I’m not very consistent. Since 2006, www.sawyerpaul.com has had fourteen redesigns. It started as an iWeb file, then moved to Rapidweaver, Wordpress, back to iWeb, and then finally Tumblr. I think I’ve had ten or twelve different themes here at Tumblr. I’ve paid for two of them, including this one. My small press, my little business, Gredunza Press, has seen almost as many redesigns and shifts in focus.
I’m worse with my other ventures. As a music journalist, I wrote under three different names, four different brands, and five different websites. It was impossible to keep track. When I changed my online handle from Kyle David Paul to K Sawyer Paul in 2006, I remember Shawn from Broken Dial getting irate at me. Totally understandably, my readership dipped when I changed my name. I had a brand, and I changed it, and people who followed me before couldn’t find me.
I’m perhaps most popular online as a writer of wrestling journalism, and its to people who have enjoyed my work here I’ve been perhaps the worst to. They suffered through the name change the brand change, my random disappearances, my wildly inconsistent shifts in quality (if you ever care to find my archive from 2007 at Pulse Wrestling, you’ll notice some articles that were okay and others entirely unreadable), and too many website changes to count. My recent decision to alter The Footnotes of Wrestling into the new International Object ruffled some feathers, and I’m sure I lost some readers, and I’m sorry.
Why do I do this? I honestly don’t know. A lot of it has to do with avoiding stagnation. If I’m feeling like I’ve got writer’s block, I’ll rearrange my office. I know it doesn’t help, but I can’t stop myself. It’s probably the same with website designs and branding decisions. I know the change won’t necessarily make me write more, but sometimes it does. Sometimes it’s the kick in the ass that I need.
There are benefits to redesigns and focus shifts, of course. You can attract readers who may have never seen your previous work. And I do believe people who like my work will stick with me, will find a way to keep up. The people I tend to lose are casual readers. I have nothing against casual readers, and I don’t like losing them. But I also don’t have a solution to that problem.
I can’t promise I’ll never rearrange the deck chairs again, but I’m feeling really comfortable in my current setup. I’m 1000% happier with the wrestling site now that it’s called International Object and it has its own domain. I’m a lot happier that I’ve gotten rid of the Aggressive Art stuff on this site, as it took away the focus from my personal work. I re-launched my first novel a few weeks ago, and it looks great. I did that to get myself ready for the release of the next novel, which is only a few months away.
Thanks for understanding that I’m totally crazy.