I have no answer to my above question, because I don’t know. I have super mixed feelings about my website which I will now try to explain, to myself and to you dear reader (if indeed anyone is reading this blog, defunct for so long)

I was reading through some of Crista Anne’s website, and she’s also a parent, of more than one, but the oldest of whom is about 5. When I started JG, my children were 2, 3 and 4 years old. I am now on the verge of the youngest one turning 21. When they were wee monsters, in the early days, what I did was no big. I didn’t worry about them coming upon what I did, and I mostly did site reviews and stuff when they were at school, or when they were in bed. I never saw it coming, how my feelings would change when they were in their teen years. I also didn’t see it coming how much WORK that would be. I always thought the hard part of parenting was when I was responsible for their every need, but that is SO NOT what it is like. And on top of that, nobody I knew in the industry was parenting children the same age, teenagers, so I felt like I had no sounding board, no connections, no support. Maybe that’s silly. I used to talk to Susie about things sometimes, because her daughter wasn’t so much older than my 3, but that was about the only contact I had with anyone who might have an inkling of what I felt like. Then, Susie is in my mind a Real Writer, and I am just somebody who happened to stumble upon a living writing things. I am not a Writer.

So, the past 8 years or so have been hit and miss in terms of working on the site. I told my girls about it maybe 2 years ago, when I figured they were adults and could have a discussion about it if they wanted to. I think I blogged about that whole thing at the time, what it was like for me “coming out” essentially as a pornographer. Or whatever. I mean I guess I just look at it and write about it, but I had my personal site back in the day when I was shooting with my ex, with old friends like James and Matisse, and other Seattle photogs. So I feel like I can claim being the talent as well as just writing about it. It’s like how I still would self-identify as a former sex-worker because of my phonesex days. Once I did that, once my kids knew and were cool with it, it was a huge relief, and I thought it would be easy to get back to work.

Not so.

Now, it’s the perfectionist in me that nags me with guilt about how out-of-date I feel like things have gotten. It’s a whole new world out there with new rising stars, and most of the people I was doing things with and connected with have moved on. Not all of them, just MOST. So I don’t know where I fit in anymore. I think I could sum it all up, if I’m honest, by saying that I think I’ve been afraid to restart things because I’m afraid it will fail. And that’s just silly. The important things haven’t changed. I still think there is a place for porn in the world. I still think consumers of it should know what they are getting and how to protect themselves. I am THRILLED with the amount of ethical, consensual, female-produced porn that is in the marketplace now – there was much less of it back in the day. And so I am getting back to work, and it’s hard, and I am nowhere near this being the site I want it to be, and yet: we are as relevant as our competitors, and just about as up-to-date. And I still think we have things to offer that all the review sites that came up behind me don’t, and that is my love of independent sites, blogs, real-life things, all the sites that never get mentioned on the myriad other review sites out there. I mean review sites are an industry I feel like I pioneered. We were pretty legitimately the first. That hasn’t changed, I just haven’t kept up.

So we shall see if this lasts, if I can do it, and I feel like I won’t burn out so long as I focus on the good stuff first. And when I feel all down about the starting point, I’ll just tell myself that hey, I left the site better today than it was yesterday, and that’s all I can do. Right?

~Jane

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