Here’s the deal.
There were many supportive and encouraging comments on my last Musings article, Quitting or letting go? Apply discernment here.
And there was one comment that pushed my buttons. Made me feel down-right defensive, and self-righteous even.
On the path to inner knowing, anything that makes us feel defensive and self-righteous is a sign-post.
Something to see here folks, something to see.
And there was… once I’d taken some time to allow the defenses to melt and I was able to turn inward and look.
The comment was short:
What is TYLB? Is it a book, a personal blog (it seems that way to me), a NZ yoga website, a public meditation, self promotion, advertising, a way to pass time, a way to generate sympathy and support, a way to connect with people, a way for people to connect, a business? - David
Simple question right?
Brought up a few issues for though. See, the comment implied that it’s not clear what YLB is to your casual reader. It implied I’m not doing my job well as the editor of YLB, if people have to even ask that question.
Once I got over myself, I could address the validity of the question. And the more I inquired into it, the more I could sense that it was time for a change on YLB.
See, I’ve often been producing YLB from a writer-perspective, instead of an audience-perspective. Sometimes our needs have meshed, and sometimes they haven’t. David’s comment further drove it home to me that I need to see YLB as separate from me, and put the needs of YLB and it’s audience in front of my needs.
That’s what makes it a business.
I need to look at removing my personal blogging – which is more about my own creative expression – from YLB and instead focus on writing articles that meet the needs of the YLB audience.
It’s only a slight shift in focus. But an important one.
Yet I recognise that I need creative expression as a writer, it’s who I am. There’s many people who enjoy these personal blogging articles and gain a great deal of value from them. And I have the perfect place to do this… my own website. Kara-Leah.
So I’m playing with the idea of having my column Musings from the Mat fall into line with the style of the rest of the YLB columnists. That means I’d write every four weeks or so, and I’d keep my focus on observations of the way our practice on the mat informs our life. Likely I’d use personal examples to illustrate this, but the column will no longer be my personal blog or creative expression.
My intention over the next few months is make small changes like this that streamline the offerings on YLB for it’s target audience. I also plan to reduce the number of hours I spend on the website, bringing it more in line with the amount of revenue I receive each week.
This is also called business.
I’m considering offering a way for loyal Lunchboxers to pay for the value they receive from the website, exploring the idea of introducing a paygate, similar to Elephant Journal’s. If a reader wants to read more than three articles (or maybe two) a day, they’re asked to commit to a monthly or yearly subscription. Or come back tomorrow to read more for free.
Before I take any such steps though, I need to weigh up the cost in time and money to implement the system versus the likely gain by having the system, minus any negative implications for the website. (Feedback welcome on this, please leave a comment).
Underlying all of this work is one clear intention, the core purpose of why I started this website:
How can I best use The Yoga Lunchbox, and my skills & talents as a writer & editor, to serve the needs of the yoga community?
It strips out the unconscious need I was meeting through the website – my personal need for creative expression and connection.
It feels clean.
It feels clear.
And I like that.
What do you feel?