How Writing Reviews Has Changed My Life

I wrote this at around 35,000ft in the air on a plane. While not extra special in itself, except I haven’t wrote anything on a plane before right now. However, I’m humbly and gratefully descending down, now. Wouldn’t want to stay in the air too long, right? 🤠

Growing up in the United States of America as a middle class, mostly-normal person has delightfully exposed me to a swath of media, from music, books, visual arts, movies, video games and beyond. Being the type of person that considers the design of a vehicle artwork ( and many more things ) and having an aptitude for being appreciative of anything that is created by another person ( yes, I would love even a stick figure drawn by a 30 year old and rightfully have my justifications for that ), I grew up as first and foremost, a human being, and I have always especially loved the music side of art, only recently taking up a love for some of the more delicate parts of art such as books, visual arts and compositions / poetry.

person holding white and brown newspaper
Photo by Ekrulila on

The best stories are the ones that have a solid inspiration story behind the story – at least, those are the ones that have the most meaning, intensity and heart. The reason I bring this up, is that likewise when I write a review it’s just natural to try to come up with something interesting to say and also to pay attention and have a solid grasp on it. The way I remedy that is by thinking about what spawned this story ( among other things as well ) – what is the essence behind it? Maybe I will never know, but at least I can try. Did someone mention the idea in passing and that is how the idea came about? Did someone go through something that triggered a healthy emotional response to write a story? Whether it be the former, the latter or something else entirely – they are all equally important. Which, don’t get me wrong, a mention in passing can breed the best stories, but it’s really when the author digs deep into their own soul . . . That’s when the story becomes something of greatness. Not only does the story behind the story make a book great, but also a solid interpretation by the reader makes it legendary. After all, the reader keeps the story alive and essentially the work will sit in a dusty, dark proverbial room until one day, it hopefully creates a wave of interest.

Even though I have always loved, number one music, and also I have loved all other forms of media, but I never have appreciated it like I do know.

people at theater
Photo by Monica Silvestre on

Q:But, S.D, why do you have a new love for the arts just recently? There has to be a reason for it!

A: I’m glad you asked! It’s cuz . . . you guessed it! Reviews.

As a person always being surrounded by media, it is very easy to take it for granted. I have come to realize that it is a privilege, not a requirement for life.

What’s the Point, S.D.?

Upon reflecting today, I realized something that’s huge. Before I really started to dig in to these books and trying to really understand what the essence of a story is, what is in the guts of it, what it is that permeates through the atmosphere of the mind because of it’s presence – is that I have been a passive media consumer, ( especially when it comes to movies, which I haven’t reviewed much of ) because, well for a myriad of reasons, but the one being most important is, it’s difficult to truly appreciate something when it’s always in your face. Just kind of strolling through the stories, the movies, the music ( the music less than others, just because I’m apt to be attracted to music ) makes it easy to simply move onto the next one – I really haven’t been appreciating it like it should be. That is all. Wait! But You Said it Changed Your Life? Yes, I am looking at things, people, work, friends, everything a bit more objectively, even more so than before. I also get great recommendations and travel down roads I wouldn’t have otherwise without this community. Or, maybe I’m just drunk right now. I’ll let you decide. 😉

Guys and gals, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley.

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

2 replies on “How Writing Reviews Has Changed My Life”

1) None of your posts have shown up in the WP feed. Which is frustrating because even if you didn’t set things up “perfectly” (from wp’s perspective), I should still be catching your rss info. Sigh.

2) Good post. I’ve always viewed movies as passive entertainment, which coupled with my low watching thresh hold, has never led me into the “movie review” side of things. I obviously feel different about books 😀 But even there, what I consider important is very different than what I thought was important 20 years ago. If I’m still alive in 20 years, I suspect my priorities will have changed again, hahahahaa.

In regards to #1:

I have about 100 sites added to my WordPress Reader and I think maybe under half of them actually show up. WordPress JetPack is really flunking out. It stinks like hooha. Feedly is now my definite go to because of this. I’m certain that I’m not the only one. I’m guessing it’s overloaded with the trillion websites it has to pull from, or they prioritize the ones that pay for it . . . who knows, not I said the blind man, ha.

In regards to #2. I feel you on the priorities, I feel like that going from breakfast to lunch sometimes.. 🤣

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