. . . and I have insomnia. Up at 4:30 am PST, I went on Facebook and Word Press and saw everyone on the U.S. East Coast starting their days.
I’m watching my friends post “Happy Birthday” to my Facebook page in real time. That didn’t used to be unusual, but since I moved to California, I get up and I find that a lot has happened, and been posted, already. (I am resisting viewing this as starting the day “already behind”).
I’ve noticed this with blogging, too: it’s better for page views if I post earlier in the day. So, in general, I should probably write a day ahead and then schedule the blog to be published the next morning while I’m sleeping. I even managed to do this for a post I called “Morning Pages” (I thought I was being so meta).
Twenty-nine again, huh? Actually, 29 wasn’t a particularly great age. It had uncertainty about what I was going to do with my life, unhappiness about the career path I was on, and a major relationship breakup right around this time of year. Nope. No real desire to be 29 again.
I’m going to be going on a nice weekend trip in a few hours, and I’m looking forward to it. But right now I am trying to stick to my new writing schedule, which says I write on Fridays. So, here I am.
Getting to the heart of what’s “really” bothering me, why I can’t sleep, and it sounds embarrassingly trivial: violinist.com is changing its format. The new format looks good in many ways: the layout is cleaner and less cluttered, the ads are tasteful, and the discussion pages look quite nice. In this day and age, internet institutions have to be nimble, to keep reinventing themselves to survive. So I’d probably call it a good business move, if I knew much about such things.
The problem is the blog section. It’s been renamed “News and Advice,” and there is a list of approved article categories. The community blogs written by members are now almost impossible to find, buried at the bottom of the section, labeled “Other Blogs” without even author bylines next to their titles. I had particular authors I liked to follow and read. I’m not sure how to find them now.
Even more to the point, I used to be one of those community bloggers: violinist.com is where I started blogging in 2006. I thought of the site as a grass roots violin community, a phenomenon that would bring violin playing and classical music to a wider audience. Recently, however, I’d been having a little trouble getting back into the swing of blogging there after moving to California. Those difficulties have mirrored my difficulties finding and integrating into a real life music community here on this coast. But I had a handful of ideas and a plan, and was working through them and had made some progress. In January, in fact, I’m going to start playing in an orchestra that I learned about on violinist.com. But now I’m feeling a more than a little lost. I don’t write news or advice; and neither of those categories interests me to read either. The “Other Blog” section is headed by an off-putting disclaimer: Violinist.com has not reviewed, and does not endorse, the content of any of the articles below.
I’m already feeling old, and this feels like the end of an era.
For old time’s sake, I went back and looked at some of my early blogs (once I found them), and there are some very interesting ones there, for example, this one: “A Moral Issue?” They contain ideas I had explored in a different way, things I had entirely forgotten about, things I learned, comments from very thoughtful and interesting people whom I haven’t heard from in a long time. It’s a little time capsule, reminding me to be patient. It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns when I started playing again back then either. Progress was slow and incremental, and not always straightforward.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, I’m going to sit with it a while. One possibility might be to do a Throwback Thursday kind of thing: republish an interesting old blog and see where I am with the topic now. Or maybe I could move them all over here to this site. I already partially moved the three interviews I published there.
Ironically, here at the apparent end of my tenure as a violinist.com blogger, my husband gave me a copy of the book, Violinist.com Interviews Volume I as a birthday gift. I’d been wanting to read it for a while, and had already given copies of it to my old violin teacher and my stand partner. The interviews collected in that book, conducted and written up by violinist.com editor Laurie Niles, had inspired me in a small way to do the interviews I linked to, above. My subjects weren’t as famous as those in the book, but they were gracious and informative to interview, and doing the interviews shed some light on the local classical music scene in the Boston area. Plus, it was fun. It made me realize that I liked writing, I liked seeing my byline next to articles on the web.
In fact, I started this blog, my own blog off violinist.com, this year because I wanted to branch out and blog about my other interests in addition to playing the violin. Change is hard, but maybe the point is, it’s time to grow up, be independent and keep doing my own thing. Happy Birthday!