

Joggin’ for the Noggin’

Toronto, ON

1km, 5km

05/26

Toronto Women’s Half-Marathon

Toronto, ON

5km, 10km, 21.1km

Upstate New York

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/25

Tyner Trail Run

Glen Falls, NY

5km

05/26

Le Race de Chaumont

Chaumont, NY

5km, 12km

05/26

The Memorial Duathlon and 5K

Saratoga Springs, NY

5km

Western Vermont

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/26

Vermont City Marathon

Burlington, VT

42.2km

05/26

Great Eflin Lake 5K

Wallingford, VT

5km

05/27

The Colonial 5K/10K

Manchester, VT

5km, 10km

Weekend Weather Forecast

  • Montréal – Rain Saturday (16o) and sunny on Sunday (20o)
  • Ottawa – Rain Saturday (20o) and sunny on Sunday (18o)
  • Toronto – Rain Saturday (22o) and sunny on Sunday (20o)
  • Burlington, VT – Rain all weekend (less so on Sunday) and 18o
  • Albany, NY – Rain Saturday (22o) and maybe rain on Sunday (23o)

Promotions

  • It’s race weekend in Ottawa. Unfortunately I’m not running the Ottawa Marathon this year (although I plan on going back for the 5th time next year). There’s a lot to see and do even if you’re not running in any of the races. Check out the Run Ottawa website for more details. One thing of note is the Race Expo which has vendors from all across the country. Plenty of great discounts are to be had.
  • The Running Room is having an extended Victoria Day special where they have a number of shoes discounted up to 40% off.

Weekly Running Post–May 15, 2019

Running Schedule

Greater Montréal (Off Island)

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/18

Marathon SSQ
de Longueuil

(Day One)

Longueuil, QC

1km, 3.5km

05/19

Marathon SSQ
de Longueuil

(Day Two)

Longueuil, QC

5km, 10km, 21.1km, 42.2km

05/19

Tour de la
Montagne Desjardins

Ste.-Hilaire, QC

1km, 2km, 5km, 10km, 21.1km,
24.5km (relay)

Rest of Québec

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/18

Trail Valcartier

Valcartier, QC

500 m, 1km, 3km, 5km, 10km, 15km

05/19

Des Chênes
Toi! Bourret

Drummondville, QC

1km, 2km, 5km, 10km, 21.1km

05/20

Trail Coureur des Bois Duchesnay

Ste.-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier,
QC

8km, 18km, 34km

Ontario (Ottawa-Toronto Corridor)

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/18

MEC Burlington Race Two

Hamilton, ON

5km, 10km, 21.1km

05/18

Early Bird Run

Ottawa, ON

1km, 3km, 5km

05/19

Cambridge
Mill Race

Cambridge, ON

1km, 8km

05/22

Race
for Plunkett

Newmarket, ON

5km, 10km

Upstate New York

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/18

Champlain Bridge
5K

Crown Point, NY

5km

05/18

Malta Mile

Malta, NY

1.6km

05/18

North Country Honor Run

Plattsburgh, NY

1.6m, 5km

05/18

Ryan’s Run 5K

Saratoga Springs, NY

5km

05/18

Walk-N-Roll & 5K for Spina Bifida

Schenectady, NY

5km

05/18

Apple Blossom Run
5K

Schuylerville, NY

5km

05/18

Lansingburgh 3K

Troy, NY

3km

05/19

Great Sacandaga Half Marathon

Northville, NY

21.1km

Western Vermont

Date

Title

Location

Distances

05/18

Barre Town Spring Run

Barre, VT

5km

05/18

FriendCHIPS 5K Fun Run

Essex, VT

5km

05/18

Hearts for Hunger 5K

Hinesburg, VT

5km

05/18

Craft Brew Races – Stowe,
VT

Stowe, VT

5km

05/19

Vermont
Sun Half Marathon

Salisbury, VT

5km, 10km, 21.1km

Weekend Weather Forecast

  • Montréal – Partly cloudy all weekend with highs between 16-17o
  • Ottawa – Partly cloudy all weekend with highs between 16-17o
  • Toronto – Partly cloudy on Sat. (13o) and rain on Sun. (15o)
  • Burlington, VT – Sunny on Sat. (15o) and partly cloudy on Sun. (15o)
  • Albany, NY – Sunny on Sat. (18o) and cloudy on Sun. (19o)

Promotions

  • Sports Experts are having a massive shoe sale: 20% off a wide selection of 2019 models and 40% off a selection of shoes from last season.
  • Sportium is having a tent sale at all their locations. I haven’t had a chance to visit it but I saw the giant tent in the parking lot at Centre Laval.
  • Both JogX Laval and Maison de la Course are running liquidation specials