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Feeding the Dragon

I was concerned when I started this blog (at the end of August 2021) that it might become a case of “feeding the dragon.”

When you create a business—or any ongoing enterprise—you’re driven to push it to greater success and popularity...but you also have to keep it going during downtimes.

The metaphor is you’ve got a dragon in a cave and you have to keep feeding it—an expression Craig Spaulding from Screen Archives used at one point in our many years working together, which stuck with me.

This was not nearly the wittiest thing Craig ever said to me! That was when we had some kind of CD manufacturing error and had to replace a disc when it had already started shipping. Craig deadpanned, “This is worse than when I was in Vietnam.” (True story! Craig served in Vietnam.)

Keeping something going can be exhausting, and when you get to the point where you’re more tired than excited to try new things, it’s probably time to stop.

I reached that point with the FSM magazine around 2000 (when I hired Tim Curran to take over as managing editor), the FSM CD store (when we were doing our own fulfillment) in 2004, and the FSM label itself around 2010...though I didn’t finish the last albums until 2012.

So I was concerned that would happen with doing a daily blog. I’ve kept things easy on myself by not having an agenda, or even making any promises that I would write something every day.

It does remind me that when I was around ten, in the mid-1980s, my dream was to become a cartoonist like Charles Schulz or Bill Watterson. I even did a comic strip called “Bob’s Bar” which I posted daily in the hallway at elementary school. I think I did one every school day for around three months before I ran out of gas. It’s hard work!

For this blog, I have a scratch document of ideas I jot down that I want to write about. It becomes a weird dynamic of wanting to fill it with enough ideas that I always have a backup plan if I can’t think of anything in the morning. But at the same time I desperately want to get that ideas list down to nothing!

Welcome to feeding the dragon.

In any event, thanks for reading the blog—and if you want to read something more substantial than this entry, see the Best of the Blog.

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