Hello. It's me.
(On a good hair day.)
Warning: This post might ramble on, but I thought it was important to tell you what I have been working on, or lack thereof.
I've been feeling kind of bummed out lately. It's been a rough year. So I guess I've been feeling bummed out this year is a better way to put it. I don't think I have recovered from the loss of Dan, and I may not. The loss will always be there. A hole. That's why I feel empty. I turned 28 this year and I have lost more young friends over my 28 years than I can count and with another recent loss of a friend that I went to high school with, it's hard not to be sad, even on a really fun day. (There are other things that were hard/sad this year but I won't get into that.)
I had a really fun day a few weeks ago when I randomly met Lonestar after they jumped off the stage to take a photo with me. I wasn't even going to go to that concert because I felt guilty about spending money on all the other shows this year. Then I thought, you know what? I pay all my bills. Why not? So that was a really rewarding experience for me. I started listening to them when I was 10 with one of my best friends so I had to text her right away, even though she was probably in bed.
By the look of this photo, I should have been in bed.
This week, I found out that Aaron Carter is coming to London with a bunch of other 90's bands, so 10 year old me is killin' it this year! I rolled a bunch of toonies... is that how you spell it? Anyway, I rolled a bunch of $2 coins and that pretty much paid for my ticket. "Oh Aaron". Seriously, Aaron was my life back in the day. I had this magazine for kids and he was on the back cover and I remember always looking at it during sad times haha. I should have kept it.
One thing that really bothers me when I see people that I haven't seen in a long time-- or even complete strangers is when they ask, "Are you working?" and I have to say no, but I quickly follow up with, "But I have a blog!" Then they say, "Will that lead to a job?" Well, God knows, Susan! If I knew the answer to that I would be getting paid already. THIS IS MY WORK. So for those of you wondering how I afford to go to all the concerts (that is a common question also) read the previous paragraph again. Actually, I'll save you a minute: I ROLL COINS. (Well, I don't. My hands aren't that good so somebody helps me.) I save as much as I can so I can do as much as I can. Now you know. What a novel idea.
Anyway, back to the "work" thing. I work so hard at this. So hard. So I get so disappointed when things don't turn out the way I had hoped. This year was a big learning experience for that. Last year, I seemed to get interviews one after the other. The first year, I did 16 and even getting that many was a challenge. So last year when I did 18 or 19, I thought that was good progress. I did a little bit more than before so my goal for this year is 20. You know how many I have done so far? Eight. Do you know how many people I have asked? Nearly 40. Sometimes I look at these numbers and I think, "Oh, that's bad." It's not really though because I keep trying. I "keep knocking on doors" as Dan would tell me to do.
When I very first started this blog, I made a list in this book.
I opened up the music on my computer and I wrote down every Canadian singer that I thought might answer me. I wouldn't dare write down any Americans because I thought they would be too popular to write back. This year, I got brave and tried reaching out to some American artists and while I would sometimes get a response, it wasn't yes. But I tried. One of the interviews I'm most proud of is with American film director, Tommy Avallone. I've always had a fascination with Saturday Night LIve, so to get to speak with someone who made a documentary about Bill Murray and another one about Ghostbusters and its fans was unreal. By the way, I recently found this golf ball.
It's funny how I thought Americans wouldn't answer me. I'm damn lucky anybody answered me. I like when I find that an artist has their own email address because chances are they will answer it themselves as opposed to a record company. When I write to a record company or a PR person, I always feel like maybe this is a bad idea. As if they are going to yell at me through the computer. "You want my artist to stop touring the world to answer questions for some blog? They have to work, you know! Shouldn't you be working?" Thankfully, that has never happened. I would die. Ideally, I would like to send out one interview request a day, but it is too nerve-wracking. Maybe I would be more "successful" if I did but I would also have chronic diarrhea and nobody wins with that. So, I try my best and send maybe three requests per week if I'm up to it. That's enough potential rejection for me.
When I think about what makes a blog post successful, it's mostly a numbers game. I always strive to get at least a thousand views across social media. I am able to do this most of the time, but a lot of it doesn't depend on me. I do have a few strategies though. Facebook used to be a big platform for my posts but for whatever reason (the algorithm) my posts don't get viewed as much there any more so I heavily rely on Twitter.
Here are some of the things I do:
1. Tag the artist (obviously) if they retweet it, the number of views goes way up because they have so many followers. Even if they just "like" or "favourite" it, it will do well.
2. #LdnOnt There is a Twitter account that retweets most things with this hashtag. A lot of people follow it.
3. Tag @PureCountry93 (formerly @BX93) if it's a country artist/show. They are so supportive and usually like/retweet my stuff!
Dave, Rachel and Forman
4. Tag Ryan Reynolds. (Okay, that was a one time thing.)
Aside from the numbers, a blog post is always more successful to me if the artist acknowledges the article/photos and says thank you. That means a lot because I told their story or captured their performance well. When they don't say thank you, especially on an interview, I always wonder if someone came and wiped our conversation from their memory. I know that sounds petty, but saying thank you is really important. So, thank you for reading this far. I'm almost done, I think.
Basically, this post was to show you why I have only done eight interviews this year: because it's hard. I can't control if someone responds to me, but I can keep trying. Sometimes it's harder because I am good at it. If I was crappy at it, I could see why people say no or just ignore me. That's just the way things work but it's hard not to take it to heart. Sometimes I just don't want to do anything about it anymore and I get lost on the internet playing "Garfield Food Truck" for hours (stay away from it, it's dangerously addictive). The blog is like the game though. I'm always trying to get to the next level and always trying to get better, even if other people don't realize. Probably most of you reading this didn't even know how many interviews I did this year because I'm pretty sure no one follows along that closely, but this is my work. I have one more interview that is supposed to happen in August, but it may or may not work out. So, if I only get to do eight this year, then they are eight pieces of writing that I am super proud of because I know I did a good job. I hope you will continue to follow my blog even if I can't post new things all the time.