Starting a blog…

I wanted to get to bed early tonight.  In fact I had planned to be in bed by 12:30.  It’s 2:52 right now.  That’s a.m.  When my roommate went to bed, my exact words were…”I’m going to call my friend Tom, watch Jon Stewart, and go to bed.  That was at 11:15.  I just got off the phone with him about 15 minutes ago.

Tom and I used to have these great conversations in grad school.  He’s a fellow lighting designer and he shared an office with me.  We would grab a six pack of beer, turn on Tom’s I-pod (he hates my music) and chat.  We chatted about our lives, school, design, money, relationships, home, adulthood, beer, music, theatre.  You name it we talked about it.  Sometimes these chats lasted about two beers each.  And sometimes we would have someone go to the store for us and we would talk till four or five in the morning.  Luckily it was grad school so there was always someone working late that could take us home…or we crashed in the recliner in our office.

During one of these late night chats, the conversation turned to why we were in grad school, how we chose the school we did, what we had done differently, what we wish we had known then that we know now.  We both wished that there had been more help for us.  This then turned to the realization that once we graduated from undergrad there was little or no help in guiding us in our career paths.  We both knew we wanted to be designers.  But how did we get jobs?  How much should we charge?  How did we negotiate a contract?  What were things we should ask before we took a job?  What should our resume look like?   This lead into questions about:  Why go to grad school?  What program do you choose?  How many do I apply to?  Are there questions I should ask when interviewing?

Both of us come from very different backgrounds and our views of the business are very different and yet the same…if that makes sense.  This late night talk led to many other late night talks.  We started to take notes.  We emailed back and forth.  And then one night we decided we should write a book.  A How To Guide on getting work/going to grad school after undergrad.  We wrote an outline.  We gathered a list of questions that we felt needed to be answered.

And then I graduated.  And moved to NYC.  And Tom got busy in his third year of grad school.  And now it’s three years later and there is no book.  But the notes still exist.  The ideas are still there.  And after chatting tonight, it’s easy to see the excitement is still there.  We talked for almost three hours tonight.  And we agreed we should revisit this project.  He’s just taken his first teaching job, and I will start applying for teaching jobs in the near future.  And well, if we are both published, it will make his getting tenure easier, and it will make my getting hired easier.  And thus the idea was reborn.

And so we brainstormed and talked and chatted.  And somehow the idea was tossed around that perhaps the start of the book could begin in blog form.  It would be a way for us to flush out our ideas, get comments from our readers and figure out the exact scope of the project.  And after much discussion we have decided to do just that.  First we need a name of our blog.  And a header.  Branding is most important.  And then we need to figure out what our first couple of posts will be about…and then we’ll go from there.

Tom knew very little about the blog world.  He has no blogs that he reads and is kind of naive to the number of people they can reach and that you can actually get your message out.  He also didn’t know that you could start a blog for free.  Which is just what we want to do.  Get our message out.  Spend no money doing it.

So we were both given homework assignments and are going to chat again in two weeks.  At which point we’ll probably spend another three hours on the phone, but when we hang up we want to have all the information we need to write that first post.

So now we just need a name, and an image, and mission statement, a target audience, and a post.

How hard could this be???

And it gives me something to do with my time over the next to weeks.  Besides watch videos on X-Tube.


4 thoughts on “Starting a blog…

  1. Rick May 1, 2008 / 04:19

    Sounds like a good idea. You could also launch a web site to sell things for lighting designers or even just things about lighting design like funky t-shirts or something. Your blog would be your information and your website for product.

    Then again there’s always x-tube.

  2. Lemuel May 1, 2008 / 05:21

    I think the book is an excellent idea. If it does get to book form, it may also me some additional income. I would add a caution on the blog though: make sure you do it in a venue that will allow/support *you* to copyright all of your ideas/text/etc. You don’t want to spend all of your time and then have someone else steal your ideas.

    I also like Rick’s ideas about morphing the blog into a website through which you could sell items to lighting designers: books, software, Kum & Go t-shirts…


    HUGS! –

    Now, get to work on those ideas!!

  3. Sarah May 1, 2008 / 08:19

    Great idea!

    I do share Lemuel’s concerns about copyright infringement. Maybe you should keep it as an “invite only” site while you are still sorting out your ideas. That way you can get criticisms only from people whose opinions you trust.

  4. Mike G May 1, 2008 / 16:26

    Yes good idea. The title needs to be catchy enough to appeal to info overloaded undergrads.

    Having made that profoundingly obvious statement, I have no real suggestion. Ouch. Thinking outside the box is hard.

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