It feels like another day of living life in lead underpants and with clipped heels. Everything seems to be running so slow: the web, the weather, and even the news. The only thing predictably regular is the arrival of people looking for 3d porn, news about Angelina Jolie’s tattoos, and pictures of Rod Stewart’s mole. Can you imagine how depressing it is to realise that those three things comprise 95% of your blog traffic?
Even if this blog has had plenty of visitors there have only been a few true readers this morning. So to those of you who are readers and have made it back: a sincere thank you. Because, otherwise, there’s something utterly dispiriting about posting something new to a blog and returning three hours later to discover that not a single pair of interested eyes have even looked at it. You begin suspecting problems in the ether but end up reaching for the bottle of ether… Just one reader makes a huge difference.
I write this blog for readers, you sometimes imaginary souls who want to come back and to follow what I write or draw. Visitors, on the other hand, arrive looking for an answer to their search. They don’t want to befriend me or know who I am. They want a cartoon depicting ‘cheese mutilations’. They want to know ‘how tall is Tom Cruise’ or ‘who was the smallest dwarf’, both of which incidentally are the same question asked two different ways. Visitors want to be entertained and the moment you fail to entertain them, they move on. They don’t want you to be a real person, who has good days and bad days and days when you work hard but things just don’t go right.
I dwell on this as I see my webstats crawl. I’m also having one of those days when I’m stuck between projects. I work out of confidence and anger and neither feel particularly strong today. I started to doodle a Ron & Russell Mael strip expressing my profound disappointment that they’re not coming back to play Manchester. I don’t know if I have the enthusiasm to finish it. Then I have my ‘Real Things People Say’ strip which I’d intended to submit to a competition. I need to finish the backgrounds but the fact that it had zero hits and zero feedback from either readers or visitors makes me feel like that too would be a mistake. Perhaps I should send the Putin strip or the Elephant in the Room… Perhaps I should try something else or just give up trying.
Late last night, I thought I’d do something different and try the Steadman approach to drawing a cartoon. I did less preparation, less cross hatching, and tried to be less restrained as I threw ink around the page. I even made use of my mouth atomizer and I think finally understood how to use it. I was quite pleased with the result but that optimism too dissipated once I’d posted it here where it almost died an ignominious death. At least a few of you looked at it.
This afternoon, I need to sit down and put in some hours of hard work. I write this blog for readers not visitors. I hope one day there will be more of you but you are such rare people. Each one of you is worth ten thousand indifferent souls. I’m lucky to call you readers.