theaterseats

Old Blog Vs. New Blog: What I’ve Learned

This is not my first time at the blog-rodeo.  Well, it is, but yet, it isn’t.  This is my FIRST creative writing blog.  I had another blog before this where I talked about comedy, nothing, but comedy.  It was an advice blog – an advice blog for comedians and other people in the ‘arts’.  Here’s what I did WRONG there:

 

I did NOT love it.  The blog was tied to a show that made a good amount of money.  At one point, a lot of money.  I basically booked the pre-professional shows at a couple of clubs in New York.  The ‘real’ show would start at 8, but the show at 7 was all mine.  At the time, there were 17 comedy clubs in New York and they compete fiercely for audience.  That’s why these pre-professional shows exist.  If you’ve ever been to New York, you only need to walk through Times Square and you will be accosted by several young people wearing sandwich boards trying to get you to attend a show at a comedy club.  The clubs have exorbitant rents in order to keep their doors open, so the owners want their rooms filled as much as possible.  For the pre-professional shows, the comedians have to bring people.  I could go on and on about how this has ruined comedy, but that’s for another post entirely.  However, it’s not the only industry that does it – any new band is going to have to bring in the entire audience when they get booked at a club.  Any newer art gallery showing or opening, the same thing occurs.  I eventually started booking these shows because the guys that were doing it were making a lot of money and what upset me even more was that almost NONE of them were comedians.  I thought – if these shows exist and will exist regardless of whether or not I hate them – AT LEAST some of the money should be going back into the pockets of comedians.  That’s when I got into it.  At various points I made very little money doing it and at other points I made a great deal.  Regardless, I always paid the comedians who helped to run the show – WELL.  I paid them very well.  Sometimes even more than myself.  I tried to treat them well, too.  The same holds true for the newbie comics who were bringing the audience.  Every other pre-show booker, in my humble opinion, treated new comics like cattle and horribly behaved cattle at that.  I tried not to do so.  However, it wasn’t always possible because a new comedian can be a great person who just wants to try out something creative or they can be a raving narcissist who thinks that they were born to be famous.  The raving narcissist comedians feels, “Give me only five minutes on stage and the world will be transformed.”  The truth is, it never is.  Even if the new comedian isn’t half bad.  The world just goes on.

 

This forum might be completely dead for introducing new comedy acts. Have the blog and other online platforms replaced it? I'm not sure.

 

So, needless to say, I hated it.  I hated that show running experience and consequently hated the advice blog.  Some of these comedians who read the advice blog were the biggest takers out there.  Not all of them, of course, but enough to make an impact on me and my spirit.  Now, why would I say something like, “me and my spirit”?  Who am I?  Anthony Robbins?  I’ll explain.  Because when you’re blogging, your spirit has to shine and be well cared for.  Your passion has to remain intact and uninjured.  You’re doing it for free and it takes a lot of initiative, persistence, and energy.  If your spirit keeps getting chipped away at, you ARE going to give it up.

 

That’s why I hated my original blog.  I created it as a companion piece to something I didn’t really like.  I created it for an audience that I didn’t want to hang out with.

 

It was also a tech nightmare.  I created the blog on wordpress.org, which if you don’t know means that I created the blog from scratch.  Every sidebar, every image, I had to essentially design and code myself.  I’m amateurish at design and coding in the best of times.  My strength is in my writing.  That’s a huge lesson right there – PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS.

 

When I left the old blog and started this new one, many months later, I did a couple of things.  I educated myself.  I read everything I could on or about blogging.  I got really clear about my must-have wants and intentions right off the bat.  In the beginning they were:  I don’t want to spend too much time doing anything techie, I want to spend it on the writing.  I want feedback.  I also want feedback from people who do NOT know me and my comedy.  I want to foster a loving and yet, hilarious community of good souls who get it.  It was that simple.  Not much more thought out than that.

 

Everything on blogging is just a google search away. And if you want to blog well, you've got to educate yourself.

 

So, how did that all manifest, here, on Sweet Mother?  Well, when I say that I wanted to attract a certain kind of person, here, I never sat down and created a list of traits that would make up my perfect reader.  That’s not it at all.  It’s that I always wrote with a specific intention.  I do not like the “darker” side of the internet – the side that harasses children (and adults) with abusive and trolling comments, hate speech, and a “gain followers at all costs” sort of mentality.  I DO believe you can be mind-blowingly funny while also “doing no harm.”  Maybe because Wifesy is a doctor for little furry things that I’m such a lover of the hippocratic oath – “do no harm.”  I think I have learned to internalize that as a strategy for all my internet presences.  That doesn’t mean I’m never scathing.  I like to scathe (can I say that?) when it’s justified.  There are many people who should be both scathed and then filleted.  Am I someone who should judge who and when?  Yes.  At least in this space, Oh Lord, YEEES.

 

I think that’s why my Sweet Mother character has been so important.  We all know what a good mom is.  It’s a universal.  She loves you with so much love that you didn’t know it was possible to be loved so, but send a pit-bull into the path of her child and bear witness to the same woman transformed into hellfire incarnate.  There is a facet of this that is so truly and so totally me.  The real me.  I think that authenticity is so completely important when writing online.  So, if the character is not you, there must be an element of it that IS or people will feel the falseness.

 

I also like a good party.  I read somewhere once that your comments section, on a good blog, should “feel like a party”.  The one here, on Sweet Mother, DOES.  The one on my old blog, not as much.  I delight in reading the comments here EVERYDAY.  I delight in it.  That means that I’m doing something right.  And I’m no genius.  You can do this too.

 

I don’t think I’ve magically created this party here, but I do think it continues because of the character I’ve created, the intent with which I write, and the reality that those who are here understand that I will “DO NO HARM”.  I also won’t really tolerate doing harm to others.  I think on some level, my readers must understand that about me.  I think on some level, you all must be the same.  Am I right?

 

***

Sweet Mother is updated daily.  If you’d like to follow this blog, you can do so by clicking the “follow” button at the top right of this page.

**

You might also like:

Internet Acronyms That Should Be, But Aren’t

Why Did You Unfollow Me Today?

*

Photo creds:  feature seats, comedy stage, new age school desk

53 thoughts on “Old Blog Vs. New Blog: What I’ve Learned

  1. Great advice on creating a meaningful blog! One of the reasons I love our blogging community is that they are considerate and kind and embrace the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm”.

    1. i think it’s so important, al. you have no idea. i’ve seen other communities that are just sh*tty and mean for being sh*tty and means sake and i vowed never to be a party to that. so glad you get it. it’s my 90th post in a row! yaaaayyy. love having you here. xo, sweet mother

    1. we’re here. give us a moment! i only hit publish 4 mins ago! loooolll. anyway, we love you, spaark. and by we, i mean me. i like to fantasize that there are more people ‘working’ here. loollll. xo, sm

  2. Yes and more yes (yesses? yeahs?) to this post. I think people who post hateful things anonymously or hateful things non-anonymously should be kicked in the balls by a boot encased in dog-doo. And if they don’t have balls, they should be kicked in the funny bone cuz that hurtz.

    1. ooooooooohhhh 7, we are kindred spirits! kindred spirits! it must be why i like your writing so. and i need to catch up on your posts… will be heading there today. xoxo

  3. Here, here dear Mother! I don’t like hanging around snarky, mean people — human, cyber and/or otherwise. This blogging thing is rather strange because one is putting themselves out there and you can tell alot about a person by the way in which he/she writes. I love funny, and there’s a difference between nice funny and mean funny as I’m sure you, of all people, know. Thanks for the tips and have a glorious Sunday, M.

  4. wow…i just wrote a whole page on my plans for shifting to another blog..and i read this..
    i dont know about the old blog but Sweet Moms this one is truly a party..in fact its like a home in many ways..
    am lucky that i found this blog of yours.. :)

    1. little miss, you are a wonderful human. and it is really nice when you comment here. remember that your first blog doesn’t have to be your last and you can change it at any time. heck, i did. xo, sm

  5. “…badly behaved cattle…?” That’s a concept I need to explore. I definitely didn’t research blogging before I started like I should have. I did realize I wouldn’t be able to carry on with it unless I enjoyed it, but that was the extent of my insight. Thanks for being informative, funny, and totally authentic. And posting every day? Whoa!

    1. you know, knowing that you have to enjoy it, is a very good first insight. a very good one. i don’t think i realized that with my first blog. but, learning as much as you can about it and how it applies to what YOU are doing, is always a good thing. glad you stopped by and hope you do for more. xo, sm

  6. This is probably the best post on how to blog well I have ever read. Sweet Mother really is a very special place and it’s because you have carefully constructed a place where you can be your awesome self and where your readers feel part of a community. At least that’s why I love it so much! And you’re right about having a party in the comments section….I’ve never heard that analogy before but I think it’s dead-on.

  7. Love the do no harm attitude! And the idea that we have to be true to ourselves when we blog—honesty really is the best policy there. And the comments should be an important part of the post. Some of the best ideas and conversations are at the party!

    1. it’s so true. sometimes i even get NEW post ideas from my comments section and the comments sections of other bloggers. when the conversation is respectful and fun, great things can happen. but, you already know that. the comments on your blog are always great. xoxo, sweet mother

  8. Excellent observations, SM! I’m a relative newbie to the blog world but I see how so many other blogs are snarky but not in a good way. May we all learn from your example and have our own awesome comments parties!

    1. weebles, i think you will have no problem with that. as you are aces from everything i’ve read that you’ve left here. so keep on keeping on with your bad self. momma is honored when you stop by. humbly, sm

  9. Oh, not me :) I’m evil incarnate. When I wake up, I think to myself: “Who might I tease today?”
    If it’s that taxes time of the year, tease gets substituted by destroy! So watch out, people, that’s in a couple of months!!!!

    1. nah. you’re evil in the best way. i mean i did say that i’d turn into lady lucifer if baited an pushed towards a certain angle. your evil is my evil. you’re fine. am i making you feel too ‘soccer mom’ by saying this? okay, fine, you’re a twat then, but a twat that i adore. ewwwwwwww.

      1. How do I get in touch with Alanis Morissette so I can explain to her the meaning of the word IRONIC? Do you think she might be inclined to change her lyrics once she knows?

      2. you just referenced alanis morisette. so now you MUST GIVE YOUR HONORARY LESBO CARD BACK. immediately. revoked! what’s next out of your mouth ‘indigo dykes’? beeeeeeewwwwaaaahhhhhaa.

      3. Lesbians don’t like Alanis Morissette? WHY? Not even that last hidden track from the first cd?
        “Would you forgive me love, if I danced in your show-er”

  10. Wow, a sort of serious post today, eh?

    As you know, I’ve been kind of the opposite. My blog started on WordPress.com, but being the unfortunate tech geek that I am, started pissing me off that I couldn’t design the thing the way I wanted too. Of course my moderate OCD didn’t help either.

    So, now I’m on WordPress.org and pretty happy about it. I love the way it looks. I love having the freedom to put whatever plugin I want up there. (I especially like having CommentLuv because it gives readers a chance to showcase their latest blog posts right in the comments.) And it makes me feel like I’m a big deal (even though I probably am not.)

    The one thing that does kind of suck is that many of my old WP.com followers have not resubscribed, but life could worse…I could be trapped in a Turkish prision with some very big men who find my boyish good looks attractive.

  11. Are you ever shocked at the search words people use that end up bringing them to you? My top ones include: Big Gay Clown, Phoenician Sex, Gay Clown Sex, and last bot not least: Asian Penis!!!!!!!!!

  12. Thank goodness for you, momma. I love being a part of your party. And, I agree completely, BDP is my sixth blog but the first I truly, truly love.

    Best wishes, GC

  13. When I started my blog, the only research I did was to find the best free blog out there. WordPress was the winner. I had no clue what I was doing and probably still don’t. I agree with the “do not harm” part but most days, I am focused on trying to behave myself. I’m always not as witty as you are. I’ve been told that I am funny but sarcasm doesn’t work well in a monologue. If this is a party, point me to the booze, weed and easy women. :-) (I love your party – thats why I’m here almost every day.).

  14. You are so correct on loving what you are doing. As a reader you can totally tell the difference . That is what draws you and many others in…. Great post

  15. Sometimes we I read your posts Mum I just zip straight down to the ‘leave a reply’ section because I want to comment before I forget what I want to say [old age, what else?]. And sometimes I’m just laughing so hard I have to say thank you asap. Today though I read each and every comment and felt warm and fuzzy towards all of the people at this party :) Your contributions help make Sweet Mother one of the blogs I never miss. Hugs to all and an especially big one to the lady who has her head screwed on JUST RIGHT! That’s you Mum.

    Cheers all

  16. I love your blog, I try to get on here and read it before I zoom off to work in the morning, you always give me a chuckle. I might not comment until the evening though, brain often still not awake enough to make intelligent conversation!

    I’m glad to hear you enjoy blogging as much as we enjoy reading you :)
    This is the kind of party I like, one where weirdos don’t try to hit on you and I don’t have to make small talk with people I would rather strangle.

  17. I love your blog, too. I only recently discovered it, and have been reading every post. So don’t get me wrong when I say this, but… I’ve recently read so many blog posts about… blogs. Are people getting too self-obsessed on the web? Not necessarily you, but in general. Only in the last week or so about 5 of my favorite blog writed published posts about their own blogs and when they have written and what they would like to write… It’s like a comedian on a stage talking about what it’s like being a comedian. Not so funny, I would think.

    1. hey there gb, i hear you. i sometimes tire of hearing about blogging too. but, the bottom line is that is also some of my most popular posts stats-wise. i suppose in the end, it’s what we all have in common. on this particular day, i had published my 90th post in a row, so it caused me to be a bit reflective about my blog experience and at times i do like writing about it. also, all of my stuff will NOT be funny. i think when you are funny people think every post will be funny. that bores me. i am human and therefore not constantly funny. i also don’t only want to read things that are funny. i like serious stuff too. so, some of my posts will be serious and some funny. i am doing all of this work, really, to only please myself. we do this blogging for free, so if we don’t please ourselves, we really have lost. anyway, i’m glad you’re reading. completely. but, i would say, if a blogger talks about blogging and you don’t feel like reading it, skip it, and come back another day. all the best, mother

  18. I like that you said the comments section should “feel like a party”. Although I do have a few “reggies” as you call them, my comment section mostly feels like a party of one. I go for subtle wit, a.k.a. sarcasm since I cannot stand the typical southern “bless their heart” crap. So I guess sometimes I just come across as a smartass. So far one reader “loves my sense of humor” his words, not mine. That compliment alone keeps me trying for a rave where the blog police show up.

  19. Geeze you’re a comedian. I didn’t know. Not being snarky, really didn’t know. Good luck with that. Hard business, hard people, I would think. Feel free to use any of the wonderfully brilliant things I write in your act. No payment or attribution required. Just make ’em laugh. My favorite comedian of all time was/is Bob Newhart. His albums were hilarious. His talking on the phone bits (you call them bits, right?) were great. Well, if your act ever gets down this way and the tickets aren’t too expensive, I’ll go. (Now that was a bit snarky.) All joy today in all your pursuits whether they be on this stage or another. HF

  20. Man I wish my comments section was even a tenth of your party vibe, but then, I’m not rocking the funny like you are. This blog does exactly what you want it to, so in that, you have surpassed any expectations that a blogger could have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s