#tbt: 365 Reloaded

In this project, I graduated college, got married, went to Miami for the first time, went to Hawaii again, and Anna and I moved into our first apartment. 

#tbt: My first 365

As promised, here is a slideshow looking back at my very first 365 project:

That was a busy year. I met Anna in the last week of that project. The day after I ended it, I fell asleep at the wheel and wrecked my car. Wild times.

Putting away The 365

This morning, I uploaded my final vlog:

Like I said in the video, my life just can't sustain the "daily publishing" requirement of the my series of projects. That's ok. 

To be honest, I'm not upset. It was very taxing and took a crazy amount of work to keep this going for 5 years.  The fact that I made 300+ videos this year is a miracle.

"The 365" as we know it today is over. That's a big deal for me.

In fact, I don't think it really hit me how big of a deal it is until writing this.

"The 365" was my first big project. It helped me grow in an uncountable amount of ways. When it started, I wasn't making any money from photo or video, I wasn't good at photography, I didn't have a college degree, I wasn't married, I didn't even really know who I was. I just started posting crappy photos in hopes it would get me somewhere.

While doing a daily project, you don't feel the growth. You only feel it when you look back at 300 days and think about what all has changed over that period. It still shocks me. 

I owe "The 365", I owe it a proper send off. I did it a little in the above video, but I need to do it right. I need to give each year the spotlight it deserves.

I'll be posting a retrospective, on Youtube and Instagram of each of the 5 years of this project. Then finally, I can put it to bed and start something new.



Yesterday, I mentioned how I was going to deal with my polaroids. Normally, when I make such a promise online, it usually isn't mentioned or fulfilled for weeks or months after. Today was an exception. I finished it 24 hours after saying I would do it.

Everyone needs a polaroid wall right? (There's no telling how expensive all of this film was all together) 




I realized that I accidentally documented a whole phase of life that's pretty much over. I have a niece now, a totally different job, and a whole other set of relationships with people. 

I suppose that means I need to stock up on polaroid film and start a new round of documentation.  

Better start saving.

De-cluttering floors, Cluttering the walls

I'm a pretty weird guy, but my house doesn't reflect it.

Maybe it's because I'm a military kid, so I always have one foot out the door. I've moved every year for 5 years. This is actually the first year that I just stayed put. (Not that I have a deep love of my current apartment, I'm just tired of moving so it wasn't worth it)

I've kind of just lived out of a suitcase for a while.  That's kind of why my house reflects that of the blandest human you've ever met.

My house could be described as a place where a guy named Larry would come home from his cubicle to a hot, fresh Lean Cuisine waiting for him every night. "Apartment Yellow" walls, old carpet, an $8 Target lamp, and nothing on the walls other than a Dilbert calendar that gives Larry a little chuckle once a month.

Out of the 1,825+ photos I've taken over the past five years, zero of them have hung on my walls. More of my photos have ended up on my mom's, grandparents', and in-laws' wall than mine.  

I suppose it could laziness, a lack of commitment, indecision, or rebellion against the carefully curated "white wall" hipster lifestyle. 

Whatever I've been suffering from, I've gotten over it and have entered an obsessive frenzy of making my apartment great again.  Pics and video (obvi) coming soon when I finish climbing to the peak of this personal Everest.

(Let's just say I'm going to make a polaroid wall. It's going to be the best polaroid wall you've ever seen, and YOU'RE going to pay for it!)




The Machine: why I'm not blogging anymore

I have spent more time reading about video games than playing them.  At one point, I spent more time reading about photography gear or photography in general than the time I spent shooting.  I have a feeling I'm not alone in this, especially from those with some obsessive tendencies like myself.  

In a similar vein, I've spent an inordinate amount of time reading or listening to or writing movie reviews.  What an odd thing: Watch a movie, then go listen to other people's thoughts about what you just watched.

Doing "the thing" is now a small piece of the process, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing.  I think unpacking a particularly heavy movie by checking out other people's thoughts can be helpful.  Maybe you need to get past a certain point in a video game and need help. Maybe you're looking to upgrade your camera or troubleshoot.  The internet is a great place for these things.

Except, I often don't do those things.  I listen to a movie review podcast to fill the air, I used to read about video games when I was too lazy to pick up the controller (I know.), and I read about camera gear when I'm lacking in ideas on what to make next or I just don't want to go out and do anything.  

My blog is the most indulgent of all of these things. It's a place where I can talk about creating without actually making anything. I can tell people what to do without actually doing anything myself. I can do something admirable in real life, and tell everyone about it online.

That's the story of the internet.

We all worship the machine, talk about it, love it, but we never turn it on and use it. We want to take selfies with the machine, show people the machine, yet we don't even know what the machine does. 

All these blog posts, videos, and snapchats on how to be creative are empty. To be creative, you have to create something more than a guide on how to be creative. You have to earn that authority through years of work.  Even those who are an "authority" and put in the work spend all their time telling you about how hard they work and how hard they hustle. Snapchat has become a vehicle for showing off their grind, their hustle with little value attached to it.

I am the worst of these. I've spent the past 5 years taking photos and thinking that gives me any sort of credibility. I have some, certainly, I know my way around a camera, but very early on my creative output was telling others how to be creative like me.  This blog and I have had a complicated relationship since the birth of willmalone.com.  What's it for? Is it a photo album? Is it a place to review things? Is it a guide? Is it a diary?

My reason for writing almost every day over the past couple months was to keep traffic driving to my blog. Willmalone.com probably has more consistent traffic than much of my other social media pages, it always has, but only when I blog often.  I blog for the numbers.

That's why seemingly everyone is blogging these days. Everyone wants the click, and the clickers want to click on something that tells them how to live a successful life. Top 5 ways to be Productive, Expand your Creativity with these tricks, How to be a Real Entrepreneur, How To Be Successful--- You've seen it before.

Numbers blogging tends to become a career path (or attempted career path) for many.  It's the next level of talking about the machine, without using it. Those who use the machine don't talk about it or read about it, because they are too busy using it.

Numbers have never been what I'm about. I've wasted too much time talking about the work than actually doing the work.  

I don't want to tell anyone how to do anything, because I'm still figuring it all out myself.

I don't want to be like everyone else. My blog was quickly slipping into "numbers blogging", and that's just not me.  Finding my style, finding my own vision is the most difficult thing I've ever done, but I'm determined.  I don't want to be "a creative", I want to be Will Malone.  Turns out being yourself is one of the hardest things you can do, especially when you just turned 24 and you still don't know quite what life looks like yet.

I beginning to believe that very little good can come from a early 20s person with a blog.  That sounds controversial, and maybe I'm alone in my struggle. I just know how easy it is to be deceived that I'm doing something when I'm really not.  I also believe I can communicate on the internet in much better ways than this.  Blogging for me is superfluous, my talking needs to be done with a camera.

I believe my life will be much improved if I deny myself (for once) the urge to share my thoughts on a blog.










My biggest struggle with making a daily vlog is finding the right music, and sadly, copyright free music usually isn't very good. 

Mad Libre show

Mad Libre show

I had a lot of good music to begin with, but I don't want to keep using the same stuff over and over again.  

I need your help!

If you know someone, or are someone who makes music and wants me to put it in my vlogs, send me a message! I will give full credit of course.

This is important to me because it sets the tone of my videos; if the song is cheesy, it makes the video feel like it's bad.  I know there are alot of great musicians out there letting people use their music for stuff like this, I just need to find them.  

Most of the time when I'm editing the vlog I'm also searching for music.  I want to make more edits based on the rhythm of the music, but I often don't find music that fits.

I've had great musicians help me before, (as well as write an original theme song), and I'm happy to trade creative favors. Need a video or photos of your band? I can do that in return.

You can contact me via willmalone.com or Facebook or Instagram or anything else!

Let's work something out!


Entrepreneurs need new adjectives

First off, I don't believe I'm an entrepreneur. I may have some tendencies, but I don't believe I am one currently.  That said, I like to follow alot of them online, at least, I did.  It's become unbearable as of late.

The term "thought-leader" is a newer term (I think) referring to "trend-setters" or the leaders of the herd.  That's what online personalities strive to be. 

Internet thought leaders lead cool lives, so why not want be one of them? Companies give them stuff, and they get to travel a lot.  

Well, what happens when all the "thought-leaders" are thought-led by someone else? What do I mean? Let me put it this way: it's like if the rebels who stopped the empire eventually end up becoming an empire again.  It's not as intense as that in actuality, but it is a weird phenomenon.

There's one entrepreneur so inspirational that all of the entrepreneurs, old and up-and-coming are trying to be him.  They copy his language, they obey his every word, and they are trying to borrow his personality.

I like all of these personalities, even the big kahuna, but they have all become unrecognizable.

You'll know them by their words, or more specifically, their Snapchat accounts. Terms often used: "Crushing it", "Hustling", "Getting it", or just describing how much you work and how often and how early in the day.  Entrepreneur "bros" have arrived.

It's more than just a trend; it's become cultish, affecting those we originally saw as rebels.  It's becoming harder and harder to find an internet thought leader who hasn't morphed into "a hustler".  

I get it, the guy is right about a lot, but he's egotistical, and he promotes his inflated ego and makes it seem desirable. The game is all about ego more than ever (not that it wasn't before), but now it's about lording it over people. Social media "personalities" are just talking about how much they "crush" and "hustle", with little to no substance. 

I like the borrowing of ideas and strategies, what I don't like is the borrowing of personality and turning into something you're not just because there's a bigger guy doing it.  That's how "bros" are created in every field since the dawn of time. It's a cycle.