Featured Movable Type Site: Largehearted Boy

By Jennifer Jeffrey

A Large Heart That Shares With Others

largeheartedboy.jpgIn 2002, David Gutowski had an Internet radio stream called Guided by Voices that streamed songs by the band of the same name. Inspired by the Guided by Voices song titled “Unleash the Largehearted Boy,” he began to develop a plan for his own blog.

With a Master’s Degree in creative writing, a career in technology, and a love for music and culture, David wanted to share his interests with others and develop his writing skills. “I looked at several blogging platforms,” he recalls. “I wanted something I could host, adapt and customize. Movable Type had it all.” David appreciated the fact that Movable Type gave him control of his own blog installation. “Movable Type allowed me to do anything I wanted to with my blog,” he says.

Today, Largehearted Boy is filled with music recommendations, interviews, book reviews and cultural insights, and is read by fans, musicians and authors around the world.

Among its rich trove of content are insightful interviews with musicians and authors from John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats to Alina Simone. Another gem is the Books Notes Series, authors from Lauren Graff, author of Monsters of Templeton tolargeheartedboy2.jpg Amy Shearn, author of How Far is the Ocean From Here  share songs that are connected thematically to their work.

David’s Book Notes Series has not only been a reader favorite, it has also been important for authors: both Richard Lange, author of Dead Boys, and Lee Martin, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Bright Forever, included his Book Notes essays in the paperback versions of their book.

Another of David’s series is Note Books, in which musicians discuss their literary side, featuring notable names from Patton Oswalt to John Vanderslice.

Over the years, Largehearted Boy has received lots of love from the press, with mentions from Salon.com to the Times Online to the Wall Street Journal.

Even more meaningful to David than the press is the feedback he gets from readers. “Blogging is filled with daily kindnesses,” he says, “no matter how many readers you have.”

Making the Leap to Blogging Full-Time

largeheartedboy3.jpgIn 2007, David quit his job as a systems administrator to become a full-time blogger. Supported by advertising revenue and consulting opportunities, he’s now able to blog for a living. “Going full time changed the way I blogged,” David says. “I created a routine that I stick to every day, and I treat it like a job.” He writes his featured post each morning, and spends the afternoon posting and collecting information and notes for the next day.

He also has a sidekick to keep him company. “My wife and I decided that we would get a dog when I started blogging full time,” he says. Their terrier mix sits on David’s lap while he blogs; the two take walks around the neighborhood to help break up the day.

David listens to music while he works, making his way through the stacks of CD’s and digital downloads that arrive on his doorstep and in his email box every single day - well over 1,000 per year. “The publishing and music communities have become much more open in the last couple of years,” David reports. “A few years ago, I rarely received a promo CD; now I’m deluged with them.” He logs everything that comes in, but maintains a strict policy of only writing about what he likes.

How does David manage it all? “My wife is in school,” he chuckles, “so I’m lucky in that I can blog while she’s studying, and more than that - she’s very understanding.”

No matter how busy his schedule gets, David turns the computer of at 10 pm. “It has been incredibly rewarding to create something out of nothing,” he says. “Now I can dictate my own future.”