Friday, February 7, 2014

The Daily Grind...

Writing a wine blog can be a difficult endeavor. I have the utmost respect for those individuals that are able to publish something on a daily basis. A few blogs are the result of a collection of collaborators, but many are lone writers typing away every single day. I'd love to be able to write every day, but I just can't. While my blog sometimes gets in the way of my life, my life gets more in the way of my blog.

I have a job, a wife, a child and a house to take care. The cats and chickens are easy when compared to all of those other things, but they take work too. I'd be willing to bet that most wine writers that are able to publish daily have few of those responsibilities. I'm sure some do, and probably even more! The hardest part, but also best, of my life has to be the 2-yr old that is sitting next to me as I type this. 2-yr olds require near constant attention (if you expect them, and your belongings, to be safe). When I am home, and thus able to write, my attention is usually not directed at my computer. Diverting a few moments here and there to Twitter is much easier than spend a decent chunk of time typing on this keyboard (which coincidentally is missing the comma key because of a curious little boy...) when feeding, entertaining and cleaning up after the little guy are necessary. Before Ben was born I used to write at night before bed. But now, after he has gone to sleep, I usually just want to turn my brain off and watch television. Over the past year, I've been lucky if I've posted something once a week. Now, I'm not trying to get any sympathy. I understand that I could watch less TV or sleep less if I really wanted to publish more blog posts. My lack of ability for posting more often makes what others do even more impressive.

Time isn't the only limiting factor. Coming up with ideas is almost as difficult as finding the time to put those ideas into a form that other people might want to read. Yes, I do respect the writers that are able to write something every single day. I don't care if some of the topics are repetitive, banal or vexatious, daily publishing is still impressive.

I started this blog as more of a journal to catalog my exploration of the wine world. I would write about the wines that I drank, but I a grew tired of just writing tasting notes with no real bigger picture than just promoting a wine. I do receive a small number of sample wines and taste them with every intent of writing about them, but unless I find the wine really interesting and fitting into a bigger topic I am unlikely to just write a tasting note. Now if I were to start receiving more samples, then then topics such as comparing similar wines from different regions might be more reasonable stories. One successful tasting series was Ben's Bubbly. When my son was born, I added a weekly topic that focused on tasting sparkling wines from around the world, as well as documenting Ben's growth. It was a fun series, and one that I am considering bringing back, although with a different style of wine.

I tried to do a regular interview with Colorado winemakers, but that ran its course when I couldn't get any more responses from more winemakers. It is frustrating that so few Colorado vintners keep up with the world of wine writing. That idea morphed into a series of interviews of American vintners over on Decanter.com, but ever since an editorial change a few months ago I have been unable to continue with that (in fact, two additional interviews were submitted but never published). I might also try to bring these interviews back to the blog in the the future if I can find interested winemakers.

One of my favorite new topics is the occasional "guest" posts by Dr. Harry Oldman and Remi Burmí. The posts by these two characters are more creative and humorous than traditional wine blogging. Plus, they provide a different perspective than I would normal provide. I can guarantee that both will continue as guest writers in the future.

Most of my recent posts are simply opinion pieces reacting to some news item or an other wine writer's articles. I know that across the blogosphere too many stories are about blogging and I am just as guilty as the next blogger. Social media, the 100-pt system and the alcohol content of wine seem to be some of the more discussed topics by digital and traditional writers alike. I happen to think that a healthy debate has its place in the wine world. I am not shy, especially when I disagree with someone. However, there is a lot of navel gazing in the world of wine writing, but that can be said about many other fields. Just look at tabloid journalism. All TMZ and the like "report" on is the illegal or absurd activity of a few celebrities. In academics, many peer-reviewed articles are researchers debating research methods and findings. Politics seems the same way these days. There is more name-calling and criticism, over the same few topics, than getting anything actually accomplished for the good of the country.

I'd love to get feedback from my readers as to what you want to read. I'd love to be able to publish on a daily basis, but that is most likely not going to happen. I do, however, want to try to be more active on my blog. Would more reviews be of interest? How about interviews with winemakers or even retailers? Would having posts published on the same day of the week be a good idea? Do you think Dr. Oldman or Ms. Burmí should be retired? Get more coverage? I really want to know how can I make this blog better. Please let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Kyle, concur fully with your observations re daily postings. No way I can do that; it's all I can do to post weekly. Keep up the good work.