On 1 January 2011, I launched That Was A Bit Mental.
In a rather unassuming post simply called Why, Hello There, I introduced the site as “a celebration of the more weird and wonderful movies I tend to watch”.
Over the years the site continued to grow and it eventually developed a bit of a cult following. Colleagues and Twitter followers suggested movies for me to review, usually the most bizarre films they could think of (in keeping with the site’s style).
Writing was my profession: as a video game journalist, I wrote for the likes of Official Nintendo Magazine, Nintendo Gamer and CVG all while keeping TWABM going in my free time.
TWABM, then, was my way of continuing to write for fun. There was no pressure in writing my film reviews: no editors to decide what I could and couldn’t write, no sub-editors rewriting my words to fit a house style, no strict deadlines to meet. It was my escape and my constant reminder that writing is fun.
It also gave me the freedom to write in a way I was more comfortable with. My daft, conversational, sweary writing style which can now be seen in my games site Tired Old Hack was nurtured and evolved on TWABM.
A lot can change in seven years, though. At the start of 2015 CVG was closed down and I was asked to either move to Bath and join GamesRadar or take redundancy. With a payoff in my bank account – there’s no way I could have joined the site that killed the one I loved – my wife and I moved back to my native Scotland.
There I got a ‘grown-up’ job, writing for the Scottish Government website mygov.scot, but since my passion for writing about games hadn’t died along with CVG, I started a new gaming site called Tired Old Hack. It started to grow, and continues to do so.
I was now juggling a new home, a new 9-to-5 job, my long-running movie site and my new gaming site. Something had to give, and I started committing less time to TWABM.
While in 2014 I’d managed to write 77 film reviews, in 2015 that had slightly dropped to 56. In 2016 it plummeted to just 17.
And, in 2017, I wrote a grand total of one solitary review on the site. To all intents and purposes, That Was A Bit Mental had died.
Things have changed again. Continue reading “IT’S BACK! That Was A Bit Mental is resurrected”