Tonight. 9 p.m. Eastern. Season 6 is finally here.
What can I say, at this point, that hasn’t already been said?
I, like you all, am feeling the love, the anxiety, the excitement. I am so nervous about what dangers are coming, and I am so worried for our gang. I love them all so much, and I don’t want to lose a single one of them…but I know that’s not really how this all works.
I know it’s not real, people, but I still obsess. It’s how I do. And if you have found this blog, and actually read my tweaker posts, then I guess that’s how you do, too!
Welcome aboard the Crazy Train.
I have come to refer to this time, when the TWD television series is about to resume, and kick all our asses, as “blog season.” Ever since the fall of 2013, when TWD’s Season 4 began, I have been writing about each new episode of The Walking Dead television series, and aside from some questionable font choices, and typos (which I still find), I can pretty much say that I stand by my crazy product.
I have read, and reread, each post I have written so many times by now that I cannot even face them…this phase will pass, and I will return to them, one day, and reread, and do some much-needed editing.
One day, when I have time…
Time. Time is something that I am constantly negotiating, on many levels, in my life. As a mom, a wife, and a grown-up who works two jobs for my paycheck (unfortunately, this writing gig is not one of those jobs that pay…yet.). But, I am hopeful. Momentum is building. I am pleased.
This blog is something I started doing`for myself, something soley for myself, that had nothing to do with anybody else. This was my joint. While I had dabbled in writing, before, and had some aptitude for it, I had never fully committed myself to writing any kind of cohesive project, writing for long hours at a time, until the self-consciousness and inner constraints fell away from sheer exhaustion, and a strong voice I didn’t even know I had began pouring out, and glimmers of inspired magic began to appear on the screen.
The concept of this blog started forming itself in my head, and in my heart, years ago, when I, an exhausted, nursing mom, would read over the hilarious text exchanges between myself and my WD buddy as we watched The Walking Dead tv series together, in our separate homes, after our kids went to bed. I really have no idea where exactly this idea came from, but once it took root, it was like a, “Build it, and they will come” kind of thing.
So, I lined up a trade with a technical wizard friend, and he helped me set up a WordPress account, helped me load in my artwork for the banner, and showed me how to insert playlist widget embeds into my posts. And so, when TWD Season 4 began, I began writing.
My writing style asserted itself from the beginning as a kind of “live blogging” style, letting my personal responses to what I was watching lead the narrative. I wanted what I wrote to have the same organic, conversational feel as my text exchanges with my friend.
When I first started writing my posts, I was not on any kind of social media at all. Not even Facebook. Truly. In the beginning days of www.barnfullawalkers.com, I would send a mass text to my circle of friends every time I completed a post.
Now, two years later, I am a big social media ho (or as much of one as I could, or should, be, being a mom and someone who is old enough to know better). I try to keep my usage of social media as a fun, creative way to promote my blog and explore whatever element of pop culture I am obsessed with in the moment. While I do, at times, get political on my social media accounts, being a “citizen of the world” and all, I usually try to keep it light, tight, and deliciously superficial.
Speaking of keeping it tight, I have been thinking about the evolution of my writing style, and what I want for myself, the blog, and my readers as TWD Season 6 unfolds.
Look, I know that nobody asked me to basically write a 10,000+ word dissertation on every new episode of The Walking Dead. The highly-detailed synopsis-parody-deconstruction style I offer is self-imposed, tweakeresque, and inexplicable, really. I really have no idea what exactly I am trying to achieve with any of this.
After each episode’s breezy 400-word recaps have come and gone, there I am, long after everyone else has moved on, wading around the fake blood, guts, and gore in my mucking boots, pulling key items of interest out of the mire and holding them up for others to see, “Hey, guys, look what I found!”
I’m like a TWD episode archeologist or some shit, and the funny thing is, I think it’s filling a need out there, because my readership is growing at unprecedented rate. I’m still small-time, for sure, but just to give you some specifics: Last year, over Thanksgiving weekend, barnfullawalkers hit a milestone of 3,000 total views. At the time of this writing, not even a year later, barnfullawalkers is fast approaching 10,000 views, from different countries, all over the world.
That’s a 200% increase in less than a year’s time, if I’m doing the math right.
At the very least, my detailed synopses and my crazy rantings seem to be adding something to the conversation surrounding the TWD phenomenon, and that makes me smile. I am pleased. I know many readers started tuning in with my Season 5 posts, with all the fun screenshots, crazy captions, and epic playlists.
I love what I achieved with my Season 5 postings…it was such an incredible season, and I am proud of have honored it in the way I did. But, it cost me. It left a mark.
To post in that high-media style, taking, loading, naming, and uploading all those pictures, takes a lot of time and energy. I committed myself to it, then, but for someone in my position, who is raising children, working, running a household, and trying to stay married, it is not sustainable to devote that much time to a recreational endeavor that does not bring in a paycheck.
When you are a parent, you begin to think of things in a “needs before wants” framework. You have to. The needs must be met before the wants can be considered. In my Season 5 posting style, I was able to achieve a lot of great things, stylistically, and I feel like the blog grew, and evolved, in a way I never thought possible. But, personally, it was a constant struggle to try to make it happen.
You can’t create time where there is none, and so, time-wise, I robbed Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes. I pulled all-nighters, worked all day on weekends to make those posts happen. There were fights, there were tears. It was kind of crazy, and by the end of it, I was completely fried. I still don’t know if I’ve completely recovered, honestly. Probably never will, and that’s why man discovered how to make alcohol.
If I could get a paying job doing what I do with my blog, with my social media accounts, I would consider it the best job in the world. And I think I would totally kick ass at it. When I look at what I can achieve doing it on the side, I think, “Imagine what I could do if someone actually paid me to do this!”
I personally think I would be a great social media marketer…Robert Kirkman, drop me a line if you think you could use me. For instance, I feel like I could singlehandedly raise the hype on your new spinoff series, Fear The Walking Dead, which I was posting about before I was beset by technical difficulties. I got what your new show was trying to do, and I felt like the shots I got, the moments I highlighted really captured the feel, the nuances of that show. Plus, amazing L.A. based playlists!
Think about it, Robert Kirkman. I would work my ass off for you!
Anyhow, shameless self-promoting aside, while my Season 5 style contained lots of glitz and glamour, I did miss my grassroots Season 4 writing style, where I paddled out, until I caught a wave, and rode the swells and breaks of prose. Some of my personal favorite posts are from that time: “The Grove,” “Claimed,” “Still,” “Alone,” “Us,” are all from that period, TWD Season 4.
Is it weird of me to kind of think of them as “classics” in my crazy world of barnfullawalkers?
To me, the feel of the writing is more organic in the Season 4 posts, and when I read back on them, I can see how the direction of the writing took its shape and form. I really found myself missing the purity and innocence of that time, that style, and while the Season 5 posts shine in their own high-media glam style, I am gravitating towards combining my Season 4 and Season 5 writing styles for my upcoming postings on TWD Season 6.
I’m going to open it up, dear readers, and not hold myself chained to any one style, or set of self-imposed expectations. There may be fewer pictures, less blow-by-blow in some posts, while, in other posts, we may hearken back to the Instagram-style postings for TWD Season 5’s “Forget,” and my brief posting foray into Fear The Walking Dead, a show which I really loved, by the way. (Had an epic post in the works for FTWD finale episode, “The Good Man,” with amazing sweet 16 song L.A. playlist, in the works, but I ran out of time, so I had to abandon it…it’s saved, so one day, I will try to put it out there. If I find the time. 🙂 )
So, don’t worry darlings. It all gets better and better. I wanted to keep you up on what is really happening, and while there will be a shift in how I do things this season, I imagine it will still be chock full of all the fun and crazy you have grown to know and love with www.barnfullawalkers.com !
I promise. In many ways, dear readers, I feel like things are just getting started. And I am pleased. 🙂 ❤
I predict TWD Season 6 will be about evolution…Rick and his gang must evolve, Morgan must evolve, as do Deanna and the Alexandrians (um, band name alert!), and we must all learn to evolve alongside them.
We may gain some, we may lose some, but one thing will always be true: We are family. #TWDfamily XO
Much love, dear readers, and raise a glass with me tonight, when the first strains of the iconic Bear McCreary opening title sequence begin to play, and let us toast to Rick and the gang.
To Rick Grimes, and to our sweet gang, and to you all, dear readers. Cheers! ❤
Enjoy the playlist, which features some sweet selections from my epic L.A. FTWD finale playlist.
Foals, “Mountain At My Gate”
The Delicate Cycle, “Promises and Plans”
Bad Religion, “Suffer”
Los Lobos, “Mas Y Mas”
Open Mike Eagle, “Ziggy Starfish (Anxiety Rap)”
Deepakalypse, “I Got A Vibe”