Awwww… I know – bummer. No picture to tempt you to click on the link. I hope you’ll follow it anyway.
I have begun the onerous undertaking of revising all of the categories that I’ve used on my blog and consolidating them into less random groups. Now down to 14 pages (there were initially 18), and 270 categories (seriously?! who needs that many flippin’ categories?!), I still have a long, long way to go. This is a tiny part of the very slow process of streamlining and updating my blog, which I have thought of doing many a time but dismissed as too unwieldy a project – until now.
With a little more time at my disposal, I can at least clean it up so that when I have a little more money at my disposal I will be able to give it the facelift that I intended to give it for some time now. I am still uncertain what parts will be nipped and tucked though. I’m not sure where I’ll be going with the blog, if any deviation to its current trajectory will happen.
When I first started posting stuff to the interwebz, it was a vast expanse of open land, kind of like the Wild Wild West. Lots of scrub brush and sage, some tumbleweed and only a few shanty towns along the road. Only a few people were generating enough income (through syndication) via their blogging to make a decent living doing it, and the publishing industry was still predominantly a tactile one. Not so much anymore. Publishing has embraced digital technology with open arms (though I imagine it was a difficult transition for many operations) but this new forum is enabling smaller publications (which is a VERY good thing) the sort of voice that was no longer possible within the print world (at least not without a whole lot of financial backing, which let’s face it most small prints didn’t and still don’t have at their disposal).
Initially, blogging was an extension of personal journaling, either to a closed group (i.e., family and friends who would be given access to the online material via a link) or publicly, but it was mostly accessible in an aggregate sort of way by visiting the sites themselves. They looked far less pretty than they do now, and even when they started becoming more customizable and wysiwyg, they required at least a little bit of coding knowledge if you wanted them to do what you wanted them to do. Or, if you wanted to pull away from the flock, you had to integrate them into your personal website, but doing that also made it difficult to generate the traffic necessary for it to actually be a monetized enterprise unless you already had a decent readership in place.
When I first started posting this stuff, it was really as a way to connect with people that I knew from various art boards or local art community, or those who were specifically interested in my art process and its results; those who enjoyed reading my writing, who embarked willingly upon the wild ride that my mental gymnastics would more often than not take them on. My great idea of “monetizing” was to jump on the affiliate bandwagon, or to adopt banner ads, neither of which generated anything remotely adequate as a living income. I thought that signing on as an Amazon associate was brilliant because a) I read a lot of books, and b) I purchased a lot of books, and I would often share with my blog viewers info on my purchases. This was relatable information because we had common interests. I still share my book links, and hope that it will in some small part drop a few coins into my revenue jar, at least enough to supplement my book addiction costs (which have been severely curtailed over the last half decade, but especially now that I have become unemployed).
Now because I have so many diverse interests, I suppose my posts can draw a very diverse crowd, not necessarily interested in each other or even in every possible tangent that I may write about.
But really, this whole blogging thing that I do continues to be what it started off as – a live (and very personal) accounting of my journey through life and my attempt to make sense of it as I go along. I can’t be alone in having these (admittedly at times bizarre) thoughts, but I appreciate the fact that I can share it with people even if I really don’t get a sense of it being heard so much as disseminated, because nobody comments much anymore. I get notified of a post being “liked” but that is the extent of it.
I’ve always expected this to be a sort of dialog, though, so in some respects I would like to scoop into my inner well and pull out the stuff that might be useful – relatable – relevant – to someone other than merely myself – things that resonate with those of you who have chosen to add my blog to your reading list; the sort things that keep you clicking on the links when the alert goes out that a new blog post is up.
I don’t have any how-to’s about much of anything – clearly (as you know, if you read), I am stumbling through this journey like most of the rest of the world. I haven’t achieved any celebrity, notoriety (except, perhaps, in tiny circles and in ways which wouldn’t be useful, per se), higher wisdom, great skill, wealth (or the arcane knowledge as to how to generate it), physical perfection, spiritual enlightenment or any associated message relating thereto, academic accolades, professional success, and any other variant of the things that people are looking for on blogs (or in general) these days.
I don’t have the answers. I just have more questions, and those mostly lead to the next ones rather than the answers.
With that said, I’d like to know which ones you would like me to ask more of, because it would be nice to know that you are asking the same ones, or yours might spur me into asking others that I might not have thought of. Perhaps we might come up with some answers, and if not, maybe we’ll just have a helluva good time on the journey.
Okay… so I ended up sketching something this afternoon and I’m sharing it… a little “small art”. Enjoy.