I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions, but speaking up outside one's safe spaces seems like a good one.
Maybe I'm not making formal resolutions, but I've been thinking a lot about the direction this blog is taking. Full disclosure: I started this site because I knew of few women music bloggers (I know many now), but also because I'd been laid off my other blogging gig, something that had been both a blessing and a curse. Resurrecting Five Dollar Radio, I felt freer than I had in a while writing, but not immune to falling into the same traps I had in the past: sticking to a blogging schedule without the reward of a monthly paycheck, and the general apathy that comes with penning a site few people read (I'm kind of like one of the patients in the movie Awakenings -- I need someone to throw the ball to me before I can willfully respond).
A year ago, I thought I wanted to make this exclusively a site about women and music: those who create it, play it, produce it, but also those who write about it. Women are too frequently shut out of the intellectual sphere even when it comes to something as banal and trite as pop culture. And I wanted to focus on those women who talk about music -- who make you think how it relates to your own life or the culture at large. But other things kept getting in the way. I started participating more in the feminist blogosphere (yes, I know this is a horrible name, but until someone comes up with a better one, I'm using it) and reading more women who think like me, or act like me, and I've wanted to write about about stuff other than music.
So I just might.
I have no idea where this site will be going in the next few months, or year, even. But I spend a lot of time second guessing myself: is this right? Is this okay? I read a quote from Amy Richards in Bitch magazine several years ago that went something like, "The greatest lesson I've learned as a writer is that you can't control how others interpret your words." I try to repeat this to myself like a mantra, but I'm not sure I entirely believe it. It's true you can't control how others interpret your words, but relying on the reader to just "get it," is, I don't know, kind of lazy. It puts the onus on the reader and doesn't hold the writer accountable for her words. This is one of the hardest things to grasp transitioning from superfluous "fluff" writing to writing big, important things. I'm not writing big important things yet, but I'm getting there.