A Bloggy Conundrum

OK y’all, this is an audience participation blog.  Get ready to share!

I’ve been grappling with a conundrum of late, and am at that point of inner stalemate that begs for outside feedback.

DanteinSFL5.11_LR

As my husband and I have gotten settled here in Florida, I’ve been getting greater clarity on my own aspirations and directions.  As that happens and as I dive newly headlong into my two passions of Community-Building / Neighborhood Organizing and Art, I’d like to share the journey as well as the resources, victories, insights and neat things I find along the way by “re-upping” my blogging to a consistent, rich flow of content.

BUT — I keep getting caught up in this big thorny question:

Up until now, my blog (http://www.aprildoner.com/blog/) has embraced multiple topics, generally being around “Community Building/ Social Change / Asset-Based Neighborhood Organizing / Citizenship” OR around “Art / Being an Artist / Storytelling.”

Should split these into two separate blogs? Or can they coexist organically under one bloggy umbrella home, and still make sense?

I’ve done a bunch of research and have found arguments and also examples which would support both answers…   

Blog Conundrum_LR

Here’s why I haven’t thus far:

  1. Most of my readers come via knowing me, and as such seem to enjoy seeing stuff that reflects both sides of who I am.
  2. I think these topics can often overlap–ie. these two practices, like others, when done well, reveal similar patterns and lessons and sometimes pose similar struggles.  Plus art is very important to community-building/social change, and I see my life as a big petri dish for learning how.
  3. Some reason that’s hard to articulate…  perhaps that I like synthesis over separation?  I like all these things to have one “home” together.

As I move forward, I’d like to start producing with consistency this particular kind of content:

  • Interviews with amazing people doing amazing things in the above fields mentioned.
  • Going deeper into the intersection between neighborhood connectivity / organizing and systemic economic change.
  • My own stories of experimentation in seeking, revealing and connecting abundance in my own community.
  • The art I’m producing, with requests for feedback from other artists, or anyone really.
  • Research and experiments in the space between artistic storytelling and creative social change.

 

Do you see these things working under one cyber-roof?  Or should one of these areas perform its own (non-catastrophic) “Blexit”?

AND, of course, please share any ideas on other kinds of posts you’d like to see, or suggestions for making my blog great.

 

Ideas – Suggestions – GO!!!!!

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5 Responses to A Bloggy Conundrum

  1. Lisa Hadden says:

    Hi April,

    I personally think all the topics you address can live happily ever after under one umbrella. First, they are overlapping and make us think how each is connected and why this kind of abstract and conceptual thinking is important to us. It serves as a critical thinking tool to grasp the intersectionality (is that a word?) of these topics and where it may apply. Secondly, art is just as important a message as text. They support and give depth and understanding to each other. Lastly, I think if you separate these topics which I believe are truly connected and build upon each other, that might cause a disconnect between your thinking and the reader’s. I say keep it all together and let the reader judge and/or flesh out the material that sings to them. It is ALL good!! Just my two cents worth.

    • Aprilart Studios says:

      Thank you soooo much for your feedback! That is super helpful and affirming. I’m looking forward to other thoughts but you surely have me leaning toward a “no-split!”

  2. John Ewing says:

    I think it would be best to keep them together. If you split them up you will inevitably write something that belongs in both and it will get messy.

    If you want the blog to be more inviting to the unfortunate non-april-doner-knowing people out there, who may not see the connections between those two categories, perhaps you could use the category taxonomy in wordpress to separate the posts into two sections. You could create a ‘page’ for each section, with whatever introduction you want, and then have the feed for the appropriate category display the recent posts right below. That way, someone searching for community building resources can find those posts, and someone searching for art can find that on it’s own as well.

    In both situations, I think you want readers to be able to see the full display of everything you put out there if they so choose.

    tldr: I think your inclination is spot on, it would be good to keep them together, but there are definitely ways to organize them in a way that allows separation for the readers who are looking for something specific.

  3. Linda Keys says:

    I think you’ve kind of answered it yourself! And my answer is the same (also the same as it was for the “Brexit” referendum, incidentally!) – REMAIN. 🙂 Keep the threads weaving together – I have been guilty of separating my arts practice and my inclusion/ community building work and it is really hard to retrieve it now. I have no confidence in bringing my arts approach into my day job, and that is a source of frustration. Don’t divide yourself – you are whole and your gifts are transferrable and interesting to us all. x

    • Aprilart Studios says:

      Linda, thank you!!! I love that you linked this to Brexit… always unity, especially when it’s hard, right? (and when isn’t it hard?) I really appreciate you sharing your own journey with separating/combining sides of yourself, that gives me so much insight and wisdom to work with. I am confident that you will be able to bridge your art and work sides, even if it feels like a wide divide right now. And as you so generously just reminded me… Your whole self is a treasure for all of us! XOXO

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