Wednesday, September 22, 2004

In which the author blogs about blogging and begs for comments

Well, here I am four months into this blogging thing. Prompted by my first comment by a stranger (thanks Esther!), a quiz by Karol and the arrival of autumn, it's time for a review.

When I started my intention was simply to motivate myself to practice. I thought that if having a record of my achievements had already inspired me, then placing it in a public place would be even more motivating. Initially it didn't matter to me if anyone read it, I mean why would they? A bald list of things I've done wouldn't be very compelling reading.

Even as soon as my second post that began to change. Confronted with a blank screen and an ability to touch-type I started blathering, writing out my thoughts regarding music. I think a lot. Really. It never stops and drives me crazy because it usually isn't anything useful or insightful. I found that writing it out channeled those thoughts into something more concrete, forced them to some kind of conclusion. Those conclusions fascinate me, they aren't always what I expect. What a twisty little brain I have!

At the same time I became interested in seeing if anyone was reading this stuff. After some soul searching I added the Sitemeter counter, lo and behold, there are a few who do. (Thanks folks!) Ya coulda knocked me over with a feather. It shouldn't have been such a surprise, I do leave my site address when I comment on blogs. I tend not to follow those links though, and assumed that was true for everyone.

Does it really matter if people read this? In all honesty, not really. The act of organizing my thoughts enough to write them down is very useful. Do I want people to read it? Hell yah.

On Karol's quiz a number of people answered that the reason they blogged was because they had something to say that was worth reading. The tone of these answers was often one of self-deprecating irony. I can understand this. I don't believe that I'm creating deathless prose here. I don't even believe that my thoughts are particularly original. But I do believe they have some value, at least to me. I also believe that other's opinions will be of benefit to me.

What I'm hoping is that someone will make a comment that will nudge the mad, whirling wheel-o-death of my thoughts. Something that will send them off on an unforeseen tangent. What's inside my head surprises me, but other people surprise me more. So if ya got something to say, speak up.

I think the blogspot comment interface puts people off. You don't have an account to comment, just hit "or post anonymously" and lay it on me. Include your email or site links in your text if'n you so desire.

The only question I'm struggling with now is: Do I want to gain a larger audience? It's really yes and no. I don't need one to get something out of this, but the more people reading the more chance of insightful comments. Do I want to broaden the focus of this blog to gain that? No. Do I want to post more often? Kinda. It takes me quite a while for things to jell enough to put it in coherent form. I'd rather not rush it. Ah well, practice may make me faster.

Well, I guess that about covers the self-justification and blog-navelgazing. Usually people wait a year to do this. What can I say? I'm a precocious.


Anonymous said...

Just sayin' hi! Blog on, fellow blog keeper.

~crazy jane

Anonymous said...

Hey! I wanted you to know that I look forward to your Blogs. But then, I know you personally, I know most of the people you mention, and I miss you terribly. Please keep writing.

And I really miss playing music with you!

Speaking of playing, our performance at the Maberly Meltdown went really well. And we've got our first bar gig on the 1st. (I'm pretty nervous because it's always a different ball game playing with monitors and having to sing with someone else. This will be very different from the high-paying tapestry gigs we get playing at government functions.) And we're getting paid for it! Then we're headlining for a fundraiser on the 14th. Now this is the pace I'd really like to keep up! I'm such a band whore!!!

We're in the midst of applying for a couple of recording grants. I think our chances are pretty good if we sell the bilingual band outside of Quebec aspect.

When I interview bands on my radio show, I love discussing how to promote oneself. So I've learned a lot through other people's mistakes, but it still takes guts and so much energy to get yourself out there... We live in a society where raving about oneself is not highly regarded. That's where having an agent or a manager would come in handy! It's easier being a cheerleader for someone else... I find this part of the job really hard. That's why networking with other bands comes in really handy. (This is how we got our Oct. 1 gig. But then, having the radio show really helps too!) Yeah, your musical community is really important... But some people are very skilled at selling themselves. I need to pick up on some of those skills. Managers are expensive if they get paid. And if they don't, it's a lot to ask of someone...

We'll talk soon!

Hope to get to see you (and we'll schedule a real heart-to-heart this time) when I come home for a few days in November. The dates aren't booked yet, but it's easier for my mother to fly me home than for her to come visit me... I'm not complaining! I'm dying to see M&M's new place! And perhaps I could convince you guys to play again for me. It's always such a treat to see/hear you!!!

Lots of love,
MJ xo

Esther Kustanowitz said...

I'm honored to be a muse. Usually, I settle for "a-muse-ing." You'll figure this whole blogging thing out--what you want to put into it, what you expect to get out of it, etc. Sometimes it takes time.
I'll stay tuned!