Happy Anniversary To Us (and some future plans.)

Do you think I mean Happy Anniversary to me and Rob?  Nope.  This week marks the one year anniversary of this blog!  I don’t know why, but every time I hear “Happy Anniversary” I remember Fred and Wilma Flinstone’s anniversary, when Fred sang to Wilma and was accompanied by Barney Rubble on a stone piano.  Now I have to go over to Youtube to see if it even exists or if this is something I hallucinated while in a Hostess high in my youth–ah yes!  Here’s a picture!  Remember?  They sing it over and over and over again until they are begged to stop.

Kind of like my blog posts.

But seriously, can you believe we’ve been at this for a year?  I’m pretty proud of us.  Anniversaries are a great time to reflect, so if you don’t mind I’d take a moment and talk about what I wanted from this blog, and where it is going. A blog retrospective, if you will.  I will do my best to keep it entertaining and I will entice you by saying that there are some announcements at the end.  So keep reading.

Those of you who’ve been around from the beginning (I’m thinking about Aunt Barbie, Creason, Mark, Nick, David, Linda, Megan, and others–I thank you all) might remember my very first post.  I haven’t read that post since I wrote it a year ago (as you all know I don’t really do a good job proof reading, which might lead you to believe that I write it and post it–which would be true.  I very rarely re-read anything), and a couple of things stick out.  One is that my goals still feel pretty true.  Another is that I remember having very low expectations that anyone would read it, which was okay with me. The whole point was to have a space of my own where I could do what I wanted without a boss or a critic.

Since I set the bar so low from the beginning, one could say that I pretty easily achieved my goals.  I made a creative space for myself, and honestly, the idea of cliff hanging blogisodes wasn’t even a blip on the horizon, even though it really is what this blog became known for (well–that and the SMASH blogs).  It is something I discovered as I started.  Quite simply, I wanted to tell the story of Thirteen and Three as a record for my kids to have when they were older,  and once I started I realized I couldn’t fit it all in one post.  So, it turned into a mutli-blogisode installment, I stuck on a cliff hanger, and there you go.  My Own Space the blog was born.

Now, because my husband likes numbers, let’s have a few stats.  Those of you who don’t like stats, feel free to sing your favorite Kander and Ebb tune until I am done.  I’ve written 182 posts in the year (seriously?  Are you kidding me?) and if I do some quick math (I have to get a calculator…) I averaged 1,500 words per post we’re looking at….wait (Rob is doing this math in his head)…..I wrote 273,000 words this year. To give you a picture of this, the final (and longest) of the Harry Potter books (Deathly Hallows) has 198,227 words.

Okay, that’s a lot.  Have you held that book?  If you published this blog it would be heavier.

In this year, I wrote 74,733 words MORE than was in this book.

This year, I clocked 74,733 words MORE than was in this book.

On top of that, I wrote a show for the Zoo (which is still running and goes through Labor Day!!  Go see it!!), I did work for Kristin Chenoweth’s concert, and I started my blog for WW.  This list is not about bragging, it’s a reminder that I have a lot to be grateful for.  At the end of the day, this year exceeded all my expectations.

But I fear burn out.

I’ve found that in the past month or so, I’ve really lost steam.  The SMASH blogs were fun to write but they started to feel like work.  Like people were expecting things.  Not that “work” is a bad thing.  Honestly, I would guess that at the end of the day, paying work is exactly what I wanted to generate with this blog, whether I was stating that clearly from the beginning or not.  The great thing is–it worked.  I have a new literary agent, writing jobs came, and advertisers started coming.  Hooray!

But you see my predicament.  Other writing started to slip, writing that I loved doing.  I wasn’t getting back to stories  I’d started.  Broadway West anyone?

Now.  Let’s talk about this summer. I’m going to stop blogging from June 30th-August 30th and let me explain why and what I am going to do instead.

WHY:  On June 30th we go on vacation in Maine.  Then, we start rehearsals for The Fiddler On the Roof in Vermont.  From June 30th-August 20th I will have no direct access to Internet.  Any time I want to post something I have to drive somewhere to get it, and even then, the Vermont Internet is frequently and famously fussy.  Remember my pancreas posts?  As I recall, I spend a lot of blog time talking about searching for Internet (I wrote it in Vermont last summer) and I want to avoid the headache of making my family drive around so I can post something.

Speaking of my family, I will say to you guys what I say to Rob all the time.  The number of years that we have Charlotte and Beatrix living under the same roof is short because they are ten years apart in age.  Next fall Charlotte starts high school and with that comes, you know, friends and stuff, and then in four years it’s off to college with her.  I don’t want to look back on this time and think–shit–I was an absentee parent and a slave to my blog.  Somehow I feel like I can pull off taking the time to write this while school is in session, but in the summer I want to feel free to play Boggle after a show and not have to sit on the couch for two hours to write a blog.  I think this all makes a lot of sense to you guys, so I won’t go on and on.  Unplugged family time wins.

Oh, but you don’t get rid of me that easily.  Oh no you don’t.

WHAT I AM GOING TO DO INSTEAD:

I have some summer vacation plans (besides Boggle and catching fire flies and doing Fiddler).  I am getting together with my dear friend Allen Kendall and Rob Meffe (Rupert McFee) and we are writing another show for The Bronx Zoo (or at least we think we are, we have to write a proposal first).  And more writing….Allen and I are writing an as-of-this-moment-unnamed-and-undeveloped-show for me that is based on stories (some that appear in this blog) and it will perform this fall in a New York City theater.  More on that very soon (before I take my summer break) and I’m excited.  Well, excited and scared.  Which might also be the name of my show.

I am also looking at additional ways to monetize this blog (to use a gross business term), and we have been talking to Amazon about the possibility of making it by subscription, which is the way all the bigger blogs are going.  It’s cheap–$.99 a month–but I have to really sit down and look at it and what it means.  Not just for me, but also for you.  I just don’t know.  Advice on this is welcome.  Maybe I can just sell my SMASH blog to a big magazine and get back to the business of blogisodes for free.  Maybe I will just buckle down on getting advertisers.  These are the tactical things I will be considering while I am “taking a break” (Again.  Bad at taking breaks.)

Also–and this is important–for all you lovely people who think you would still like to read what I’m putting out there, I am still contracted to write a blog for Weight Watchers 2-3 times a week, and that will continue despite my summer “break” (the break that you’ve now figured out includes doing a show and writing two others).  I will still post my WW blog on Facebook and most likely still post it on this blog (I haven’t had any complaints about that, but if you would like to unsubscribe, just tell me).  So while I am not writing THIS blog, I am writing A blog.

So what shall we do with the remainder of June, dear readers?  I say we should wrap up loose ends.  I have real estate developments to write about.  I have a couple of vlogs up my sleeve.  But, most importantly, I have many installments of Broadway West left to go, and I think we should end (for now) the same way we started; with cliff hanging blogisodes.

June 30th is not the end of this blog.  I’m not breaking up with you, we’re just taking a break (to quote Ross and Rachel).  But no break yet–I’ll be back tomorrow.

Thanks for listening, and as always, thank you for reading.

Oh!  And just incase this blog wasn’t long enough, here is the link to my next Weight Watchers blog.  http://community.weightwatchers.com/Blogs/ViewPost.aspx?threadID=1656534

Thank you all so much.  Let me know what you think of this plan, okay?  Feed back is much appreciated since we all made this blog together.

xoxo

Sharon

About Sharon Wheatley

Mother of Charlotte and Beatrix. Sometimes an actress. Sometimes a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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8 Responses to Happy Anniversary To Us (and some future plans.)

  1. Barbara says:

    Have a great "break" although you will be busy. How about a vlog with Jaaake before you two hit Vermont.

  2. Linda S in PA says:

    Oh Sharon…kudos to you for putting summer family time ahead of us 'addicted' blog readers!! Sometimes it is good to take a break ~ it will refresh and renew your mind. It's like shows on TV, they show reruns through the summer. We will have time to go back through 'reruns' of your older blogs and remind ourselves how fun it is to read your stories! You are so right to concentrate some time on your girls – they grow way too fast. My daughter is now 19 and starting her 2nd year in college studying….wait for it…..Musical Theatre!! (By the way – you are one of her idols because you are 'living the dream' in NYC!!) Those years have gone by so quickly and I feel like I missed so much! As for possibly charging for your blog, while I hope you go the route of getting advertisers instead, I would stay with you on your blog. I"heart" Sharon!!!! You are so entertaining and I look forward to future blogs. It would be cool to have a Vlog before your summer hiatus which includes Rob, Charlotte, Beatrix and of course Jaaaake – you know, like a season finale! Take care, keep up the good work with your WW plan & have a great summer!

  3. Amanda says:

    The reason I love your blog is it's the only one I know of out there that is written by someone who is active in The Industry. I love getting the insight and the show reviews from someone who knows what they're talking about. I also love the insight on how an artist manages to live in New York with her family, as this is pretty much "the dream." Your blogs will be SORELY SORELY missed, but I do understand….It kind of stinks, though, because you and Kate Beaton's blog "Hark, A Vagrant!" were my top two favorites and both of you are cutting back extensively. Sad face.

    Also, I just want to add, just to be helpful…..I don't think I would subscribe if it cost money though :-( I love love love reading your stuff, but money is so tight for me – I'm young, working my first job, and trying to move to New York, so I wouldn't be able to justify an expense like that….Saving pennies….Lame, I know….

    Well I look forward to the few remaining blogs from you….I wish you would have made a "What I liked about The Tonys," haha. Those are great posts!

    • sswheatley says:

      Hi Amanda! I’m sorry to be taking a break, but at least those Weight Watcher blogs still exist! I want to say something about money and whether or not I will charge in the future. I’m leaning towards no, but I also just want to say that all we are talking about is $12 a year. I found your comment: “I also love the insight on how an artist manages to live in New York with her family, as this is pretty much “the dream.”–and I feel like I want to say that part of living the dream AND living in New York is the reality that there are bills to pay and more importantly, an artist can charge for work. It is all part of the thing you admire, and I would be the first person to encourage you to work for a fair wage! $12 a year is less than a book, it is about the cost of one movie ticket or 3 mochas at Starbucks. It is a small amount for an enormous outpouring from me that costs me thousands of dollars in childcare. This is not in any way me begging you to pay–nor is it me leaning towards me charging–merely a conversation about artists and free content.
      Thank you!!!

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you so much for your eloquent response. I will definitely keep my ears perked for all your future news.

  4. Ellie says:

    Love the blog. Love the "behind-the-scenes" stuff and love your funny stories. I come here daily, hoping for a new post.

    I guess I don't run in the big circles because I haven't hit upon a blog I read yet that charges. I'm not sure that I would go for paying to read any blog, even if it had heretofore been daily required reading for me. I'm just one of those people that is more likely to give up something rather than start paying for it. Silly, I know.

    But that's just me. Maybe do one of those poll-thingies? Lots of people who wouldn't necessarily comment may be up for just clicking a button on a poll!

  5. Aunt Barbie says:

    I will always be here for you!!

  6. Karen Waggoner says:

    I will miss your blog, but family comes first. And yes, they grow up so fast. Our youngest is here with her kids, and it seems like only a few years ago she was in diapers, not her kids.

    Enjoy the summer!!

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