It has been two weeks since I last blogged. Truth be told, I took a deliberate break to ponder my future in blogging. I began serious contemplation of ending Lost Coast Post last December during my annual, end-of-the-year hiatus. 2016 marks my tenth year in blogging. This space has brought many joys and insights to my art life but also many inescapable anxieties. I am deeply tired of worrying about follows, comments, and page views. No matter how much I tell myself to post and walk away, I still take it hard when I post something and not a soul responds. You'd think that after ten years, I'd have made gains, however small, in followers and yet, I've actually been steadily losing followers. I'm sure there are any number of factors, most of which are out of my control, but it doesn't really matter. It is still disheartening. (And I'm willing to bet that most bloggers out there care about such things even if they say they don't.)
I recognize that my style of blogging is nearly extinct (if it ever existed in the first place.) I write more than I post pictures. I don't end my posts with a lengthy link list of supplies to purchase. While I have some small art pieces I'd like to sell, I don't have my own product line to hawk. I don't host online classes (although I'd like to) and I don't hobnob with any of the big names in the industry. I don't brand, license, name drop, publish, or advertise. I'm just a small-town, part-time teacher and full-time artist trying to show what I do and talk about how and why I do it. I value process over product and that's becoming an increasingly difficult position to hold. It's not that I don't buy stuff or that I don't have stuff to sell; it's that my world (and this space) doesn't revolve around making a buck or promoting my name. Many do that and do that successfully in honest, passionate pursuit of a career making art; that's just not me.
All in all, I'm in an odd time of contracting and expanding: feeling the need to do more work for my eyes only and yet wanting to show more here. Case in point: a brand-new, significantly better camera arrives today that should take improved videos and photos. I'm not sure though that I have the time, energy, or smarts to get really good at editing. I love my work more intensely than ever but it often feels like that fever actually diminishes if I bring my new work out into the public eye. It's not an issue of copyright protection but rather a need to make art just for me so I can grant myself full, unhindered freedom to explore whatever direction I desire. I alternate between feeling like I've said all I want to say and making lists of all the new things I could blog about.
Anyway, lots of thoughts bouncing around in this tender, busy head of mine. I know that I won't make any firm decisions until summer break so that I am not influenced by the cloud of fatigue and overwhelm that envelops my life while simultaneously trying to work and manage my health. I'm going to start blogging just on Mondays to see if dialing back my posting schedule while working helps ease my racing thoughts. If you are one of those people who read regularly and comment (or not), thank you! I intend to hang in here as long as I can.
PS: Please, please, please don't feel guilty or bad if you read but don't comment! This isn't a ploy to get you to comment. I am the Queen of Crazy Busy so I totally understand reading but not leaving behind a note. The comment situation doesn't bug me as much as the page views/follower count...and you guys are right: nowadays a lot follow via feed readers or email so there's no truly accurate way to know the number of followers. I do know that Google discontinued Friend Connect for non-Blogger sites, forcing everyone to have a Google account to sign in. (No more signing in from Twitter, Typepad, Yahoo, Open ID etc) That automatically dropped follower counts for Blogger in late December/mid January.