Geeklings, brace yourself for a very generic opening but I honestly can’t think of another way to start this momentous column. The truth of the matter is, it’s best to just be matter of fact, I suppose, and give you a bit of insight on what’s circling around the inside of my head at this moment. Sometimes the best way to be clever is by not being clever. I don’t know if that makes any sense, reading it over it certainly doesn’t feel clever, but I feel like it’s the truth and one of the things I’ve strived for here at I Am Geek is honesty. Honesty in my passions, my fandoms, my need to express love through t-shirts, Funko pops, Hudson the Cat, and the Mrs. I think that’s part of what makes this such a unique site and, hopefully, reading experience. Honesty. The ability to come here multiple times a week and just be like, “this is me, this is what I love, let’s celebrate loving things together” has been such a freeing creative experience for yours truly. This brings us to the generic, matter of fact opening… I love writing.
That’s the truth. I have always loved writing. I can remember back in elementary school and a couple of times I won these monthly awards, Authors of the Month, and thinking in the back of my head, “I’m a writer now.” Of course, as an elementary school kid, I was thinking of R.L. Stein/Stephen King’s fame and fortune of writing, they had my stories sitting in a glass case in the main lobby if that’s not being a writer then I don’t now what is. As an elementary school kid that was the fame and fortune. It helped fuel a fire within me to write. Often. And I did. I spent countless hours writing horror stories, always with at least one character named Ricky who would die horribly despite the fact I never met a Ricky in my life. I would have sleepovers with friends and we’d write stories together and then act them out outside. In sixth grade after I finished reading Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, I grabbed a notebook, one of the ones without covers that you just flip the pages up and over, and started writing the sequel. I needed to know what happened to Ben and Mark and thought the best way to find out was to write my own vampire sequel… one I never finished. Thankfully the fifth Dark Tower book filled in some of the blanks that sixth grade Kevin was searching for.
As I got older, writing became a bit of an outlet for me. I was no longer writing sequels to books I hadn’t written and I had let Ricky off the hook a long time ago, but writing was still a passion. Something that just felt right whenever I put pen to pad or fingers to keyboard. In college, like most guys who thought themselves as “deep” and “introspective”, I tried writing poetry. Honestly, wasn’t my bag but I did write a couple of poems that would have made pretty good songs. And one that was more or less a rip off of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”. It didn’t matter at the time because there is this release that comes with writing. Taking the thoughts that live in your head and getting them out to the world. Even if only four people read it. The fame and fortune of elementary school were gone and writing became something just for me.
Believe it or not, I Am Geek isn’t my first attempt at writing on the internet. There were other sites that lasted a little bit but never really amounted to anything. I had one I called A Year of Shuffling, where I would hit shuffle on my iPod, an actual iPod not a phone, and write about the song that popped up that day and how it related to my life. It was a fun endeavor, I think I got over a hundred twenty songs in before it fizzled out, but that was mostly because I listen to a lot of movie scores and it’s tough to write about those. Especially when it’s a deep cut off the Glory soundtrack. How many times can you write, this song makes me want to charge up a hill with a rifle? After some time, I started a site called A Man, His Cat, and Pop Culture which would ultimately be the blueprint for I Am Geek. That site didn’t last as long, the writing was sporadic, and I was also going through some major life changes (moving in with my sister, divorce, other) and I found that I didn’t really want to write about those things as much as I thought I did. I did want to write about Hudson the Cat though but I wasn’t ballsy enough to pull the trigger on a site dedicated to being a crazy cat person.
Before I Am Geek there were other writing adventures. I self-published a short story on Amazon, one you can still buy, that helped me cope after the loss of my father. There were other short stories that are either finished, sort of finished, looking for a bigger story, or just abandoned on hard drives across a landscape of laptops. And while some of those stories never had audiences, they still gave me that feeling I had since elementary school. I was a writer. I was happiest when I was writing and that was all that mattered.
Then back in December 2015, I decided to give the internet another go. I had all this pop culture knowledge and love and nowhere else to put it really unless you include conversations with friends and family about things they didn’t know existed. So, I decided to add my voice to the millions of other voices on the internet. I had a friend from work who designed the logo, something I love very much, and one weekend bought some beers, played some music, and set about creating I Am Geek. I remember being up to the wee hours of the night picking out layouts and writing content to be published. That excitement coursing through the veins that only comes when starting a new creative adventure. I remember hitting publish on our first column, Confessions Of An Unapologetic Geek, and at the time I had no idea just how much this site was going to mean to me or what kind of doors it would open. At the time, it was a project designed to get me writing as often as possible and that was enough.
Fast-forward to today, February 15, 2021, or as I like to call it “50% off candy day”. I Am Geek has been cooking for six years now and this very column you’re reading is our one-thousandth column. One. Thousand. That’s more columns than Spartan soldiers at the Battle of Thermopylae by like seven hundred. It is also three hundred less stunning abs but that’s not important. What’s important is that this little adventure in writing became something incredible. Something bigger than I ever could have imagined.
Through I Am Geek, I started working for a site called Fan Fest, and while that site no longer exists, it was a tremendous writing experience. I met some incredible people and cut my teeth on writing television reviews for shows like Better Call Saul, Orphan Black, Atlanta, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, and Rick and Morty. At Fan Fest, I got to write about comic books every week. I got to interview Chris Claremont and Patrick Fabian and started to realize that this passion of mine… well, maybe it could be something else.
Over these six years at I Am Geek, we’ve written about more things than I can recall. Seriously, sometimes when I have an idea for a column I go back to the archives to make sure I haven’t written about it already. We’ve covered things like Dumbledore doing better by Harry Potter, a column I finished writing causing me to be late to pick a friend up. How about apocalypse problems and what the apocalypse could mean for e-readers. Then there was the celebration of Kurt Russell’s facial hair, a column that pulls in more views than you’d expect. There’s the bookmarks or folded pages debate. The top ten Community episodes that Shirley herself re-tweeted. Of course, who could forget hunting Pokemon or trying to capture the emotions from Infinity War and Endgame. My war against the Snyder the Cut where I actually got harassed today by an angry Cult of Snyder member. How about my obsession with t-shirts or pops. If you search the I Am Geek archives there is pretty much a column for everything at this point and it boggles my mind.
I haven’t done this alone. I’ve had friends join me on this endeavor as well. My sister, Jennifer, has written a few columns for your eyeholes as well as friends Kyle Hurford, Tiffani Bennet, Eric Landro, and Jerrold Reber. I met a writer on Instagram, Maggie Carr, talking about Stranger Things and some of her columns are some of the sites most popular. Hell, my mom wrote a piece once upon a time. When I started I Am Geek, I wanted to build that sense of community between my readers and the writers, and over the course of these six years, I believe we’ve done just that. And this community is still growing. The site pulls in more and more traffic each day. When I had COVID, and couldn’t write, the site was still pulling in great numbers because you guys were still reading. I can’t put what that meant in words.
I Am Geek is more than just a pop culture website for me, and a couple of attempts at podcasting. No, this site means the absolute world. It has been my greatest writing adventure and the most rewarding. On the days I don’t get to write, I feel physically guilty and shamed like I’ve not only let myself down but you guys as well. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about this site and new and exciting things that could spawn from it. Just because we hit one thousand columns doesn’t mean this is it. There is still so much more I want to explore, and the ideas I have keep me awake at night with excitement. Until the CBD gummies kick in..
Publishing our one-thousandth column wasn’t something I was thinking about in December 2015 yet here we are. That number is very real and very humbling/mind-blowing. At the end of the day, I wanted to use I Am Geek to explore my passion of writing more. Along the way, I found new passions, made new friends, got married, and have had a blast doing it. Thank you Geeklings for reading along with this far. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your commentaries. Thank you for building this community with me. Thank you for your support. Thank you for reading and indulging my passion. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I Am Geek just published its one-thousandth column… here’s to a thousand more.