We here at Cherry Red headquarters love discovering new blogs, especially ones that don’t quite fit into the typical mold and offer both an intriguing voice and singular look.
Radspace is a fine example of a totally cool, insightful and elegantly-designed, text-only blog, written by lifelong spanking enthusiast Rad.
And one has to love the refreshingly clean, minimalist WordPress design theme Rad has chosen.
The Radspace blog is also unusual in that it has no photos or illustrations and it is updated daily(!) with short, thought-provoking essays on a truly wide range of topics.
Radspace typically has serious tone to it, yet it’s always a fascinating read, whether he’s blogging about the curiosities of spanking party etiquette or analyzing the intricate complexities of the spanking kink itself.
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The Cherry Red Report chatted with Rad about his motivations and muse, and asked him for his thoughts — and advice.
So what sparked you to start a blog in the first place?
The long version or the short version? I’ve always written in some capacity since the time I was ten. If I had been a more focused person growing up, I probably would have made writing my profession but that did not happen and over the years I’ve written as a sort of hobby and mostly for myself. For a brief time in 2007, I started a blog under another name that I intermittently wrote.
In October of that year, I ended up with a severe case of writer’s block and depression which lasted through February of 2008. When I came out of it, I wanted to do something that was creative and on a regular basis that would become a writing exercise of sorts.
Eventually, I decided that doing another blog, this time under my better known scene name, was the way to go. I got some thoughts together after coming back from the FMS party in Florida and published my first article on June 11, 2008. For the record, that “other” blog is dead and buried, never to be seen again.
How do you find the inspiration, and time, to post daily with your thoughtful blogging commentary? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blog updated daily.
I certainly have not seen many spanking or kinky blogs updated daily but that could just be because I’ve not run across them yet. I’m sure they are out there. As for inspiration: It has to be willpower and self-discipline otherwise I won’t do it.
I’ve told myself that I have to post an article every day and that’s that. Coming up with ideas isn’t always easy. Some days it just comes off the top of my head and onto the page with little effort. Other days I have to really work to bring up a subject to write about. I sometimes peruse message boards and other blogs to get ideas – a person can often find really good thought provoking ideas just in the comments sections. It’s just a matter of thinking about what piqued my interest and expanding upon it from my point of view. If my comments are “thoughtful”, it’s a total accident.
Do you ever skip a day to not blog?
Some days I will write two or three blogs, usually when I’m very inspired to write. If I have it in me, I’ll get it out and not wait a day during which the idea might disappear entirely. So there are times when I’ve written that day’s article ahead of time and can take a little break to recharge my batteries. However, I won’t allow myself to not have something to go every single day – those are the rules I set for myself.
Do you read a lot of other spanking/fetish blogs?
I don’t know if you could call it “a lot.” I read some that are written by folks I know or people whose perspective is a little different than mine. I try not to miss Nikki Flynn’s Not Blog because I love her writing and her passion for the subject and the fact that she puts so much of herself in everything she writes about. It’s most excellent. There are a lot of people writing in this genre with various amounts of success but each different thing I read by one spanko or another is interesting in its uniqueness. All these folks put their experiences out there and it’s fascinating to read what they think. Also, I can’t say that I mind some of the blogs that throw pictures up there to look at – for educational purposes only, of course.
Most of my reading is done in my two other passions: politics and tech/geek stuff. Politics is my sports and I’ve always been a tech whore for what’s new.
Any advice for new spank bloggers trying to get a blog off the ground ?
I think the first and most important thing is to write about something you have knowledge of or are passionate about. If a person is going to write on a regular basis, they have to make sure the subject can hold their interest and that they actually have something to say. In my estimation, it’s less important to be totally original than to be totally “you.”
Ten people can write about the same thing from ten different perspectives and not be copying each other at all. Once you’re sure you have a subject, get the technical stuff out of the way which includes choosing the right web host, the blogs look, etcetera. I use WordPress because I like the interface plus the themes and plugins to customize what I do – the basic level of service is free which is good for starters. Once the techy stuff is figured out, a person has to get down to writing which is the actual work. If a person is genuine and has some ability to convey their thoughts, they will be successful.
I am wondering if you have any advice on how to prevent blogging burnout, an ongoing issue throughout the blogosphere in general?
I think it’s important to first discover exactly what you’re burned out about. Is it the blog itself? The subject? Outside life giving you so much stress that you can’t be creative? That happens to me. My job is very stressful. When you add in the tough economic times and family issues, it sometimes is a great deal of stress to confront on a daily basis. It eats away at my creativity and makes me want to do nothing at all. When I feel that way, I just let my mind go a bit which is my method of “meditation.”
It doesn’t mean just sit cross-legged and think of nothing, it means just let yourself relax and do things that are not stressful. Surf the web, read a book, watch TV, play a game, do the dishes – all of these things push the stressful items to the back of your mind and free up precious brain cells that have a habit of spontaneously popping ideas into your head.
The worst thing you can do is stare at a blank page and see it as your enemy. Write something down. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. I start and stop many things that eventually go nowhere until I find one idea I like – there’s no shame in starting over but just start the ball rolling in the first place.
I love the elegant, clean look of your blog–it really does not look like any other blog.
That was totally intentional with a little help from that particular WordPress theme. I decided really early that Radspace was going to be about the words and just the words. No pictures. Once that was established, I just went looking for a theme that matched my idea of what I wanted my blog to look like and discovered the one I have.
A little bit of tweaking (which wasn’t hard) and there you have it. I like the darkness of the theme mostly because there are too many sites out there already that are beaming at me in bright white or crazy colors. I also think it’s easy to read (at least it is for me).
You are clearly very experienced, and deeply involved in the spanking scene. I am wondering if your interest ever wanes, or is it always there for you?
I dispute the fact that I’m “clearly very experienced” but my wife Sandy and I try to be involved in the scene as much as we can – mostly because we enjoy it and enjoy meeting people. Like anything in life, a person’s interest waxes and wanes. There are times when I’m gung-ho about spanking and other times when it’s there but more in the background. I mentioned my months long bout of depression earlier on.
I really felt my interest in spanking and the spanking scene dwindling until I wasn’t sure I wanted to even continue. That was a serious case of the doldrums and I pulled myself out of it because I realized I was letting the depression and stress control me and suck the life out of things that I actually enjoyed like spanking.
Although my interest goes up and down, I find that keeping the blog going and staying engaged in the scene and connected with those around me helps me a great deal keeping the fires burning. I also think that having discovered what it is I like about spanking (discipline) has made it possible for me to enjoy it more fully because I know what I want out of the experience and seek out those sorts of scenes.