This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.
1. Passionate engagement. Since I’m part of a collective of self-employed people, we’re all pretty passionate about what we’re doing.
2. Innovation. I get to be the innovator, sometimes, just because the fashion sector is actually a late adopter and I happen to live with an early adopter. Sometimes, though, I get to see it in other arenas.
3. As a group, fellow plus-size fashion bloggers are friendly people.
4. Everyone has their own style, and everyone strives to be unique. I also have enough trust in them that if they started doing something imitative – like my news updates – I wouldn’t be upset or offended by it at all. We don’t have entirely the same pools of readers, so it would be totally OK.
5. Since I mainly work with myself, I appreciate my ability to have vision. After a volunteer situation where I asked a woman what she would like for an organization in the future, and all she could say was “I made new forms for people to fill out!” I realized that truly, not everyone HAS visionary ability.
6. Flexibility among all.
7. I like the marketers that make it clear they’ve read my blog policies, understand them, and respect them.
8. I love my readers, especially the ones that have figured out what I’m doing to make the blog an accessible resource.
9. I love the feminists that advocate a soul-based view over a status-symbol based view of the body and the self.
10. There are people that have just decided to be friends with me. I realize it’s because I’m much more introverted and gun-shy than I’ve realized, and I appreciate that they’ve made the effort because I’m not always easy to approach. I tend to be very suspicious of most overtures, and while that’s not their fault, it’s also not a trait I intend to give up.
I can’t say I have any specific favorites in my blogging experience – I do my work, they do theirs, and sometimes it crosses over. I enjoy everyone that I’ve managed to create a real relationship with. I do say that marketers are often my least favorite, and two magazine editors have actually put me off completely with the expectation I conform to their standards rather than the understanding that because Fat Chic is my business, they in fact need to learn its boundaries. If I went over to their blog, magazine, or business I’d learn how it works and ask if there’s room for me – not demand it do as I wish. Internet properties are not physical properties, but they have owners just the same. I wouldn’t walk into your house and start rearranging furniture to my liking. So don’t email my blog and demand I slap a banner on that forces me to change the entire layout. Your money just doesn’t have that much power.
That really is the troubling part of the job: the psychological tug-of-war over how I run what is ultimately a privately owned space.
If one thing were to change that would make the blogging work awesome, it would be a sweeping awareness among marketers and small businesses that blogs should be approached in exactly the same manner as print magazines: read the guidelines, look for what fits, and follow the standards laid out before you, rather than what the SEO firms are trying to convince you that you can make us do. The SEO firms are not your friends, and the bloggers won’t BE your friends if you keep doing as those firms say.
Wow. That really does put down the core of my problem!