Friday, February 11, 2011


Dan Piraro ran a strip yesterday which was sort of about photography.

Piraro's strip Bizarro is by far my favorite syndicated comic. Many other cartoonists seem to mail it in. After all, it's hard coming up with something fresh daily. But day after day, Bizarro comes through. It's consistently oddball and sharp, and has nothing to do with what came the day before. It consistently makes me wonder, "Where did he come up with that?"

I have no clue where most of his ideas come from but I'm fairly certain thinking about them is a full time job. It may only take a few hours to pen the comic but I'm guessing the rest of his day is spent brainstorming. Dan Piraro, along with Jessica Hagy and a few others, is one of the premier brainstormers around, and that takes dedication.

Which brings me to B. As some may have noticed, production has fallen off in recent weeks. Instead of writing every day, it's been every three or four days. The truth is that writing every day requires quite a bit of energy. It may only take an hour to write the actual post but that's just the tip of iceberg. Behind every post is constant brainstorming. I'm not complaining. This brainstorming is fun, and I would do it with or without the blog. But to some extent it feels like a responsibility. I feel on the hook to produce something, whether or not it's ready for primetime.

All of which would be fine —after all, I enjoy brainstorming— if it weren't for the inconvenient fact that blogging is keeping me from pursuing a couple of longterm projects.

One such project is building a chicken coop.

Q: Why does a chicken coop have 2 doors?
A: Because if it had 4 it would be a chicken sedan.

This should be pretty straight forward. I'm hoping to have it ready for Photolucida in April.

Another project is updating my website. Again, straight forward but time-consuming.

The last, and frankly most compelling, project is scanning, compiling, and editing my Diana photos from the past few years into a book. This book will be the testpiece. If I learn something, there will be others. I've been meaning to embark on it for a long while, but something's been preventing me, and I think it's the blog. I've come to realize that no such longterm project will happen if I'm spending each day blogging. Just in the time I've spent writing this post, for example, I could've hung 6 ft of chicken wire.

So I need to back off from blogging a bit, buckle down on projects, and make them a reality.

What does all of this mean for B? I'm not quitting, but I will be slowing down. Instead of every day I may post every few days or every week or maybe less. Maybe I will post about the process of making the book. We'll see. But I think it needs to be a secondary activity for a while so other things can rise to the foreground.

I think behind this decision too may be a general weariness with all things internet. The web is a drug and I need a little rehab. I'll still be checking email but otherwise I am tuning out for a while.


nate said...

do a good job, we'll be here when you have somethin new. or mebbe just change the kind of coffee you're drinking?

Robert said...

"I think behind this decision too may be a general weariness with all things internet."
Since I nixed Facebook for letter writing last year, Google Reader is my last bit of weening morning internet.
Get to that chicken coop tiger!
(also think about making the fencing mobile around the coop. Chickens eat EVERYTHING and VERY FAST, leaving quite fertile ground behind. Move the fencing in four sectors around the coop and you have some nice gardening soil, especially in Eugene. 2cents) God speed

jon said...

Yeah absolutely, don't feel obliged to produce stuff so frequently. The pressure, however subtle or self imposed, can sort of suck you out of shape. . If it becomes a drag then you shouldn't do it. it's not as if you're getting paid or anything ;-) It will just be nice to read what you want to post when you want to post it. And besides, a book would be a nice thing to have so get to it. And think of all the eggs!

Anonymous said...

This will remain one of the best photography blogs, regardless of frequency!

Simon Johansson said...

aww but I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago... and I like it! well, I understand, it's time consuming to run a blog. I will check in once a week or so. good luck on your projects, with or without hens in them.

chuckp said...

oooohhhh nooooo!....