Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Blogging Inspiration

When I meet with people who read this site, one of the first questions I get is "What got you into this?"  (And the "this" is always italicized, like they are pointing to some gum on the bottom of their shoe).  My normal response, which is true, is that I was writing letters to the editor on a monthly basis and was frustrated that The Sun would put a one month freeze on letter writers before they would publish your next piece. (As for my inspiration for letter writing, read Lincoln's Sword by Douglas Wilson).  I loved to write.  I loved being engaged in the discourse.  But I felt like these "time outs" were holding me back.

Simultaneous to all of this, I was (and am) a wine geek.  One of my favorite websites at the time was Wine Library TV, which is a video-blog hosted by Wine-Store-Owner-Turned-Web-Icon Gary Vaynerchuck (Vay-ner-chuck).  He would review wines in a very informal way that was engaging and educational, especially for someone that was very turned off by the wine-snob culture that is attendant to any attempt to learn about wines.  Gary's blog was premised on three key principles: 1) Post daily; 2) Interact with viewers; 3) Maintain control over your content (i.e., don't sell out).  He published a book called "Crush It", which is about developing a "personal brand" by doing what you love, being authentic, and using the Internet to reach and interact with more people.  I decided that I could do that...and so, in a very Gumpian fashion, I did.

Although I don't get to watch Wine Library TV anymore (maybe I'll get back into it after this post), I still admire Gary and follow his base principles for "being out there" in terms of a blog.  It isn't a job, but it is work.  It takes dedication, and a good measure of "passion" about what you are writing about.  It is the best hobby I've ever engaged in, but also causes me a significant amount of stress that doesn't go along with my other hobbies of running, cycling, and being an amateur foodie.  But I wouldn't change it.  In fact, I think that stress keeps it fun.

The next question I normally get is "Where are you going with this?"  That one I don't have an answer for.