Monday 29 May 2023

rambling about the future of CMAT (hi!)

It’s been a while since I did a rambly post like this, but I wasn’t sure how to squish my thoughts into a thread of tweets… basically the tl;dr is that I think that music blogging feels a little bit broken, but I’m refreshing my approach to it, and feeling positive.

Right now, I’m barely posting anything to the blog itself… I describe myself as a music blogger, but I’m basically a glorified email reader/inbox sorter at the moment.

Between days at work, time I give to volunteering online, and time spent doing other things I love (watching birds would get all of my time if it could) there isn’t always much time left for the blog. The time I have for it is usually spent trying my best to keep the unread number on my inbox close to zero.

The end of the week and the arrival of New Music Friday sees me tackling the inbox, trying to get through as much as I can so that when I update my playlists, I’ve listened to as many submissions as possible. So that everything gets a fair shot. As the number of weekly emails grows, playlist updates are pushed back to Sunday, Monday… by which point the torrent of emails has kickstarted for another week.

Sounds fun, right? I got into this to write about and share music that I love, and I do it for no monetary reward, simply for the love of the music. Which begs the question - why should I spend hours upon hours just dealing with an inbox and never actually sharing very much of that music that I do enjoy?

I’ve been part-time at work for a while, but the opportunity to go back to full-time just came up. It leaves me less free time, and I’d wondered about the sustainability of the blog. Will I have the time to keep it up… should I? Is it worth it?

I don’t want to lose CMAT, I’ve worked hard on it for over a decade if we go right back to the inception of the original Tumblr account. Made friends through it, met some of my favourite artists through it, discovered SO much brilliant music through it, and got into a fair few gigs through it. I love the little community I’ve fostered here. I love when people compliment my writing - this isn’t like many other music blogs, it’s often infrequent, a bit rambly, a little bit fangirl-y at times. It’s basically me, in a music blog.

If I want CMAT to carry on, something certainly needs to change. I guess I’m writing this sort of to formulate my own thoughts as much as anything (though I’d also be interested to hear from fellow bloggers/journos if my experience rings familiar with yours).

I want to try and be far less precious with the inbox - to dip in and out, taking from it the things that stand out, but not having to listen to every single thing. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Think #NoMowMay but for a blog inbox. If I let it go a little wild, the gems in there will stand out. I might reply a bit less but… I don’t reply that much as it is (again - there are only so many hours in the day, sorry!)

In spending less time trying to aim for perfection, for a perfectly tidy inbox, I am hoping that I’ll have more time for the important stuff. More posts! The hope is that I can use the limited time I have for the blog in a far more productive way, move on from being a part-time email reader and actually be a blogger. Engage with the tracks that I enjoy beyond a playlist, actually write about some of them!

There is SO so so much music coming out all of the time. It’s relentless. I sense that PRs are struggling on the other side too - struggling to find space for their artists when there is just so much competition. People are often so lovely about the blog, my work on it/my writing but the priorities have been in a weird place for a while now. I’m using this opportunity to re-focus and hopefully improve things for myself and the blog, and to breathe some new life into it.

If you’ve got this far in this little self-aggrandising ramble, thank you. If I didn’t think that there were at least a few people who appreciated my writing, my email-reading, my twitter/insta fangirling, I’d probably have stopped this a while ago. Whether you’re a diehard CMAT fan (do those exist?) or you’re new here, I think you’re great, and I hope that I can introduce you to a new favourite. 

Come and say hi on Twitter / Instagram (I can't promise I'll reply but I'll love you all the same!) 

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