As my loyal readers for so many years, you have heard a lot of strange things from me, but this may well be the strangest post ever.
Why? Because I am contemplating saying good-bye.
And I am contemplating out loud.
Change is a good thing, but things on the web have changed SO much, that BIG rethinking is in order on my part. I am not feeling happily engaged and satisfied.
Maintaining a personal brand in these times of social media madness is an insane thing in my estimation.
When I look at some of the blogs I follow, and some that I don’t, my eyes actually jitter with the busy-ness, the ads, the pop-up pages that won’t close, or at the very least, require a “hunt” for the little X you must click to get them out of your face so you can read the post behind them.
I am hooked on binge-watching “Madmen” in the evenings. I really abhor advertising and its affect on EVERYTHING in life. The ads NEVER stop hounding you. I understand some advertising must be necessary, but I feel like it has beaten me senseless.
At the side of most blogs is a list of TEN or more social media sites. “Follow Me” here, “Like me there”, be my “friend”. How can anybody possibly have that much to contribute to so many venues?
Blogs and artists I once followed because their “stories” were so interesting, now have nothing to *say* between the sales pitches and the listing of schedules that could kill a person.
Here, at Whenever, I have not gone that route (although yes, my own schedule could do me bodily harm – but I try not to LIST it).
This blog is a quiet place where we share some ideas and some mutual love and I like it that way. THAT is the pay-off. But, it’s not enough.
This blog has pretty much stopped producing income for me, and I cannot “spend” my time without helping support my family.
Think about that saying for a minute; “Spending time”.
It no longer means whiling away the hours in some leisurely fashion, does it? To quote Ariana Huffington, we perceive ourselves to be experiencing a “time famine” because we are truly out of whack in our understanding and management of time.
I surely feel that famine.
I am running a full time Sheer Heaven business and a real life gallery, and trying to create my own art in the minutes between. Sometimes, the whole thing is just too big a job, and to consider creating a social media circus to add to the mix is just a DUMB idea.
But how else to grow the audience here? Do *more* blog posts? Would that enliven things? Does that even make sense?
To the left and right of me, I see favorite bloggers taking extended “vacations” from bogging, and I actually do that sometimes without announcing it. You know how I can “go missing”.
It doesn’t do any good. You just get more confused about your role in the whole thing when you get back to it.
Many of you have written that you appreciate it when I share my “process”, my thinking, my attempts at problem solving with you. Sometimes, you say you learn from it.
Well, put on your seat belts because I am about to do that in a very big way.
I have so much going on right now in all corners of my art and business life that I can’t see the forest for the trees myself, and I need to ferret things out.
I have talked to dear friends and sister friends, and my dear sister, about this and their input has been so helpful.
So, I figure if I throw all this out there and share with you dear friends, even more good ideas will come from it. I truly solicit your input whatever it may be, and in turn, I will tell you everything I learn.
I will reply to your comments and we will have a conversation that may be good for us all.
I am sure there are others out there who face dilemmas and impossible choices and maybe we can all get some help in seeing the trees and reconfiguring the forest.
The goal is to land in a comfortable nest, where the pieces of my art/business life come together and make sense. To that end, I am going to get them all out, dust them off, and move them around like jigsaw puzzle pieces – until they show me a picture.
The way I am going to do this in public with you is to blog all of it – over at least the next two weeks. Today is the first day of the second half of May and I am going to post something (whatever) everyday – at least until the end of the month.
During that endeavor, I am going to watch results.
I am going to watch my blog stats to see if they go up or down. Does frequency bring more readers?
I am going to watch the “subscribes” and “unsubscribe” on my email notification list, as there will be an email notice everyday for the rest of May, at least. That might irritate some – who knows. (You can join that list here if you want to be sure not to miss any of this saga.)
Interestingly, Mail Chimp seems to be impressed that I get 50-60% of my subscribers to open the emails. They’re impressed. I’m thinking WTF?
I am going to watch sales of Sheer Heaven, my workshops, and workbooks to see how they are affected as I continue to rearrange the website to make everything easier to access – and as I tell you about that process as it goes.
I am going to return serious attention to my wonderful, proprietary product, Sheer Heaven – which continues to sell even though I have been so neglectful of its marketing, but which deserves to be treated as a very special thing. I mean, who has a product so magical that nobody else in the world has? Hello? I should surely be on that bandwagon.
I have begun creating a wonderful online Market for WOW! Gallery, which I will share as I create it. I will watch how it is supported.
This will probably take more than two weeks, but in the end, I will have answers and I will decide to stay or go.
I hope you will join me on this adventure and that you will stick your two cents in whenever you have something to say.
This could be interesting, and we can certainly learn a lot.