Hi. Those of you who regularly read The Last Picture Blog will probably know that I review every single film that I watch, and I’ve been doing so for the past three-and-a-half years, which means that I’ve spent a huge amount of my spare time writing about movies. At first this wasn’t too much of a stretch; in 2013 and 2014 I was only watching two or three features a week, on average, including new releases. However, for the past year or two I’ve been taking it a lot more seriously, watching an average of 100-150 new releases per year and also attempting to fill in lots of gaps by ploughing through my personal shame list and/or checking out other films that interest me. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the average length of reviews has dropped during this period, and if I’m being perfectly honest although I think the overall quality of writing has improved over the years it has been dipping regularly, too; some of the reviews have been formulaic, in the sense that I find I’m often repeating the same things or making variations on the same points, while I’ve also noticed that I’ve been rushing more and more just to get them finished. Blogging has started to feel like a second job, as I always seem to have at least two or three unfinished reviews outstanding, so I think the time has come to step back a little and reduce the workload. (Or rather to step back so that it doesn’t seem like a workload.)

Additionally, but far more importantly, my wife and I are expecting our first child this November. Naturally I’m going to want to spend time getting to know this new member of the family, while I’ll also be busier around the house and changing nappies and all the rest of it as a result, so opportunities to go to the cinema will be few and far between! (At least initially, anyway, though I suppose if I do get to go I’ll probably be fast asleep by the end of the trailers.) It makes even more sense to start cutting back on the writing now, especially as we’ve got a fair bit of preparation to do at home before the baby arrives. Somehow I don’t think sitting around watching films or writing about them will go down too well, despite my wife’s seemingly endless patience with regard to this blogging lark at present.

So, with all that in mind, it’s time that I implemented some changes here. Unless I feel like I have a few things that I want to say about a particular film I’m only going to be writing long(ish) reviews for new releases, so probably an average of two new or three posts a week for the time being, as opted to seven or eight. That’ll take the pressure off, while hopefully there will be an improvement in the quality, though I can’t really make promises in that regard. I’m still going to log everything older that I’ve watched – just because I’m an absolute geek for that kind of thing – but these will all be collated into occasional round-up posts, which will be a mix of short summaries and pithy one-liners. Basically I’m going to be copying and pasting a lot from my Letterboxd account, which is an idea I’ve stolen from fellow film blogger Ewan (who you should really follow if you don’t already). I actually feel a little sad about doing this, having written more than 600 reviews in a row for every film that I’ve watched from the beginning of 2013, but it feels like the time is right to slow down. After November…who knows? I don’t want to stop blogging now, but definitely need to cut back on time spent doing so.

Anyway, thanks to those of you who have continually dropped by during the past few years, whether occasionally or regularly, and I hope you enjoy The Last Picture Blog 2.0 going forward.



21 Responses to “Blog Changes”

  1. Ewan M

    First off, congratulations on the baby! And cheers for the mention. I do understand what you mean about the reviews, though. I’ve been impressed that you’ve been managing to write as much as you do, but mine have just been getting shorter and shorter for years and now most of them never make it past a swiftly-written hot take on Letterboxd…

    • Stu

      Cheers! Shorter reviews are the way forward…especially if that allows me to watch more instead of writing all the time. Am fully addicted to Letterboxd now but my watchlist is growing at a scary rate!

      • Ewan M

        Oh I know about out-of-control watchlists. Just my Netflix list is getting silly. Every film I watch, there’s at least three or four more that I add to it…

  2. ZoΓ«

    Congrats on the baby! I wish you all the best with the latest addition to the family! Will still be great to read stuff from you, even if you are cutting down on the blogging time!

    • Stu

      Thanks very much! Keeping my fingers crossed it all goes well and it’s healthy, etc.

  3. Mark Walker

    I hear you loud and clear, brother! It’s family and work life that has led to my dip too. When I started out, my reviews were shit but I had plenty of enthusiasm. As I started to take it more seriously, the workload got harder as I wanted to get my honest opinion out there and not the “formulaic” ones you mention. It’s good to step back, I find the quality improves (although that’s never been an issue for your good self) πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, keep on keeping on, man. And a huge congratulations on the arrival of the new addition. πŸ™‚

    • Stu

      Cheers Mark – it’s going to be an interesting few months! The blogging has become a chore of late so it’ll be good to calm down a bit (though I think there will still be a few posts a week, at least until November). It’ll be nice to watch some films without overthinking them afterward, too.

  4. Three Rows Back

    Mate, pleased as punch for you on the baby news. Really delighted for you. As for the blog, I’d be happy with 2-3 posts a week! I’ve been finding it difficult to write one review every couple of weeks so I can hardly talk! Your posts are always interesting mate and they never fail to have something interesting to say. Keep at it.

  5. Keith

    As long as you don’t quit completely (call me selfish)! πŸ˜‰

    Seriously though, we have talked about this before. That new addition to your family will usher in a brand new phase of your life. It is so much fun but you’re right to prioritize things.

    • Stu

      It’s an exciting time! I won’t be quitting but I expect it’ll go quiet here for a little while later in the year. I should try and get a few three-hour-plus epics in while I can!

  6. Todd B

    Hey Stu, sounds like a smart move…more time for baby Eegah, and more time for me to stay caught up on your reviews! And definitely DON’T stop writing for this blog…if things get too overwhelming, just take some ideas for posts from the late great Hyperfilm, which might be easier to deal with than concentrating on a review. And you, pithy? Never!

  7. Jordan Dodd

    Yeah man, never want something as fun as this to feel like a job.. I’ve taken a step back too, though its been a pretty big one haha, I’ve posted four things in three weeks I think! But yeah, life is more important and congratulations mate! I hope everything goes to plan πŸ™‚

  8. Tom

    This is exciting news about the child on the way Stu! I wish you and the family the best and I think you’re doing an incredible thing prioritizing an undeniable love for film and a love for family the right way. Umm, I just sorted those in the wrong order but you get what I mean;)


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