I’m actually writing this before bed, though it is technically Monday. I just finished re-watching the unaired Sherlock pilot, again, though only because someone else in the apartment hadn’t seen it yet and that show is bloody brilliant. Ahem. I’ve adopted lots of British-isms in the past 2 weeks or so, which is wonderful.
Is it really Monday? Where did my weekend go?
I did publish that video, which was 3 hours or so of editing and learning iMovie ’09 after Final Cut Pro decided it no longer wanted to work on my computer. Last week was filled with technology woes -- first, my upgrades to a new OS didn’t work out so well (my Mac is a hackentosh, a two-year-old Dell Inspiron desktop that is made of magic), then, when those were settled, my new camera’s software wouldn’t load unless things were upgraded, and the upgrades crashed the system and...
I finally was able to film near sundown on Wednesday, tried to edit Thursday, was back on Friday, and finished with a marathon session on Saturday. There was a point in there when I asked myself why I was going through all the trouble, and then, when I was giggling and getting really into editing, I realized why: I love making vids. I love putting together the layers, figuring out the shots and the angles and what goes where. I love writing it all out before I start so I have a roadmap of some kind.
And I feel like, for the past three or four years of putzing around on YouTube, that I’ve been asleep. That this deep love -- this love I have a bachelor’s degree in -- was always waiting, but I never took YouTube seriously enough to put the effort into it. And that was my mistake. Even though I wasn’t make money off things (I now make around $5 a month from a few ad-share videos), I should have seen that that didn’t matter.
I went that way with my art. I created and journaled and blogged even through it wasn’t making me a penny. I just had fun. And I think these days we get too caught up in numbers or stats that we may lose sight of this.
Becca asked me last week for advice on getting more subscribers for her blog. She asked how I got popular. I don’t consider myself very popular, and think my Facebook page gets more traffic than this blog, so I wasn’t able to really answer her question because I’ve never thought about it.
This was my mission statement when I began blogging in 2006:
To create the type of blog I’d love to visit.
There weren’t very many art journaling blogs out there, nor were there many books, so I decided to fill this gap I found with my own adventures. I never went around and advertised, didn’t comment too much on other blogs (I’m terrible at that, by the way; I may read yours regularly and never say anything!), and had little idea what I was doing. But I knew what I wanted to read about online, what images and inspiration I wanted to see, so that’s what I produced. I posted to my blog and on Flickr and that was it.
In fact, I made sure I didn’t get too wrapped up in numbers. I didn’t want to care; caring too much meant I could be disappointed if a post didn’t get any comments or very many views. I published nearly every journal page I created back in those days, posting so often, it was insane.
But I did get caught up. And when people didn’t like pages, I’d get sad. And when I was making pages, I wouldn’t even be ten minutes into it when I started thinking about posting it online and what people would think. Those thoughts began influencing my work, and wow did I get blocked.
So I decided to cool it on posting journal pages for awhile -- a practice that continues, I must admit; I post about 30-50% of my pages these days, and haven’t scanned one for months. I’ve found more satisfaction in flash posts on my Facebook page and writing my newsletter than in anything else. And now that I’m back to making the types of videos I enjoy, I’m just tickled pink all the time.
I set out this weekend to paint. To turn off the computer and just be. And I didn’t log on much -- I checked my email three times and Facebook about the same. Just quick little jaunts. Since I lost my cell phone two weeks ago, I don’t have that constant tether to the online world anymore (but am freaked out when driving around without any way to contact people should something *cough* Irunoutofgasonthefreeway *cough* happen). It was great. I doodled. A lot. Worked on the same journal page all day, saw a movie, bought a book, and oh, yeah -- found out I might have strep. For now, it’s a very sore throat, achy ear, going from hot to cold, and a persistent headache that has me walking through water.
Ugh. Visiting the little clinic in Walgreens tomorrow just in case, though I trust the independent diagnoses of my parents, as they are experienced in such things. How this happened, I don’t know! (Note: if I owe you something other than a package to put in the post, please be patient; I shall email you later) Anyway, no insurance = little clinic in a drug store on a mother’s dime. How far I’ve come.
Anyway, I think what’s happened is I was trying to be like those other blogs, with their deep, moving posts that everyone links to and loves, and you know what? I’m not like that. I like having conversations. I like living a digital life. I like making videos and doing art and teaching classes (and yay news about True to You 2; the lovely Tam is working with me on that, the angel she is...). I like making journals (and am getting someone to pull out the binding machine so I can stock those loved spirals in my etsy shop). I like helping others discover their potential (if I could be an art journaling coach with real clients, I’d be a happy girl).
There’s my advice, Becca. Be yourself. Don’t try to get readers -- just be. They’ll come. Give them time to find you. Go out on a ledge and submit something to a magazine. And be an awesome friend so your friend (ie: me) can link to your blog because I just adore you and your awesome creative spirit. Have I mentioned her home is covered in art by family and friends? It’s like walking into color that you never want to leave.
Bed for me, now. I’ll post this in the morning.