I am talking about it today on the blog because there is some crazy bass player out there that didn’t check with Amanda and I before releasing his book on September 13th. Imagine that! His book news is more important than our birthday, by far, because without his talents along with those of his “brothers” (No Taylor jokes, thank you. I’m referring to how he speaks of the other members of Duran Duran!), there would be no blog. Amanda will be covering our plans for our own very special book club tomorrow, which means today is my last blog day for the week. Since Amanda is covering tomorrow, I am sending out my own very special congratulations to John one day early. I hear writing a book can be very difficult…so this is quite an accomplishment. I look forward to reading!
So yes, tomorrow is the big day. I have to tell you all, I never thought the blog would get read by one person outside of Amanda and I and the few friends we shared our book and blog plans. I’d be thrilled when I would see that maybe five people looked at the blog, and I wondered how long we could really keep writing. At the time, we had no sense of direction, and really – we wrote whatever we felt like. (Some things clearly haven’t changed much.) I desperately tried not to gush too much because we didn’t want this blog to be an “I love you” sort of deal, but really at the time I didn’t know what to write, only that I had all of these thoughts in my head, and we needed a place to discuss them freely, without a lot of judgment. So we just kept going. Looking back, I can actively name the points in which I felt the tide turning and our real “purpose” for the community coming into focus. I remember the day when Nile Rodgers saw our blog. He had talked about Bernard Edwards and that final performance, and that just sparked something in me that I needed to blog. Someone found the blog, forwarded it to him and he sent us a message. That was a huge, huge day, and not because he drove reader traffic our way (although it helped!) – but because he was kind enough to take the time to show he cared, and that gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to keep going. We’ve had similar moments since then, including the times when readers take the time to tell us how much our blog means to them. Those moments are really what keep me going and they are golden in every single way.
Our blog has grown since our beginning days, certainly. It used to be that I would give myself exactly 30 minutes to write and edit the blog. It takes a little longer than that now, and I’m a little pickier with my topics now. My editing and writing still needs massive work, but we can’t all be perfect, now can we? On an average (read: good) day I think the blog takes me about an hour. Somedays (read: half the time) it takes closer to two hours. My biggest problem is that due to having children running around, I typically have to start and stop the blog. For instance, today I am trying to type quickly to finish, knowing that in about twenty minutes I have to take my youngest to preschool. Then I need to come home, insist that my son get out of this house for a half hour to do some sort of supervised exercise and then we have homeschool to get through before I go and get the youngest at noon, come home, feed her (and make sure my son eats something healthy) and then go to get my oldest at school because, wouldn’t you know it, she has no conservatory (Music & Theatre, in her case) classes today. Life doesn’t stop, and I don’t have backup when it comes to the running around. I’m constantly juggling my interests to serve everyone else…and before anyone asks, yes, it drives me crazy sometimes. Especially when I’m in the middle of a good writing mode and have to stop. My dream is to have my own office (I work at the kitchen table so I can keep a good eye on everyone and everything which isn’t convenient or easy but it’s what I’ve got.) where I can actually SHUT MY DOOR and write for hours on end without interruption. Go figure.
Where was I again?? Oh yes, the blog has grown. I don’t even know how that happened. We started this thing as just a way to get writing practice and perhaps introduce ourselves and what we were trying to do with the book to the community. Along the way we realized that we could offer far more than just a blog or an academic look on fandom, we wanted to really create a more unified community. Truth be told, Amanda and I would love to run a real fan community for this band. Not the ticketing part of it – but working to create a fan friendly environment for the fans: creating meet-ups, parties, conventions and events before and after the shows. Who really likes going home right after a show? Not us!!! We want to continue the party!! We want to keep organizing Duranie “Dorms” for cities that have a large attendance on tour, and we’ve even had requests to try doing some sort of a “tour bus” thing or an RV trip. (My husband is still laughing at that idea. Obviously he underestimates the abilities of his wife and her friends!) We like bringing the community together, because at the end of all of this, it is those experiences that will be the longest lasting in your memories. Sure, seeing the band on stage is amazing, but the experiences that bookend and enhance those gigs are every bit as important, and we take that to heart. Fans want to connect with other fans, and those relationships carry on and elevate the fandom. Our entire book is based on the theory that fans truly do want to connect. Our problem is simple: we can’t be everywhere and quite honestly, we can’t afford to give our day jobs (Wait, day job?? I don’t even get paid!!) in order to travel and do it all. Hell, some of us can’t even afford to keep traveling at the rate they’re doing without getting a job. *cough, cough* When we have that piece of it figured out though, you’ll be the first to know. Lottery, anyone? So now, instead of just a blog, we find ourselves reaching out to fans and trying to put this all together. On any given week, our blog gets several thousand views – and that’s just counting the very first page that a unique IP address views. Last month alone, we had over 11,000 views to the blog, which is amazing for a blog with a pretty narrow focus. We’re not Rolling Stone by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re happy with our tiny piece of the webiverse.
That said, there is always room for improvement. We would love to increase the “followers” for the blog – meaning if you haven’t signed up to have the blog delivered to you, please do. Tell your friends about the blog, direct them to our Facebook and Twitter pages and please, PLEASE keep commenting. We love to discuss the blog topics with all of you. We’re not perfect, sometimes we (read: I) get passionate about what we’re discussing, but make no mistake – I like hearing what you’re thinking or feeling even if I find myself disagreeing, because that’s how I learn. Feel free to talk to us on Twitter, send us a note on Facebook or even email us at the blog. Have an idea for a blog, want to do a guest blog? Contact us!
Two years. Who would have ever thought? Surely not I. We owe the band so many thanks, both Amanda and I are well aware that the band has been our muse, our reason for beginning and the reason we keep writing. Sure, we’re tough on them, but we do love them, and we can only hope that our respect and admiration for each one of them shines through.
Now I find myself hoping that the band keeps going because I want to keep going. There’s more fun to be had, more things to discuss and many more people to meet. This “Birthday” of sorts is not just a celebration for Amanda and I, but for all of you as well…thank you for your continued support, kindness and patience!!