…It’s coming to an end soon. My final column there is scheduled for May 9th. In a nice bit of symmetry, my first column for AMC/FilmCritic.com was May 8, 2008, so I will have written the column for four years to the week.
The nice folks at AMC took pains to let me know that the reason for the cancellation of the column had nothing to do with me or the writing — they were very happy with the column during its run — but was down to the usual “we’re taking the site in a different direction” stuff, which meant cutting columns in general, my column being a subset of that. As they say in the business, it is what it is.
And you ask: Are you upset? Should we start a letter-writing campaign? Storm the AMC headquarters with pitchforks? The answer to all of the above is “no.” One, I’m not upset because this is the nature of freelancing: You work a gig until you don’t. You enjoy it while it’s there and move on to the next thing when it’s done. Four years a decent amount of time to do anything freelance, and in my experience of gigs, that’s right around the average. I did the AOL Journals thing for three and a half years; I did my Official PlayStation Magazine gig for six. This slots in nicely between them.
Two, I also practice what I preach in terms of approaching writing as a business: This column is one gig, and one revenue stream, among several. It’s going away but the others are still there to keep me busy and paid. We live within our means and we save a substantial amount of what we bring in. Because we understand the nature of the business, and because we’ve prepared and planned prudently, this doesn’t hurt us. I’m in a good position from which to find new projects to replace this income. We’re going to be just fine.
Three, the AMC folks have always treated me extremely well, always appreciated the work I did for them, and always paid me well and on time. I have nothing but very good things to say about them and my experience working with them. I am delighted they let me work with them as long as they did, and I would be happy to work with them again. And heck, I even got a book out of it. That’s what you call a positive work experience.
So, no, I’m not upset. I’m pleased the gig lasted as long as it did, and that it was so thoroughly enjoyable all the way through. Clearly, as I am not upset, I don’t think there’s a reason for anyone else to be upset on my behalf. Keep the e-mails and pitchforks sheathed, if you would.
I will miss writing about films, particularly science fiction films, on a regular basis. But don’t worry. I do have plans on that score. Nothing I can share yet, and I have some other things to do first, most notably The Spank Chronicles, Book One: The Spankening. But if it pans out, it should be fun.
In any event, enjoy the FilmCritic.com columns while you can, and remember you can always pick up 24 Frames Into the Future: Scalzi on Science Fiction Film if want a memento to remember the column by (in addition to that link there, it’s also available on Amazon). And thank you for reading the column every week. I’ve had fun writing it. I hope you’ve had fun reading it.
(P.S.: As an irony, I make a snarky comment in the column this week begging not to be fired. It’s completely coincidental and was written before I was told the column is ending. I think it’s pretty funny. Note to self: Make no more snarky comments about being fired, ever.)