Sunday, March 6, 2011

♥ New Directions



An HTML project I worked on for my Computing class, based on The Resident Artist.  © 2010


I've been thinking a lot lately about my goals for this blog.  The idea for the previous incarnation of The Resident Artist had been a sort of web version of what would be my own ideal magazine, one that would not only include everything I loved about fashion and popular culture, but also include what I loved about the finer arts, like literature and -- of course, theatre.  I had plans for all kinds of columns and things I would write, and stories I would "feature" -- but like life, it turns out my blog had other plans of its own, it seemed.  I ended up getting caught up in the world of Theatre Blogging and Criticism.  I was enamored with the idea of this big conversation happening (with some of Theatre's biggest names, mind you) and being able to include myself in that conversation, no matter who I was (or wasn't).

And somewhere along the way, I became somewhat of a Theatre/Entertainment Blog.

I've never been very comfortable with the term "niche blogging."  I've always believed the best blogs are the ones that come about organically.  It's how my blog developed, and it's what had made the process fun.  You could try things out, and whatever worked, worked -- whatever didn't, you had the mind to just never try again.  When you try to plan things out, it often doesn't come out as genuinely...and readers can see that.  They can sense when you're not being true to yourself; sure, they say that imitation is the best form of flattery, but not when it comes to blogging and putting what is supposed to be an extended representation of yourself out there.

However, there came a point where I thought that maybe I needed to take my blog to the "next level" (in true Beyonce, "Upgrade U" fashion) and finally add my initial idea of columns into the mix.  I saw blogs like Gala Darling and Nubby Twiglet use the magazine-style format and somehow thought, "I could do that, too."  With my new goal in mind, I moved The Resident Artist from Blogger over to Wordpress and started getting fancy ideas of features and columns that I'd finally get to include.

I had Delusions of Grandeur, and no one could stop me.

Perhaps the reason no one could stop me was because no one was reading my blog anymore -- my readership had gone down significantly after the move, and it's no wonder.  I wasn't writing in the same way that had made my readers go back to my blog again and again.  Instead, I fancied myself a fashion/It-Girl blog and got carried away, because this was what I had originally intended for it to be, so it was only right to expand it.  After all, I didn't want to stay in just one niche, now did I?  In the end, when I thought I was digging myself out of one, it turned out that I only ended up digging myself into a bigger hole.

So, now I'm going back to basics.  What makes both Gala's and Nubby's blogs so successful is that they are able to balance these two extremes.  They each have a personal aesthetic, as well as interests that are able to be presented through different lenses, with their columns.

Hopefully, I'll be able to find this balance.  I definitely had an aesthetic in mind, and I feel that it represents me better than any of the myriad Wordpress themes had ever did.  I hope content-wise, I'll be able to be able to flesh it out just as precisely.

In the meantime, dear readers, bear with me!

-J

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