The second is that finding people is ten times harder than I imagined. While I wasn't expecting to be awash in people volunteering themselves, the fact is there's been hardly any who've done so: I've had to ask almost everyone so far. And that takes time and energy, things I don't always have at the moment.
Of course I knew from the start that I'd be spending a fair amount of time looking for creative people and chasing them up. Most have been kind enough to consent, a few didn't want to, and there's a few more that have said yes but are too busy right now.
This may not be rocket science, but it is all a bit of an adventure so one must expect ups and downs. One thing that does surprise me is that more people don't want to get involved. Actually I'm quite disappointed by this as I thought that most creative people would jump at the chance of getting themselves some free publicity. Of course, people don't have to join in, and they also have to decide whether the effort they put in is worth the rewards. When I first started this there were no numbers, but I can tell you now that the average viewing figures for unique visitors is anywhere between 500-800 per posting, which isn't bad at all.
Some people believe that they can't write for toffee, so have to overcome all sorts of negative feelings before they can put pen to paper, so there's clearly psychological barriers too. That said, I don't think most of us would struggle to write 500 words or so about our inspiration and work. Being creative means working hard, much harder than non-creative people imagine. You'd think that those of us who decide to take on the art and publishing worlds single-handidly are not afraid of writing so little. But you'd be surprised at how many very talented people have said that they'd struggle with the writing. Writers have no such excuse though - so I'm keen to find out why more writers don't jump in.
If you review the people who have taken part and the quality of their writing and their thinking, I think you'll see that anyone who participates is among good company. I do try to maintain a certain editorial standard but I am always keen to maintain the original work as much as possible. Allowing the writer to say pretty much what they want in their own way are key points for me.
One thing's for sure, the world of blogging is a live and on-going experiment. Yes, there are setbacks and frustrations, but there's also a lot of positives. It's been an interesting experiment so far, and I've learnt a lot from doing it. But the best bits have been reading about what inspires other creative people and knowing that the IAAY has benefited and encouraged other people with their creative activities. Which is all the inspiration I need to carry on.
P.S. it's never too late to join the IAAY, so get in touch if you'd like to be featured in the next posting. See the guidelines for more details.