I’ve been hard at thought, guys. And, fair warning, I am going to post this exact same post at both blogs. It’s just better time management that way.

There are two things that have been bugging me:

  1. I have a guitar blog on which I rarely talk about guitar.  That’s been niggling at me since I fell for the ukulele, really. And, it’s not like I’ve given up on guitar, but it’s also not my #1 priority on the blog all that often, so while I do like the Grrl + Guitar domain name, it’s also a misnomer for what I’m actually writing, and it feels limiting. I almost didn’t write the car fiasco story yesterday because I felt it wasn’t really relevant enough to the context of the blog, even though I thought it was kind of a funny story full of chaos and life.
  2. I have a poetry/art blog that is very much stagnant due to me just not really doing much that I can post on it recently. I’ve been writing more songs than poems, which is clearly stuff for the music blog, not the poetry blog, even though the line between poems and songs is sometimes a little gray.

I’ve been stewing on that a lot. It’s become clear to me that, at the very least, I can’t continue paying for the shelbystronger.com domain name if I’m going to let the blog remain this inactive, and you can’t force a muse to make art, let alone to make a specific kind, so I don’t really have any control over the fact I’m not doing much drawing or poetry at the moment. Mind, that doesn’t mean I really want to give up on it entirely, just that I’m not doing enough with it to pay an annual fee for.

Grrl+Guitar is a bit different. I post on that blog pretty regularly, so I don’t have the same reticence about paying for a domain I’m not really using. Still, I don’t really think either site is quite reaching it’s full potential. The fact is, I have two blogs, but still have things that I sometimes want to talk about that don’t feel like they fit within the narrow scope I’ve set for either one of them.  Since they’re my blogs, that’s kind of problematic. I don’t think I should ever feel that something I want to discuss is not relevant to something I’ve created.

That leads me to the purpose of this post. I’m strongly considering merging the two blogs. They are both about creative ventures, so aren’t to terribly far removed from one another that I think I would end up with a disjointed sort of space. It would likely end up being Grrl+ Guitar…plus added spices.  Let’s face it, 90% of the time, all that’s going on in my head has to do with music and I don’t see that changing any time soon. But, I also don’t think ‘I drew something’ or ‘I wrote something’ are really too terribly far removed from that; it’s all about me making stuff, really.

What that would mean to each blog, if I go forward with the transition would be this:

Grrl + Guitar would remain mostly unchanged. It would probably get a facelift and now and again you’d see posts about art or literature. I might post a poem or a short story or something I drew. The site would undergo what minor modifications to the links that are necessary to accommodate that.  Posts from Shelby Stronger would be transferred to this site, and backdated to match their original posting dates, so it’s not like you would see a mass influx of poetry, but it would be in the archives.  There would likely be a domain name change to accommodate the more expansive subject matter (to what, I don’t know yet). This is a small blog, and if I decide to change the domain, I think sooner is probably better than later. I do still like the blog name; I just also don’t think it’s necessarily the best fit for what it is I’m actually doing at this point. But overall Grrl+Guitar would mostly be looking at a name change and facelift. The changes beyond that scope would be pretty minimal.  I think most of you follow both blogs anyway.

Shelby Stronger would have a much more jarring transition. It would eventually retire, but not before all of the Shelby Stronger posts were transferred to the other blog, and not without notice.  It may seem counter-intuitive to move everything to Grrl+Guitar rather than the other way around, as Shelby Stronger is a more neutral domain name that wouldn’t require changing, but it’s really not, from my point of view. There are lest posts on Shelby Stronger, so a smaller amount to transfer over. The readership of this blog is also less interactive than the other. That may be due to the nature of the blog, but you guys must all be pretty hard core introverts; we never really talk.  Over the time I’ve been blogging I’ve sort of developed a rapport with a few of my fellow music bloggers, so Grrl + Guitar just has a different overall vibe. That’s probably my own fault, based on how I first brought both blogs to life, but it is what it is.

The progress of the transition would go something like this:

  1. Transfer all Shelby Stronger posts to Grrl + Guitar.
  2. Rename Grrl + Guitar to…(I have no idea. I’ll think of something.) and buy a matching domain name.
  3. Post a notice on Shelby Stronger that the site will be retiring, inviting you all to follow me at the other blog (I think about 20% of you follow both blogs anyway). I’ll probably lose about half of you, but that’s your prerogative and I won’t take it personally. I virtually never look at my stats anyway, so I probably won’t really notice, if I’m honest. That notice will stay up for a while, giving everyone time to see it before I officially retire the site, probably when the domain is due to expire, which is at least 6 months away.
  4. Update twitter, facebook, and probably youtube as well to reflect the change.

It’s really no small task, but it’s also one I think might be necessary at this stage, since one blog is struggling to expand it’s scope in spite of itself, and another that’s practically in a coma.

I’ve been baby stepping my way to simplifying my life, but I don’t think that just applies to the outside world. Internet life is a bigger part of our “real” lives than we really care to admit most of the time, and consolidating the blogs might be a really productive way to move forward with the freedom I want to just talk and write and make things without feeling stifled by the boundaries I’ve unwittingly set around myself.

So, that’s where things stand. I’m very much leaning in the direction of a merger, unless you guys can present a convincing argument as to why I shouldn’t. (Suggestions on a potential new blog name would also be considered, if you’re not opposed to the merge.)

While, in the end, I’m probably going to just do whatever I want, that doesn’t mean I’m going to do it without considering what you guys think about it, so I am all ears.

And for those of you who are less inclined to chat, here’s a poll:

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