State Of The Blog Address: Rollin’ With The Flow

(Technically yesterday was the third anniversary of the blog, but Wednesdays are Pulse days and you never mess with the Pulse.)

Going into Year 3 of Kyle’s Korner, I really didn’t know what to expect. With another new job on the horizon and free time at a premium, I had a sinking feeling that the blog would eventually get squeezed out of the equation, and that the worlds of Nintendo and country music would have to go on without me.

One year later, I’m still here…and for the first time, I think I’ll be here for a while.

On some level, the new job has certainly taken a toll on things around here, as posts are consistently getting pushed later and later in the day. Yet as the schedule has tightened, so has the resolve to continue: I’ve only gone five weekdays without a post this year, and I’ve only missed one since April! After two years of roughly 120 song reviews, I’m going to be closer to 200 this year, and I’ve added several relatively successful features as well (the Pulse revival, the Pokémon Nuzlocke runs, and the recent deep dives into the careers of fading artists). Oh yeah, and then there was the unfathomable 100,000 view milestone the blog hit last month:

And we’re still going!

In other words, 2019 has felt very different (and a good different at that) than years past. What changed? Step into the Delorean, folks, and travel with me back to the origins of this unheralded outpost…

I always knew that 2016 Kyle was in a dark place, but I’ve only recently realized just how dark that place was, not to mention how long he’d been stuck there. He had sold his soul to be a faceless cog in a corporate machine, and was now aimlessly adrift deep in the heart of Texas with a bleak future of monotony and isolation ahead of him. Sure, he had more space than he knew what to do with and he was eating all the frozen Walmart chicken that money could buy, but his was an existence without purpose, and his only reason for living was to sit around and watch himself die. If he had a theme song, it would sound something like this:

There’s only so much nothing a man can take before they snap, and thus Kyle’s Korner was born. It was a boondoggle that was meant to kill time while waiting for the Grim Reaper to show up, as well as a place to use those writing skills I’d spent years sharpening on research papers and My Little Pony fanfiction. (It’s hard to read the early chapters of Mortal Kombat: Equestria these days without cringing, but I’m dang glad I wrote them because neither subsequent stories nor this blog happens without them.)

2017 Kyle didn’t fare much better, as said corporate machine decided that his group was expendable and gave him the axe that summer. While they ultimately did me a favor by cutting me loose, in doing so they unleashed a period of great anxiety and uncertainty, which only grew with each passing week of unanswered applications and unsuccessful interviews. It was pretty clear that the world wanted nothing to do with this poor slob anymore, and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments when I wondered if the clock on my personal scoreboard had ticked down to zero.

As the world fell apart, however, the blog seemed to come together. People started reading it, even dropping a few likes and comments along the way. I met fellow bloggers like Robert and Zack who inspired me to keep going, and I found a niche in discussing my two true passions: Nintendo and country music. I observed the launch of the Switch and the Metropolitan sound, stumbled across surprise hits like Miitopia and Midland, and somewhere along the way, I discovered a new purpose in life. Yes, it was a purpose dedicated to opposing Jordan Davis and Dustin Lynch, but it was a purpose nonetheless.

2018 was a year of transition, exemplified by the do-nothing short-term contract position I stumbled into to avoid starving to death. It wasn’t any more fulfilling that my last job, but that didn’t matter: It was a means to an end, and that end was keeping the blog afloat. I had found motivation and passion again, and this newfound perseverance paid off when my audience inexplicably doubled that summer and even more folks began hanging around to hear what I had to say. It was great and all, but I was putting way more time into the blog than anything else, and when a new permanent job finally arrived, could the good times really last?

They could, and it was that p-word again that made it happen.

As much work as 2019 has been, this is hands-down the happiest I’ve been at a job in at least a decade. Working with the next generation of leaders and doers is the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done, and putting a premium on my time has sharpened my focus on what I really want to do with myself…and keeping this blog going remains high on the priority list.

The blog is going strong, and it’s going strong because I’ve actively chosen not to let it fall apart. I still have something to say about music and gaming (although the latter content continues to wane over time), and no matter how busy things get, I want to keep pestering you all with my ramblings.

On top of all this, the pessimistic, can’t-do attitude that has been an albatross around my neck for ages finally seems to be losing its grip. The guy who watched passively as his body fell apart is now walking three miles a day and can do thirty pushups on a whim. The guy who thought he’d forever be trapped in S-rank purgatory in Splatoon now has three X ranks to their name (and I’d make it four if I could ever figure out how Clam Blitz works). The guy who listened to John Conlee on repeat while doing shots of Powerade Zero is now singing his own darn theme song.

Most of all, the guy who didn’t have a purpose in life has now found several of them, and ranting about shallow lyrics and RPG character development is one of them.

So yeah, expect the madness to continue from this korner of the Internet for a while longer. From the bottom of what’s left of my heart, thank you all so much for sticking around this long, and here’s to another wild year here on the information superhighway.


The other Kyle in the country music blogosphere

6 thoughts on “State Of The Blog Address: Rollin’ With The Flow

  1. Well, I have to say from my little corner of the world in the middle of rural New Zealand, imagine a place where cell phone access is 20 minutes away and how hard it is to explain to the world that no I can’t text you, I appreciate your blog and reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kyle,

    First of all, thank you for the shout out! I wasn’t aware how hard it was to run Kyle’s Korner over these last few years, but I’m super glad you’ve kept at it. You inspire me to be a better writer every time I read something of yours, and I do mean it when I say you’re easily my favorite writer right now.

    I remember finding your blog through a random Google search when I was looking for information on Gary Allan’s “Mess Me Up.” The rest, they say, is history.

    Also, I know the gaming news gets overshadowed by the music stuff nowadays, but I always love reading it. I, of course, always love the Nuzlocke runs, and I’ve seen your versus series on YouTube – talk about an anxiety attack sometimes! Haha.

    Lastly, though, I do appreciate your commitment to this website. I’ve been writing for four years now, and I haven’t gone a full year with any of my projects before having to take a hiatus. I’m hoping to go with my site at least until November, and here you are with three years under your belt! Really, I, as well as many others, greatly appreciate what you do here.

    Here’s to many more years, buddy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Zack! To be honest, keeping the blog going ended up being the easy part (everything else just kind of collapsed around it), but I’m glad this thing is still alive and kicking.

      I’m also really glad to see TMD going strong as well. Don’t sell yourself short as a writer – every time I read your articles, there’s always a great insight or three that makes me think “Dang, I completely missed that!” You’ve got a bright future ahead of you, and I look forward to celebrating TMD’s 3-year anniversary in the future!

      Now I just need to find another Pokemon game for next year’s Nuzlocke. I have a copy of Pokemon White 2 that I’ve never really played, but with Sword and Shield coming soon maybe I should get both and save one for the annual summer run…

      Liked by 1 person

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