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blogging & tweeting as second-class art forms

hola comrades!!

i got a moderate ration of shit on my last blog for not going into enough editorial detail (about the #Occupy movement).

even neil, who reads my blogs before they go up to the public (I have a list of friends and management who get copied on the blog before it posts) commented: “DARLING,” – he always starts sentences like that especially when he has something critical to say, it’s very english – “DARLING”, he said, “you’re not actually explaining WHAT #occupy is.”

and i said “if i try to put those feelings into this blog, i won’t get to bed until 4am. i have a ton to say, and it’s all muddy, like the movement, and it can’t be summed up into one sentence, and if it could i’d’ve dunnit…and, and….honestly, i should have put those photos up days ago, and i know now i just want to say THIS IS HAPPENING I DID THIS before i neglect it altogether”….and went on to explain that what often bogs me down with fucking blogging, is the fact that i have too much to say, and i want it to be too perfect, short, long or TOO SOMETHING, and so i just don’t post the shit. you know how i haven’t blogged yet about my wedding? we’re coming up on our one year anniversary. exactly. anyway.

on the #occupy blog, i put a link up and said “if you don’t know what’s happening, read THIS. the source.” and then spent the next 48 hours fretting that i should have added more editorial commentary to the post, instead of just stating the facts. and sometimes i feel like i’m preaching to the choir. and sometimes i feel like i want ot just post something, a picture and a word, saying “GOOGLE THIS SHIT.” if you want my thoughts on #occupy, you may have to wait, or you may have to run into me later tonight in boston at the franklin cafe, where i’ll be having a beer and no likely expounding my thoughts about it to whoever’s listening. and probably once i figure out exactly what the most important thing to say is, having road-tested my three hours worth of monologue on some poor sod, you’ll get the abridged version.

last night over a beer with some folks, i found myself rambling about all this, and maybe it was altitude and maybe it was the beer talking.
we were over at george r.r. martin’s house, which is a very (truly) humble little joint located in santa fe [where we’ve been all weekend, doing secret shit (no nuclear i promise) and visiting my family]. if you stick with this blog the whole way, i promise at the end i’ll reward you with a picture of me chasing a santa fecian chicken and some other wholesome stuff. for now, the point.

the point was: neil started a little internet meme about two years ago by responding to a fan who wrote into his FAQ-line (i have blog comments…he has a FAQ-line) COMPLAINING to neil about goddamn george r.r. martin. george, who’s been writing a series of books since the early 90’s called “a song of ice and fire” (the first book being “a game of thrones” which HBO just adapted) was BLOGGING ABOUT FOOTBALL instead of writing his next book. apparently Lots of People Had Been Anticipating it for a long long time. and neil responded publicly with a blog called “Entitlement issues…” wherein he stated: “George R.R. Martin is Not Your Bitch.” (he didn’t capitalize it exactly like that, though).
the blog went viral, t-shirts were made, and now “So-and-So (insert writer x) is Not Your Bitch” is being used as a general catch-all for “leave the poor writer alone.”

this led us to a general discussion in which i pointed out that blogging (and tweeting) are seen as second-class art forms. third class. ninth class. low class.

but why? artists – or writers – take time to put their thoughts into words. it could be a tweet (140 characters), a poem (1-1,000,000,000,000 characters), a two-thousand word short story, or a multi-volume epic novel. why does one get precedence over the other? is it because tweets and blogs aren’t published on paper, and we still refuse to accept internet-content as valuable? has that changed now that people have kindles and are downloading shakespeare and reading heavy, hardcore journalism on their iPhones on the subway to work?? there’s some serious medium vs message shit playing out as i fucking type this. helllllllll yeah.

if we didn’t blog, you know what george r.r. martin would be writing in between books?

YOU WOULDN’T. THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT. blogging is everything from a finished product of immaculate-ness to a brain-dump for authors who love to write and have embraced the medium as an instant-gratification panacea. it also connects you directly to your living audience, which is completely revolutionary (and dangerous – with connection comes judgement).

who knows what kind of musician i would be right now if i hadn’t been a blogger for the past ten years or so? who knows if george r.r. martin (or neil gaiman, for that matter) would have the same relationship to their fiction writing if they didn’t have blogging as an outlet, a medium, a go-to?

___________________________________

as if on cue (i’m on a plane, flying from minneapolis to boston) i had to close my mac to take off and i picked up the in-flight magazine to read an interview with steve martin (@stevemartintogo), master-of-all-writing-mediums.
in the interview he says tweeting “is a completely new writing form”:

bango.

one reason i shy away from book-writing (and i’ve considered it, many times…and still ponder it) is BECAUSE i feel like i can get away with murder on my blog. it doesn’t have to be heavily edited. i don’t have to pull my hair out about every sentence being etched in stone. it’s going to disappear. the chances that You, Dear Reader, are going to click back and read my archived blogs from 2004 is WAY less likely than a lover of george r.r. martin is to dig up his back catalog. blogging is Of Now. it’s guilt-free, to an extent. i always take this perverse joy in the fact that neil’s a WRITER and i’m a MUSICIAN and so i get to have TYPOS IN MY BLOG ha ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

it’s also a format ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYBODY. though nowadays with self-publishing, almost anybody can publish a book (and this has all sorts of positive and liberating consequences), it’s still FAR EASIER (and cheaper) to blog. if you’re online and living in the first world, you can blog almost as easily as you can go to the bathroom. and many have argued: therein lies the problem. often blogging is just mind-shitting. sometimes tweeting is just soul-puking. i can’t disagree.

but when it’s not?
art-making, writing and music-making has never been SO DEMOCRATIC.

musicians can now produce albums in their bedrooms via garage band.
they can distribute their content THAT MINUTE via youtube, bandcamp, or…whatever.

musicians, artists and writers can write and publish their content within seconds. sans label, sans publisher, sans editor, sans middlemen.

everybody knows it: it’s a revolution.

the world is catching up, creaking, slowly, slowly.

meanwhile, the filters are all out of whack. there’s no rolling stone, MTV, new york times, or even pitchfork.com to guide you where you want to go. they used to be able to DICTATE where you wanted to go. that was fine, you didn’t have a choice. that doesn’t work anymore, people are too smart. they still do their jobs, but they’re MONTHS, DAYS, HOURS, MINUTES, SECONDS (if you’re on twitter) late on delivering content…and their content is aimed at the mainstream. that’s not you.

everybody is now in agreement: we all love different shit…the mainstream is dead. it’s all niche all the time. you trust your friend’s email recommendations, not what’s on the promoted front page of yahoo or some shit. you don’t need to listen to the top 40 shit on your computer, not when you have a world of music and books to choose from. sure, people will be lazy and simply consume what’s shoveled out before them, but less and less people are doing that. it’s too boring. and artists are becoming more and more expansive with their voice-medium as the world of media expands around them.

i knew there was a strange turning point, about four years ago, when a girl came up to me at an in-store appearance at a record shop (i think it was in seattle) and waited for an hour to talk to me.
when she finally got to me she told me that she didn’t listen to my music, but she loved my blog. i didn’t know whether to be flattered or suicidally depressed. my first thought was” “didn’t my blogging make her want to hear my songs?” and my second thought was “maybe she TRIED and she HATED my songs” and my third thought was “whatever. she’s reading my blog and she likes me. ultimately, mission accomplished. all i really want is for people to like me, anyway”. honestly wins the day. chalk up one more point for amanda palmer, professional narcissist, medium irrelevant.

there was also that turning point where i realized i wasn’t writing my deep angst and experiences into letters anymore. i used to write long, long hand-written (or typewriter-typed) letters to friends (this was pre-email, as well). whatever my mind was chewing on, i’d letter. or i’d dump it into my handwritten journal. i’ve actually experienced this VERY odd moment where my journaling starts turning into a blog, and my voice changes from private nobody-will-ever-fucking-read-this-not-while-i’m-alive-anyway into my this-is-material-for-everybody “blog” voice. i’ve made myself laugh. i realize that instead of journaling, i’m drafting a blog. sometimes i just let myself do that. so…where does an idea go, nowadays? to the blog? to an email to a friend? to my journal? to a novel? to an opera? would you measure these things any differently if i told you the material was basically all the same dough, just a differently-shaped fucking cookie?

lately, i’ve had people who follow me on twitter exclaim “holy shit! i didn’t know you were a musician! cool.”
eek.

identity crisis to the max.

it hasn’t gotten any easier. i position myself, i introduce myself, i identify myself, as a performing songwriter. mostly. i’m sure george r.r. martin positions himself as a writer of fiction. if he were introduced at a dinner party as a BLOGGER he’d probably clock somebody (well, probably not, he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would clock ANYBODY. maybe secretly slip a miniature toy soldier into someone’s drink, for a gag.)

this past winter, i saw a book on sale in a melbourne bookstore, by kristin hersh. it’s called “rat girl.” (you can get it HERE in paperback for just $6 or use indiebookfinder.com to find it in a store near you)…
i’ve known about her for years…her band, throwing muses, were a local boston/providence indie rock heroes when i was a teenager. i knew a single song, but nothing more. i’m always fascinated by rock-chick-memoirs, especially if they’re from my neck of the woods. i bought the book, devoured it, thought it was once of the best memoirs i’d ever read, and put it on my list of things to do to delve into the entire Throwing Muses catalog, especially now that i knew how surreal, intelligent, hilarious, and totally fucking fascinating the backstory was. guess what? i still haven’t done it. i feel like an asshole. sorry, kristin. but i ask myself: how was able to commit a good 15+ hours of reading time to a book but i can’t devote 45 minutes to listening to a record? i don’t know. sometimes i think i’ve started to hate music. i digress (but sometime i should talk about this…i’ve learned it’s a very common pox on touring and recording musicians to hate music. i can’t wait to unveil the “Musicians for Less Music” non-profit that zoë keating and i cooked up. it’s gonna be WICKED).

i’ve spent a lot of time in the past 10 years thinking about what Counts as Art. the blogging? the tweeting? the performances? the interactions with people in bathrooms? where does the art-making start and where does it end? if i simply tweet my brilliant song title and concept, do i get 10 points? whereas if i ACTUALLY SIT DOWN and write the fucker, i get 1,000? and if i tweet 100 brilliant song concepts, am i even? can i CASH THEM IN FOR A SONG? that would be AWESOME.

i remember when i first realized i was spending brain-power blogging instead of song-writing. the realization wasn’t a flash of lightening, it was more of a frog-boiling moment in which i gradually discovered that my brainwaves had been redirected to composing blog material instead of song material. and nowadays, i’ve noticed it happening with twitter.

a pie-chart of my fucking brain:

here’s one for you: i’ve been crowd-sourcing lyrics from twitter. genius use of a modern tool? or totally mean? if i don’t finish the song, does the fact that i used someones brilliant lyric in an unfinished song (that will remain forever as a draft in my email inbox) still add value to the music continuum? or am i just reaching for an idiotic explanation of the fact that i’m desperate to connect by any means possible, and that i should just discipline myself, grab a rhyming dictionary and a thesaurus, lock myself in a room, and shut the fuck up?

did john lennon get to tweet pictures from the airport as the poor beleaguered beatles circled the planet? I THINK NOT. if they’d been able to, would he have written half the shit he wrote? WHO KNOWS.
if they’d all had skype and iPhones, WOULD THEY STILL HAVE DIRVEN EACH OTHER CRAZY AND BROKEN UP? news at 11.

here’s the view from the gate, right before boarding my plane a few hours ago.

now it’s dark. but fuck the sunset was insane. do you care? i don’t know. i think the picture is pretty and also lends a kind of “immediate pathos” to the blog i’m writing.

ANYWAY, what was i talking about.

more or less: ten years from NOW people will look back at david hockney’s iPad drawings and björk’s album app as quaint pieces of antique kitsch, the way we now look at penny-arcade films of chicks stripping off their clothes or horses trotting along as amusing, but pointless…stepping stones on the long rocky road to “citizen kane.”

obviously, i pretty much know the answer to this. art evolves as tools evolve. same as humans. we’re now tool&art-evolving at the speed of refuckulousness, and this in itself is a novelty.
sometimes i think blogging is simply opening a portal, a medium, that we-who-hate-to-edit can finally step through, unafraid. I CAN’T WRITE, BUT I CAN BLOG.

i wonder what it’s done to a generation of writers. you’ll have to ask neil about that one. i think it’s mostly like music….it doesn’t MATTER that Anybody Can Do It. it still has to be GOOD. interesting. worth reading. it has to move you, touch you, stir you. that won’t change. ever. and for every innocuous justin bieber blog and katy perry tweet out there that is sucking up precious teenage brain time, there’s a link to a link to a link to a link that’ll lead those impressionable brains to a youtube clip of something that kid never knew existed, something enlightening, something transformative, something TRULY REVOLUTIONARY. you never know. it used to start and end with Bop magazine. no exit.

so, in closing, if george r.r. martin wants to blog about football from now until the time he dies, i salute him.
if i decide to blog about shit you’re not interested in, let me know, but don’t expect me to care. if you need more information….google.
and if your’e a young artist, don’t think that ANYbody has this shit figured out. YOU’RE figuring it out. NOW.
it’s a wild economy out there, with more hungry eyes and ears than ever before, and who knows where they’ll land.

and it’s already happening, more and more, by the minute. graffiti artists like shepard fairey, JR, and banksy are being shown in museums.
hopefully the world of blogging and “serious” publishing will find a way to merge and authenticate one another.

hopefully we’re driving our further-bus to a more classless society of art, where painting, writing, doing, and MAKING are flattened out and all makers play on a level field.
let the good art be enjoyed and created without second-guessing, whatever it may be, whatever size, however it’s distributed, whatever it cost to make, whether on parchment paper or in 001101100011011100110010.

and, ha, don’t tell my writer husband. but maybe editing is just dead and that’s a good thing, we’ll become a new rebel culture of first-thought typo-glorifiers.

THINK ABOU TIT.

xxxxxxx
AFP
fragile musician, hi-tech skeptic, unashamed blogger, unabashed tweeter, possibilitiest.

p.s. as always, very curious to hear your thoughts in comment-land below, especially you musician-maker-writer-types who have felt the blog-tweet-hijacking of your creative brain-juice.

p.p.s. ok i promised. here’s me chasing a chicken in sante fe (photo by neil):

and here’s me, very happy, having caught the chicken (photo by…neil):

here’s neil and our nephew ronan:

they were dressed up as “pumpkin avengers” for the short film we made called….”pumpkin avengers.”
i played the pumpkin-thieving alien (no photo forthcoming).

Back to Blog
  • Anon

    I would like to see a photo of Amanda as the pumpkin-thieving alien. Just saying :P

  • apt9000

    This reminds me that I have yet to finish, actually yet to even start my recap of GeekGirlCon for my humble little blog. Even though my followers and subscribers are a teeny tiny amount of people I feel obligated to write the post out since I told the twitters that I was going to. It’s out there and now I HAVE to do it. Or so I feel. 

    Since I’m not a musician or writer or other “first class” artist does my putting off my not-so-regular-but-I-really-hope-it-is-someday blogging by traversing around the internet and commenting places as third class art form? 

  • Stitchpunk

    (Disclaimer – I’m drunk because I just found out my cat has cancer.) but. This blog post. AMAZING. So many important ideas that I’ll go back and think about…. Tomorrow. Anyway. Art is art and great writing is great writing and the fact that it is being created in a short-lived online reality does not invalidate that truth. Some art/music/writing gets to live forever,and some doesn’t, just like people.It’s no less beautiful for that. Maybe more so.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      DISCLAIMER?  hellz no. this was totally a late night wine blog on my part as well. high altitude is always great for writing. 

  • PolitelyOffend

    This is a subject I’ve argued a lot in my Hip Hop for Social Change class. For some reason, they’ve hired a 60-something man who believes the NY Times is gospel and any other attempt at news or communication via social networking or internet is just narcissistic and ridiculous. I’ve had quite a few arguments with him which began with him being condescending and ended with him throwing in the towel. Yes, the conventional art forms and news sources have a bit more credibility. However, as far as news goes, at least people go into reading blogs and tweets knowing they are not necessarily reliable. The fact that they think something like the times is unbiased is extremely dangerous. 
    As for writing, it’s going to come through in basically the same way whether you type it or print it. Sure, some writers prefer handwriting it before, but that’s just personal preference. the whole need for a physical product is basically bullshit. It’s a personal preference, but it won’t greatly affect the work itself.
    I sometimes think that tweeting and blogging are diverting my creative energies, but then I realize that it’s just a matter of self discipline. If it’s not tweeting, it’s counting the bumps on the ceiling. You can always find a distraction. Personally, I have found twitter to be great practice in being concise with my thoughts. This has improved my writing and made each word I write hold more meaning rather than simply meandering.

    On an unrelated note, the “think abou tit” and picture of you looking intense on the plane made me lose my shit laughing.

    The revolution will b mispellt.

    • lentower

      p.o. 

      mr palmer gets dissonance from mis-spelt, mis-hyphened, and anything else that doesn’t meet the Cambridge dons standards (he’s too hip for Oxford)

    • Hydrophidian

      “However, as far as news goes, at least people go into reading blogs and
      tweets knowing they are not necessarily reliable. The fact that they
      think something like the times is unbiased is extremely dangerous.”

      I routinely marvel at some of the crap that gets passed off as “facts” in “legitimate” news media, and people just accept it. Hell yah, it’s dangerous, and it’s something we really need to stop doing. Blogs, tweets, forums, etc., are the means to break the habit, I think.

  • MeAndMyCharms

    Checking out the Throwing Muses back  catalog is definitely worth it. Hearing the back story to ‘In a Doghouse’ made me love that album even more! My God, that woman is amazing. ‘In a Doghouse’ and ‘The Real Ramona’ are spectacular.
    Kristin is possibly my absolute favourite songwriter ever. You should most definitely check out her music!

  • http://twitter.com/awilcox Andrew Wilcox

    AFP, you have truly hit the nail on the head.  I love writing little fiction stories whenever the mood strikes me, but lately I’ve been trying my hand at drawing.  Right now I pretty well suck at it, but I’m improving all the time.  The main point is I find inspiration EVERYWHERE — I find it sitting on the bus, listening to No, Virigina, but most important to this blog entry I GET INSPIRED READING TWITTER AND BLOGS.

    This is something that my mum, who is a professional artist, could never have dreamed of even 10 years ago.  She is floored by how low the barriers are, as am I.  New artsy types like I am can go sign up for a DeviantArt account and get instant feedback, and even try to sell prints of our blood sweat and digital ink.

    The world is changing, the barriers to entry are low, and as artists WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT.  That kind of freedom is only possible due to all this shiny happy blogging/tweeting/interneting and I am so excited to see what kinds of opportunities there will be just around the bend.

    Ah, there’s a lot of opportunities, if you know where to take them…

    P.S. can I please praise you for using Georgia as your blog’s typeface; I have always been in love with this typeface and it has made reading your blog even that much more of a joy <3

  • me

    Only I want to say that if it was never for the blog in my life he should imagine that you might read what I am writing, for my it is very important because I am of Argentine (I am far), I never went to one of his show, and simply I take delight meeting for my wretched computing, it is my only one contact, twitter, blog, youtube …….. shit, Internet is infinite. I love your blog love your twitter love your MUSIC, remember when it was looking for a cover of Fake plastic trees and I found you, of there in more you entered to my life, it is incredible to feel so nearby and we do not know ourselves, in end, the writers are never going to stop existing, however much they change the means of publication, the words are going to come up to the minimum corner of the world is which was the way of expression.I expect to see everything summarized I wanted to say it in these words, I admire you deeply, though already you will have listened to it often, kisses from Argentine.
    (While I write to you I am listening to Aretha Franklin singing “Nessun Dorma”, drinking stained wine and smoking, here it is 4:40am, I will have a sad life??? Jaja, if you did not listen to this version of incredible Franklin you should do it) 
    Pardon for my Englishman.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i just can’t resist

      pardon me for my englishman too.

      • lentower

        which made me think of how neil would pronounce and even frame
        the equivalent

        pardon me for my american wife

      • me

        I use a translator http://www.elmundo.es and always I doubt of since it the others will read, that is to say you, certainly, were incredible the sensation that you read what I wrote, it is like to feel happy silly ingenuously, but intensely strange…
        Kisses.

  • Pip Townshend

    I started playing music because it was the only way I had to reach out and connect to other people. I started blogging because suddenly there was this whole OTHER way. Maybe it wasn’t quite as satisfying to me personally – I suppose I COULD dress up in fancy costumes while I blog, but nobody’s likely to know if I do – and the applause wasn’t audible, but… in the end I just want to make people happy, make people think, and make people connect with other people whether that’s me or the stranger next to them (or one comment down). What does it matter how you or I or anyone else goes about that urge to touch someone else’s life and turn it just slightly to the left?

  • alex15

    I can belive you also know george r r martin…why the hell everything that’s truly cool and inspiring in my life it’s somehow related to you?? xD

    as the project of a project of an artist that I try to be I just now that your bloggs make me think a lot, wanna fuck it all and play uke on the roof and explained it all through twitter…not further to say…

    once again, thanks a lot.

  • anne

    Damn, I love your sweater. And: Thank you for being an inspiration on so many levels. I mean thats art isn’t it? You touch people, you “make them think” (my philosophy teacher would have smacked me for that empty phrase), you make them happy, sad, angry and feel there are other weird messed up souls in this universe who feel the same.
    Me: you brought me back to the piano 12 years after my last class. Mission accomplished. Thank you for beeing real. I just saw Tori Amos, who’s music has been a comparable influence to me as you’re just a decade earlier- anyways: she is unreal. I lover her, but shes so out of space in her artist universe talking about elves and ghosts and- sitting in the first row through some accident- she looks so grotesquely botoxed as if she were the photoshopped version of the artist I had in mind. It was her voice it was her musik but it wasn’t her.
    It’s a different approach on beeing an artist I guess. I love yours.

  • Elizabeth Grammaticas

    I had hoped you would blog tonight in a strange way.    I don’t normally really hope for one’s blogs..and ..especially lately..and especially since the use (and now lack of use) of Google Reader in my life.  Reading blogs started to become obligatory..like homework.  Media and art consumption was starting to feel like homework..like I had to make my way through a media quota each day to be informed and fulfilled. Tonight instead of feeling obligated…I was looking for media I needed. Stumbling across new blogs, old blogs, and even thinking of actually writing in my own. or my journal. or my sketchbook. or…which leads to me to my next point.  I just moved somewhat impulsively to New York, and have been in a strange transitional period with reevaluations in almost every aspect…from how I want to make money, to how I consume pop culture and art, how much to go out stay in, to making art..to how to organize my socks.  

    I haven’t had my computer with most of my music hooked up in my room…and instead have just been listening to one Nick Cave CD, sometimes because I want to hear it, and sometimes because I don’t want to make the miniscule effort to change the disc.  I had forgotten what it was like to listen to the same record over and over again. ..and to feel no pressure to analyze it…shuffle it..switch it.  …but I could if  I wanted to.  Every now and then I switch to my computer in the living room and put on a playlist made in a time crunch, and then I go back to that same CD in my CD player.   

    Because of my weird transitional period, I have been thinking a lot about the CD and the itunes playlist.  There’s always those brilliant metaphoric Nick Cave albums, that again and again inspire and comfort.  They’re solid. They have good cover art. They have stood the test of time. They are critically praised.   There’s also those personal itunes playlists you make that are sometimes good, sometimes okay, and sometimes cathartic.  Some put together hastily, some with concentration.  They sometimes provide catchy background entertainment.  They sometimes lead you to new musicians.  They are sometimes so beautifully crafted that they become a work onto themselves. They sometimes are whatever and you never think of them again. I think blogging/tweeting is kind of like the itunes playlists of the internet .  I think using the internet properly for a creative person (or anyone really) is about creating your own personally inspiring playlist that compliments what you need and/or desire.  You get what you give, take, and  most importantly , curate.

    • lentower

      glad to hear of Liz’s adventure in NYC

      yeah!

  • Laura

    Was it intentional or just an awesome typo that you said THINK ABOU TIT. Because it made me chuckle with you subliminally mentioning tit. But maybe you never even meant to.

    This blog was thought provoking. I’m not one who really considers this much but you’ve raised some really valid points. I mean I could despise every single one of your blogs, but if I did then why the hell should I read them? No one is forcing me. And who am I to say you should change your blogs to make them what I want? People wouldn’t say to JK Rowling “Nah sorry I wasn’t interested in when Harry went to the Chamber of Secrets, you’re going to need to change that.” So why should they say it to a blogger? If you don’t like it then don’t read it right? On the internet, it’s very much a free world. No one can force you to read a blog. So why do people believe they have the right to determine what a blog should contain? A blog is a literary work in my humble opinion. So it isn’t Shakespeare, but that’s because he is long dead. It has nothing to do with the quality of the penmanship. Neil Gaiman is an incredible writer, and he writes blogs. I’ll let the world in on a secret….they are still good pieces of writing!

    I know I’m just an orphaned teenager, but I still think my opinion counts. And likewise, if people don’t like it then don’t read it. Why should anyone get to tell anyone else what they can say or publish? Blogs are about free speech, about jotting down thoughts, about being able to express your opinion. In a world that is constantly pushing for democracy and freedom of speech, it sometimes seems like we’re heading backwards. To complain about the quality of someone’s blog is just petty, it sort of shows that you have nothing else better to talk about. Once again, this is my opinion and please I encourage you to have your own!

    Love love love to the world. To all of you. Even those of you who despise my comment. Or who really don’t give a crap about my life or opinions. Love to you all XXX

  • lentower

    DAHLIN:

    blogging as first-class craft-form?

    you’re a performance artist who blogs, sings, composes, and other arts-n-crafts forms along the way.
    (but if the delusion of being a “performing songwriter” works …)

    i once considered composing the canonical list of blogs amanda has promised but not done,
    but once you started tweeting, it became even more impractical.
    so much else I could do with years of my life
    (and it wouldn’t list those you hadn’t told us about)

    lot’s of us re-read the old blogs.
    (i’ll never to a firstst to last again, as i promised myself, i do the bibliography if i did)

    neil and steve martin need to have a tweet-off for each other’s followers.
    (too many good tweeters – too little time)

    so the tin-foil hats (give holly lessons?) were to protect you all
    from bio and chem not nuclear?

    whoever did the pie chart of your skull encased neurons,
    doesn’t understand how your neuro-net works and allocates
    (black box analysis is sufficient)

    neil has completed some of his books in less time than you have some of your albums
    (you do understand books are nowhere near perfect, at first draft?)

    {{ insert ; – } as needed }}

    good night gracie

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i know. most songs aren’t pefect first draft. but sometimes they’re CLOSE. that’s a god moment.

  • nome

    The downside is, unless you’re REALLY good at self discipline, all the different outlets lead to scattertasking, fracking your attention span and by the end of the day you never got around to doing more than the basic bits you absolutely need to get done, before clicking refresh on the twitter feed like a wee little lab rat.
    I say this because I’m in the midst of it at the moment, I have a plate full of pictures and songs and comics I want to do, but now I’ve spent another good hour distracted smaller diversions. Because besides just posting, you end up reading a bunch of stuff other people have done *ahem* :)
    back to work!

  • amylikestodraw

    There’s a lot of awesome in this blog post. 

    One thing I wanted to say in particular regarding the “identity crisis to the max”, “whoa, you’re a MUSICIAN? Cool.” thing… I hope you can see it as freeing. Hell. It’s pretty awesome if you think about it a different way. We’re SO tied to What We Do that sometimes everything we intake – hear, see, smell, read, listen to – gets put through the “How Do I Translate This Into My Art” filter. We sometimes think, “How do I need to respond to this (or not) as a musician/painter/etc?” Why not enjoy the ever-loving-fuck out of not being known? 

    I mean, I’ll confirm this for you right now… you’re doing fine on the “the world knows who I am” scale. My mom knows who you are and what you do (not due to my explaining), and she generally listens to music like Josh Groban and Celine Dion. Just sayin’. You’re definitely successful at your profession, that’s not in doubt.

    I’ve gotten in discussions with people that have no idea that I’m a painter or toy designer, and they talk to me about the industry like they’re going to School Me On How It Is. I laugh and enjoy the words and pretend I’m someone else who has no idea who the hell Jackson Pollock-whuzzah? is. 

    Anyway, I hope you can enjoy it and roll with it when those moments come. That’s all. Cheers. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexis.baccus Alexis Baccus

    You’re adorable. What a nice chicken you have there!

  • http://www.drake.org.uk Martyn Drake

    Best.  Post.  Ever.

    I’ve found that over the years, attempting to write short stories, screenplays and everything else has been a chore and I just don’t have the patience (or creativity) for it.  That’s not to say I’m not trying still – but blogging is a much nicer medium to work in and despite having the grammatical ability of a room of chimps just shy of infinity, it is nonetheless enjoyable and people do read what I’ve written.  Even if it’s just my wife and dad who are reading the blog. Blogging, at least in a personal capacity, means no deadlines, no constraints and complete freedom to post what you want, when you want. Try doing that when you’re writing a book and see what happens.

    Incidently, back in 2007 (I think), Neil introduced me to some film producer friends of his at his Stardust screening as a blogger (even though I was working full time as a visual effects production systems engineer – blogging is much more exciting I can assure you). I was very proud of that – thanks Neil :)

    Likewise for Twitter – it is very liberating even if I tweet I’m on the bus and reading X or Y. It’s entirely the choice of my audience whether they want to follow me or not. Having over 600 followers amazes me, even if I suspect a large number of them are spambots..

    Some of the best things I’ve ever read has either been on a blog or an individual tweet.  Just goes to show how times have changed.

  • Raej

    Holy shit, YES! From now on, anytime I fear I’m wasting my time in blogging, I’ll remind myself that I used to read Bop cover to cover on a regular basis. Ain’t nuthin’ so much time wastey as that, ever.

    And? I’m sorry you got flak for your last entry. I enjoyed it, thank you for it.

  • Ruth

    I read the famous ‘George R. Martin is Not Your Bitch’ blog post way back when. I have tried to keep it in mind myself with similar things, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series for one, which he died before finishing.

    I understand the point about blogging and expression, but at the same time I do feel that authors whose fans are desperate for the next book should feel proud that their writing has given that reaction rather than feeling under appreciate for their blogs. If you can write something that leaves someone so desperate for the next book, so part of that story in their heads, that a blog about football frustrates them… your books are pretty awesome! Well done!

    I don’t think tweets and blog posts being treated as lesser art forms is because of their format, the not being printed on paper. I think it is because they are so transitory. There one moment and gone the next. Your tweets might be beautiful but in an hour they are buried. Blog posts (like the one discussed above) are sometimes remembered and passed around or dug up to read again by the people they have really touched. I think it is simply that given things in quick bursts we don’t have time to appreciate them enough to think about their status as art. I know you already mentioned these ideas,  I’m just really thinking and typing.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i’m now wondering if this is true. i think truly great pieces of bloggage DO stand the test of time. i can’t tell you HOW mnay times i’ve been emailed THIS (still relevant) piece of online writing by steve albini…i don’t even know if it counted as a “blog” at the time: 

      http://www.negativland.com/albini.html….it’s about how fucked the major label system is. i’m sure there are paperbacks that came out THIs year that have been read less times 

  • Voltaire

    There is no question in my mind that I’m in serious danger or spending more time answering emails, comments, etc.. than creating songs, books, toys and other art. It’s……not a good thing. People email me because they want to talk to the person who made these things. Eventually, if I spend enough time blogging, commenting, returning emails, I will cease to be a person who makes art at all. And naturally, I can’t let that happen. It’s ironic. People wanting to talk to me on-line are in essence taking me away from doing the things that made them want to talk to me in the first place.  In the end, a balance needs to be found. I’m working on it. 

  • insignifikunt

    any blog with the word refuckulousness in it is automatically awesome, just saying.

    the points you bring up in the blog i have very mixed feelings about. i love the fact we, well anyone living in a first world country, have the means to create and share art, and by that i mean the art that used to create fuck loads to create and distribute – music.

    a lot of the bands i listen to are independent. most of the artists the company i work for represent are independent. so yes i fucking love that this is the way the world is headed…

    BUT

    now fame seems to be the thing a lot of people are striving for and in many cases, the quality of the art, and i use the term art very loosely, is no longer the priority, just how can i get famous, and fast. take rebecca black for instance. and if you thought rebecca black was bad check this out!
    http://youtu.be/Pt4AWNui9bg AND worse still http://youtu.be/7DwT_2QQU64

    obviously i know there are still many people out there who create their art simply because they love to create, and feel the need to create and couldn’t give to fucks if anyone ever saw/heard/experienced/consumed it and the majority of the time, that is the art that DESERVES to be seen/heard/experienced/consumed. that is the art that changes lives, that inspires others to do the same. it is possible to find it, but with everyone viturally (and literally virtually) yelling at us to look at them, look at them, that art that would have changed my life goes unnoticed. i feel very sorry for anyone who released a track, or album the week rebecca black was unleashed on the world. everyone was too busy laughing, or cringing over her to have seen anything else, everyone from maintstream media to bloggers who have no readers were talking about her.

    i guess my point is yes it’s easier to get your art, thoughts and ideas out there but it’s just as hard to be heard… i do agree that with things like getting stuck in youtube holes means people who never stray far from the mainstream are more likely to be exposed to something different than what was possible in say the 80’s/90’s but anyone who doesn’t stray far from the mainstream probably wouldn’t care.

    everything else in your blog i agree with 100% and i have to say sometimes i do scroll back and re-read them so please don’t ever delete them! 

    i appreciate every medium you share your thoughts/ideas/yourself with everyone so just do whatever the fuck you want to do. its your life! 

  • Fiona Hogarth

    As a design student I seem to spend most of my time procrastinating through blogging (in fact I’m doing it right now) but I think it can be an important tool, especially with the current economy being what it is. More emphasis is being placed on the digital side of things which I find really exciting but can seem daunting at the same time. Blogging about my designs could help me to get a job one day and help me to make contacts with people who would be willing to buy my work. It’s such a huge market out there, it’s just knowing how to reach the people who are interested which is the problem for me. Of course you don’t have quite the same problem :).

  • http://twitter.com/teefnolan Teri Nolan

    After reading this, my pondering brain began pondering about the difference between narcissism and the desire to share/connect with others. That potential connection with other Beings is possibly the BEST HIGH in the world, but it also feeds something needy inside of us. Do I really need to understand this? Maybe not. But I do know that that wanting to connect is directly related to the creation of art and my LOVE for everyone, all the time.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      THAT we’re going to have to save for THE BOOK. narcissism vs connection needs at least 100 pages.

      • lentower

         they both have to do with why you self-identify as a performing singer

      • http://twitter.com/teefnolan Teri Nolan

        Yes, and when it’s published, title it THE BOOK. Perfect.

    • itsme_karyne

      I am the same way. I dont know that narcicism is even the right word. To me, artists have “audacity”…something that drives them to proudly say “LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!” I totally get the connection thing too. I think we are hard wired by nature to connect, and we are finally sinking into it by evolving our technology.

  • http://twitter.com/miminnehaha Sarah Olsen

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and now I know for sure why everyone’s in love with you.  You made me thinkandthinkandthink. Here’s one thought: which came first, the artist or the introspection?  Here’s another: how can a person get homesick from a picture of the completely impersonal international airport?!?  thanks!

  • http://geniicucullati.tumblr.com/post/11585340094/for-people-who-asked-about-my-cezanne-hipster @aimutiny

    “I love talking about
    art, I love it! It’s so unnecessary, nobody has to talk about art,
    nobody has to make art.” – Momus. This is why I’ve decided not to feel guilty that I’m ‘watering down’ culture when I get home drunk and decide to write a Tumblr post about the 19th century Parisian avant-garde being pretentious fucking hipsters, and about how I am…them.

  • http://twitter.com/selinaDF Selina

    I’ve found myself stuck in the black hole of tweeting and blogging since the moment I knew it existed years ago, and a lot of people that I know personally claim it to be “invalid”. “What’s the point of twitter? I don’t get it, why do you only get 140 characters? Why are you blogging when you can just talk to people?” But I’ve found that in the time that I’ve spent tweeting, especially, I’ve opened so many OTHER doors for myself. I have found out about events, news, etc, etc, and even my COLLEGE wants to start using twitter as a CLASS TOOL. Mind you, I go to Johnson and Wales University for baking and pastry…and they want to start using twitter for homework assignments – not to keep track of homework, but to have your Chef stand in front of the class and say, “Go on twitter before monday morning and tweet a fact about [insert some recipe, food, what have you HERE]. And it’s incredible. I have a work study up in the office that’s somewhat forbidden to other students, and I have all of these middle to old aged men and women asking me how I feel about incorporating the internet and social media into our curriculum. It’s strange and amazing to see how far our society has come, and I think it’s so fucking weird that I personally have a part in deciding where this goes for my school. I need financial aide, and they need my ideas…fair enough trade for a college student like myself, I think.
    And I think if it’s even being considered as a class tool, then it’s most definitely a valid source of art. The greatest thing about the internet and the things it contains is that you can do WHAT EVER THE FUCK YOU WANT on it. And it’s so amazing. And if people can use it as an art medium, more power to them. To you, to whoever decides to embrace it and enjoy it. I think people need to open their eyes and see what’s before them and explore and play with it a little bit before they judge. But the close minded will be close minded, and the artists will make art. That’s generally how it goes for me these days.

  • RiverVox

    I can only think of the the THOUSANDS of letters 18th & 19th c. authors wrote to each other, friends and families full of details of their daily lives and their thoughts and plans for writing the next thing. They are a treasure trove (also a salt mine) for students of literature. Did anyone ever say to Jane Austen stop writing to your sister and get on with Pride and Prejudice? I think not!

  • Anindita

    Blogging and tweeting are both about community and conversation, which is another strange aspect of these forms. When George R.R. Martin posts about football, The People can post back. When he publishes the next volume of his doorstopper fantasy series, people read, and if they have something to say, they can go to Goodreads and write a review. The entire interaction is different.

    Good writers aren’t always great bloggers and vice versa because the engagement’s different. They meet at the intersection of art and provocation.

  • http://twitter.com/SarahBastien1 Sarah Bastien

    I never could relate to this furor over writers spending a lot of time blogging and tweeting. It doesn’t mean they’re being hopelessly unproductive. I mean, Neil tweets all the time, but so do I, and I manage to get shit done. I’m sure he does too.

    And I’m absolutely positive you can write and watch football at the same time. So there, George R.R.Martin blog haters!

  • Emma

    Hello, love the blog, and love the freedom of language (mis-types? no the language is just refusing to conform – why should it? there are many styles of painting which don’t adhere to the rules of the colouring book (DONT GO OVER THE LINES!) so why does text have to be all orderly?). I am a writer / poet / odd creature – although my day job is probably the blogger’s nightmare  – I work for an online marketing company, which means I have to build lots of links to client sites (yup, you got it – a spammer :/ ) It sucks.. Looking for a way out of the rat race into a creative chrysallis but not sure how just yet… Anyway fab blog, doesnt matter what you do as long as people enjoy it you are bringing smiles and joy to the masses! Go Amanda! :) 

  • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

    I love that you write this at the same time Neil tweets this:

    “Because I can lie beautiful
    true things into existence, & let people escape from inside their
    own heads & see through other eyes. #whyIwrite”

    “Also it’s really fun. #whyIwrite”

    Blogging is writing, obviously, and I like Twitter because it forces you to rethink your phrasing. I spent a long time writing only exactly 140-characters-long tweets, to see if I could. I also wrote one daily haiku.

    Yesterday, I discovered a music video that I found much, much worse than Friday, and in a horrible way too. It’s David Guetta’s “Without You”, feat. Usher. It’s the single most illogical, overdone, shitty shitty shitty terrible song/video the mainstream has vomited recently, and it’s not even funny in its horror.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUe8uoKdHao

    In the video, the power of jumping drunkly to Guetta’s moves the continents together into Pangea III in zero coma seconds, disregarding any serious effect that could have on the climate and whatever. There’s the irony of having a guest singer on your video who AutoTunes his way through the song. But it’s done so unfunnily the whole thing only leaves you with a terrible feeling of dread and emptiness. I actually stared at the screen in blank horror for several seconds.

    The Internet is contributing to let people see stuff that they couldn’t before. For instance, Tumblr is a place where people who dreaded usual porn can now find actually interesting porn. Most of the Japanese anime series people watch in Europe and America are found and watched through YouTube, torrent downloads, and devoted fans who subtitle the series to various (usually high) degrees of success. Companies have been, what, 5, 10 years late to the party, and though manga is faring well, anime gets sold in DVDs with the shittiest dubs imaginable, two episodes per DVD, soetimes censired or badly re-edited for no reason. People who have been able to access all that stuff on the Internet obviously demand quality, and the companies are screwed if they don’t offer it.

    I think, ultimately, Sturgeon’s Law is always true: 90% of everything is shit. The Internet age will probably not change this.

    Now there’s both more shit and more non-shit stuff. And in an age where we supposedly fly through torrents of information, picking little tidbits here and there, I suppose it’s a matter of patience? I’ve always liked how unpredictable YouTube memes are: how someone might record a video of their cat playing the piano, or their two 2-year-old attempting to belly-dance, and it gets 1,000,000 views in a week. It seemed to me like a projection of the sillyness and randomness with which humans like things, really reflected and captured in a medium for the first time, and it offers a spotlight to stuff that hasn’t been backed to success by, say, Universal Music Group or whatever through fancy dinners that get radio owners to play the shit. Nobody had a role in making the vid famous but the vid itself. Now, is it even worth it? The fucking dancing cat? Don’t we have better things to do? I don’t know, the cat videos are pretty worthless, right? But it’s an interesting phase of human culture. And, well, YouTube is better than current TV, I suppose.

    I’m not sure I have a conclusion to this.

  • http://twitter.com/katbitemusic Kat

    I really don’t understand what you mean by saying that the Occupy agenda is muddy. I find it very clear.

    The other thing I would like to say that the difference between a tweet, or small song idea and a finished song or a book, is that large-scale structure which requires a lot of working and reworking to get it right. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but refining and building it to a completed work of art takes dedication, discipline, and an understanding of the art form

  • Mark from Michigan

    Bravo Mrs Amanda Fuckin Palmer Gaiman !!!

  • Aralim Ansuz

    I know the feeling. The Social Networking experience and Blogging have stolen my creative juices somewhat. I find my self spending less time composing music and arranging the instruments these days.

  • http://twitter.com/justjasonsherry Jason Sherry

    At the risk of being counter-cultural in the face of this blog’s content, you and Neil should write a book in tandem, about art, writing, music, blogging, marriage, touring, and life (and hey it would be a good excuse for you to put the marriage blog down on “paper”).

  • hasnohat

    The best way to catch a chicken is to hold an egg for a long time.
    :|

    I don’t see blogging/tweets as art. I tend to make a [false] distinction between art and journalism. According to my definition, art is an expression of information that focuses on form and emotion. Journalism is an expression of information with a focus on truth. It’s a fluid definition, though… I’ll probably change it the moment I consider a counter-example.

    But really, art is just a word we use to classify things of a similar nature. But reality isn’t organized into categories; it’s a multidimensional continuum. As we explore  shades of grey, it becomes difficult to see things in black and white.

  • Michael McIntyre

    Grand photo of you with the captured chicken!

  • Michelle Vaughan

    Nice post. Blogging is where some of us can piece things together, ask questions, share findings or express opinions. All the while becoming better writers, which is never a bad thing. In my husband’s case, he started blogging right when Moveable Type hit the streets (sometime around 1999 or 2000) and has landed him one amazing writing job after the next. His business card says “Financial Blogger” – but he blogs or tweets about whatever topic he finds of interest (bicycling, wine, restaurants…). It’s all part of the process, and his readers  agree, disagree, like, hate or don’t care. They also know so much more about his personality than if he wrote a stodgy old column buried in the back of the front section of a dead tree newspaper (for instance, he posted a very funny piece of buying a pig’s head and transporting it in my bicycle basket as we rode over the Williamsburg Bridge to cook it back at home for dinner guests we had not even met before). Blogging has been his outlet to connect with far more readers and learn from them too. It’s an exchange. And I swear I am a far smarter person because of twitter & blogs, so much of it informs my art. Not a waste of time.

  • The Price

    Assuming that being a writer and spending a considerable amount of time on twitter/bloggery is proof of unproductiveness is like saying just because I’m a receptionist and read blogs of pretty musicians, and make playlists, and work on the Occupy Movement covertly all day, I’m not getting my job done.

    When my job calls, I do it. Phone rings: Answer. Mail comes: Distribute. Person needs something couriered: Courier said thing. I COULD have a months worth of mail sitting at my desk because I can’t balance working and doing all the other fun stuff properly, but honestly, if I rushed through all the shitty work at once, I would have 2 hours of work, and 6 hours to stare at the wall, so I might as well strike a balance.

    Perhaps it’s like that for writers too? I would imagine that sometimes you really just have to get out all of the impertinent, useless brain-ooze before you can even think of stringing together a coherent plot. Use your brain to tweet, write blogs or whatever, and rest assured that you’ll get the work done that you have to WHEN YOU’RE READY. If all you can think about is football when you’re sitting down to write a fantasy novel, it’s not going to work out very well unless your plot somehow allows you to incorporate football I suppose…

    I’m an artist and sometimes I can’t complete a painting without first writing a story, buying a new album and listening to it a dozen times, or cleaning my house. Maybe the inspiration to make the best quality of work comes from doing something completely unrelated? Why rip on someone for knowing how their creativity works?

    Would people prefer a thousand more football blogs by George R.R. Martin, and a well written book to follow? or no more football blogs and a hastily scribbled, poorly thought through POS because he had nothing else to do rather than just burn through writing a book for the sake of it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorraine.burelle Alicia Puck Vickery

    Reading this had made me want to blog again and some more. I have this horrible problem though where I can’t keep all my thoughts on one page. I end up starting a different blog for a different theme and then I abandon one, or forget about one, or so on and so forth. I was like that with my notebooks too, this ones for poems, this ones for stories, this ones for doodles….. Blah! (I’m a tad OCD.)

    P.S. 
    I live in Lowell and very much want to come to you thing at Umass Lowell today but I lack carness and fail at life. I’m going to a basement show tomorrow and am daydreaming of you going to it. (yeah right)
    <3

  • Allyson Strickland

    Oh wow. I feel like there’s so much to say here and not enough brain power to say it well. But I shall try.
    I think anything can influence an artist. Anything. So if you’re Tweeting or Blogging, that’s just another segment of your creative side. And I don’t think a certain amount of creativity is given to someone and that’s it. It’s not a well in your soul that dries up and is left to be a haunted landmark for the locals. Maybe it’s like you just have to dig deeper to find the water sometimes. I get inspired to write when I blog or when I Tweet and vice versa. I feel completely connected to everyone on the Internet, even when I’m alone in at a coffee shop surrounded by strangers. It’s a wonderful feeling. It doesn’t matter if you’re an actor or a dancer, the Internet created all things equal (except in number of followers, of course). We celebrate everyone’s success, lament everyone’s failures and become the best of virtual bosom friends. Or maybe that’s how I think it should be…to sum up this strange and fragmented journey, the Internet is a beautiful and ugly place because we make it so. It’s potential, however, is virtually unlimited.

  • http://alwayscoffee.wordpress.com Ali Trotta

    I don’t know how to collect all the thoughts swirling around in my head, but I’m going to try. First, just a big resounding HELL YES to the general point of this blog. Because I wanted to cheer while reading this.

    Blogging and tweeting can be art. There are some blogs I’ve written that I am ridiculously proud of. Some, because they’re funny — and hell, I like making people laugh. Others, because I’m being honest even if it makes me uncomfortable. There are a million different reasons, but I totally see blogging as a valuable form of art. It still has to be GOOD (insert any of the following for ‘good': funny, deep, interesting, elegant, amusing, thought-provoking etc) to work. I can blog a list of things I need to buy at the grocery store, but it isn’t going to be awesome. Plus, that would make me hungry. Moving on…

    Writers (and I count myself as such) often using blogging as a way to start the writing day. Or a break from the Current Work-in-Progress. Or just to spew and connect. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make the book writing/poem writing/short story writing/play writing/character sketching any less; it doesn’t take away from a writer’s day job, so to speak. It’s another way to have a conversation. And, in a way, that’s all art is: a conversation. A captured moment. It’s me, or you, or that guy over there — having something to say, or sing, or paint, or photograph.

    I used to keep a paper journal, too. I still do, occasionally. But I find that I want to share what I’m thinking or writing. I want to make the memory available to the masses. Or I just want to feel like whatever’s going on, it hasn’t happened to just me. So much of what we do is just us, being people, searching for a connection. Wanting to be gotten.

    Some of the funniest things I’ve read are tweets. I can’t tell you how many times a day something/someone on Twitter has made me laugh. You know what? That brightens my day. It also is an avenue where I can find deep thoughts or get the right answer to a question (librarians on twitter are beyond amazing).

    I’m a beginning writer, industry-wise. Basically, I’m Bambi. Sure, I know my way around the forest. I’ve learned a few things. I write. I read. But I can’t tell you how amazing Twitter has been in helping me to learn about writing as a business and about writing from different perspectives (agents, authors, editors etc). Most importantly, though, it’s helped to give me a sense of community. By and large, writing is a solitary thing. It’s you and a computer screen, listening to the voices inside your head, writing lives for these people who only exist within you. (In a different context, that would sound completely nuts.) There are a lot of writers on Twitter who share thoughts, fears, triumphs, anxieties, suggestions, and a plethora of other things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve one, “Oh my GOD — ME TOO!” Without Twitter, theses aren’t people I’d be able to interact with on a daily basis, based on geography alone. It is such a privilege to be able to do so, because it’s another way to connect — and it’s still a form of art.

    Okay, I’m totally cutting myself off there, because I feel like I’ve babbled on and hijacked your blog a bit. Thank you for writing this post. It is kickass, and it’s between retweeted. Much love.

  • Frost

     I read  “santa fecian chicken”as Santa Feking Chicken and I couldn’t decide if it sounded more like a fairy tale character or a voodoo curse.  

  • ssdf23

    As a future teacher I find it fantastic that you herald on-line content as another outlet for creative (or otherwise) people. It’s the new literacy. I’m not just talking about literacy as being literate, but as a whole medium. People (adults and kids alike) read and write on blogs, tumblr, twitter, and other social media sites daily and this is the future. Ephemeral or not, spell-checked or not, this is the “now” and if you create something that I can see and enjoy (or for some, troll, like so many “anonymous” people) then I feel that as an artist (aspiring, established, or just crossing media) you have given me the most I should expect from you: a bit of your talent for my enjoyment. Thank you for being so prolific and fantastic. I love your chicken joy!

  • http://twitter.com/fivetide5 fivetide5

    I think that could be a barred Wyandotte. One of those lives in my garden. It’s called Dotty.

  • http://twitter.com/echoplexor Clare

    I love the mini-blogs your actual-blogs spawn. Yay, thought provocation!
    Nothing insightful to say, just a wonderfully bitchtastic tool in lmgtfy.com, re: Google That Shit.
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=occupy+movement

  • http://twitter.com/maryaustinphoto Mary Austin

    As someone who always has something to say, but lacks the confidence to do it professionally, your blog really validates my use of blogging/twitter/social media as a creative and informative medium. The bit about a link of a link of a link of a link sending you somewhere to discover something you never knew existed was really how I started listening to your music. My boyfriend is a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and wanted me to follow him on Twitter, I noticed Neil tweeting a lot about this Amanda character and she seemed interesting and I noticed they were married and that was cute and I had always meant to listen to the Dresden Dolls but had never got around to it so I followed her on Twitter and went to youtube and finally educated myself on the Dolls & Amanda’s music. end fan rant.
    But yeah! Great job putting into words something that really resonates with me that I’d never be able to sit down and hack out coherently.
    <3

  • Rhys Rhys

    This is one of a very few blogs from you that I didn’t like. Maybe that’s because I’m not the blogging-tweeting type myself, so I just didn’t find it interesting for me. 
    But I love you + your “Do You Swear…” song is just stuck in my head today and it helps me to get through not a very nice time. So thank you and don’t be offended. 

  • http://twitter.com/Passeriform Laura J

    May we keep editted art as well as off-the-cuff spontaneous art? I like them both.  

  • http://nerdynothings.com Noah Nickels

    If we’re lucky enough as a civilization, the word art will become extinct. People will cease to be concern themselves with “what Counts as Art”. We’ll do the things we love. It’s all art. If you love it and pursue it with the whole of your heart, it’s art. In this future utopia we won’t have artists. There will only be people that choose to live and the rest that are forever trying to squash us into tiny cubes and choke our minds. It can happen, we can be the majority.

    A farmer, musician, writer, scientist, doctor, acupuncturist, garbageman, whatever you’re fancy, if you’re doing it because something in the largest part of your brain/heart says it’s your calling and you do it with every ounce of your being; it’s art.

    If you put that much thought and energy into your tweets, it’s art. If you do it because you’re addicted to wanting people to like you, it’s not art, it’s them winning the game. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just the way it goes, sometimes they win, even when you’re trying so very hard to fight the game.

    I lose, every single day. But the cubists and mind-squashed of us look to you guys out there, occupying, ninja-gigging, going where the day takes you, as inspiration, to lace up our gloves and someday step into the ring and fight for ourselves.

  • Guest101

    I quit blogging a couple of years ago because the thought of someone reading my shit is so damn scary, but after reading this I feel like picking it up again. you win.

  • http://imwalde.wordpress.com Kate

    “where does the art-making start and where does it end?”

    I think for some people, and you seem to be one of them, all of life is art, all the time. Lady Gaga said in an interview with Stephen Fry (a really great interview, btw) that she was totally committed to “theatre without intermission.” That definitely seems to describe her well. Myself, I personally try very much to make my life into Art, whether it be the more obvious ways (producing end products recognizable as “art”) or the subtler ways (in my appearance, my living space, the way I conduct myself, etc.). Every moment is an opportunity to create *something*. 

    As for blogging, I like it much better than Twitter and Facebook because there is *content* – even if it’s not neatly copy-edited content – and I think it can be an essential outlet for an artist/writer/etc. It can help process ideas before they make it into something more formally artistic. It garners instant feedback. It gives you a broader audience. I just think that like anything, you have to beware if online stuff is taking too much from you and not giving back enough. 

    I found you through blogging, btw. Having been a fan of Neil’s writing, I read his blog for years, then saw him mentioning this interesting looking musician…followed that to your blog (which gave me a sense of who you are and hooked me), and then to your music, and have been a big fan ever since. 

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      As a tie-in to your comment, I’d like to mention my idea that things are never, or very rarely, “ART” or “NOT ART”.

      An IKEA chair, for instance, might be, say, 10% art. Many things, just because aesthetics are taken into consideration when they’re being made, are art to some degree. An essay, a newspaper article, a table, a fucking chimney, a thought, they can be artistic in nature, or part of their nature can be artistic.

      So there will be blogs that are 40, 65, 70% artistic and blogs that are 10% artistic.

      (Even percentages are an obtuse way of looking at this, I just use them to make my point more clear. The amount of art that is part of something is as elusive to see and express as most things relating to art—I just believe that not everything might need to be “totally” art or “not art at all”).

  • FoN_Israel

    Where to start?! With the practical, I guess: Amanda, allocate the time to listen to Kristin Hersh. Even if you’re using her as background music to writing a blog entry/comment/tweet/whatever, as I’m doing right now with you (Girl Anachronism just came up, which means I’ll have to take a break from the comment to focus on the “background”…) :)

    We’re in the process of several revolutions right now:
    – The most immediate is #Occupy, but IMHO, it’s the least impressive one (which is saying a lot, seeing as it’s pretty awesome).
    – #Occupy, however, is an extension into economics and politics of the revolution in free media, which you experience through Tweeter, blogs, social networks, etc. It’s easier and cheaper  for people to express themselves than ever before, and so they do. The poor politicians and economists got left behind, their expertise becoming less and less relevant, as people can gather supporters for an idea and implement it without actually going through the tiresome process of getting elected every X years, and as people can decide for themselves that a certain price is just too much for a given product.
    – The free media revolution is part of the greater information revolution, wherein the amount of information in the world increases exponentially (Eric Schmidt: “we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003″), changing everything in its path. There’s more data in a Sunday edition of the NY Times than the average person would meet in a lifetime in the middle ages. We spend less and less effort trying to find information, rather more and more trying to sift out what’s true and relevant from that information available.

    We now have to do our own editing, our own choices based on too much information and too many alternatives, and while this gives us more freedom, it comes with a heavy price of always looking over our shoulder and wondering about the road not taken. I just hope we haven’t taken too many wrong turns down the road :)

  • Lorelei_L

    I don’t know how to start to say all i have in my head about all this. (Oh, first, sorry for my “french-english”..)
    So, i’m 20 and i feel that i’ve always knew internet, i saw it evolved blablabla. But i have this feeling that since fews years internet had become a real place to connect people to each other and to be free to listen, to read, to see, to discover what you want without having someone to tell you all the time on the radio or/and tv “SEE THIS” “LISTEN THIS” “BUY IT NOW ‘CAUSE EVERYBODY LIKE THIS AND ONLY THIS IS FUCKING GREAT”, things that i just hate. All this “new” internet allows everyone to do what they want, check informations about the world, discover something, etc. about their taste, their way to live. 
    Since, youtube, bandcamp, vimeo, … i just stopped looking at the tv, or listening to the radio ’cause i have the feeling that i can’t open my mind with that sort of tools, especially to open my mind to the all the world.
    I feel very free with internet. I wouldn’t know your music, your blog, your artist family, … without it, I would never go to that fucking gig in London last september. It was really weird for me this show, ’cause since maybe 5/6 years, i’m following you by the internet, and you have always influence me in a way with your music (for my first movie in high school for example) AND with your blogs : you’ve always learn me something, make me think about something, you changed me (and still now) in a good way, you make me grow up in my mind. And, about this gig in London, i don’t know how to describe the feeling i had when i was waited in front of the “Heaven” ‘s doors with some other fans. excited certainly. But, when you arrived with your package i was feeling very weird ’cause i recognize you, but also your coat and your socks. THAT, is fucking weird. Famous socks. And i was looking at you saying in my head “youhou, that’s your fucking muse you’re following since many years, wake up and go talk to her all you have to tell her maybe you will not to have the chance to see her again on earth”. But i couldn’t. Even when you just came into all of us, sat down, and took pictures. i didn’t realize. During the pictures, i was sit just next to one of your leg (with famous sock), and i must confess that i touch it just to try to convince me that you were real. you always have been a “virtual internet girl” since 5/6 years for me.  and still now, all the fuck happened that night was like in dream and not reality. (by the way, if you have the picture, i would be curious to see it. hehe). arg, i don’t know how to explain. this is so weird this internet relation. 
    You can connect with people from everywhere, and this is fucking powerfull. Especially for artists. In my case, i’m actually studying cinema, images are very important to me, and i always wanted to work on it, and thanks to facebook, i could be connected with some artists (that you know) who counts to me and send them my work and have answers. By this, a fucking “force” came to me to continue and create more and more and more.
    I feel very lucky to be in this revolutionary century. Everyone can say its voice everywhere, with its way to say it. This is very power full and rewarding for writers/musicians/film makers and for people who read, listen, and see. 
    Well, i think i must stop now,i deviated a little bit. this is the first time i really write on the internet.. Thank you for all and everything. (and i hope that i didn’t scare you with your socks). 
    Love. Xx

  • http://www.facebook.com/brassycassy Cassy Byrne

    Darling, I’ve been reading your blog for about as long as I’ve been listening to your music (going on 8 years now), and it’s still, by far, my favorite blog on the Internet. 

  • http://twitter.com/raliel robin stevenson

    as Oscar Wilde once said “one should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”

  • http://www.facebook.com/brassycassy Cassy Byrne

    Also, if you published a coffee table book called “The Best of Amanda Palmer’s Blogs and Tweets” (typos and all), I’d buy it.

    ;)

  • Holly L’Oiseau

    I’m a writer, and I have trouble blogging/tweeting. It’s not that I’m against it. In fact, I wish I were better at it. I guess I’m just as socially awkward in written form as I am face to face with people.

    Here’s the definition of art:

    the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

    Blogging and tweeting are expression. So why isn’t it art in other’s eyes when it is art by definition?

  • Heyitsjacy

    You know why I love you using twitter, Amanda Palmer? 
    And why I love Neil Gaiman blogging?
    Because it allows both of you to interact with PEOPLE. With us average people who just love you. 
    Yesterday you responded to one of my tweets, called me a stripper killer/killer stripper and I almost peed my pants. I’m still not sure if you plan on coming to Indiana, but that would probably make my life. 
    Simply having the ability to feel involved with your life, with Neil’s life, is unbelievable, amazing, and unreal. It makes the world seem a little smaller sometimes. 

  • PaulCorrosion

    First I wrote lyrics: http://www.myspace.com/corrosionuk Last song written in 2004.
    Then I kept a blog: http://gashinryu.livejournal.com Last significant post nearly 2 yrs. ago.
    Now I’m here: http://twitter.com/gashinryu Last original tweet 8 hrs. ago.
    I’ve always written in fits and starts anyway. I could not write a song for over a year and then come up with two album’s worth of material in a month.  I’m an imagination boiler. It all bubbles around in my brain as experience adds to it, until the pressure gets too much and I have an explosion of invention. What Twitter has done for me, and I’ve yet to make my mind up whether it’s a good thing or not, is to relieve that pressure and make my writing much more “stream-of-consciousness”. All those little thoughts and ideas are get thrust out there, regardless of quality, before getting the chance to mingle and coalesce into something new.
    My Twitter feed is evidence that what you get is more miss than hit; you could probably describe it better as “trickle-of-semi-consciousness”. I’m okay with that though – as you say, art evolves as tools evolve. I like Twitter and want to use it as a medium that stimulates my imagination and a tool that helps me to hone some of my creative skills.
    Then, when I feel the time is right, I’d like to crank up the old boiler, take a year out and see what I come up with. :-)

  • Abifish79

    LOL that bit of binary at the end is 672, I assume  it was deliberate.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      WHOA. are you shitting me?

      it totally wasn’t.

      at all.

      in fact, i typed it randomly and then ADDED a zero at the beginning, to make it prettier.

      that’s weird as shit.

      • Abifish79

        I shit you not. I can’t believe that was a coincidence!  

        by the way not think so hard about what your gonna  blog  or tweet. just Wright what ever you fill like. It’s your blog at the end of the day. 

  • http://twitter.com/michaelrperry6 Michael Perry

    My thoughts, blogging/tweeting is without question art.  You are creating something that didn’t exist before.  Different people use these mediums in different ways.  Can it end up being banal? Certainly, but I think the same can be said of some modern music and books.  I think a great example of why this is true (beyond the amazing stuff  you do) is Dan Sinker’s awesome parody of Rahm Emanuel @MayorEmanuel which was eventually compiled into a book.  I don’t think anyone would argue that the book represents an artistic endeavor, but it is simply a compiled twitter stream with some additional commentary.

  • http://twitter.com/jaybushman Jay Bushman

    First I was a struggling screenwriter.
    Then I started using twitter and blogs to tell stories.
    I got sucked into a new industry; it goes by the awful name of Transmedia.  We’re still fighting about story vs. marketing.

    Then I got hired by a transmedia company to write stories that use twitter and blogs.

    So my tweeting led to my “big break.”

    So many reasons to not write, not tweet, not blog.
    But so many more to press that POST button.

  • http://twitter.com/whiskeypants Terminally Snarky

    I know I am never going to be a published author, but I *am* a writer. Blogging is an outlet for that, and I take issue with the idea that what I write in my blog can’t be as much an art form as what has been published through official channels.

    I rejected the idea that I would be a writer long ago, even though everybody around me expected me to be publishing books out of high school. Blogging is how I came back to writing and how I recognized that I do have skill and I do have talent–it’s just not talent that was meant for traditional paths.

  • http://twitter.com/pulpfiction_ed Pulp Fiction Books

    Art can happen in any medium.  Crap can too.  90% is still crap, but that doesn’t mean the 10% can’t be art.

  • http://www.preraphaelitesisterhood.com Stephanie Pina

    I think that blogging and tweeting, well, the internet in general can be used as a medium for art.  Perhaps it’s all about intention.  I put a lot of thought into my blog posts.  It’s both an expression of myself and a way to explore ideas.  Of course, there are others who will not share the same intentions and instead of approaching blogging as an art form, they will post what they had for lunch or that they are about to take a shower or whatnot.  
    That’s what great about the internet.  There’s room for everyone and we can each create a space where we can express ourselves as artistically as we want or us mundanely as we want.  

  • Victoria Eden

    What is art? Where does art begin? Does someone need to say something is art for it to be art? Can anyone say that? Who are the “right” people?

    I think those are questions that all artists, and many people who don’t consider themselves “artists”, struggle with.

    To me art can be anything. Although most creative endeavors (photography, writing, painting) are considered more art-like than mixing chemicals in a lab, you have to admit that the work that people are doing in cancer research, etc is fucking beautiful.

    Art should be something that ultimately makes you happy. Whether you are pulling your hair out as you do it, or whether it flows so easily you just have to try and get it all out. It should be something you strive to continue, improve on, and most of all LOVE TO FUCKING DEATH.

    Keep Calm and Art On.

  • http://twitter.com/ferricide christian nutt

    so i read this blog post while i was really, really hurt by something my boyfriend said to me in an email.

    i didn’t think it was that interesting of a blog post. and i was thinking about how i can understand both sides of the “stop blogging and write something i want to read” argument as represented by the george RR martin example.

    i think the “do something useful instead of doing this” argument holds extremely little water. i think people get where they have to go however they have to, whatever that process may be.

    but i also think it’s fair to not really give a shit about the stuff AROUND the artist and give only a shit about the artist’s work. in some cases it’s essential, because it can be prejudicial. in other cases you’re just not interested. this is ok, and i’d think you’d agree.

    anyway, yeah, i thought this was a long rambling blog post with a point but not really hitting its point well. but then i realized about 3/4 through reading it that all of the shit going on with my boyfriend had calmed way down in my mind and i could suddenly understand his side of what he had said to me, and not just my own.

    and so i replied to him, saying so, and sending him a link to “the truth” because i thought it would help.

    was it just because i had something else to focus on and it quieted my emotions? did my brain just sort it out while i was consciously occupied by something else?

    i think you are going to have to accept the fact that some of your fans only want you for your WORK and there is still a division in the minds of some fans (if not all fans) between the work and the person, or the WORK and the blogs and tweets. i’m one of those people anyway. this may be generational (i’m around your age) or it may be just the way some people function as relates art. i’m very fickle about following bloggers and tweeters… but artists? i’m a loyal follower of their WORK.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i go both ways. 

      there are people who make work that i love. and i’m not, or can’t bring myself to be, a fan of the person. 

      and (more often) there are people i’m FASCINATED by and love and adore, and i’m totally uninterested in their art.

      but as far as i’m concerned, i’m always completely curious what’s going on under the hood if i love an artist’s work. how do they live? what do they think? why did they MAKE that? what were the ingredients in something so brilliant. it’s beyond being curious because they’re famous/celebrities, and really touches more or a deep desire to see the backstage of a theater. or something like that. i think the people who follow the amanda+ story are more like that.

  • http://trulymadlydearly.com Heather Dearly

    I used to blog almost daily, but then Twitter came along and microblogging became my focus. I’m fortunate to produce more than a few blog posts a month now, but those posts have become more thoughtful and relevant as a result. This actually works better for me with my familial obligations and I feel more mentally organized to produce actual content/product/art. But what is more interesting to me is that while even my blog reading has curtailed, I feel like I’m reading more interesting content thanks to links made available on Twitter. I can’t even remember the last time I read a blog post that wasn’t recommended on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

    This raises a lot of questions for me. (Which I have already begun tweeting, of course.)

    I describe myself as a storyteller first and foremost, I also write, but I’m a storyteller. In terms of most of the world, that’s not even really a recognised profession any more. Or if it is, they presume that I just tell stories to kids. 

    So much of what I create is transient, is never written down, and is never repeated exactly the same. It won’t be a book, or a painting, or a recorded song. 

    Does this mean it’s not art?

    Blog posts have a far longer life span than the memory of a story I once told you. Hell, I can remember some of my blog posts better than stories I have told! Texts and tweets are just another medium of getting what we have to say to other people. It can still be as funny, as heartfelt, as terrifying or as profound. Does the medium shape the message? Sure, tweets have a set character limit. If you want to say something longer than that, just tweet a blog link. :) Sonnets are far more restrictive than tweets. (Especially when you get into Iambic pentameter.)

    If it moves you, if it touches you, if it makes you think, I call it art.

    With love,
    B.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      hells yes. storytelling as art. now we just have to draw the line (or do we?) between “official” storytelling and being at the bar with michael pope. michael pope at the columbus bar in boston is one of the best shows / pieces of art i’ve ever experienced. i try to go once a month.

  • :o)

    I just wanted to say that you should definitely not take offense at someone not listening to your music. I love your music and especially watching you perform live but don’t often listen to recordings of it because it is dark and deep and touches me too strongly (and I struggle to escape the mood I fall into/further into). Watching you perform live offsets this becasue of your awesome stage presence and personality. Likewise your blogs are full of your personality and are inspiring and I really enjoy reading them – as I do going to see you perform. I am really glad you exist as a musician, artist, performer, and blogger! xx

  • Loreleï_L

    Art can be anything if you create it with feelings and if it has some universal feelings too. Well, if you’r touch when you create it and if you touch (and so much more) people with the result. Everything is possible. Art could be everywhere.
    Love.

  • Bevula

    My new favorite word – refuckulousness! 

    As usual, love love love the blog. The discussion of art is also art, as displayed here. 

    And just for the record – editing, also an artform. Not necessary to all art, of course (big DUH there, sorry).  Some people have amazing ideas/stories and need a little helping making them appear on the page – a good editor can help with that magic. And we can help the medium be invisible, so the message shines like the sun. (me? an editor? how did you guess?). But no way I’d edit your blogs, typos are half the fun.

    See you November 8th!

  • http://twitter.com/evelmarkie mark matteson

    Everything is better with pie charts.

  • LDRobwell

    I think blogging and twitter are definitely art and it frustrates me when they aren’t treated as such. I write a fictional blog from the perspective of an alien living in roseburg oregon and, ok, it may not be brilliant and tumblr may not be the best place for it, it’s still a work of fiction. Huffington Post has a twitter feed for books and they tweeted that they would retweet any self published books. When I tweeted them about my story, they replied “just books”. I’m still mad!

    On the other hand, my church does a poetry potluck every year at christmas. Last year, i’d forgotten to find or write a poem. I tweeted a few things and tagged them #christmasintheghetto and realized those the tweets were my poem. Everybody at church asked if asked if all my tweets were poetic.

  • Alice

    I’ve just started studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University and in our first class last week we were given anonymous extracts of writing and were asked the question “What is literature?” We identified most of the extracts from the start, but still we unanimously put each piece in the literature pile. These included great poetry, novels, television scripts, diaries, speeches, greetings card verses, bible passages, conversation transcripts…and blogs. We discussed how, in 400 years time, any writing from today has the potential of being studied as literature or art and how Shakespeare was not considered art at the time. We also talked about how these were all literature, but not necessarily *good* literature. All art is subjective and in my opinion anything that either intends to be or is interpreted as art, is art, blogs and tweets obviously included. But that does not mean we have to like it.

  • http://www.preraphaelitesisterhood.com Stephanie Pina

    I’ve given this more thought since my previous comment.   WE are the art form.  Writing, blogging, painting, tweeting, and music are methods we can use and as technology expands, our chosen forms of media will reflect that.  Since tweeting/blogging is still relatively new, most people will miss that it can be used as art. It’s the first time that something that can be seen as an art form itself is also used to connect you with other artists you may have never heard of and promote their work too.  It repeats and echoes and reflects and connects all at the same time.
    The internet is like a piece of paper.  We can choose what to do with our corner of it.  We can write, draw, go all origami on it and bend it into something new.  And some people will choose to keep their pages blank while they look furtively around at everyone else, picking apart their creations and criticizing their efforts at self expression because they never had the courage to dig deep, excavate themselves and put their own art, in whatever form, OUT THERE.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      I WANT TO MAKE THE INTERNET INTO ORIGAMI

      • lentower

        Too late.  It was one of the central design principles.

  • http://www.twitter.com/evihoste Evi

    “i wonder what it’s done to a generation of writers. you’ll have to ask neil about that one. i think it’s mostly like music….it doesn’t MATTER that Anybody Can Do It. it still has to be GOOD.” 

    Yes. It has to be good. But here’s the result: the book industry is in a crisis, less than most media want to make you believe and more than the publishing houses want you to believe, and authors are the victim. More than 90% of what is self-published is crap. Traditional publishing is and always has been the gateway of quality control. Because of the opening of the market, and the enormous amount of alternative reading material available for free over books, the publishing industry is suffering a serious blow. We’re living in a society where people prefer easy, free content over paying content. Books unfortunately are the victim of that. Concrete consequences for the art of literature: those books that deserve attention and publishing but need funding to make it to the market, because there’s not a big enough audience for them, don’t get published anymore because there’s no extra money. (poets, scientists, people like Thomas Pynchon with a less known reputation, …) Another consequence: the editing process is skipped (partially, sometimes entirely) Quality suffers because of that, more than outsiders truly realise. An editor does more than correcting typo’s. He/she’s also the author’s moral support, helps out with discussing a strategy for an author’s career beyond that one book, … Another consequence: promo suffers. Especially debuting authors are the victim, and they need it the most. Another consequence: literary magazines don’t get funding anymore. They are the DIY’s, the avant garde generation. They help shape art and culture. They offer young authors a chance to get published. Another consequence: do a quick twitter search for “writer’. You’ll find tons and tons of self-published writers. Most of them don’t have an original voice and can’t spell or construct a sentence to save their lives. They don’t have a voice of their own. The market gets so diluted that we lose sight of what real meaning is, of what art really is, and for what? The instant gratification internet can offer.

    Blogs and twitter are art though :-) Definitely!

    • http://www.twitter.com/evihoste Evi

      Let me add something to that: mainstream and underground art need each other to exist. It’s only this dialogue which gives birth to both of them which allows art to exist and re-invent itself and innovate and grow, and that’s true for both of them. But if mainstream art disappears, art will become a muddled amalgam and cultural identity of any kind will cease to exist. And that’s what’s being threatened right now. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say here? We need them both. And the way things are going right now is not always the right way. We need some kind of middle ground.

  • Veronica

    Hi Amanda. 
    I don’t usually comment on your blogs, I’m not sure why, but I’m gonna give it a try now.
    This is not new, but I saw people calling you attention whore and saying you were there just to get your pic taken and promote yourself a bit by the way. But if you agreed with what the movement is about and what it pursues, why would you hide yourself? Why wouldn’t you go out with them and sing for them and make them have a good time, and have it yourself? And what’s fucking wrong with you maybe getting a few new fans out of your performance there? Don’t know the rest of your fans, but being a fan of yours has made me a hell of a happier person. And I don’t always approve everything you do or say.Also, I am very pissed off that lately in the social network bubble people are making a wrong assumption more and more often: that which you, and everybody, blog about, say, don’t say, like, talk about, support, publicly on the internet, defines you as a person. Only because you didn’t explain what the Occupy movement is or go deep into your thoughts on it, does that mean the only thing you care about is getting attention or telling people what to do or acting like some kind of guru? WTF? Like they didn’t have access to information if it’s not on your blog?
    Come on, those people don’t follow you much. You rarely talk about politics. While I was reading your last blog, I didn’t miss a full explanation on the movement. I didn’t expect you to do that, because you actually shared a link where the movement is explained and everything about it is shared publicly in countless websites and papers and because dammit the important thing at that moment was to go out and scream out how fucking tired we are of this global system and how fucked up things really are and how much we want it to change and how willing we are to put our differences aside and try to sound like one huge voice against all that, and join efforts. 

    Maybe the problem here is that people expect too much from you.
    I honestly don’t think you did anything wrong, and I feel that you didn’t have to give so many explanations.
    Just my two cents.
    Love.

    • Marzipans11

      “Maybe the problem here is that people expect too much from you.”
      We need a new article called, “Musicians/bloggers are not your bitch.” ;) I  agree, she should blog whatever she wants.

  • http://orphicfiddler.deviantart.com/ Tess Grover

    If I didn’t have my little music blog, I’d be nutty-go-bonkers just writing stories and novels all day. I love writing, I love talking, and I constantly go about spewing things to whoever will even kind of listen. (Or isn’t listening at all, because who knows, this is the internet. At least it gives me some kind of illusion that people are waiting on the edge of their seats to read my every word.) But I really can’t sit down and write the same story for several hours in a row because eventually my mind just can’t cope with the lack of variety. So either the story becomes very boring and repetitive, or I try to add “spice” to it by making my characters go off and do things they ought not to be doing, like suddenly unicycling down Mt. Everest instead of having tea, or whatever might actually be relevant to the plot. And that’s when I meander off and write about music instead, because at least I’m writing about something I care about (and at least I’m still writing, because it’s the plotting I’m sick of, not the words).

    Really, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have such a variety of mediums to shout words at. I’m pretty sure I would have exploded during the Victorian era.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Muru-Muna/100000117391943 Muru Muna

    I write poems and stories.
    They are published too.
    I’m quite good at this stuff.

    I blog too.
    But I don’t feel blog takes away my story writing time, inspiration or anything
    else.

    Those things are so different. Sometimes I have right feeling for one medium,
    sometimes for another. 
    Only poems fit everywhere.  They are spontaneous and polished at the same
    time.

    I would not like to see books going and blogs coming instead of them. Too different
    things. Ice cream and bed cannot replace each other.

  • VRD

    I think art is sometimes whatever makes people happy and makes them think at the same time.
    Other times is what makes people think, period.Other times is what makes people feel things.Other times is what makes people relate and feel connected with the rest of the world. That is, make people feel less lonely.
    Blogging can totally be art in my oppinion. And tweeting too.

  • Kara Mullison

    Hullo, teenager here.

    I’ve always thought about blogging. I write fiction like my life depends on it (and it might depend on it, who really knows?) but I’ve never tried writing a blog. I think I’m afraid, but I’m not sure why.
    Maybe it IS because it’s so accessible. When I’m writing a Novel, that’s a bit impressive by itself, even if it’s shit and ultimately comes to nothing. But blogging seems to work the other way. I have to prove myself twice over…

    I don’t know. I’ve thought about it. I’m assuming I’ll think more about it. Maybe eventually my thoughts will come together and I will reach a definite conclusion.

    And until then, I’m just going to let the ideas you’ve laid out simmer in my brain. I love you, AFP.

  • Paige Horst

    I am completely high from spending the National Day on Writing with my students. I teach literature and writing to 6th-12th graders and we have been discussing this very issue for a few weeks: when does something become art? When do you know that you are making art? Does the artist decide? Does the audience decide?

    We are talking and working and arguing our way toward an understanding and what we have come up with (so far, today at least) is:

    Art happens when you make something that creates a connection with someone else. 

    I encourage my students to use as many methods as they can to connect and create. Every day I struggle to get through to them how strong and beautiful and powerful their words are; how strong and beautiful and powerful THEY are. Today we wrote and wrote and wrote about why we write and what writing means to us, and we read what other writers had to say about why *they* write and I saw them begin to believe in themselves and believe in the power of their words. Those words are so powerful in so many contexts. How can Art be contained, constrained to one form of expression?

    I want my students to feel the power and the joy and the wild abandon of creating. I want them to know the joy and discipline of crafting, refining, revising. I want them to know the satisfaction and thrill of connecting with another human through art.

    I fucking love my job.

    Thank you for those words. Thank you for your art. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/wolfthatcr13dboy Zack Gilpin

    I’m a writer, up-and-coming. I’ve been active-ish in the blog world, but only amongst my friends. There’s always been a clear division between my blog writings and my fiction, though sometimes my blog discusses my fiction when I need to work through a particular issue that’s bugging me, like plot progression or whatever. I used to feel like I talked about myself more than I wrote through myself, less so these days but it’s still a worthwhile question.

    I know the chief complaint I’ve heard lodged against writer/bloggers, at least when they blog about their fiction, is it takes the mystery away. I guess there’s a myth about art creation that it involves some sort of alchemy of imagination and hand waving. Probably that’s the reason why a lot of young artists don’t consider themselves artists, because there is no mystery to their work. In self publishing my stuff through AuthorStand (essentially the writerly equivalent of BandCamp), I have accidentally found a goal for myself. I published the first half of the second draft of my now-complete novel, for a novella contest, and won first place. Now, a year later, I’ve put in the practically finished whole of the third draft into a novel contest. I did not delete the old entry, and when I perform my final edit after the second contest is over, I will not delete that one either. The reason for this is, basically I want anyone who gives enough of a shit to be able to look at the various iterations of my work and see the changes. As you say, I feel like editing has become a dying art, and I am frequently guilty of writing a work of passion and then posting it on the internet without so much as a backwards glance (such as right now).  But this novel has shown me the value of editing, and I would like any inquiring fans to read the finished work, then go back and see how much was different, how the characters were less developed, how I retroactively made the ending make sense. The book could, hypothetically, be universally praised on its final incarnation, but young authors might read it and see magic. There is definitely magic in it, but it didn’t just show up. I worked my ass off to put it there, and I find it far more gratifying, or at least more humble, to acknowledge that I am not a wizard. Whether that means anything as someone who has no celebrity whatsoever, hey, that’s the internet for you.

    On the other hand, I don’t want to overemphasize editing in blogging. If you’re doing a research or opinion piece, where you’re trying to prove a cohesive point that you think is important, an edit definitely helps in hammering out the details. But self-divulsion (fake word) in a journal/diary is not edited, you would not think to edit it. Putting it on a blog… does it require a level of sheen? Or do the typos speak to your emotional state at the time? And of course, talking about your emotions on the internet where everyone can read them… is that being an attention whore, or putting your demons in a box and letting other people hammer at them? I have this thing where if I think I need to keep something secret, I’ll divulge it to the masses. Now, if this is plot for a book I’m writing or whatever, I’ll keep it under wraps, because I like surprising people. But shit about my life? What good does it do anybody for me to be all obsessive and closeted about my problems? At worst I get a bunch of trolls telling me I’m a whiny bitch, at best I find that the world is full of caring and understanding people. No one’s ever as alone as they think, and putting no-edit thoughts out there, be they funny, random, dark, incomprehensible, or explosive furthers to bring us together as a species.

    Oh. I’m not the only person who thinks of Batman all day. I’m not the only one who forces the word orange to rhyme.  I’m not the freak I thought I was. We’re all freaks together.

    Is that art? I don’t think it is in the traditional sense of the word, but at what point in the last twenty years has a traditional anything helped us understand this world we live in? I believe everything is art, but that’s something I won’t go into right now. Even if the art-deciders of the world (if there are such things anymore) look at our measley blogs and say they aren’t art for whatever reason, there will always be someone out there who was moved, and will remember that blog for years to come. Art and meaning are in the eye of the beholder right? So it’s all up for grabs.

    /end rant.

  • Andrea1986

    hmmm well, i don’t really know if i have a real comment.  you said everything i could think to say. i’m not a writer or a muscian so i will never directly have to deal with this the way you are.  but i do think i understand. i am after all the one who consumes what you and other artists are putting out in all the many ways that you are putting it out there. and i’ve never had a real problem with any of the outlets. i don’t think it necessarily matters as long as youre staying true to yourself and your art has integrity.  people who get it (and those are are the ones who’s opinions might matter most) will understand and appreciate the musician who blogs when he/she isn’t making a record, the writer who tweets inbetween books, the painter who who writes a song and uploads to youtube when they aren’t painting the next Guernica.  because youre right.  if you didn’t we would have no clue about you and what was going on in your actual world. what you liked. what you don’t like. what you want to share. and you don’t have to tell us any of this but i feel grateful that you do and it makes me appreciate your art, excuse me, your art that is published, even more because i get to see and know about alot of other stuff that youre doing and just makes me feel more connected to all of it. i may have trailed off from your exact point but this is what your blog brought out of me.  i consider it all art, just in different forms. and how cool is that? i think it’s awesome. maybe the singular medium artist is dying. good, bad? i don’t know. but i’m liking what youre doing because from my point of view, even if you are sometimes just using the blog/twitter as a brain shit storm, you care about it. it’s not someting you don’t take seriously or don’t respect.  if you didn’t that’s where i would start to question.  so thanks for keeping it real, as always.

    Andrea

    p.s. and for someone who didn’t have a real comment I DO realize i said alot

  • Milaka

    I just want to tell you that I completely adore you.  This post is wonderful.  I have more to say, but it’s very late and I would descend into incoherence.  So I’ll leave you with many good wishes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dori-Sinclair/516424261 Dori Sinclair

    I feel linda scared you said you don’t like music anymore.
    Too me you are a musical genius and then mabye i don’t know! turn your blogs into songs?
    I just hope you don’t stop making music.

    All I ever lisend was to pop bullshit until i discovered your music and it awesome i was able to see the beauty in your songs and your voice that are the complete oposite to the pop world.
    I write songs and sing and to be honest I wanted to be a Super Star and figure out how to get signed to a major label basicly because i couldn’t see beond that until I discovered your stuff.

    By the way sometimes I see some posts or tweets that are just fucking Genius and read books full of bullshit, also that I see horrible and shallow paintings in Galleries and on Flickr find Beauty.
    My mom is a painter and i am also a digital artist and i upload my stuff to Deviant Art. I told my mom if she wanted some promotion she could get on the site too but my mom always says, but deviantart is just kinda a thing for teens or “unserious art”, and why? becuase its free? becuase you don’t have to have a fucking degree to make an account or whatever?
    I totaly agree with you. People should get their head out of their asses and stop caring so much about the context, If you studied, if your published, if you’ve signed, if you have stuff in a gallery, it doesn’t matter.

    I hope you still love music. Take a break if you need it man, but don’t let the music drownd you until the point were you don’t like it, becuase you are just really so original, your voice and piano playing is so unic (oh and thanks to you i was inspired to play piano again).
    Your awesome amandaaaaa!

  • jaron

    Thought you might find this inspiring: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1072796–roncy-mourns-homeless-blogger

    xo

  • My Two Innings

    A funny thought just occurred to me.

    What if the Cloud Club, your artsy-creative communal home, were utterly a work of fiction?  A hoax, as it were, a creative student’s wish-fulfillment fantasy that you and your roommates created out of whole cloth one Thursday night in some off-campus hellhole of a crappy, flourescent-lit apartment near Wesleyan, conceived in an orgy of vegetarian pizza and cheap merlot, whereupon you set out to create in the alternative this beautiful, inspiring space, virtually, using stock photography, found objects, and storylines such as how you met your bohemian-attired landlord as he was putting up a “For Rent” sign? 

    What if you’d added chapters to the fantasy for more than a decade, finding a block of abandoned rowhouses to photograph as a streetscape; using Brian’s uncle’s hilly backyard in New Hampshire to serve as a set for the garden in back; purloining a geodesic dome created and left behind by some L.L. Bean-clad Buckminster Fuller devotee who had oversold the concept to his committee and was subsequently denied tenure, to depict the attic?  “There’s a flow that happens when you surround yourself with other artists,” you said in an old television interview.  What if this, too, was part of the ruse, the whole production as scripted as, say, the Evelyn Evelyn act? 

    If the stories you’ve told in your blog about the Cloud Club had been a work of multimedia fiction like this, it would, of course, be art.  It’s no less a work of art for being a depiction of reality that creates a similar emotional response.

  • http://twitter.com/aaalex555 Alex

    i don’t really have a lot to add, other than i stumbled across your blog (mostly to read your thoughts on tori) from way back in 2005, and it’s interesting to contrast your thoughts back then against this blog now:

    “I do not want to live to archive my own life. 

    I see it everywhere around me, especially with the popularity of web diaries, forums, and cell phones that take pictures. I do not want to fall into the subtle trap of truly believing I Blog Therefore I Am.

    I see this happening at our shows, as an alien army of fans in the front row hold their phones up to my face as if probing me for signs of life in some twisted Outer Limits martian ritual. But I understand this feeling all too well. The picture that you will take home, connect to the interweb, mail to your friends and offer proof positive that you had an experience is almost worth more than the experience itself. And as I realize that more and more people out there read this diary, it haunts me in my life. Each good deed, struggle, mishap and geuinely weird experience I have gets simultaneously logged into an unhealthy mental card catalog of Good for Web Diary. “

  • Kirra

    Love your blogs! 
    “What is Art?” a difficult question, maybe best not to answer. 
    Do it and enjoy, it is very special. 
    Cheers :)

    • Kirra

      Sorry I forgot – they are beautiful chicken chasing and chicken caught photos. Art!?

  • http://twitter.com/mikebeard Mike Beard

    That thing where you think responding to a blog post with your iPhone won’t turn out badly… …and it deletes a 400+ word response. :P

    To summarize:

    I’d heard of the Dresden Dolls WAY back and never ended up listening or checking out your stuff. A while back I started following my favourite author (Neil) on twitter. Shortly after I started following you on his recommendation. I’ve enjoyed your tweets immensely and always get a kick out of how obviously meant for each other you and Neil are.

    So, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon your Live At Moog performance. I’m a proud owner of a number of Moog synths and had to check it out. I was blown away. Not too much Synth but an amazing entertaining performance that IMHO hasn’t been matched in all the other Live at Moog vids. I’ve since listened to a bunch of DDs and some of your solo stuff and I’m really finding myself becoming a big fan. I’m  an Electro producer and honestly your music isn’t what I would normally listen to but that’s part of the appeal. It’s different for me and intensely inspiring.

    Now, until today, I never knew you blogged. Somehow all references to your blog got lost in the continual churning of the twitter timeline.

    The beauty of the current world we live in is that there are so many ways to discover art. Whether it’s Neil tweeting about this awesome girl he met who was in this band I’d heard of somewhere. Or stumbling upon a performance of some amazing artist on the webpage of some random instrument manufacturer. Or discovering the thoughts of that artist through posts about issues and things that I find interesting. Technology is constantly pushing us towards an AMAZING place of sharing and collaboration.

    I’ve met and discovered amazing artists through these amazing media. I’ve collaborated and become close friends with people I’ve unfortunately still never met IRL.

    Thanks you for your ramblings. You’re not my bitch but whether or not you write music, blog, or tweet it’s your art one way or the other and I and many others thank you for it.

    Cheers,
    Keep tweeting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Fellowes/100000811566735 Simon Fellowes

    Go Ahead make neils day push it up to 2% on the pie chart.
    plus do we get to see the pumpkin avengers is sounds cool.

  • Marzipans11

    First, that is one pissed-off looking chicken. Good job; I hate chickens. ;)
    Second, I must confess: I only heard about AFP after she married Neil Gaiman. I’ve been following HIS blog for forever, and after the dozenth or so time he linked to her blog, I decided any woman who has the extremely good taste to marry him would be worth checking out. I fell in love with AFP’s writing style– so bouyant and bouncy where Neil is kind of dignified and poetic. Well, a different kind of poetic. AFP is poetic too, just a screaming-neon kind of poetic instead of a snowfall-in-the-wood kind. :) Then I stuck some of her music on Pandora, and… I like it. It’s okay. I feel a little guilty that I’m not OMFG BEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD since I like the blog so much. But it’s just not as much my style– I’m a GooGoo Dolls girl (and therefore, I’ve heard, a tool of the mainstream industry. :P) It doesn’t make me want to throw the computer out the window, and that’s a good thing… eh? Heh.
    Fourth, I do like the idea of the Internet making writing more democratic. My journalism teacher (don’t worry, I dropped the major after the first year…) sort of predicted this back in 2004, with how exclusive the publishing industry really is.
    It just really makes me feel like a shit for being so good at grammar and spelling and proper sentence construction, if that’s no longer going to be relevant. :(
    Typos also really irritate the crap out of me. AFP is really quite readable, in spite of what she says and her apparent allergy to capitalization. The typos I notice are generally in the heart of a topic she’s really enthusiastic about, so it’s endearing. TEH OMGZ I H8 GARMMAR NOTSEES is what drives me crazy.
    4. I too would like to see AFP as an alien pumpkin thief, too. :D Or the short film.

    • MarzipansAgain

      P.S. I totally saved the blog about lazing about in bed, and I reread it when I need a smile. So at least one person goes back and reads the old blogs.

      • Veronica

        I go back to her old blogs a lot too. It makes me so curious to actually read how she was feeling seven years ago and how it all grew and developed and got crazier and busier as time went by, and her insecurities and fears and how she dealt  with them, and how she is Amanda Fucking Palmer now.
        It helps me a great fucking deal.
        Cheers :)

  • Joe

    Dear one way stranger, Amanda,
    thank you for a great blog in a world of not so many great blogs…it was not just interesting and relevant, but “on the money.” I loved the thoughts you threw at us, and especialy the cconsciousness raising part about blogging sucking up so much brain time and your friggin’ funny pie chart!
    I especially think you hit a profound home run with your thoughts about John Lennon and would he have written as much as he did if he was able to blog! Wow, yes!!! That is at he very least, something very important to think about!
    Blogging is very expensive, timewise. You are right; it is an underated art form, but is it also a wasteful outlet for one’s brain/creativity/precious earth moments?

    Hmmmmmm. Maybe it’s charity,. (Thanks for being so charitable with your words and time, it’s always welcome! and appreciated!) Maybe you’re (and others who blog) are giving away, or releasing creativity which might have been songs or books or poetry or art…
    OR maybe the well of creativity is endless, and by blogging, though you are releasing food for thought and creativity, you are also going further than you might have had you not spent good karma on thought sharing, aka blogging.

    Not sure….must get my son up for school, and drive him through UFO road, and suck up the sunshine on colres leaves before they leave. Ha, “leaves before tey leave…” Wouldn’t have thought of that one without responding to your blog! lol. Keep on, Amanda; you are appreciated……………
    Thanks again,
    Joe in NH

  • jodi

    ‘Art evolves as tools evolve’ is the key! I kept a blog from 2002 until 2009 then randomly, and had one very serious artist in particular tell me that basically I was spending – he meant ‘wasting’ – too  much of my time on it… which bothered me for a minute or twelve. Until a few months later winning a prize for ‘australia’s best blog’ with a $10,000 cheque kinda made me feel vindicated. Essentially, I find the practice of blogging is one of many creative tools that helps process and filter ideas, like conversation it lets you hone and fine tune things that are bubbly vaguely in the back of your mind through expressing them to another human being. I sometimes miss blogging but then it can also become such a compulsion, that whatever you experience must be blogged. I decided to stop doing it so much as I a. had a semi-nervous breakdown and wasn’t feeling like exposing everything in the dark corners of my mind and soul to the world, and b. wanted to focus my writing on other things. More coherent perhaps, but more important? not necessarily. Yes, creative work absolutely comes in many forms, 140 characters to epics to pie charts – it’s a pleasure to have your insight and the chicken is a bonus! xoxo jodi

  • Shauna Becker

    Chickens are way more fun then most people think. To me, Art is anything that makes me step back and go, ‘Wow’. I’ve spent hours devoting brainjuice to some 140 character quote on twitter, a song, a book, a painting, a youtube video, a beautiful night sky. It’s all art and there isn’t anymore suppressing that thanks to the internet.
    P.S. I love your blog, and Neil’s blog, and Wil Weaton’s blog and… you get the idea.

  • JonasSamuelle

    In my own pretentious introspections, I decided that the artist’s highest calling is to be the progenerator of a an innumerable series of chains of events whose consequences very quickly outgrow their creator.However you get there, whatever it is, blogs, tweets, designs pissed into snow, it doesn’t matter. You could stand naked in a dust-storm and I’d call it art. In fact , I’d encourage you to.   Personally, I feel indebted to anyone with the balls to add a dash of stardust to our communal glass of scotch.-Jonas Samuelle 

  • Wolfkins

    So I find it highly ironic, I was in Boston just recently and as I know it is your grindstone I was hoping to accidentally run into you by serendipitous delivery,  sadly that did not happen but I am gratified to realize it was probably purely because of the fact that you weren’t actually there when I was. I was in Boston to see one of my favorite musicians perform at Club Passim, her name is Jess Klein, I’ve been a devoted fan of her music since I discovered it (quite by accident) in 2000 and I was soooooo excited to see her perform again. (Last Oct she played in Providence, the first time I was able to see her perform)
    Jess is a very almost quiet person yet her music speaks volumes for her, we were having a conversation after her performance and something she said reminded me vividly about one of your blog posts which I of course shared with her, she was touring with other musician friends of hers and I had asked her whether they would all play together, she said they would often just show up and play gigs and I told her that reminded me very much of how Irish musicians have a musical set-in and led to your story about the young boy, the one who refused to look at his audience, the point of this rambling rant was to illustrate to you that the medium of an important message (in my personal opinion) doesn’t elevate or degrade the content of the message, what matters most is not the manner nor the method in which the message was delivered, but more that there exists the source from which the message is authored.

  • http://www.youtube.com/afpislove AFPisLOVE

    “i always take this perverse joy in the fact that neil’s a WRITER and
    i’m a MUSICIAN and so i get to have TYPOS IN MY BLOG ha ah ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha.”

    Yes, but as you have said before, you have to memorize and remember lyrics. Neil just reads from the book. Unless you make him sing. But sometimes he still reads.

    : )

  • YAY

    EVERYTHING IS ART! 

  • http://twitter.com/Valya Valya Dudycz Lupescu

    Chickens and art…I love the synchronicity of this post.

    As you are musing about Art, I’m working with our dear Molly Robison and a bunch of artists in Chicago lovingly called The Coop on a new Art Book (and more) called THE ARTIST ZOO, a book about artists and their day jobs, the ways we support ourselves as artists and the way we connect to one another as artists.

    http://www.theartistzoo.com

    1.99 million Americans describe their primary occupation as artist.
    This number excludes an estimated 300,000 people with secondary
    employment as artists. That’s a lot of people making Art.

    Each of us can think of at least one example of how our lives have been changed by a work of Art, a movement, or an artist.

    Think about what 2 million people can create. It boggles the mind, the sheer potential!

    I love that we live in a time that affords us the tools to be able to connect with one another in this way. The artists salons of the 19th century have been exploded and expanded to form a global salon– coming together on twitter, on you tube, on blogs and chats.

    Art changes lives, and together we make ripples that can stretch across miles, across borders, across time.

  • Alison

    I think (for me at lest) writing stories is a little more about structure and cleverness and imagination all blended with craft and truth, and blogs are more of a direct tapping-into of that same truth, which still requires (maybe less consciously)  structure and cleverness and imagination, but blogs can get straight to the point (whatever that point is) where in fiction (or music or painting or anything more traditionally defined as ‘art) you have to look a bit harder to find it (or interpret it.)

    Up until this year I wrote a lot of stories, mostly about people finding a way to survive various sorts of life events, and then this year (more than most other years) life events started seriously happening to me (Christchurch earthquake) and I switched to blogging, and blogged longer and harder and deeper than I ever had before, and so far haven’t found a way to switch back to fiction. Which made me feel like a crappy excuse for a writer, at first, but then people started telling me that something I’d written on my blog made them laugh or cry, or that they liked it, or in one case even loved it, and I sort of had to re-assess what ‘being a writer’ actually meant to me.

    I’m still working it out, but one thing’s for sure, blogging (and reading blogs) this year has kept me sane where fiction couldn’t. There’s got to be some sort of art to that.

  • 35 JupiterDrive

    This was so interesting.  Thanks for the post. 

    And I’m totally in love with this fact: the gate keepers are still at the doors, but they’re guarding obsolete doors! Writers, poets, artists and authors: go forth, put your art out! Someone like myself who is most likelihood destined to be a midlist author at best, isn’t someone anyone would throw money at promoting even if they gave me the shot of being published. But now, it doesn’t matter! I can self-promote AND self-publish. I can even Kickstart if I need a little money to kickstart it. And I get turned on to artists and musicians and authors I wouldn’t have ever heard of without all of the above.Vive le Revolution Technologique!

  • http://mataduvor.blogg.se angelica

    you are amazing. :)

  • insignifikunt

    question: why does a blog/tweet have to be considered art? i’m not saying it’s not, by if someone doesn’t consider a blog art, does it make it any less important, meaningful, or necessary? Does it matter who is blogging or tweeting, for instance if you blog, being an artist of many varieties, does that mean whatever you blog or tweet is automatically art regardless of the subject matter, where as someone who doesn’t identify as an artist blogs/tweets it isn’t considered art?

    What is with the obsession of everything needing to be “art”?  

    I don’t see why it’s necessary to label everything. some of your blogs are fucking brilliant, and yes i’d say they are art, but then others that are more just info about upcoming tours with very little “interaction” or “connection” and i’d say they aren’t exactly art, their purpose is more to inform fans where and when you’ll be somewhere.

    It doesn’t mean the more “arty” blog is BETTER than the informative one, they just serve different purposes. it also doesn’t mean that a novel, or a newspaper article is “better” than your blog because it’s been made tangible and printed… I could print out your blog and distribute it to 1000’s of people, typos and all, and those 1000’s of people might identify and enjoy it more than a novel that was published by a successful publisher with an author’s book tour and all.

    labels are useless.

  • mrdalbhat

    Amanda, I’ve been in a weird scattered funk for the last several days, and this blog post (for reasons more related to your general way of being/communicating, than to its specific content) just zapped me right out of it. I’m actually about to stand up and go and work on the projects I’ve been procrastinating about, because you’ve once again inspired me to engage and to create. Thank you! You’re truly amazing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Becca-BiBi-Sklar/1679002662 Becca BiBi Sklar

    That blog was absolutely mind provoking and amazing. I LOVED the picture at the end. Made me laugh which I totally needed. You said you don’t care, but honestly you could write whatever the fuck you want and I’d read it. You have a fascinating mind and I love having the chance to look into it. If you ever decide to write a 3,000 word blog about finding a 4-leaf clover and I’ll totally fucking read it.

    By the way, how you said someone reading your blogs from that far back is very slim? Yeah, when I first was introduced to your music in May of this year and found that you had a blog, I totally went all the way back and read everything =)

    Proud to be one of your comrades! <3

  • Louise

    go to kristinhersh.cashmusic.org or throwingmuses.cashmusic.org to listen to Kristin Hersh’s recent material. 

    There are some new demos she’s posted online in the past several months, which take less time to listen to than full albums: Chipping Teeth, http://vimeo.com/26818684 and Bright, http://vimeo.com/21299190

    definitely find some time to listen, it’s particularly great to listen to the older Throwing Muses material after having read the book, because you’ll “get” them on a whole different level.

  • laurieanne

    Re: your reply to Christian Nutt….I have come to realize that it has been a big mistake to get to know too well the people whose product I enjoy, because when I analyze them too much I begin to see that in this age of social media, people will misrepresent themselves, either consciously or unconsciously, and the person I thought I admired turns out not to be what they try to convey themselves as. On postsecret recently, someone sent in a card that read, I always become friends with people I am jealous of because then I find out they’re not so great. Sadly, that can be true of people you admire or secretly want to emulate as well. I am getting to the point that I don’t want to read personal blogs anymore because what they are, are tools for rewriting history and spreading personal smokescreens. This is who I am; it’s a fact now not an opinion, because I blogged it and that makes it true. A common trait of people who suffer from narcissism is the belief that once they express an opinion, it becomes a fact. I always think of how cops catch pedophiles by having some 45 year old detective go online and pretend to be a 13 year old girl……the only way to know someone, truly, is to spend time in their actual presence, and even then, you never really REALLY know them ,do you?

  • http://twitter.com/ChloeHenderson9 Chloe Henderson

    Response to a blog with a blog http://www.chloehenderson.co.uk/blog/read_37898/bloggingtweeting-new-art-forms.html

    I’ve just read Amanda Palmer’s new blog on blogging – stop whatever you’re doing and go read it, not that you need much more incentive but there are pictures of her with chickens… and now I’m replying with a blog of my own! Some of the things she (and all the preceding comments) are talking about are things that have been discussed in my design lectures and I’m at the point when I’m figuring out if I “believe” in it or not.

    For me, blogging just began as something I thought I should probably do now that I have functioning website, but it has become so much more: I use it as a diary, a sketchbook, a brainstorm, a collection of my thoughts, a permanant storage space, but above all of that it is a place for me to write in a place where people will read it.

    I used to note my thoughts down into journals or occasionally dump them on friends/family in the form of an “eh heh heh help me” email/letter, but now this blog is my diary. Think of the amazing diaries that are publish into books. Those diaries were found and then published. But what of those diaries that were never found? They are still as amazing, but we never got the chance to read them before they were lost. Blogging/tweeting is eradicating that. People are writing AMAZING things down into their blogs and blogs are becoming those lost and forgotten diaries, they are being preserved forever.

    I’ve always imagined myself writing a book, and I have written a few stories, but actually publishing something?! A little bit of a scary thought, once it’s published you can’t take it back! I mean with the whole blogging thing,you’ll read it now and that will be it, as Amanda says “it doesn’t have to be heavily edited. i don’t have to pull my hair out about every sentence being etched in stone. it’s going to disappear. the chances that You, Dear Reader, are going to click back and read my archived blogs from 2004 is WAY less likely than a lover of george r.r. martin is to dig up his back catalog. blogging is Of Now“

    So, this kind of leads to the “but what about the spelling? think of the grammar!!!” I think, as long as you can articulate yourself in a way that people can understand, you don’t really need to get hung up on the little things. And when I say articulate I dnt meen u shd spek lk diz – what the fuck is that anyway?!

    That brings me thudding down onto my next point: I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR EVERY SINGLE INANE DETAIL OF YOUR LIFE. “often blogging is just mind-shitting. sometimes tweeting is just soul-puking. i can’t disagree.” – and I totally agree with you Amanda, there is an epic amount of shite out there. Oh, and STOP SPREADING FUCKING HATE. Blogging should not be used as a tool for you to tell me everything; you had cornflakes for breakfast?wow. you like justin biber. fuck off. you hate my face. cheers. If you can get past these threads of total arse then you can get to some shinyness, true beauty. Amanda’s blogs are an example of that, I am a total devotee and I read every blog she types and they are shiny every time. Everything she talks about, regardless of how unconnected I am to it, captivates me. She is a true connoisseur of the blogging world. I not so much. Unfortunately I can’t be interesting every time I blog, am I boring you now? If Amanda did not pour all her thoughts and feelings into blogs/tweets I would not like her nearly as much as I do, okay I will always love her music but I do feel more connected on more of a level,if I tweeted her a question, she would probably answer. In that respect this shit is amazing and it is art and it is not devaluing from the “true art” or “high art” it is only bringing us closer together, to a better understanding.

    I was part of the #EvelynEvelynChat on twitter the other day. Wow. Twitter brought together people from all over the world at one time, so fans of the twins could asks the creators of the graphic novel questions. If it were not for twitter,only a little of that could happen. They could have toured and done booktalks in various cities, but that would be consuming their time, and not everybody would make it. Twitter allowed everybody to get involved. Thinks like that just produce this face with me :O It’s amazing that we can instantly connect with each other. I love it. “everybody knows it: it’s a revolution. the world is catching up, creaking, slowly, slowly.”

    That is another great thing about all of this, I could write a quick blog about an idea or post a piece of finished artwork and could receive some instant feedback. Amanda is lucky enough to have millions and millions of followers and comments, I’m lucky if I get one comment a week (even luckier if it’s not from my mum -no offence mommy cupcake), but it is still a great tool for everyone to utilise. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, everybody has thoughts. BLOGGING IS AN EQUAL PLATFORM FOR EVERYBODY. You can be anything you want and if you sit down and type away you will be creating a piece of art. I really do think that blogging and tweeting can be art, not just “second-class art” but real art, full of real beauty, emotion, ideas, and everything else that makes art so amazing.

    I’ve ended up writing much more and rambling on than I intended but I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of this, oh, and if you havn’t already GO AND READ AMANDA’S BLOG!!!

    Chloe out.

  • http://twitter.com/Fallen_Woman Fallen Woman

    I have been turning over the question in my head again, after nearly a decade and half of NOT (feeling that I answered it well enough in my academic days), What is art?

    The idea I’m running with is: art is the truth as experienced (or perhaps framed) by human mind.  “Mind” should be understand as the total apparatus with which each of us takes in an experience, not merely intellect, but spirit, emotion, physical realization, etc.  “Human” defined as person, as creature who not only participates in society but comments on it, is defined by it and otherwise is synechdoche.  Experience requires narrative; framing requires editing.  A scene, a event, an experience can’t exist subjectively as far as humans are concerned without context and context requires both narrative and editing.  Otherwise you see a tree and a tree and a tree and a tree and a tree and a tree, but never forest.  Truth is well…there’s rub, ay?

    We build everything we come across into narrative.  The human mind is hardwired for it; we just can’t help it.  It’s a building block essential to analysis as well as creative leaps.  Without knowing that a cold season is on its way, whether through past experience or the experience of others, we wouldn’t be able to prepare and thus we might not survive the season.  Without looking ahead to, say, the clothing we will want/need in future there isn’t such a thing as fashion.

    When things change as response to changing conditions and old modes are dumped because they are no longer viable, this is called evolution.  But evolution doesn’t eclipse the essence what we need.  No matter how mad fashion may get, if it doesn’t accommodate the wearer to her circumstance (e.g. the climate) either the wearer will put on something else or suffer physically.

    But the essential point is this: it’s not merely what the creator puts out but what the consumer (experiencer? the connotation of “consumer” throws off what I’m trying to say, even if it’s the most specific word).  Generally speaking, we don’t consider sunsets to be artistic in and of themselves, even when those of us who believe of a divine power comment along the lines of “God outdid himself this time!” it’s not quite what we mean by art.  However, a photograph of such a beautiful sunset can be artistic.  But just ask Kyle Cassidy, photographs require narrative and framing, even if they’re sloppy.  Or rather, a photograph will have these qualities, even if the photographer wasn’t mindful of them.

    But I keep thinking well there’s the leftovers you microwave because you
    don’t have the time to really cook and then there’s the full on big
    meals that you plot out carefully, test spices for, contemplate the best
    pairings so the most can be made of each flavor and characteristic of
    the food (and drink).  And we call the second kind of cooking a kind of
    art.  Does it mean art inherently requires work?  Attention?  Thought? 
    Maybe.  But in consumption the first meal likely won’t bring out the
    truth of the food quite the way the second one would.  But we’ll eat
    either one, probably.  Within reasonable parameters.  Personally, I
    prefer the second in a social situation, whether I’m cooking for others
    or receiving the fruit of their kitchen.  I try not to be ungracious but
    I’d feel a little unloved if I was expressly invited to dinner and my
    friend just nuked some leftovers for out dinner.  …within reason of
    course.

    I also think of the great painters – Picasso, et al – whose sketch books fetch top dollar at auction, though they themselves never intended for the sketchbooks to be consumed in the same context as their finished works.  We can see the strength of a brilliant artist in the books but what is that compared to Guernica?

    Yeah, you could leave behind editing.  There’s never been an absolute objective need for it.  Apollo is not going to come down and yell at you, the muses aren’t going to head out and find someone else to hang with. But there is subjective preference – and subjective distaste.  You don’t mind if George RR Martin spends the rest of his days blogging about football instead of writing his Song of Ice and Fire series?  Fine, neither do I, because as it happens I didn’t like A Game of Thrones. And maybe his blog could contribute to the body of literature, and maybe the blog is truth, resonating with both Martin and many of his readers…  but it’s not doing whatever Song of Ice and Fire was doing.

    Sorry, I don’t have direct comment for your blogs or tweets with regard
    to their possible artistry.  You’ve made your point that you expend
    energy on crafting them, though only you know how much effort and when
    exactly you gave up and just reheated some leftovers, so to speak.  Only
    you know when you really worked to bring out the truth and when you
    just tapped out what was necessary to keep moving.  And only I know when
    I skim most of your tweets because you’ve gone on a tear about
    something I don’t care about and are seeking only validation, dismissing
    dissenting opinions (or retweeting them so followers know who’s being
    the jerk this time), versus when I write down something you wrote in my
    hard notebook because it was so clear-eyed and true and I don’t trust Twitter’s non-archiving to remember for me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EGMTN7RWD4CXTXRKFKVXAITLZM christina

    In regards to your  “think abou tit”….Oh the wonderful things we’d miss if we shell checked our selling.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OonDPGwAyfQ

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EGMTN7RWD4CXTXRKFKVXAITLZM christina

    In regards to your  “think abou tit”….Oh the wonderful things we’d
    miss if we shell checked our selling. 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OonDPGwAyfQ 

  • chixbreast

    be happy you were in santa fe…where i come from (key west) you would’ve been ticked for harassing that chicken! (seriously)

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