Four-and-a-half years ago, I bought my first Empire magazine. It was a celebration of the first 500 5-star films that they had ever reviewed. As an avid film lover, I set myself the challenge of watching all 500 films and blogging about them.
At the beginning I was joined by my brother, who always thought we should have started a YouTube vlog rather than a written one (in some respects he was a bit of a visionary, as YouTube is now one of the top sources of video content for me). Regardless, he soon lost interest with reviewing, partly due to the unknown quantity to many of the films. Later, other members of my family and my girlfriend were subjected to the same treatment of watching film after film after film.
I continued on throughout 2011, reviewing over 130 films on the list and adding countless other reviews as well. The blog developed slowly and in 2012, I found the April A-Z challenge which gave me an excuse to have a break from my challenge and introduce myself and my writing to a number of prolific members in the blogging community as well as broadening my horizons to a number of blogs covering a huge range of topics throughout the world. As a result, I almost figuratively killed myself watching a film a day in April 2012 and trying to read 10 daily blogs. I almost forgot what the sky looked like.
2012 turned out to be a chaotic year for good reasons. I bought my first house, which was a project requiring copious amount of refurbishment before I could move in. It was only with the support of the blogging community that I was able to continue watching films and reviewing throughout it all. By the end of the year, I had managed to watch over 200 films from the list.
If I thought that 2012 was a good year, then 2013 turned out to be absolute Hell. There are many things that happened that, while I wish I could, I can't actually (legally) write about. I will say though that fortunately it has nothing to do with ill health of me or any of my close family or friends. This issue is still continuing to this day, but fortunately much of the larger issue has been resolved.
Looking back, I have no idea how on earth I managed to complete the A-Z Challenge that year. I guess my stubbornness insisted that seeing as I had signed up, I ought to really complete it.
Later in the year, I watched fewer films and began to write fiction to escape from the frustrations of daily life. I started a new blog, Tales From Far Far Away, where I wrote comedy fairy tales under the pseudonym of a character called Far Far Away. I also started writing an untitled futuristic / dystopian novel which I have aspirations of completing one day.
Throughout 2014 and the start of this year, it has been a case of recovering from the events of 2013. My girlfriend and I have spent much of our time ploughing our way through countless popular TV series and, while I still watch Empire's 500 5-star films, reviewing has taken a bit of a back seat.
In the past month or so, I have decided to start actively revamping my personal website over at my online pseudonym, wizzardSS. This will soon feature parts of the three digital passions in my life - movies & TV, gaming and website design. As part of this, I've built a fully scalable movie database from scratch and I will be gradually migrating my reviews from this blog to the new Review section of my website. Please note that the home page is still being designed but you can still view the reviews alphabetically or search for a specific film.
What this means is that exactly 1,600 days after starting the Empire 5-star challenge, my 452nd post will be my last. However, while I won't be writing any further posts on this blog, I won't be abandoning my readers completely. I will still be writing reviews on my new website, and you can subscribe to its feed by entering http://review.wizzardss.com/ into the Blogger feed, or by entering http://review.wizzardss.com/feed.php into your favourite RSS feed reader.
Before signing off I wanted to thank you guys and girls who have helped me through a hugely difficult period in my life - whether it is by commenting with nice words on my posts or simply by adding content to your own blogs. I hope to continue to read all of the material that you publish - many of my favourite blogs have been added into Feedly and I will read you all on the go. Just remember, while you may just be blogging about your daily life, you're giving someone else an excuse to escape from theirs, if only for a little while.
Keep writing. Keep commenting. Ed - wizzardSS - out.