5.23.2014

My Blog Car

image via Tim Gough for The New York Times

I've been a blogger for 3.5 years now. As the blogging industry continues to exponentially grow I've been reflecting on its evolution, direction, and where I fit in to the community. Both Christopher Wiegand's documentary, The American Blogger, and Lauren Kelp's piece, The Aesthete and Social Media have been helpful catalysts in this contemplation. But the most enlightening pot of gold I came across was an ancient interview with Brian Awitan which talks about what he calls the "curation culture" that's running rampant in our beloved blogosphere.
 
Brian's point is that we as bloggers and social media connoisseurs are not making anything anymore because making something is work. Making something (art, music, stories, meaningful photography, etc.)  requires talent, a point of view, and above all, discipline. "Curation", on the other hand, is simply sharing what others have already made though new age tools -Blogs, pinterest, Tmblrs, etc. (I acknowledge the counter to that statement is there is an element of artistry in curation; the originality of the curation and graphic design abilities for example. I buy into that argument to a certain extent.)

My take on blogging has always been that a blog is not the end game but rather the vehicle to get you to your end game. So if you wanted to be a famous makeup artist, for example,  you should start a blog (not to make bank - that's now a pipedream) but to give you credibility and exposure to gain opportunities as a makeup artist. And those respective opportunities will hopefully be lucrative.

I find myself, however, in purgatory right now - still in my vehicle even though it's taken me where I wanted to go, which for me, has always been to be a prolific author and a contributor to various publications. Currently, I feel like I have a firmly planted heel in both worlds. My blog has given me the creditability, opportunity, and most importantly, the confidence, to attempt being a career author. I'm currently trying to sell my 2nd book and adapt my first book into a screenplay.

But where does that leave my blog? I can't give 100% to both. (As Lisa Yoder articulately reminds us, we don't have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé.)  I now have a harder time justifying how a post about wanting to bed Harry Connick Jr. will help me achieve my end goal of getting Allison Williams to play me in 99 Problems but A Baby Ain't One - THE MOVIE!. (And more importantly, Jonah Hill as my husband.) Sure, I genuinely enjoy writing blog post about rolling potpourri joints at my mom's house and curating Solange's "sometimes a bitch snaps" look.  Especially because blogging, as opposed to working on books or a screenplay, is instantly gratifying. It's quicker, it's easier, it's more lucrative (in the short run) and above all, it's a safer. You can't fail at it.

But I don't want to be safe. And I definitely don't want to be called a curator when, if I put my head down and do the work, I can be fall on the maker side of things. Because even if my writing is shit, it's still something I made. I'd rather fail as a maker that succeed as a curator.
 
My blog isn't going anywhere. It's still my platform to share projects I'm working on like the aforementioned 2nd book and screenplay.  It's still my place to write about my family and even share the occasional curation.
 
But I also feel like my blog car (Range Rover - Olsen Twins style) has, indeed, taken me to my end game and final destination and it's time to get out. I'm also grateful for the timing because although I'm still passionate about blogging as ever its an industry that's becoming more saturated and curated everyday which makes me concerned for its future.
 

 
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9 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this post and couldn't agree more. P.S. I love Macy
    xo, Julie

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  2. Megan, I love reading your blog and getting your unique point of view on all the topics you cover. As a beginning blogger, it has served as a huge inspiration! I would also say that by watching you have the courage to go for your dreams, you give us all permission to go for ours! I acknowledge you for all your hard work and can't wait to see where you go next. xx, Andrea

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  3. Gosh you are so kick ass.
    Your metaphor is right on... and not nearly as depressing as some other articles I have read on blogging and where it is heading (I like blogging I don't want it to die!!). I feel like the only blogs that end up sticking around for extended periods of time adopt your theory... so clearly it is a good one. Thanks for always being true to yourself... you again are pretty kick ass at it.

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  4. I think everyone would agree that there is never enough time in the day for everything we'd like to do. You are a mentor & an inspiration to so many, whom use blogging as a tool to get to their goals. It is a business & a full time job. You've made it to the CEO of your business. Now you can be the consultant that comes in occasionally as time warrants. Congratulations!

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  5. i'm really, really glad that you posted this, and really glad that you posted it now. i've been working to set a lot of concrete goals for myself, particularly regarding writing my first book, and considering how the blog plays into that. i look up to you so much, and especially your experience in going from blog to book. i love when you post insight into that part of your life just as much as i do your hilarious pop culture commentary (which is brilliant and i'm going to need you to start a zine or a pop culture tumblr similar to suri's burn book or something because you're too funny).

    also, that post you liked to about beyonce's hours pretty much changed my life just now, and i'm so pumped about my newly-affirmed self-compassion after reading it.

    xo nicole
    writeslikeagirlblog.com

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  6. I completely agree. A blog is a tool, not an endgame. At least, not a really realistic one anymore.

    And I really love your thoughts on making vs. curating. I can get sucked into Pinterest as much as the next girl, but something that really bothers me about it is that it's mostly women spending hours passively "curating" rather than actively making things. Pinterest makes money off of us, and just like most (almost all?) web companies or apps is run by (presumably) mostly men. They're doing the lucrative making, and we sit on our couches and "curate." This is a gross generalization of course, but I'm still trying to articulate these ideas to myself well enough to turn them into a future blog post. We'll see.

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  7. Your blogs are for me a different experience and you know what I'm saying. I love them and I most definitely love yall! Go where ever it takes ya. May God bless you darlin.

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