Streamlining, Spring Cleaning and Saying Goodbye to The Old Wharnsby.com

Old Website Main Page

It is my opinion that the popular catch phrase “Simple Living” should never be taken as synonymous with “Easy Living”.   In fact, since more seriously trying to embrace “simplicity” in recent years, I have been so actively absorbed in tasks that setting aside time for writing about the experience has been nearly impossible!   Over the weeks that have passed between my last post and now, my family and I have spent time in Colorado, returned to Canada, moved out of our little condo to a cute bungalow, been busy with family priorities, home-schooling, Spring Cleaning and too much snow shovelling to dwell on.   Alongside all that, I have been trying to keep up with computer crashes, musical projects and weekend tours ~ juggling the life of a sleep-deprived, stay-at-home dad with the life of a tired, travelling minstrel.  Often, I believe, it would be easier to juggle flaming bowling pins in the nude, while riding a uni-cycle on a tight-rope above thorn trees, whistling Dixie with a mouth full of crackers.

Our recent move, spring cleaning and home-schooling adventures will all deserve blog posts of their own in coming weeks, but until then, I feel it important to share a decision I have made with those of you who have been awaiting a new post since December.

Last weekend, while visiting Boston, MA to share some songs with a delightful group of university students, I had the pleasure of meeting a young lady  who expressed her sweet support of this blog with me.   It was not the first such humbling circumstance I had encountered in recent times, but for some reason, her passion about my little posts seemed to provide me with more inspiration for reflection than usual and the motivation needed to present a new offering.

Over the past many months of touring in the guise of a travelling troubadour, it has been consistently heartwarming to have individuals in several countries approach me after events to voice their support of this blog, encourage further articles and lovingly demand updates on my daughters, DYI activities, composting and gardening.   It seems that increasing numbers of folks ~ especially young people and fledgeling families ~ are eager to embrace more meaningful lives, simple surroundings, earth- conscious choices and perennial philosophy.  Naturally, such endeavours feel easier when embarked upon with friends ~ hence the camaraderie fostered through a somewhat interactive blog as this.

Spun-off of my “Wharnsby.Com” music-site, this blog began as nothing more than a personal outlet for my thoughts  ~ a means of documenting my ongoing experiments in living simply while bouncing seasonally between homes in Pakistan, Canada and Colorado, USA.  It was unceremoniously launched with no cross-references to my music related activities and was initially not publicized in any way to supporters of my poetry or CDs.  Yet within weeks ~ and much to my surprise ~ the subscriptions began to pile up!   When I did begin to gradually merge the blog articles with my music focused Facebook page and website, I worried that perhaps combining the “two worlds” would cause problems.

What if music lovers came to my website looking for flashy music videos, MP3 downloads, snazzy PR pictures or links to my hip performance clothing sponsors…and were confused to find only articles on “Rain Harvesting” or “5 Creative Uses For Wooden Clementine Crates”?   Would they think I was some has-been, middle aged singer/songwriter too proud to sign with a music label providing him with professional distance between fans behind a glossy website and a producer to auto-tune his aging voice… an “Anti-Diva Diva” so disgruntled with the music biz that he’d gone cuckoo and started recording songs in his home-studio between tea parties with his daughters and house-plant waterings?  (Alas, their assumptions would be correct I confess.)

What if Global Green Granola Eaters wanting to keep up with my escapades on minimizing plastics in my home were constantly being “updated” with posts about my latest tour venues, home-studio outpourings or recently published poetry anthologies?  Would they feel I was using my “Simple Living” platform to promote my artistic “products” wrapped in recycled cardboard with 100% vegetable dye inks?  Packaging my home-made cookies, as it were, in brown paper bags then selling them for double the price of Mr. Christie, like so many specialty “Organic Food” shops do?

Thinking upon all these things, reflecting upon the support I have had for this blog and the years of support I have had for my music…and dwelling for days upon my true passions, I have come to a conclusion:

In an effort to streamline my time spent on the internet, while also presenting my work, my ideas and my passions as simply and honestly as possible ~ the old Wharnsby.Com will go off-line shortly, with it’s URL being directed here to this blog hence forth.

It was never my intention to be a “professional” musician ~ use music as a means of securing financial income, distribute it in a competitive way within an arena of other musicians, or commercially target-market what I record to any specific niche community or music-loving audiences.  Here I find myself a professional musician, and though I am grateful for the good that livelihood has brought my way ~ there are aspects of The Life that I struggle with painfully.   Aspects I wish to change for my own peace of mind.

Music is, and always has been, a means of artistic expression for me.   Those who know me or have been to some of my shows will have perhaps heard me say many times:  the true reason I write is because I can’t afford a therapist.   In my early days of releasing music publicly, I was always a dedicated “Do It Yourselfer”, handling all aspects of my expression independently, from writing and production, to graphic design, layout and distribution ~ hoping that such a hands-on approach would help me to keep a focus on the music itself.  It was always my desire to avoid PR photo shoots and avoid having my face grace album covers.   Things changed in about 2003 when I attempted to re-adjust my music distribution to the rapidly twisting industry, shifting uncomfortably in those days from CD/live-venue based marketing to digital sales and web-based PR.   Suddenly there was “Wharnsby.com” cluttering the internet and imposing upon me expectations for annual make-overs to both the brochure-style site and my own personal appearance atop its pages.

Another aspect of the music-biz experience that has been a nagging thorn under my guitar strap, relates to the often egocentric nature of “selling one’s art”.   Perhaps others can balance believing their own bios with being down-to-earth better than I am able to ~ and more power to them ~ but I find the threat of losing one’s self in marketing what is sacred to one’s self very troublesome.   Since I began writing at the age of 17, quests for simplicity, spiritual growth and sincere expression have been the foundations of my writing.     Trying to maintain those quests sincerely while simultaneously selling the musical musings they inspire has been a very tough road.  Now, after two decades of stumbling along ~ quite honestly ~ I am just tired of selling myself, my faith and my music.

Turning off the promotional “Wharnsby.com” website and having this blog be my primary platform for expression feels much more genuine to me and may hopefully be one small step in trying to simplify my life further.  It also means less time updating a website (on-top of this blog and a Facebook Page) and less money on web-hosting annually.   Another step I am taking involves the revamping of my professional music company (publishing and distribution wings) into a non-profit entity more heavily supporting educational programs for children overseas.     A few hundred dollars a year in saved web-hosting fees equates to two years tuition for a child in rural Pakistan.

It seems, based on feedback I receive to my music sites and this blog that, just as my passions for trying to live simply and honestly have been primary inspirations for my poetry and music over the years ~ in like fashion, many supporters of my writing and music have also been individuals sharing desires for the more “organic” aspects of life.

So ~ I hope those of you who have been sharing these posts with me here over the past year or so will bear with me in coming days/weeks as I add a few new sections to this site, consolidating some of the music/poetry related pages from the other Wharnsby.Com site with this blog.    I have tried to see if I can keep those additions from being sent out to all of you as “updates” but do not think I can disable that function.  Thus, if you get an update listing my CDs/books etc, please don’t think I am advertising ~ I assure you, my intention is to simply merge my worlds together ~ leaving me more time to write articles for this blog about my plans for building my daughters a soap-box car and why exactly I won’t be buying any new books, CDs or clothing for the next 9 years….

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Categories: Personal Philosophy, Simple Living

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14 thoughts on “Streamlining, Spring Cleaning and Saying Goodbye to The Old Wharnsby.com

  1. Adeel

    great to see you back.

  2. Zara

    hmm although I prefer your blog more than site, honestly I don’t like this idea at all. I love the idea of simple living, but this is a bit to extreme and unnecessarily for me. Of course you know what fits you best ,and while I’d have few (good) arguments why you must keep the site live I’m gonna shat up now. All the best !

  3. Zara

    *shut up
    lol 😉

  4. Mona Rahman

    Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    Nice to have you back online Insha Allah.

    Wassalamu ‘alaikum
    Mona

  5. Thank you Zara ~ I love your honesty. There is no doubt in my mind that many good arguments exist for why I should keep the old site, just as people have presented me with good arguments for years as to why I should make music videos, up my performance fees, work with managers, agents or have an assistant manage my personal correspondence. But those things are just “not me”. It is a joy and privilege sharing my songs with audiences in small, intimate venues and a delight that people are able to take my songs home with them on CDs to reflect upon or sing-a-long with in private, but I find great discomfort in the “marketing” that goes with the music. It is not my opinion that “marketing music” is in any way “wrong” or that those who do it are dong something “wrong”. It is simply not comfortable for me.

  6. Mike

    I am glad that you have made your decision dear cousin. Happiness comes from the choices we make, not from the choices made for us by others. Blessings for you and your wonderful family.

  7. Zara

    Now I completely understand you. “Selling yourself” in most cases is exhausting part of profession.
    I have to admit I was subjective mostly because of nature of work I do. I really like when I see good website design specially when representing dear and good people from my “ummah”. wharnsby.com is so warm and stunning and that’s the main reason I’m a bit sad for turning the site off .If you can, hold all files, maybe you could incorporate parts of that design on this blog or something, just don’t delete/destroy it.

    P.S. it would be great if we have “edit” option here on Sipping, for moments when fingers are faster then mind 🙂

  8. Salaams and nice to see you back! You do what you think is right!

    You’re actually coming to my city this week, so I hope to meet you in person, Inshallah 🙂 !

  9. All good things. Disappointed to see wharnsby.com fade but happy for your new seedlings growing on the greener side of life of “self-promotion”. May Allah keep you & your family pure.

    In faith,
    Zaufishan

  10. Irina

    Assalamu alaykum dear Dawud,
    I am very grateful to you for sharing with us your thoughts and ideas. Reading your posts has always been very inspiring. Especially when I feel lost and doubtful I go to your blog and it helps me a lot. This is a way of life I am looking for, even though currently I am too far from it. Knowing that I am not the only one who has that “crazy” idea of living not easy but simple life gives me hope and strength to move forward. I just started my spiritual journey and your experience reflected in your music and posts is very interesting to me.
    Thank you that you are who you are.
    May Allah bless you and your family with a happy simple and peaceful life.
    Sincerely, Irina

  11. Ammar Awais

    I think its a great idea to merge the blog and the music web site. You’ll have the satisfaction of having ‘all your stuff’ at one place — a definite step to make life simpler. Eagerly waiting to read about the home-schooling “adventure.”
    Peace
    Ammar

  12. Hiba

    Salam Sir ^^
    I’ve always liked your way of thinking and living, perhaps that’s the thing that made me a fan of yours in the first place. You have your own philosophy in life!
    What I wanted to say is that seeing your humble character and how you try so hard to live this way in such a world is great, knowing how difficult it might be I hope that our support as fans from all over the world would give you strength and help you keep going on this road.
    wish you all the best sir 🙂

    -Hiba from Algeria-

  13. I love the idea of channeling what went into maintaining the website towards education for kids. I’ve read so much about how important it is to spend wisely and to me that means not just money but time, energy, and talent as well.
    I think you will be great at whichever aspect of yourself you wish to deeper delve into, Mr. Wharnsby. You are an honest writer/artist and that may involve making tough decisions. Which only makes us respect you more and wish to follow you in all the good you bring forth 🙂

    lots of prayers for you and your family,
    Ayesha from Pakistan

  14. AH

    A while ago I took what I thought would be a break from a messed up marriage. I quickly realized that I was unwanted anyway once my “family visit to get away for a while” was welcomed with a home delivery of moving boxes. If I changed my mind about leaving, I was certain I would get pushed out anyway. This was truly devastating.

    In all of this, we had two kids who were in my care for the obvious reason that I did not work outside the house so it was only common sense that I keep them with me. Yet my mental and emotional state was not one that could raise two young children in an environment that they deserved.

    During this time, I was introduced to your children’s book and CD “Picnic of Poems in Allah’s Green Garden.” I purchased this off amazon after reading my friend’s blog post recommending it. As soon as played it for the first time in my car with the kids, they truly enjoyed it. But it wasn’t until we listened to it the second time, third time, 759th time …. each time following the first I realized that YOU were teaching my kids Islam….an Islam I was unable to bring myself to speak about due to my struggles in life that left me spiritless. They would not only sing along but also engage in discussion about the meaning of the lyrics. Their minds were sponges while my heart was emotionless and you picked up where I could not go on.

    Today, while still struggling with my place in life, I have Allah to thank for your talent and impeccable timing. Your poetry and music put me in a place where I want to be, a place where I feel I can do good in the world, a place where I have the opportunity to regain confidence. Yet again, with your song “The Truth That Lies Inside” I feel such strong emotion and wish I could sing out those words to the world.

    Thank you for helping me raise my kids and thank you for helping me evolve. It was truly a blessing to meet you in person this past weekend; I wished I were courageous enough to thank you in person. Looking forward to constantly learning from your blog posts. Prayers and blessings to you and your family…may Allah reward you for the lives you touch with your words.

    Peace

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