I’ve been writing this blog for over ten years now.
It’s gone through various iterations on different platforms, but one thing has remained a constant since its start in 2005: me using this blog to extol the joys of the thing I love – classical music.
As 2018 approaches, I want to take the blog to the next stage. I’ve always wanted to do that. I’m just never really had the guts, until now.
Just so you know, this is a longish blog that will take around 5 minutes to read.
More freedom, more focus
When I first started writing it, I was doing a full-time job. The regular income covered the costs, even if the day job drained the energy I needed to write.
Since July (when I embarked on a freelance career as a coach and a writer) the experience of writing the Thoroughly Good Blog has been incredibly fulfilling. That’s because the relative freedom I’ve won has helped me find new energy.
I’ve benefitted from focus these past six months. I’ve tapped into some core values in my writing too. And, importantly, I’ve developed some new ideas.
The Year Ahead
In 2018 I want to devote even more time to the Thoroughly Good Blog and take it to the next stage in its editorial development.
Working with some innovative organisations within the classical music sector, I want to make content with a distinct purpose.
I want the Thoroughly Good Blog help create a positive, inclusive, and appreciative classical music community embedded at the heart of the industry.
I see TG becoming a trusted independent destination, written by the curious for the curious.
Specifically that means content on the blog celebrating the art-form I love, but doing so in a way that’s inclusive. It must also promote an individual sense of exploration and critical appreciation.
Sure, I know. Even that sounds a bit up its own arse.
I’m talking about content that introduces the art to a wider audience, paying the art and its practitioners its due, whilst avoiding the po-faced pomposity a lot of others fall into.
A list might help at this stage.
Over the next twelve months I’d like Thoroughly Good to:
- launch new exclusive content that epitomises its values
- develop new collections of digital and print content
- launch a new podcast, and
- introduce special offers for events and products
All this kind of work takes time. And time is money.
The time is spent researching, interviewing, negotiating, travelling to events, not to mention web server running costs, and equipment.
We’ve all long assumed that because self-publishing is easy, its somehow free.
The challenge is that no-one really wants to pay for content – we’re all too used to browsing to it for free. But, seeing as a lot of other writers are experimenting with ways to fund their work, now seems like the right time to do the same here.
So I’m asking people to do what venues, festivals and orchestras have done for years: to provide financial support for twelve months so that I can get Thoroughly Good to the next stage in its development.
I’m crowdfunding readers, listeners, and any other interested parties.
For a year of content (that’s around 260 posts + podcasts), I’m asking for £10 from each reader.
If you want to give more, that’s great.
Pledge your support with £20, and I’ll give you a massive squeeze.
If you offer £30, I’ll run around my office naked.
Whilst these last two may not necessarily tempt you (you might even want to offer me £30 so I don’t run around naked), you might want to opt for the most daring thing of all and offer what you think I’m worth. Go ahead.
You might be interested in the reasons I’m taking this step. It might even help persuade you.
Here the reasons in a handy list (because we’re all busy people):
- I want to devote more time to Thoroughly Good but I need to plug a revenue gap
- Being supported in my writing endeavours is vital to creating good content
- Avoiding paywalls and advertising is important to me
- Orchestras, venues and festival all seek support for their endeavours – why wouldn’t a writer?
- Seeking support legitimises this endeavour
- Financial support means I have a responsibility to be accountable – that’s valuable
- If this works, I want to find a way of supporting other similarly motivated writers
- This is an experiment – sometimes the only way to find out whether something will work is to try
- If now isn’t the right time to experiment with this, when is?
I’m going to evaluate the impact financial support for this blog has on a monthly basis. I’d like to report on progress every three months too.
In terms of production, I’ll commit to producing new, regular, richer content including features, reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces. And I’d see that development reflected in greater traffic and a wider number of contributors.
Its tone will be suitably deferential, but not pompous, overbearing, snooty or elitist.
It should be a place for opinion. But it will be fair but critical. It will be passionate but not sycophantic.
Importantly, Thoroughly Good will seek to promote a sense of critical appreciation of the art form by all, because this art is universal.
The intangible impact is the most difficult to quantify. And for me, that’s a change of outlook amongst the classical music fraternity. I see this as an opportunity to help change the way we regard this genre, to give it new life, and to set a new agenda.
It’s a bold aspiration. There will be those who are long in the tooth who roll their eyes and dismiss the intent. If you’re one of those people, then you’re not the person I’m reaching out to.
I’m reaching out to those who are looking for something a little different.
I’d like to embark on this daunting journey with the backing of friends and supporters. I really hope you’ll be one of those who want to join me.
Thoroughly Good Blog is an independent blog celebrating classical music and the arts.