Just over a year ago, I pub­lished an ambi­tious mani­festo of sorts. The Blind Spots Series 2012 was meant to be a way for me to com­mit to see­ing a dozen films that I was some­what embar­rassed not to have seen yet. The response to the idea was fant­astic, and a whole bunch of other blog­gers seem to have had a great time this year filling in some holes in their cine­matic view­ing his­tory. Me? Well, at this writ­ing, I’ve seen and writ­ten about a measly three films out of my dozen. What happened?

Well, I’ve always been a much bet­ter starter than fin­isher, that’s cer­tain. But then again, lots of other things took my atten­tion in 2012. My shorts screen­ing series, Shorts That Are Not Pants, ran quarterly and has more or less reached its first anniversary by this point. I also took over organ­iz­a­tional duties for our monthly pub night gath­er­ing of film blog­gers. And another of my crazy ideas, the CAST Awards, an annual year-end poll of Toronto “non-pro­fes­sional” film crit­ics, has reached its third edi­tion, with an inaug­ural TIFF edi­tion added in 2012.

So as always, I seem to have bit­ten off more than I can chew. As well, my father passed away in late October, and that’s sapped a lot of my energy, both phys­ical and cre­at­ive. Yet again, I seem to be facing a crip­pling sense of writer’s block when it comes to ana­lyz­ing film. This time of year always seems to para­lyze me, with all the year-end lists and awards sea­son bick­er­ing. Twitter seems to make it worse, too. There’s not much joy in facing off against hun­dreds of other writers who have already picked over the car­cass of the film you’re just get­ting around to see­ing. And I’ve men­tioned the feel­ing of try­ing to drink from the fire­hose of new releases before. I’m just not get­ting a lot of pleas­ure out of talk­ing about films in the way every­one else seems to be doing.

I think I’d like to find a way to enjoy slow­ing things down while still being able to come up with crazy ideas now and then. I envy writers who can spend a lot of time with a single dir­ector, or even a single film. I want to do more of that kind of writ­ing, and less of the sort that will be the online equi­val­ent of fish­wrap within a few weeks. The Blind Spot series idea was meant to encour­age that kind of writ­ing, but I’ve let the whole thing slide this year. So I’m going to give things some thought before com­mit­ting to another dozen (or my unwatched 9 with a few addi­tions) for 2013.

I hope that if you par­ti­cip­ated in 2012 that you got some­thing out of it, and that you’ll con­tinue next year. I do believe it’s a great idea and one that should be fun. I’m just not sure right now whether I had any fun with it this year. But stay tuned…

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