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Is blogging for you?
Ex-degrees unedited user, and 2012 Bath Spa School of Art and Design graduate, Trevor Smith offers his own thoughts to help you figure out just that!
I'm not sure whether I should start a blog, as I haven't decided what I am doing yet.
You needn’t have a plan before you start blogging; often ideas will come to you as you write. At first it might be handy to address the idea of blogging in itself; why you are even considering blogging, and what you hope to get out of the experience.
I can blog about blogging?
Why not? Nothing is off the table, writing about why you’re writing might help establish themes and tones within your blog that last throughout the year and beyond. As a work in progress, your blog becomes a part of your practice, and that extra strand of enquiry can only be a positive thing.
I'm not so sure whether my work is interesting enough...
All artists feel this way about their work at some point or other, and especially during the early years of their studies or career. For all of the people that are not interested in your work, there will be as many that are.
But how do I know they will read my blog.
Short of going out with your laptop and forcing people to read your posts, there is no sure-fire way of guaranteeing the ‘right’ readership for your blog. We would all like a wider audience for our thoughts – that’s why we’re artists – but there is more to blogging than receiving thumbs-ups; blogging can be about using writing to help you understand your own work.
It would be nice to have some readers though…
Posting regularly will increase the visibility of your blog, as recent posts are always gathered at the top of the feed. The title of each post is the first thing that anyone will read, so appropriate or intriguing titling could mean the difference between a reader scrolling past your blog or taking a longer look. Simply use bold type in your headings to make sure your blog stands out!
Some people think that it's not 'cool' to look too confident in yourself.
Writing a blog about your studio practice is not about self-promotion; think of it more as a critique of your own work, a space to come and think out loud about the whys and whats of your practice. You’ll soon forget about what people think is cool or not.
Writing is not my forte, so what use is a blog to me?
Blogging isn’t about the quality of your writing; it is about giving room to your thoughts, getting them out of your head and onto the page. This is not Facebook or Twitter – no-one is trawling through posts looking for incorrect grammar or spelling errors.
But with being so open, being so public: wont people steal my ideas?
As artists we are constantly discussing new ideas with our peers, without any guarantee that work like ours won’t pop up in the studio next door. The thing to remember is your reason for making what you make and the motivations and decisions you take in the creative process are entirely yours, and out of that will come the work. People can always tell an imposter.
I’ve heard Tumblr and Wordpress are easier to use, why should I blog with Degrees Unedited?
Degrees Unedited blogs are populated exclusively by art and design students and so your audience is already filtered to people that want to read about and discuss your work.
So I should only blog with Degrees Unedited?
There is no harm in maintaining blogs across a number of sites; some blog providers are more conducive towards image-collections, and they serve well as an online research folder, just remember to link back in order to increase the traffic at your main practice-based blog, which, we hope, will be here at Degrees Unedited. What's more, if you stick around chances are new developments on the site will help you reveal your practice in new and exciting ways.
First published: a-n.co.uk October 2010
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