For the past several days I have had no desire to write a blog post. There are other projects that I want to work on. I’d love to take a day or two and binge-watch something straight through. Hell, I’d be happy to sit in bed and read a book cover-to-cover. What I really want is to be outside, because the sun is mostly shining, and I when it’s not, well, I love the rain. This isn’t do-what-you-have-to-do weather. Summer is supposed to be more inclined toward do-what-you-want-to-do. And there’s the tell.
I like writing this blog. It wouldn’t exist if I didn’t. There are times when it feels like a have-to, though, rather than a want-to. I started writing the Eightfold Self-Care series because I wanted to. There hasn’t been a huge response to it, though, so I feel entitled to write it at my own pace. It’s not like I have a deadline, other than the one I imposed upon myself. I’m not betraying a promise to millions of readers. This isn’t my day job, it’s a hobby, so my livelihood isn’t on the line. I’ll get to it when I get to it.
My attitude toward writing this blog is currently informed by the bloggers, vloggers, and social media folks that I follow. In particular, I’ve been very influenced by Bunny Meyer over the past couple of months. She’s a YouTuber who goes by “grav3yardgirl“, and Katie and I have decided that she could be our daughter. She’s quirky, she’s into fashion and collectible toys and antique dolls, and she suffers from an anxiety disorder. If she’s not my kid, at the moment she’s at least my spirit animal.
Bunny has been working to revamp her channel because she’s been losing subscribers. Without going into the details for those of you who don’t grok YouTube, that’s how she makes a sizable chunk of her income. So, she has to produce the sort of content that people want to see, while still staying true to her brand. This means that she’s not making the sort of content that she necessarily wants to make. It also means that she’s missing the connection she felt she had with her audience. It’s the classic struggle of art versus commerce.
Blogging, Vlogging, and Social Media
A lot of YouTubers have two channels. One is their main channel, with the more slickly-produced content. The second channel is usually a vlog, where they can just sit in front of a camera and ramble, being open and honest and give you a glimpse behind the scenes. For a long time I had two blogs for a similar reason. One was the “business” blog, the other the “personal” blog. At time went on, the distinction shifted, and the themes changed. I still have two website, for separate purposes, but both are still rather structured.
The things that I write for Dancing Lights Press have the structure. It has to be based around what people are willing to spend money on, the sort of content they want, and not necessarily what I would create (or created the way I would choose to do it) if left entirely to my own devices. That means that, for the sake of my own creative expression, this space needs to periodically be a little more freeform. The fact that it’s not monetized and has a smaller audience is something I need to embrace as a feature, rather than a bug.