Today Breaking More Waves is five years old. Hurrah! We guess that makes us old enough to jack in blog nursery and go to proper blog school. Hopefully we’ll get to learn something there.
Mind you, we’ve learnt quite a bit over the last five years. And so today, as it’s our birthday, please allow us to be a little navel gazing and babble on a bit about 5 things (the number seems appropriate) we’ve learnt about new music blogging. Here we go....
1. Prescriptive ideas about what a blog should or shouldn’t do are pointless.
Everybody (particularly bloggers) has their own idea about how a music blog should be presented and work. Post frequency, length, content, design, music choices and the reasons for them are all issues that at some stage every blogger probably considers and maybe revisits at certain points during the life span of their blog. Yet the point is that blogs are by and large personal beasts, free from the constraints of editorial control or a house style and therefore every blog author should be able to do what the hell they like. In the past we’ve criticised the type of blog that simply puts up a video or MP3 with no commentary or context. We’ve since revised our view on this sort of blog. They’re not the sort of blog we like, or visit, but they have as just much right to exist as any other. Ultimately we all find the type of blog that suits us best.
2. We’re still not sure what others think of as a successful blog, but on our own terms we believe Breaking More Waves is a success.
Quite often it seems that people judge a successful blog as one that has a lot of readers or is deemed as an influential tastemaker. Yet that’s not how we judge our own success – and we do believe we have been successful.
Our success is much more internalised. It’s the simple fact that we’ve kept this up reliably and consistently for five years. This is our 1724th post. We’ve toughed it out, even in the tough times. That’s the equivalent of 2-3 novels. We achieved this with a full time professional career away from music, a busy family life with two children and we still manage to get out to probably way more gigs and festivals than the average music fan. But then we guess we’re not really an average music fan. Blogging isn't something we do in our spare time, it's something we make time for.
The new music blogging world is a pretty transient beast. Since we’ve started we’ve seen many come and go, so we’re really proud that Breaking More Waves still exists. Breaking More Waves may not be as eloquently and beautifully written as some, it may not look the coolest or be as on the case as others all the time, but like a parent-child relationship, we’re really proud of what we’ve created.
3. Fun seems like a dirty word in some parts of the music blogging world. We blame Pitchfork for this phenomenon.
We quite enjoy not being serious about music writing. But we’re still deadly serious about music. There's quite a lot of people trying to be so serious that we sometimes wonder if they actually enjoy it at all.
4. In theory sitting at a laptop listening to music and then writing about it is a pretty unsociable experience, but we’ve learnt that it’s far from that.
In the five years of Breaking More Waves we’ve had the pleasure (through the blog) of meeting all sorts of wonderful people, not only online but in real life. From the artists who create the stuff that we dissect, to the people that are supporting them professionally, to other music bloggers, to real life readers, we can honestly say that 99% of them have been lovely, amazing and incredible people. And in a handful of very special cases, through bashing out the crap we throw out onto the internet every day we have developed friendships that extend far beyond the world of music. Whenever (if we ever) call it quits, it’s those friendships that we will take and value the most from our experience of music blogging.
5. We still love music. More than ever.
This is probably the most important thing we’ve learnt. We’re utterly and completely obsessed with music. Still.
As author Nicholas Sparks stated: "Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day." We hope that in producing this blog you get a sense of our continued and ardent love for music.
Yet obsessive love can be tiring. So as it’s our blog birthday and as this week it’s the Glastonbury Festival (we’re setting off on Wednesday), we’re taking a short break. We think we deserve it. We’ll be back sometime around the beginning of July. Until then, why not follow us on Twitter where we’ll no doubt be tweeting some of the sights and sounds of the UK’s largest ticketed music festival, come mud, sun or anything in between.
Happy birthday to us, here’s to another year of new music blogging. Thanks very much for reading. It's been a great half decade.