By Christine Kane
www.christinekane.com

I’m a baby blogger. A blogling. (Okay, I’ll admit it — I just made myself laugh.)

I’ve been blogging for less than three months, and I’ll just say right here that the last time I learned this much stuff I didn’t want to know was when my college boyfriend made me take a Business Law class with him.

This time, though, I love it. (I got a C minus in Business Law.) For the past 13 years, my world has consisted of intuiting and creating and sitting quietly, communing with songs to “get a feel” for if they are done yet, OR for if that last line of the chorus says exactly what I want it to say, OR if I should cut the 8-bar bridge down to 4, just cuz it “seems” to work better.

Now, joy of joys, I have entered a world where, tucked within simple “less-than” and “greater-than” signs, sharing the space with happy little exclamation points here and there, are all of the answers to whatever might be wrong. Everything can be explained, resolved, changed and fixed from within those signs. No one will ever look inside those “less than” and “greater than” signs and make a face and say, “You know? That just isn’t workin’ for me. Maybe you could add a few more exclamation points or something. Or maybe a question mark”

My language has changed, too. My friends don’t recognize me anymore. The other day I said, “I’ve gotta go figure out this Technorati stuff and then I’ll claim my blog, and burn the feed, and read up on this social bookmarking thing cuz I so do not get delicious.” My friend Beth, a Celtic musician, just stared at me. She looked like the RCA Victor dog. Head cocked, and listening for some sound to let her know that her friend Christine was still in there somewhere.

Diva Illusions

There was a day, about three years into my career of performing and songwriting, when I was discovering the massive amount of business work that goes into an artist’s career. This was before I had set up my company, and before I had hired anyone to do anything for me. I was booking my own shows. I was managing my own mailing list. I was waiting in Xerox lines at Office Depot. And I called a friend and whined, “All I ever wanted to do was write songs and perform them! What is all this other stuff!?”

The other stuff is the framework. It’s the stuff you do so that you can write the songs and perform them. Every artist, at some point in their career, reaches the place where all the other stuff makes them want to run. If I may be very Stevie Nicks about it, the other stuff can make you cry make you break down and shatter your illusions of love. You wake up and realize that yes, you can write songs, and you will have the time of your life, and your dreams will come true. (See also, my song Right Outta Nowhere). AND that there will be lots and lots of other stuff to do to make a career of it, and not just a few weekday open mic nights.

Blogging Illusions

I call Brent “my web guy.” (He probably calls me “the annoying songwriter girl.”) I told him I wanted to start a blog to keep in touch with the world while I take a little time off after five years of heavy duty touring. (And other reasons too.) Brent is new to blog stuff, too. The other day we spent several hours getting an RSS feed for my blog. I was heading out of his office and he leaned out the door and said, “When you wanted to start a blog, you had NO idea what you were getting into did you?” And I said, “Nope. All I wanted to do was write things.”

Only this time, my illusions of blog are only mildly shattered. I’ve been here before. This is the other stuff. The framework — SO THAT you get to write and post and be on the web. No problem.

So, when Darren Rowse at Problogger challenged bloggers to post their goals for all the world to see, my mind went into my “Starbucks Venti” mode… Okay, there’s learning about AdSense, and I still don’t get social bookmarking at all, there’s that plug-in to automate the amazon affiliates thingee so I’m not cutting and pasting, there’s Guy Kawasaki’s whole thing about planning your blog schedule in advance (cuz after all it’s not just a diary), and you want the Clean Archives look and that code is not going to write itself you know.”

And then I stopped and do what I always do when I get overwhelmed. I took a deep breath.

My One and Only Goal (to rule them all)

I have WHAT goals. And I have HOW goals. WHAT goals consist of lists, like above, only a little less frenetic. WHAT goals are about songwriting, making demos for my publishing company, releasing a new CD. WHAT goals are about my record label office and all of its requirements.

But the HOW goal is most important. And the one goal that rules all of my WHAT goals is this: (I will write it in my new blogling language)

(less than-sign)Goal (equals sign) ! to go at my own pace ! (greater-than sign).

18 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • christine

    Hi Steve! Yes, I created the word blogling and it kind of stuck. (but obviously, you came up with it on your own too…but I won’t ask.) I’m on my way to Nashville today!

  • Steve

    what a surprise, I found your site doing a search on the word ‘blogling’ (don’t ask), and thought ‘I recognise that picture’ – I’m a friend of Dave Pomeroy’s and he gave me the album you did together when I was in Nashville in 2004 – great stuff!

    S x

  • christine

    Hi Jill, I’ll come perform with the Charleston ballet anytime! Thanks for the note!

  • Jill

    Great you’re writing.. Keep on ruling.. yeah it is rough and tough to find time to do it in the daily business of the arts… come to Charleston for a break there are a lot of people who love you!

    Until that time I’ll keep up with you here. Christine and Dance sounds like a plan not just at NCDT!

  • Easton Ellsworth

    Christine, looks like you’re doing great and that you really are grasping the value of a blog. Anytime you want advice, drop me a line.

  • christine

    Well, that’s a drag. I always thought that the exclamation points just made everything a little more happy and enthusiastic. Oh well. This is why I didn’t do well in my computer classes…

  • Daniel Fluck

    Be aware of: =! means ‘not equal’ in techie language, so if I would write your main goal with the signs it would say your goal is not to go at your own pace… 😉

  • christine

    Maybe now that you ‘ve written that in here David, my blog itself will suck it up and do all the necessary cognistications and tabulations and make itself automate posts to del.icio.us…?? Does it work like that?

  • David (meer kitty2)

    …you don’t understand del.icio.us ??? ….

    The gustaferator cognisticates with the turbine tabulator through the push/pull oscilator API.

    Isn’t that simple enough ?

    meer

  • Renee

    I can’t believe what you wrote echo my feeling I had when I first started blogging 20 months ago. I still find some of those “Ha? What? English please!” tech stuff overwhelming. I wish I could roll myself up into a cocoon and just write til my heart content and when I’m ready to spread my wings, that those technical stuff can take care of itself.

    Suddenly I woke up from my dream, and head to my PC to face the reality in my PJ.

  • christine

    Gailann: Thanks for the note! Yea, I do that same thing at bookstores on occasion with my friends. I can get so tired of touchy feely emotional me that I pick out all of those big fat gigantic computer guides that weigh a ton!

    Richard, I don’t know many techies to be quite honest. But they certainly seem to do quite well in the blogosphere and I’m happy to see that they can thrive in this world and teach people like me! Thanks!

  • Richard

    Love the title! It’s amazing to me how many people confuse the framework (what you have to do) with the goal (what you want to do). Techies tend to get hung up in the framework and lose sight of the goal, whether it’s with computers, writing, or the movies. Playing with the toys can be just too much fun.

  • Gailann

    “Blogling?” I love it! You made me laugh, too. I relate to the different language, too. My friends & I were in a bookstore & I brought over a book on PHP, mySQL & Apache (ok this was years ago) and they all looked at me like I was an alien. Glad to know there’s someone else who doesn’t get the social bookmarking thing.

  • christine

    Hi Angela, Thanks! I’ll go read you now.

  • Angela

    You started blogging just a couple of weeks after I did, and I’m so glad you did. I love reading your blog. It inspires me and helps me with important things I want to focus on.