Is There a Career in Blogging?

Lately my thoughts have been centered around my blogging life. Prior to a year ago, there was no blogging life. But as of this week, I will have been running this experiment in self expression for 11 months. I have pre-registered to attend the second annual Brooklyn Blogfest. And as we speak, business cards advertising myself as The Free School Apparent are on the way to me.

It seems I am at a crossroads. Economics have already dictated changes in our life. There is less work in the graphic design realm, an area of business I have maintained a living at, for 30 years. The musical stage has beckoned with warm reception to my guitar playing and possibilities of playing in public…for money have come up. And then there is this blog. Can my writing make a living?

This blog serves to unite my talents and passions on many levels. Essentially, the blog is about the experiences and feelings I have at having my son in a democratic free school. The fact that the school was started on the impulse of a group of us who felt the need to take the education of our children in another direction. The very real facts of a public school system that is in a downward tail spin, the things that are accelerating that tail spin and some of the people who are trying to help. This has also included stories of my own education as well as being an observer and participant in what I feel is an exciting process of watching children learn organically.

For instance, just this morning. I had to return a book to the third floor office. The school was in a bit of a hub bub downstairs as there were some new students coming in to feel out the place. As I moved from the wildness and chattiness of the first floor, rounding the stairs and peaking into the gym on the second floor, there was a yoga class in session which included children and adults. As I came to the third floor, there was the sound of a drum beat. I discovered the embryonic formation of a new girl band in progress. This place is always interesting and will continue to provide material for me.

But what has also happened is that my writing has become more fluid. And the richness of my own self taught path becomes fodder for my own machinations. The fact that I have been a teacher, designer, illustrator, painter, gallery manager, photo retoucher, letterer, art director, storyteller and father all figure into my experience and how my world view has come to be formed. I have been somewhat of a traveler as well, although I know many who have traveled and adventured way more than I. And this richness of experience at this stage in life are now calling me to try and find a way to get paid. Yeah man, its time to get paid!

Meanwhile, I fiddle while Rome burns. My wife’s home country, Jamaica and city, Kingston, are experiencing turmoil over the extradition of a drug lord who can name names. There are parts of the city aflame. Many of these incidents are isolated on the island, but access to the airport is limited. My mother-in-law is at home in her comfortable house, but she is worried all the same. And this affects us here. Jamaica has always been a kind of reserve escape clause for us. A place we could see spending our retirement. But now that seems in question and  America seems so elder-unfriendly. America seems health-unfriendly. America seems intelligence-unfriendly. So where do I look and how do I proceed at a time where no options present themselves as available? You get creative man.

So I went out today and talked to people in the neighborhood. No matter what day it is, if I venture over to my local cafe, there are always familiar friends eating lunch, taking a break from their own work, or just hanging out. Today I went there to meet with someone about a project I am trying to initiate. More later on that as I do not want to blow the wind out of my sails. My appointment failed to show up, but I ended up in a discussion with a local drummer and teacher who is my age. And he is facing many of the same questions I am. I also got to speak to a local astrologer and musician. Now with every person I speak with, if I listen, there is learning going on.

Well to finish this, this is an exercise in just being consistent and continuing my effort to write on a regular basis. This blog has begun to evolve into something new for me. Hopefully, that growth can continue.


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