What To Expect from the Artist’s Road in 2014

Perhaps a 2014 resolution for me should be to gain readers in Africa and South America. I say that because among the dozens of responses to my survey requesting feedback on what to write about in 2014 were readers from the other four occupied continents. I also suppose the time of day I make posts go live isn’t so important when readers are so geographically scattered. To paraphrase an expression I heard uttered more than once last week while in Key West, Florida, “Whenever I publish a post it will be 5 o’clock somewhere.”

Some recent posts have noted that I am in a post-MFA writing slump, but I believe a holiday trip I took to Key West, Florida, may have invigorated me, as much as a drive up the Keys on Route 1 appears to have invigorated my hair.

Some recent posts have noted that I am in a post-MFA writing slump, but I believe a holiday trip I took to Key West, Florida, may have invigorated me, as much as a drive up the Keys on Route 1 appears to have invigorated my hair.

Thank you for everyone who participated in the survey! I learned a lot about all of you and what you value here at The Artist’s’ Road. In case you’re curious as to the results:

  • It turns out the survey participants were an even mix of new readers, long-haul loyalists, and everyone in between.
  • What has become my default posting schedule–about once a week–was overwhelmingly favored by readers. (Several emphasized in the open comment portion that they didn’t want me to feel obligated to write something just to write it, but instead write when inspired; I liked that advice.)
  • There wasn’t tremendous enthusiasm expressed for frequent guest posts. About 2/3 of respondents said either once a month or once every two to three months worked; only 6 percent favored guest posts as frequently as once a week. Like the bullet above, the inclination here matches my current pattern. (Side note: I receive about 5 requests a week to write guest posts, but they are almost never from actual readers of the blog.)
  • The most fascinating breakdown was on what type of post most resonated with readers. A plurality of the vote–40 percent–went to posts about the challenges and rewards of living an art-committed life. Just behind that at 34 percent was exploration of the creative process, and 23 percent for instructional posts on creative writing. (Only 3 percent wanted more posts on how to blog!) I suspect that percentage breakdown mirrors the frequency with which such posts appear on The Artist’s Road, so that works out well.
It's always 5 o'clock somewhere, but this is 5 o'clock in Key West in late December. I enjoyed this sunset while taking advantage of the island's open container law with a Mojito.

It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, but this is 5 o’clock in Key West in late December. I enjoyed this sunset while taking advantage of the island’s open container law with a Mojito.

It’s hard to summarize the comments, other than to say they were fantastic. I’m so glad I provided that option. For the most part they told me to keep doing what I’m doing (which the numbers above also suggest in a more quantifiable way.) There were expressions of gratitude and acknowledgments of the time and effort I put into the blog, which I greatly appreciated. And if I can be a bit boastful for a moment, a number of the comments echoed this one: “Just keep being you…whatever pops into your head to wonder and write about is always interesting.” Most of my posts come about because a question comes to my mind and haven’t completely worked out an answer, so this suggests I should keep expressing my own intellectual curiosity in the raw, so to speak.

Thank you again to all of you who took the survey, and of course a great big thank you to all of you for being a part of The Artist’s Road community. Together we’ll make this the blog’s best year yet!

About Patrick Ross

I'm the author of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road.

19 Responses to “What To Expect from the Artist’s Road in 2014”

  1. Happy New Year, Patrick. I hope 2014 is your best year blogging yet!
    Good photos, btw.

  2. I like the hair! Keep it wild in 2014.

  3. Looking forward to reading whatever comes to your mind in 2014.🙂

  4. Hi Patrick, I didn’t get a chance to take the survey, but I agree with the participants who said once-a-week posting is just about right, topics related to the challenges/rewards of an art-committed life are very worthwhile, and to keep writing about what you find interesting, as it will no doubt interest us (your readers) in return. Looking forward to following your blog in 2014!

  5. Hooray! I’m glad the survey echoed the vibe that permeates this blog, Patrick (because a wonderful vibe it is too. Glad you finally got some down-time in Florida too (I’ve only been there once, but I LOVED the Keys too; it felt like a writers’ spiritual home somehow.) Hope you have a brilliant 2014, continuing to be you and brightening our week🙂

    • You know, Ernest Hemingway lived in the Keys for ten years. The trip was too short for me to take the house tour, but I could see how that kind of life could invigorate a mind (it could also make you not want to work, of course!).

      Thank you for being a loyal reader, Wendy, and let’s have fun in 2014!

  6. Welcome back to 14 Patrick. Really great to see the holiday hair in the knowledge that a good time is being had. Looking forward to some great blogs throughout 2014

  7. Keep being yourself. What a great survey result! Or, as Snoopy puts it, “Be yourself. No one can say you’re doing it wrong.”

    My only bummer with the survey was that it didn’t give me room to say everything I wanted to say. So let me just add that your choice of photos and your amusing photo captions are always a treat. (But you already knew I’d say that.😀 )

    Happy blogging in 2014, Patrick.

    • Milli!!! All, Milli was one of the first to discover this blog, way back in 2010. Welcome!

      Thank you again for the endorsement of my photo choices. I sometimes fall short on that front (not even inserting a photo at all) but I’m glad you enjoy them and the captions.

  8. Interesting to read the results! I was one who voted for not having frequent guest posts. I think on any blog a few really special ones are great. Otherwise, it usually doesn’t feel like a fit.

  9. Great photo! Hope it goes in the travel memoir!

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