Since moving to Monterey my commute has changed dramatically. Getting home from work no longer requires sitting center seat on a red eye flight to Chicago. All that flying has been replaced by a two hour, moon roof open drive up the California Coast. Life is good, and I am getting reacquainted with my CD collection during the drive. I’ve always loved to listen to entire albums without skipping a track. Thanks to the long drive I have time to savor some old favorite albums.
The other day while listening to Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” I started to compare recording music to blogging. The thought process was a little depressing. When musicians work on an album they have months and even years to perfect their product. A well crafted album is nuanced and loaded with beautiful surprises that can only be revealed through multiple listens. What’s a blogger have to work with? A spare hour in the afternoon is about all the time I get for working up a post. How can a blogger make something of quality when working on a strict time budget?
An easy answer would be to post less frequently. If I use my time to create just one well written post every two weeks, I could possibly create something of higher quality. There would actually be an editing process. The problem with this solution is maintaining a readership. For a blog to grow readers it needs a steady stream of posts. People stop coming back if the front page doesn’t have something new. What’s the point of blogging if you don’t have any readers? I’ve never believed in dropping coins down a wishing well.
So we arrive at “The Artistic Blog Paradox”. A good blog requires frequent posts, and high quality posts require lots of time. Is it possible to create an artistic blog and maintain a readership while on a strict time budget? I don’t know the answer yet, and that is the reason why I said I was thinking of giving it all up in a post a few days ago. Since writing that terse resignation I have flown across the country three times. Three trancon flights give the mind some space to roam. Here’s what I’ve come up with…
From this point going forward I will be creating two different types of posts. The first variety I will classify as “scribbles”. The scribbles will be quickly written and tossed out for your consumption — cheap food for the beast. The second variety will be called “Quality” posts (“Quality” in honor of Robert Pirsig). These posts will live on my hard drive and be subject to editing and rework until they are ready for release into the wild.
There is also the possibly that my basic premise is wrong. Maybe a high quality post can be written quickly. Maybe you won’t be able to see the difference between the scribbles and the quality. Of course the photos will always be my best effort. I don’t think I could post a photo I didn’t love.
*note about the lead photo. This pic wasn’t taken by me. My dad took it. I left my camera home from the beach that day. I knew I could trust my Dad to document the trip.