whither (or wither!?!) blogging?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When I saw, with a start, that no less a personage than my friend and mentor, the venerable Hosemaster, had dedicated a recent post to answering the self-imposed question “why bother to blog?” I realized that a sea change was in the wind. Not to bludgeon a metaphor to death (oh the hell with it, let’s do it) – when I set sail upon these uncharted waters many tides ago, it was with a certain sense of derring-do, albeit no particular landfall in the eyeglass, that launched my little bloggie boat.

“I’ll just set a course for the open seas!” I said to myself, and blather – I mean blogger – on.

Which I’ve done.

As with any voyage of exploration, I’ve hit some pretty rough seas along the way. The Sea of Failed Technology swallowed up my entire craft more than once, and I had to put into the nearest port and re-build from scratch.

The Sea of Miscontruction captured me over and over, as commenters galore (oddly, almost all using the pen name Anonymous) managed to twist, torque, or simply ignore what I had actually written in order to make a point of their own. Generally a barbed, spear-like point, aimed at my crusty old heart.

The Sea of Desperation I’ve avoided, never suffering the doldrums or entering the Horse Latitudes of writer’s block; but the Lake of Indifference, which runs directly into the Lake of Lethargy, has caught my sail more than once. “Why bother?” says me to moi. No one is looking at this phlegm anyway. It’s not like I’m Glenn Beck, getting $100 million to spew froth and bile. I do it for... pleasure?!?!?!

Well, that’s a bit of a stretch, but there is no doubt that I do it for free. Just like Joni Mitchell said, long ago, about the guy on the street corner, playing “real good for free.”

Most working musicians (and I am one) play real good for free, or almost free. Most actors, painters, photographers, sculptors – most artists – play real good for free. They do it for the P-word. Passion. As long as it exists.

So be it. I’ll continue to sail through the Sea of Passion, a little longer, with stops to re-fuel from time to time. I’ll check in with the Hosemaster when he returns to writing his unique brand of wine humor and stops thinking it needs introspection. And I’ll look forward to the return of Anonymous to these pages, who always has something curious, if not entirely relevant, to say.

9 comments:

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Paul,

In that HoseMaster post I was responding to a question I get asked a lot, "Why do you make fun of everything and everyone in the wine blog world?" It wasn't some kind of existential breakdown. I only have those over Justin Bieber. Because the HoseMaster is truly a fictional character and a voice, unlike what most bloggers do, which is write about their drab, wretched lives, I occasionally like to step out of character and write as myself as a change of pace. Unfortunately, I'm pretty dull, as that post will attest.

I wrote it before the recent Jamie Goode Tweet that pronounced "Blogging is dead." As though it were ever actually alive. Or maybe Mr. Goode meant only blogs that weren't Authentic, or Natural, are dead.

I've always done my blog for pleasure as well. But comedy comes from a dark, odd, strange, even damaged place, and that makes unleashing it difficult. The rewards, however, have been worth it--having friends and fans like you that otherwise I never could have met.

Wine Harlots said...

Awesome!
Love the Horse Latitudes of Writer's Block reference, I have languished in the abyss many weeks until the wind rises up and unfurls the sails.

All the best,

Nannette Eaton

PaulG said...

Ron, you are too kind. Whatever "dark, odd, strange, even damaged place" you occasionally explore, I would like the E-ticket. And one fine day we shall actually meet, and that will be the most fun of all.

Peter Rosback said...

Hey, I read you every day (when I can) and learn a lot. That said, I enjoy your music as much but don't have enough of it!

Catie said...

We must be of the same mind this week as I blogged something very similar. And yes, you do blog real good for free - which I happen to think is the beauty of this format. It's your own piece of the internet with no editors, restrictions or pressure.

PaulG said...

Catie - should I be worried when we are of the same mind!?!?!?!
Nannette - languish no more! Sail on!

maggie valencia said...

Paul, thank you for your blog. I check in everyday to learn something new about Washington Wines. I now can go to the wine store and know how to pick a good bottle that always pleases my family and friends. When I taste a wine, I take the time to appreciate the complexities and flavors that I never knew how to appreciate before. Keep on blogging, please!

PaulG said...

Maggie, thank YOU for writing. I am going to ramp down a bit for the summer (from 3 a week to 2 a week) but am also doing a blog re-design that should improve it on many levels. Stay tuned!

Dave Larsen said...

PaulGregutt.com and The Hosemaster are the only blogs I always read. A good one/two punch that are informative, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny. What more could you ask for?

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