Friday, October 2, 2015

Session #104: Our Navels Are Dark and Cavernous, Yet We Must Gaze. Alan Said So.

My policy on this blog, until today, was to never write about writing. I might have wavered once or twice, but mostly I thought it would bore people. Which is odd, since I happen to like the topic. I'm a writer after all. So are you, I reckon.

So with this post, my contribution to the 104th Session, I'd like to formally announce my rejection of that policy. From now on I might write about writing here, or blog about blogging. Executive decision. I won't even bring it up with the committee (which anyway only has two standing members: myself and the beagle intern-for-life).

The thinking behind the policy was that anyone reading a beer blog was interested in beer, not beer writing. In retrospect that was wrong -- or at least it is wrong now. It now sounds like plain common sense that most of the people who read blogs are bloggers themselves. The others left, or were never here. You are a writer, probably. Or maybe you are one of those "beer communicators." I'm not 100 percent sure what that is -- like beer evangelism, except more honest since everyone knows you're getting paid? -- but fuck it, you're welcome here. I've been reading your stuff too, when I should have been working.

It's almost liberating, dispensing with the fiction that you're a general audience. Of course you're not. You never were, excepting that large subset that found the blog by googling Westvleteren. But they left. You came back, even when I didn't. You're (we're) the niche within the niche within the niche. Maybe what I naïvely imagined as a general audience was just a writing circle all along. Well, that's OK. We need those. The beagle is a good listener but he never really contributes much to the convo, you know?

Is it the writers' circle within the geeks within the beer world? Or is it the geeks within the beer people within the writing world? Maybe both. I'm not sure if I can draw that Venn on the back of a deckel. But I'm going to try, and you'll find the inevitably awkward result there on the right.

Seems like the two-pronged spirit of blogging was that (a) it was fun and (b) eh, maybe there is a professional use for it. To me -- a freelance writer's perspective -- "professional" means working for money. There are two important parts of that: working, and money. So much for (b). Blogging never stopped being fun for me. It just... stopped.

It's not like I ever look at my blog sitting over here, gathering dust in the corner, and think: "Can't be bothered, there's no money in it." On the contrary, I suspect that is exactly why I should do it. But lately -- and I reckon this is a good problem to have -- I must look first to a stack of projects that do pay. Can't do it all, so paying the bills comes first. Doesn't stop me from fucking around in any number of other ways though, does it? In retrospect blogging is one of the healthier ways to fuck around.

Oh dear. Next thing you know I'll be blogging up beer reviews. That was another thing I vowed never to do here.

Nah, on second thought. Boring! Who wants to read about beer anyway?