“Do you think I should start a blog?”
This question has come up so many times over the past few weeks that I feel it should be addressed. With so many websites now being built using the WordPress platform, it’s a natural question that arises from the dynamic nature of the format. I wish there were a clear-cut, yes or no answer, but the reality is that there isn’t one! The answer is really that it’s up to you (sorry y’all), but here are some very basic questions to ponder that may help you come up with an answer:
Think about why you would do such a thing. More often than not, the answer seems to be, “Well, I’m just finishing up a degree program/(re)entering the job market and I have to get myself out into the world, and having a blog seems like a good way to do it.” Okay, that may be true if you have something you are burning to write about—contemporary music as it relates to politics, the ever-changing world of arts administration, deep thoughts about Neapolitan sixths, composers and their cats, mushrooms, whatever! There is a topic for everyone. However, if keeping a blog brings up the word “should,” as in it’s something you feel you “should” do, it’s probably best to steer clear of the whole ordeal. There are already so many lonely, neglected blogs lying fallow across the internet plains that were founded on the word “should.” But if it’s a true “want” in that you’re dying to do it, then by all means knock yourself out!
If there are things that you are itching to write or talk about in some way, shape, or form, do they really require a blog format? There are tons of ways to bring good ideas to life. If you have a few like-minded, tech-savvy friends you could form a group to discuss various happenings and topics; you could make podcasts of interviews with performers and composers; compositions can be documented in creative ways; heck, you can even stalk a musician and make a little documentary! If you have your heart set on a blog though, it’s good to have some sort of angle, be it sassy, nichey, awkward, humbling, or focused in some creative way on what’s important to you.
What’s in it (or not) for you?
Finally, one last question to mull over is whether keeping a blog is worth the time it takes away from other activities such as composing or performing music. If the concern is about getting oneself out into the world, is having a blog the most effective way to do that, when there is already something that puts you out there? For some the answer is a resounding yes, and that can be completely inspiring. It really has to do with what you bring to the table, and how best to pass it around.
I hope that those of you out there with blogs, podcasts, etc., will add your thoughts on your activities in the comments.