Mercenartist-2016

new year’s resolution display banner modes of flight

2016 Resolution Herald

concept art modes of flight

Starship Concept Art III

For years I’ve heard two camps square off on the subject of making resolutions. I’m sure you have too. You know, one group says, “Hey, don’t bother making a resolution, they never work! Just go with the Flow!” The business oriented faction; however, insists that you write out a business plan or business model. Well, doing either for a year is, in layman’s terms, establishing a New Year’s Resolution. Even sociology, psychology and business experts advise that resolutions will fail if they aren’t SMART (Specific Measured Attainable Realistic and Time-sensitive) resolutions.

I’ve gone many years in the past without drafting business plans or even personal resolutions, and I have spent the last four putting summaries of my more elaborate marketing plans on this blog. I can honestly say from careful practice and observation that both camps are right about the benefits and drawbacks of establishing a resolution.

By the end of 2014 I decided to change things up a bit. last year’s plan was to avoid going into detail about what my plans for 2015 were. I simply let you know what happened as they happened or shortly after; which is pretty much standard blogging anyway. I must say that I like this non-resolution approach so I’m doing it one more time. I am asking; nevertheless, for honest opinions from readers though.

For those who are also familiar with my other blog Hammer Home, do you think it should continue as a separate dedicated project site or do you think it would be better off being shut down, and continued on the main MOF blog? Many of you have very keen observations about adequate blogging skills and techniques, so I’m eagerly hoping I’ll get to hear what you have to say.

Beyond these points, I simply want to thank all of you who have been supporting Modes of Flight, and Hammer Home. Thank you also for sustaining keen interests in the arts and your favourite artists. It is greatly appreciated.

I also wish everyone a joyful, prosperous and loving 2016!

24 thoughts on “Mercenartist-2016

  1. I have a very minimalist approach to resolutions and don’t like the pressure behind publicly declaring what I want to do in the new year but every year I quietly set a challenge to be a better person than the year before. Maybe it’s to pay more attention to my surroundings, be better at thank you notes, stay calm instead of looking for stress but the end result is to live a quieter, happier life. As for your thoughts about closing Hammer Home I enjoy the focus of both blogs but think they could live together in one home. Maybe experiment a little with themes and menu options so you can import the Hammer Home content here instead of just closing it down? Enjoy your new year and all the experiences it will bring.🙂

    • Thank you so much. I understand that most who might actually have an opinion will likely keep it to themselves, so I really appreciate your feedback on this.

      I too can see Hammer Home existing on the main MOF blog with some relatively minor adjustments but I just want to irritate anyone who may prefer it being a separate project reference site. Running everything off of one blog would certainly make things a bit easier. If I do merge it with this blog, I’ll likely keep all the same themes as they actually came about quite organically.

  2. I have been sadly absent from Hammer Home because when I think of you, I think of this blog. Often, I get behind keeping up with blogs through The Reader and my fall back is to visit blogs by remembering and entering the URL into my browser. And to show you how clueless I am, I have been taking your street photography course on Hammer Home, yet failed to think about that site when I wonder ‘what is Allan up to’. After reading this article, I had another look at Hammer Home and love what you are doing there. I won’t forget to visit there again.

    I personally have only one blog because it is easier for me to maintain and gives people a one stop place to find me. I have toyed with the idea of starting additional blogs because I do a few different things (street photography/street art, sailing photography/travel blogging, and when the mood strikes, fiction and non-fiction writing). I separate these things with categories, but having them all in one blog may confuse audiences with different tastes).

    So having blathered on here, my answer is – do what works for you. We, your admiring audience can keep up with you wherever you want to be (one blog or two). If you continue with two, you may just have to remind us from time to time that you are in more than one place.

    Happy New Year

    • Thank you Lisa, and stay well in 2016.

      I like the one stop shopping idea, and originally thought that Hammer Home — when it was still known as the “Steeltown Neighbourghoods Project”, should be on the main MOF blog for that reason. It was seeing how much detail was going into Hammer Home that convinced me to spread the project over 3 separate blogs. One for the part of the city that lies across the suburban Niagara Escarpment, another for the lower urban quarters and a third for the rural parts. Each area carries slight but noticeable differences in the way citizens regard their city and each other.

      After a while, it still made more sense to try the one stop shopping approach, so I merged the three blogs into the one in current use. Public reaction seems to have favoured the move to some degree. I think it helps to make the project more focussed. So, I’m still wondering if I should just go all the way with my original plan to run everything off of the main blog.

      I very much appreciate your input.

  3. Imho, the resolution for any project depends on your goal. For the business purposes the blog has to be done with the business plan and has to be actively promoted to get as many as possible visitors and followers. Another story if the blog is build just for fun or as a place to share the opinions, stories, pictures, etc. I created my blog to avoid to write letters with the same contest for many of my friends and send them via email. Because I have still full time job, a lot of things to do at home, family matters activities I cannot write too often. I write when I have time and something interesting to share with my friends. Along the way I got a lot of followers and new WP friends. This is my point and understanding of WP community.
    I love your Modes of Flight blog but I never visited Hammer Home, actually I even did not know it exists. After reading this post I found that Hammer Home is interesting for me too. It is only you who can decide what to do with Hammer Home, depends on many factors. I hope you will find the right and good decision.
    Happy New Year!

    • Much appreciated Alexander, and thanks for starting to follow Hammer Home.

      As far as it’s impact on my schedule, it hasn’t exactly gotten tough to run both blogs but the challenge is noticeably increasing.

      I am originally an illustrator, and that’s what I try to promote myself as mainly being. I’m finding that more people are associating me with my photography; however, as a result of my keeping up with people’s demand for it. I’m trying to get back to painting and drawing more, and showing that side of me. So, my having to spend time creating illustrations while maintaining family life is cutting into my blog posting time and e-mail checking. Working everything from the main blog, which is the MOF art blog might be the way to go if my schedule really starts to get hectic.

      You’ve also hit on a very solid point; I haven’t promoted Hammer Home enough to generate and sustain larger interest.

      I hope that you like Hammer Home while it lasts as a separate blog — not to say that I’ve made up my mind to retire the separate blog.

  4. Good for the non-resolution approach. I loved the idea of a separating the blogs because they do hold their own identities. But I think at this point, I say, you should combine it together. I know, for me, back then I tried to visit both but ended up just staying on just one blog. And for the new readers, it’s hard for them to be aware of your other blog unless you link it to your posts again and again and again. Just my 5.

  5. Hey Allan, Happy New Year and best wishes to you for plans, hopes and achievements whatever the time of year. As for combining HH with MOF I don’t see why not, your voice throughout both is strong and consistent enough to blend beautifully.

  6. You raise to interesting questions here. As to the first about resolutions or not. Like you I see both advantages and shortcomings of both. As of late I have mostly made new resolutions each year and I think it does keep me somewhat focused. On the other hand I have always loved improvisations and jump on whatever comes by and seem interesting, which you can never plan in any resolution.

    Now for the other question, whether or not to keep Hammer Home as a separate blog; that is even more difficult. I often find that it can be confusing with more than one blog from the same author, particularly if there isn’t a clear enough distinction between them. That is not the case between Hammer Home and Modes of Flight – although both have a documentary approach to photography. But the comments here does suggest that it still poses a challenges with two blogs. However I personally would be very sad if you close down Hammer Home.

    Anyway:A way to belated Happy New Year to you, Allan.

    • Thank you very much, Otto. Excellent feedback.

      I still haven’t made up my mind yet regarding Hammer Home. More stuff to figure out; including if it may serve as a reference point in a bigger way in the future for the people of Hamilton. With very little local advertising, there is a little interest in it locally, and that’s pretty cool to me.

      So’ we’ll see what has yet to transpire.

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