Thursday, February 23, 2006



Snuffed (2000)

I've been thinking seriously of killing off this blog lately. It doesn't shed enough light in any direction. It should probably be snuffed.

It's like a college student who's an undeclared major. It doesn't really know what it wants to be.

You can see this by the categories of the links. Sometimes, this blog wants to be an art blog -- a silent photoblog to display art without distractions and background noise -- like writing. Other times, this blog wants to be a political blog -- a platform for (mostly my) political observations, rants, musings, diatribes, moaning, and catharsis. Other times, this blog wants to be a cultural blog -- reflecting on odd eruptions of popular culture strangeness or historical oddness. Sometimes this blog serves as a publisher for my poetry. Sometimes this blog actually is my diary.

I'm grateful that several people nominated Blog with a View recently for a Koufax Award. But I wasn't considered because I am not seen as a lefty political blog. And I understand that reasoning and even agree with it. But can you see what I mean about an identity crisis? One day I'm fuming about BushCo. The next I'm delving into how to write poems using fractal theory. And the next I'm looking at ladybug folklore or the literary importance of Sir Mordred. And the next I'm sending a valentine to my wife.

And most of the time the result is just a mess -- an all-things-to-all-people buffet that ends up appealing to no one in particular. The art folks are turned off by the politics and yammering. The political folks are annoyed by forays into the non-political. The cultural folks are short-changed most days. I hear: You write too much. I hear: You don't write enough. Nobody seems happy. Most of the blog's hits stem from the mutated syntax of Google searches -- and I'm guessing the majority of these surfers seeking out nude beach or princess leia's metal bikini left disappointed. In the big picture end, here's the result:

...and the computer you rode in on!!

[Image seen on zloblog]

Those of you who keep blogs know how time-consuming they are. And, lately, I find myself wondering why I do this -- especially when I can't even settle on a format. Like most of you, I hold down a full time job. I want to work on a book of poetry. I want to make more art. And, sure, I'd like to have a personal, private life, too.

But I hate thinking that this blog, almost a year old now, has been a waste of both my and your time. So, for now, given my current frame of mind, I'm going to leave it up and carry on primarily as a photoblog. I'll put up art everyday -- but will keep the writing to a minimum. Maybe that approach will be more focused and result in a better fit. Or, maybe, the silence will choke off the last gasps of fresh air.

I'm not promising I won't go off on a writing binge and sound off sometimes. There are days one has to "speak out against the madness." Or I might wake up one morning and tear everything down -- like I did one morning with my gallery on Renderosity. And, as I said, I'm fighting the urge to just close the curtain on the blog's view and let the room go dark. But, for the time being, I'll just let the room go quiet and allow the art to speak for me.


idyllopus said...

Hey, I ain't complainin'.

I'll understand if you snuff the blog. They are hard work.

But I would sorely miss it.

Neil Shakespeare said...

Aw, c'mon. You're just a having a bad day. You know you want to go on with this useless endeavor, don't you? (I'm talking to myself here.)

Tim said...

I think the key to a sucessful, serialized project, like a blog, newspaper column, cartoon strip, or magazine, is to find something you have a lasting interest in and let that pull you along.

Every project, blog, whatever, comes to an end eventually. A book of poetry or a new fractal gallery would be just as valuable as another year of blog posts.

One rule of thumb that I recommend is: forget the audience and produce work that you enjoy. If it appeals to you, it will appeal to people who are like you.

Eclectic. My favorite category. Newspapers are electic, especially regular columnists. Art is eclectic, in general. Let the audience figure out what the label for your blog should be.

Another thing I suggest is to post less often but still on a regular basis, so the audience still detects a pulse. Go to once a week, twice a month, once a month, or every time Halley's comet appears...

daygloegg said...

Please don't get rid of your musings. I find them so enjoyable as I'm sure many people do. It's a way for you to release your creative energy, and the diversity and the unexpectedness of the contents makes it way more interesting.

Tim said...

You know, if you look at this fractal you can just as easily see a rocket taking off as you can a stubbed out cigarette. Far out...

Cyndy said...

I think many bloggers feel similar at least once or twice a year. I like knowing that when I visit your blog I will find surprises.
Silence can be helpful at times, especially for your own sanity. Often it only takes a day or two because the permission you just gave yourself to take a break often gives you new energy and new perspectives. Breaks are allowed. :)
Creativity shines from your page. Let it happen when it happens whatever form it takes. The variety keeps me coming back.
I know you've inspired me on more than a few occasions.

Not a lefty blog??? Hmmmph...

Anonymous said...

I've had the same thoughts you have regarding blogging. Why continue?

Because I owe to you a lot of my inspiration to continue writing (comp 1 and 2, Creative Writing), it would be a shame to see you stop blogging.

Nice to find you again. I was searching for "Wye Mountain" for a story I wrote, and wound up here. The story is here:

Keep blogging.

Mark W.

Anonymous said...


Age rings
Tree stumps
Where once there were eyes

Scarred bark
Graffiti knives
Where once there were lips

Raking ash
Where once there were ears

Fire line
Original sin
Leather and salt of the earth

[Disposable Poem February 8, 2006]

cruelanimal said...

I really, really appreciate everyone's comments. Neil's right. I was just having a bad day -- bad month, actually.

Thanks. Thanks to all of you for your understanding -- and especially to Tim and Cyndy for their comfort that blog anxiety/despair is not uncommon.

So, I'm giving myself a time-out for self-poutiness.

And then I'll carry on doing whatever -- however and whenever I can.

veronica said...

I personally love the commentary AND the art, but in the end it's about pushing new personal frontiers as an artist, so do what you need to do. And thanks for all the great posts.

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