Artistic Limbo

Posted by blatantblithe on November 5, 2010 Blog posts | Music | Personal | Social | | 6 comments

I feel as if I’m in some sort of blogging limbo at the moment.  This blog exists as a place for me to keep in touch with my friends/’fans’ and let the world know what I’m doing with my music and zines.  But recently I’ve been struggling with this, because to be perfectly honest, I’m not doing anything interesting at the moment.  I’m mostly focusing on my degree – I have two 6,000 word essays and a 1,500 word essay to write by the end of term, as well as keeping on top of weekly seminar reading, working on my dissertation, and eventually revising for an exam in January.  Boo hiss.

And every now and again, I get frustrated by the fact that few people seem to care that much about me and what I’m up to, the fact that I have very few visitors to my blog and website, etc etc… but then I remember: why would people come here and read about me?  I’m not DOING anything! I think it’s significant that my most popular post by far is Ten Favourite iPhone Apps – people don’t seem to be that fussed about how much I enjoyed ice skating with Hank or whatever.  They want to read proper, bloggy content. And I’m not providing that right now.

(Prepare yourselves for a very honest post… but would you expect anything else from me? :P)

It’s so frustrating, having nothing to write about. As I’ve said before, my music projects are done on the cheap. Free recording time, free photography/photo editing (well, unless you count the cost of Hank’s SLR camera), free promotion.  And everything is done by friends as favours, or by me.  As a result, things don’t get done as efficiently or as effectively as I’d like.  I wanted the free single to be out two weeks ago, but as Hank and a fellow sound engineer are mixing it themselves, they’re only doing it when they get a bit of free time.  I’m still struggling with a single design – if anyone wants to design it for me in exchange for a big pile of freebies and a bottle of wine, get in touch as that would help me a great deal!  (I’ll be handing the CDs out at gigs, plus the two songs will be available to download for free on my MySpace page. I’ll also list them on my website, but obviously I’d have to charge postage costs, as CDs need to be wrapped delicately before being posted.)

I guess there will be people out there who think that it doesn’t seem as if I care about my music – if I want to be successful, I should get out there, right?  But the fact of the matter is this: as idealistic as I am, I know that my degree comes first.  So I won’t neglect it in favour of gigging, online promotion, etc.  Being in my third year and writing a 12,000 word dissertation, I do have a fair amount of work to do.  On top of that, I still have depression, which makes everything ten times harder.  My brain and body just cannot function at certain times of the day, no matter how hard I try. I’m also hopefully going to start volunteering soon, as an attempt to increase my employability, so that’ll eat away at my time too (ugh, I’m having a major career/future crisis at the moment… but I think a lot of people are).

Basically, if I were to categorize myself as one thing, it would be a songwriter.  Out of the many creative pursuits I try my hand at, songwriting has been a constant in my life – I’m fairly good at it, I love doing it, I do it a lot.  It’s the way I like to express myself.  But I try to do too much.  Blog, write, sing, play, design, edit… and the fact of the matter is that while I can do most of them, I can’t do them all that well. I’m still very new to Photoshop, so designing anything takes far too long to do, and I’m still not as neat/efficient as Hank is, so I usually need him to help me out.  I have too much of a short attention span to edit photos, as you have to be pretty meticulous to make them look good.  I find online promotion rude and tedious, and I’m not very good at it – I hate to be “that person” clogging up people’s news feeds with crap.  Other things in my life get in the way of my writing.  I am too embarrassed of my playing and singing to do so when there is anyone else in the house, so I have to be content with playing the piano with my headphones in, where no one can hear me.  This makes songwriting very difficult, as I can’t sing along!  I’m spreading myself too thinly, so to speak.

It’s difficult, because I can’t just say: “fuck this self-promotion bullshit, I’m focusing on writing kick-ass songs, and the rest can sort itself out“.  That’s not how it works.  That was how I dealt with my songwriting for the first 18 years of my life, and it just meant that once I’d written a song it got filed away in my big green notebook, never seeing the light of day again.  I had no means of documenting it, or sharing it with anyone other than my parents (when I was brave enough). I didn’t find that satisfying.  Yeah, I could keep doing that – technically, I AM still doing that, because I’m writing new songs all the time, and until this album gets finished, anything else I write gets shoved into my songbook, waiting.  But for me, art is a sharing, learning, relational experience.  Some of you may think this sounds narcissistic or stupid, but for me, the whole point of creating art is to share it with others -well, certainly when it comes to performance art like songwriting.  I want to share my art with others, I want to perform, document my music through album releases, and hopefully provide people with something a little different to your typical girl-with-a-piano fare.  But I just don’t have the time, the energy, or the resources to do it properly.  I could “hire” people to deal with specific aspects of my music projects while I get on with the important part of writing good songs (e.g. Saara is in charge of my website editing), but I can’t afford to pay people, so working for me is not going to seem that appealing.  Plus a volunteering job will be very far down on people’s list of priorities, so my project will inevitably get left by the wayside (which tends to happen when Hank gets busy, as he is now).

And anyway, back to my original point – if I’m not doing anything with my music project, then what the hell am I supposed to write about on my blog?  Am I being too hard on myself?  Is there any advice anyone can give me on how to move things along quicker?

Sorry about the self-pity.  I’m just feeling a little… stagnated, y’know?  So I’d like to open up a question to you, dear reader: what would you readers like to see more of on my blog?

NB: this post isn’t a “poor me, buy my stuff” kind of rant. I just want you all to know why I might seem lazy. I’m really not, honest!

6 Comments

  • DJ Moonlight said on Nov 5, 2010 6:39 pm

    I always read your blogs, I love reading it! It’s ok for it to stagnant occassionaly, I think you’ll find that when you do have an idea what to write about it will be worth the wait! I haven’t been updating my blog much lately apart from playlists, but I’ve got a few things coming up that will be worth blogging about!
    xx

    • Catherine said on Nov 5, 2010 7:54 pm

      Thank you lovely :) xxx

  • Emma said on Nov 5, 2010 10:57 pm

    I think you’re being too tough on yourself! Like you said, you’ve got a hell of a lot to do at uni and people aren’t going to instantly forget about you and your music if you don’t update your blog as regularly as you would like. Besides, if you force yourself to update because you feel like you have to it’s going to dilute the quality of your awesome posts, which is just as bad as not posting at all! :)

    • Catherine said on Nov 5, 2010 11:18 pm

      Aw, thanks. :) I guess I just worry that unless I keep a constant online presence, people will forget about me… but I guess it doesn’t have to be that way.

      xx

  • Katy L said on Nov 6, 2010 12:04 am

    Y’know, I had a dream about you the other day; we were sharing an art studio by the sea. I wrote stories, you wrote music, many zines were made. It was amazing!
    So, I guess my subconscious thinks you should be a songwriter. :-)
    x x x

    • Catherine said on Nov 6, 2010 12:13 am

      This comment made me beam! You could write the stories, I’d turn them into songs, and we’d be the next McCartney & Lennon! 😀

      xxx <3

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