It’s been a depressing year for film criticism. More publications shuttered; more giants in the field lost paid opportunities to write; more outlets cut back on serious, thoughtful discussion of the arts in favor of rushed, facile coverage of whatever’s trending that week.
We, all of us, have to adapt or die. So I’ve done my best to adapt.
Rather than restrict myself to the same kinds of dwindling chance to just write 600-word movie and TV reviews, I’ve tried to forge new pathways in 2018. I developed new contacts, polished off a different set of skills, and tried to develop my voice beyond arts writing. I’ve appeared on the radio, embarked on a reporting fellowship, found a new social media audience, written new kinds of features with cross-coastal and international bylines, and developed new analytics tools for media organizations. I’ve tried to make myself a multi-hyphenate, because I’m not confident I could survive as a writer otherwise.
That’s not to say I feel at peace with my economic situation – no one in the media landscape ever is. In 2019 I’ll keep maneuvering into new channels of work, always conscious of the fact that the old channels can disappear at any moment. There are big things ahead: I’ve got several long-term projects in the works, including a podcast that I desperately want to finish, and I will be spending the majority of the year in Europe. It’s a scary world out there for writers and aspiring creatives. It’s up to us to tame it.
Some of my 2018 highlights: