Saturday, February 25, 2012

Promises, Promises

This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me juggling projects old, and new, making changes around the ol' blogstead with even more to come (ooooh, suspense!), replenishing inventory, and drawing from my inspiration-well to get me through the creativity slump.  It was during this virtual inspirational stroll - pail in hand ready to dip into the cool, fresh water of like minded creative chicks (and their blogs I lurk on) when I was met with, I won't say "bitter" disappointment, but more like utter disappointment in the virtual company I'd been keeping.

I'm not really a blog-aholic kind of gal, but I do have a small list of faves I like to check in on now and again.  In an age where you need to be S.C.U.B.A. certified to swim through the ever growing blog deluge for me it's important to narrow it down to a handful of specific blogs speaking to the very things that spark my imagination (lotsa eye candy, a must!), published by creative women whom I respect as people, writers, and as a source of inspiration not just in the neato colors they pick out for their next project or their super-duper blog backgrounds, but as businesswomen in "The Industry."  

With a heavy heart the other day I read a post by a lady in the creative game I'd been following for several years as she took the time to explain to her readers she couldn't afford the time to answer individual emails from her fans, and readers who were seeking information on how she'd managed to break into this specific creative market, and managed to make a full-time job out of it.  Allow me to be clear, I know what it's like to be a busy lady -- whether it's children, career, continuing education, girls in high school, whomever you are, and whatever you're doing right now, if you're attempting to do it at the top of what your skills allow, then you KNOW what it's like to be a busy lady!  I'm certainly not busting on anyone for valuing their time, but I think it's important to know before you step into the Blogosphere, and start making certain (and in some cases, all) of your life public material, that you will be opening yourself up to a rather large volume of inquiries, and correspondence.  Granted, much like you can't be everywhere at once, you can't individually answer everyone's burning questions at once (or can you? A simple FAQ section, or blanket letter touching on the basics, with a few book titles to look into can actually cover a lot.), and like my mother has always discussed with me throughout life, it's not about what happens to you, or what comes up along the way, it's all about how you handle it. 

It was with disappointment that I continued reading along as the blogger then slagged off her readers as potential competition, therefore making it, in her opinion, a valid reason to keep her readers in the dark as to how they might follow her lead into an industry where not so long ago she was an unknown newcomer, going as far as downplaying key skills to know, and brush up on, whilst feeding them with false information.  Instead of being flattered, or excited to network with potential new colleagues she, in my opinion, alienated many of her readers, and made them feel like idiots for doing the one thing that so many industry insiders actually advise people to do!  "Find a blog specific to your prospective field, and get in touch with the blogger, and ask them how they got their start."  That's savvy networking, but there seems to be some confusion about that word today (believe me it has nothing to do with updating your status).  I can't say this was the only thing that turned me off of this particular blog, but it was certainly a big reason, along with the snide attitude from which it was delivered.

I created this blog at a time when I really needed something positive to look forward to.  I, like many who take to the keyboard these days, had NO idea what direction this whole "project" was going to go.  What I did know, was that I was committed to keeping it a positive experience.  I believe you can have a bad day, and even talk about things you don't like without going to an ugly, or god forbid, whiny place - blegh!  Who wants to read that?!  Thing is, I knew from experience, having had a marginally successful following on my blog posts in Myspace (remember that joint?!), exactly who wanted to read my sarcastic version of complaint-blogging.  I admit, it was funny, but the bottom line was, even though there was humor involved it was based in a negative place, and soon became too exhausting to engage in ... then take into account the comments section where people like to come and argue your opinion with you, and then turn and argue with each other!  ARGH!  That's what lead me to take a different approach in this forum, oh yeah and disable the comments (which I catch a lot of flack over, but hey, different strokes!).  Now that I'm here, and looking back at where it started, and where I'm heading (which is still a "?") I took a moment to re-read my tag up there in About Me where it states, "Created as a behind the scenes look at the creative process ..." and shamefully admit that I haven't exactly held up my end of the bargain when it comes to behind the scenes.  I've given you lots of opinions, and updates, but not a lot of insider looks at what goes on around here leaving it to come off like a wand is waved and voila all this wonderful stuff just occurs. 

So what does this mean?  Well, it means life happens!  Things come up along the way that pull focus, and need your attention, and that's okay.  Not updating a weblog, or even taking a break from it for a while (*GASP* without so much as a guest blogger!) is not the end of the world.  However, it wouldn't hurt for me to be a little more involved around here, and I do look forward to jumping back in a little bit, even if the jumps are bunny-hops, and as always ... we'll see where this goes!