Friday, January 29, 2016

The Times They Are A-Changin'

I don't do well with change.

This crossovers thing started off as a hobby.  It was a bunch of notes in a pile of 5-subject notebooks.  I mostly kept these notes to myself.  Occasionally, I would bore a friend or family member with them.

When the technology became available, I started moving my notes from notebooks to word documents.  But they were still my private notes, created from research that I usually conducted late at night when I couldn't sleep.

When the social media age came about, I used the MySpace blog to share some of my weird ideas about crossovers.  They weren't well read, and they were hard to reference in archives.

But one person did seem to find my MySpace blog, because Win Scott Eckert, whose website I had been addicted to for years, contacted me and sent me an invite to join a group of likeminded individuals.

I found that there were people in that forum who enjoyed my ideas, and had similar ideas.  So five years ago, I created this blog.  I didn't expect this website to be read by many people.  I just created this site for people from that forum, so that I could present my notes to them for review and feedback.
Again, I didn't think anyone but a handful of people would care about my hobby.

But the viewcounts kept rising.  And soon, I felt a need to produce more content.  I had to continually update previous posts.  It went from "Hey, look at my notes." to "Let me entertain and inform."  It was no longer a hobby.  I had fans. I had to produce content.

And I never expected this to become a team project.  One day, in that forum I referenced, James Bojaciuk presented his Wonderland timeline.  I was so impressed with it, I paid him the compliment that I wouldn't mind putting that on my blog.  I expected him to decline, thinking my blog wasn't his goal for a venue for his work.  But instead, he gave it to me to post.  And thus, the TVCU Crew was created quite accidentally.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the crew.  It's just that at that time, I would have never expected that my private hobby would lead to me leading a team of crossoverists on a professional venture.

One of the things I decided with submissions from others to my website that I would not censor nor edit their work.  I would accept it as is, so long as kept to the theme of the TVCU concept.  If they had a particular style they were more suited to, I wasn't going to make them adhere to my format.  And because of that, some wonderful work has appeared on this website from guests and the crew.

As this website had continued for the past five years, it's gone through lots of changes.  But the theme has maintained consistency.

We've had "quickies" and "crew reviews".  We've updated posts.  We've had shameless plugging and podcast promotions.  We've had excerpts from my books presented.

The success of the numbers from this website inspired me a few years ago to start writing.  Unlike this blog, where I have taken a sometimes easy going approach, the books are much tighter.  The formatting is better and more consistent.  The research is far more pain staking.  If you're giving me your money, I'm giving you my labor.  The blog is free.

And now that we've expanded this TVCU franchise to a podcast, our numbers are higher than ever.  And this presents me with some challenges to reflect upon.  Success comes with its own set of problems.

This used to be just me, and not really meant for anyone else.  But now, it's a team effort, and lots of people are paying attention.  But I continue to write this blog sometimes like I'm scribbling down notes in my five subject notebook and hiding it in my desk where nobody will read it.

So as we move forward, I need to stop thinking as an individual, but as a leader of a team.  I have to remember that the TVCU in all its forms now is a reflection of the work of many, not just me.  And I have to remember that everything I write, everything I say, and everything I share and post, is viewed by many, many people.

I'm not quite ready to call myself a celebrity.  I'm on the Z-list at best.  But I think it's fair to remind myself that I am a public figure and a leader.  And I need to take those responsibilities more seriously.

So perhaps you shall see from this website some more focused work.  But what shall I do with my late night notes?

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