It is that time of year again, and we can hardly believe it! This year is kind of a landmark for us because as we type, Daily Duranie has hit the five year mark. FIVE YEARS!! Where does the time go? How on earth did we really find that much to write about?!? (we have no idea…)
While we want to shout from the rooftops and celebrate exuberantly, we also find ourselves just the tiniest bit reflective. During this past five years, we have learned a lot. We’ve learned about the band, music industry, fandom, and most importantly, about ourselves and each other. Since today is a special day, we’ve decided to share some of what we’ve learned (so far) along our way.
Knowing when it is time to take a break
We are hard workers. Some might even say we’re a little obsessed or OCD (both are true). We don’t take often take breaks, and we don’t cut ourselves much slack. The blog is titled “Daily”, and it took us quite a while to understand that even so, if the blog doesn’t get written…the world will not end. Sometimes, we need a break. So this past year, we took one. It will not be our last.
Sometimes, wording matters
One of us is incredibly blunt and quick to react, and the other is carefully measured. One might think that between the two of us, we’d get it right. We try. Sometimes though, whether out of haste, impatience or downright annoyance, we miss. Sometimes we forget to soften our words or forget that not everyone else on planet earth (!) can see inside our heads. We can’t promise it’ll never happen again, but we try.
We must ask for the things we want
We are terrible when it comes to asking for help. Well, we’re actually terrible about asking for anything, actually. Time and time again we will run into fellow fans, etc. and they’ll tell us that we just have to ASK if we want something. (In that case, we have a list…) Both of us have a bit of a fear of being told no, but we’re trying, and sometimes, to our complete and utter astonishment, it even works.
We know it’s going to be OK
In the beginning, we were pretty nervous. After all, when we first started this blog, we were even afraid to sign our real names or have our pictures up online with it! Even the idea of a band member, someone on their team…or even a roadie reading our blog really and truly scared the crap out of us. We really were not writing the blog for the band to read. We weren’t really even writing for fellow fans at first. We wrote for ourselves, and to a large extent, we still do. It’s only when we stop writing for ourselves and begin thinking about what others might want to read or see that we get into trouble, and that’s something else we’ve learned along the way. (Sounds familiar to the way the band writes and records, now that we think about it!) It wasn’t very long into the blog when Rhonda wrote something about how if the band were to ever read, she didn’t even want to know about it. That was five years ago now, and at this point, we’ve both achieved a little bit of comfort. It is no longer quite as frightening to know that our words are just “out there” for all to read…and so you know, if the band ever read the blog, we’re OK with that, even if they don’t always agree. We just hope we’re a little entertaining. We certainly make each other laugh!
It’s OK to still be fans
Once we settled into the act of writing the blog, we started noticing that writing from this space sometimes required a bit more distance from being fans than we were used to occupying. Granted, this wasn’t just because of this blog – but also due to the book we were writing. Without getting too much into what we were aiming for with the book, our “fieldwork”, so to speak, required objectivity in order to be more accurate and less “emotional”. So we got into the habit of examining behaviors and culture norms from that angle. The problem there of course is that once you stop being fans…it’s not all that much fun sometimes. Additionally, we wanted the blog to be taken seriously. If we fangirl over every last thing that’s ever done, it’s going to grow tiresome…and the last thing we want this blog to be is a pure sappy sweet love note to the band. That’s just not who we are or the image we want to convey. We’ve been accused more times than we care to admit that because we don’t love every single blasted thing the band does, that we’re somehow “less” than fans. We’d like to challenge anyone who feels that way to run right out and set up your own blog – then write it DAILY for five years long with planning conventions, pre-concert meet-ups and writing a full manuscript on the subject of fan communities. After that bar is met, we can certainly sit down and have a conversation about what qualities a “real” fan may or may not have. However, there are times when we desperately want to let that Duran Duran fan flag fly, and we’ve learned that on occasion, it’s not only appropriate – it’s FUN. And if we’re not having fun…what is really the point?!?
We ALL like a little validation once in a while
We aren’t going to tell tales here: sometimes, we actually LIKE being noticed for our hard work. This doesn’t happen every day, every week or even every month, but there is a certain part of us that needs to know people like and appreciate our work, whether that acknowledgement comes from one another, other fans, other people in the media…or the band and management. Don’t get us wrong, we love writing. We love this blog, and we love putting on events. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t bother, because it is a LOT of work. We also love hearing that we’re doing a good job and that someone actually likes what we do. Those little moments are what get us through the day-to-day grind of figuring out how to maintain this blog and website along with raising a family, teaching a class, and being good and decent family members. We both love reading or hearing that we’re on the right track, and that someone other than the two of us is laughing and having a good time! Especially notable are the comments from fans who have just found our blog, and are overjoyed to read that there are literally thousands of other people out there who still love this band.
Interviews are a lot of work
It never occurred to us that there are two sides to an interview: the part where you meet or communicate with whomever you are interviewing, and the part where you’re sitting down and transcribing that interview…and then writing it up. We ALL say we want to meet the band, and we ALL say we want to ask them questions, but we’re also pretty sure no one thinks about the research that goes into asking the right questions, or the fact that for every minute or two you’re interviewing – you’re also signing yourself up for about 20 minutes of transcription time. All of that aside, Rhonda says she would be happy to interview Dom Brown again any time! 🙂
It’s OK if our opinions are different from everyone else
This is an especially timely and poignant headline for a week when Duran Duran has just released their 14th studio album. While there are plenty of fans out there that have left testimony saying that this is the best album the band has done, there are just as many fans who are less-than-thrilled. We find ourselves in the precarious position of having to be head cheerleaders AND camp counselors. We love the album, but we also know what it is like to feel as though you’re the only one who doesn’t. This isn’t a particularly forgiving fan community to voice one’s dissenting opinion, we admit. The reality is, it’s OK not to love everything the band has ever done. It’s also OK if readers don’t agree with everything we’ve written. However, we pretty much insist that a reader has actually READ the blog before choosing to take issue. So if you find yourself reading a headline and deciding that it’s time to leave us a nastygram on Facebook or Twitter or even here on the blog, don’t be surprised when we thank you kindly for taking the time and giving us the respect of actually reading our work before deciding to disagree. It’s really that simple. We don’t care if readers’ opinions are different from ours, and we really don’t mind if anyone shares their opinion. Thoughtful comments are always welcome.
Balance is important
Fun matters. Maybe some days we just want to laugh and squee over pictures of DoJo one day, or another time we post a video of Simon’s infamous dance moves (we do miss his chicken dance from Skin Trade or his infamous karate chops). Fun is important, which is why we’re throwing ourselves our own birthday party! Expect more fun this next year!!
Lastly, and most importantly for many reasons – the band can’t retire yet!
We mean it. We’re just getting into our groove now, and we see fantastic things ahead. Retirement? NO WAY! There’s no quitting yet…do you hear us, Duran Duran? We’re in this for the long haul, people!
Here we are, at the beginning of a brand new year of Daily Duranie. I (Rhonda) am not really sure what made me choose September 13th 2010 as the day to begin this blog, but I am glad I did. While I wrote the first post, Amanda had to agree to this insane venture otherwise I would have never even taken those first steps while she was at work on that fateful day. I remember shakily typing -R at the end of my first writing, not really sure what I had just done. Then I literally shut my laptop and didn’t look at it again until the following day. That was back during the time when I gave myself 30 minutes each day to write the blog. HA. It’s more like a half-day gig now, and some days, even longer. It’s been a wild, crazy ride so far, to say the least. With a brand new album and tour just ahead, I have no doubt that we will have a good many more stories and tales to tell ahead. Thank you for sticking with us, for supporting our efforts, and for just being good people. Huge hugs and thank you’s also go to our muses – Simon, John, Nick, Roger and Dom – without your work, the blog would never have been started. Even bigger hugs go to Katy Krassner and the rest of DDHQ, because we appreciate your help, the occasional retweet, and all of the shared information.
It takes a village to support a band. We are incredibly lucky to be a part of such a wonderful one. 🙂
-A & R