Brace yourselves, long read coming. Please consume this post with left over New Years alcohol.
My new year starts with a pile of promotional goods, potential customers, check lists, big diaries, year planners and an unexpected boom from a side project.
I spent most of December telling myself I needed a break, and not really taking one. Instead I paced floorboards, browsed the net, emailed people, started side projects and not actually relaxing at all. What a waste of an intended break.
I did make a few blogging observations over December though. The first was I had expanded on my posts last year when I got quite a bit of feedback that people enjoyed my posts but a lot of folk would enjoy them if they were a bit longer. I expanded the posts I was making throughout December to a few paragraphs per post. The problem with that is, as discussed here a number of times last year, I am a flash blogger. Fast paced, quick and snappy, get in there, say what I need or want to say, and get back out again. Although nobody has actually complained about my writing in December, I am not happy with it. It reads like the random thoughts of a teenager who has just found Tumblr.
OK, maybe its not Tumblr bad… But all the same, flash blogging is where I excel.
The secound observation was of a side project. I started a fresh blog of doodles and flash fiction, trimmed right down, no waffle. It has a shop, a services list, and about page, then its all flash fiction and doodles. 1 post per day tops.
Three reasons for the new site.
First, the Tales of the Blue Moon involve actual people and their characters online. I have no rights over them. When I started the Tales of the Blue Moon they were intended as a bit of fun between friends telling silly stories about our online avatars. That grew and grew and now I want to put all this fiction into a book. Not a bad idea, but the characters are not mine. I have appropriated these personalities and I fell kinda awkward about it. I am positive none of them mind the tales being put into a book but I would feel better making a commercially written entity about my own characters. Not somebody else’s.
Secound was hark back to the beginning of December when I mentioned I was doodling on newspapers and had a concern they may get tugged at some point and I might get a slap on the wrist or taken to court. Yay copyright. Like Phil mentioned, you can use a newspaper as toilet paper, but you cannot make art out of it. So a new project using only copyright free or my own images. I found if I printed them off on standard photocopy paper, doodled on them and scanned them in, the paper still had a good texture and worked for my scruffy scribbles.
Works well with my style doesn’t it? So I can be as commercial or non commercial as I want with them, stick the characters and doodles in a book, online or use them as toilet paper.
Third reason was I often tell people I am quite good at building a following online. I began the blog on the 27th of December, spent an hour talking about it online each day to New Years. New years day the website had a combined following of about 1,700 people across various medias. I believe today, 3rd of January it stands closer to 5,000 or more. It is getting a thousand hits a day and as a side project, just annihilated Sableyes.co.uk in so many ways. Thats a smidge encouraging and depressing. Say it only picks up only 1,000 followers a day in January. It will be at 30,000 – 40,000 followers by February. I am not one for looking at stats or followers, but Sableyes.co.uk took a year to get to 10,000 WordPress and 11,000 Twitter subscribers.
That said, building a following was never a goal for Sableyes, although goal has changed several times, it has always meant to be an online representation of me. The numbers were just a nice bonus.
On top of that I have had 3 magazines ask to do features on the new project. I have had odd approaches from people about features on Sableyes, but its been here a year. New project is barely 7 days flipping old!
So when the side project takes off and smashes my old blog into the ground that hard? I am not sure how to put it into words… A mixed feeling between ‘Why did I not do that sooner’ and ‘have I been doing it wrong here all this time’ has come across me. Does that make sense?
The positives however.
Sableyes has taught me a crap feck tonnery about blogging. I do not believe had I started the side project a year ago I would have had the same success without the experience Sableyes gave me.
Sableyes has also introduced me to some some truly fantastic people online. It has given me some great friends, and all the numbers and attention in the world the side project gets cannot detract from meeting some of you lot in the blogosphere. You are all utterly fantastic.
Sableyes has also enabled to experiment a lot with my writing. I know I can write reviews, be humorous and I excel at flash fiction and doodles.
This year I need to hang on in there and climb on up. I need to write articles for magazines and websites, sell my products and services, I need to earn a wage from home and make a mark on the world. I reckon that might be a better thing to talk about on Sableyes.co.uk. The side project is an ultra focused ‘me’. I cannot ramble there. I cannot post the off topic doodles or the Tales of the Blue Moon. All of which I still hope to do in my spare time.
This place can live on as the combined machinations of an idiot with 2 dogs and a motorcycle on the Internet. But it will get a lot quieter as my priorities and finances will require me elsewhere.
I shall be busying myself over morning tea and porridge with the side project, so if you get a nudge and hello on WordPress from someone with an awfully familiar doodle style, that is probably me.
The side projects address is http://littlefears.co.uk/
It is entirely scribbles and flash fiction. Very me.