Sunday, August 31, 2008

So I finally joined the blogosphere...

Every once in a blue moon someone whose ear I'm bending about whisky, or cooking, or films, or any of my other interests, gets around to suggesting that I either write a book or start a blog. Now I know full well that people who tell me this are mostly just being polite and/or nicely suggesting that I leave it alone or simply go away... Which is fair enough. I hate nothing more than bores, boredom, and being bored. As I have written a book before -- a real one from a real publishing house (available in Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc.), suggesting I write another book is altogether plausible. Unfortunately, I also know just how much bloody work is involved in a book. So, on balance, blogging seemed like a solid alternative.

Frankly, though, I was feeling pretty timid about this option too. There seems to be an awful lot of blogs already on the topics that interest me. A lot of these are rather good too. See, for example, some of the blogs I have listed in the margin's of this blog.Nor are these examples the only ones I read regularly, but hey, if I list a zillion blogs it'd be a tad too much, no?

Adding yet another blog to the pile seems a waste of effort. At best it'd be covering well trodden ground, at worst it'd be of zero interest -- like writing a breezy critique of Operation Iraqi Freedom or writing a sequel to the film Howard The Duck. Yet I still find myself gravitating back towards the blogosphere.

I can't help it. I'm a writer at heart. I make no claims to being especially gifted at this craft, nor would I even say that I have a particular aptitude for it above those of any other randomly selected semi-literate individual. No, when I say I am a writer at heart, I mean simply this: I have little self discipline about expressing myself and writing is my naturally preferred mode of expression. I also enjoy it. The craft of it. The fun of it. The communication of, and therefore the grappling with, ideas. I have made a meager, though not insignificant, living off of it. I now am a professional lobbyist by day, rather than a writer or journalist, but this is a simple matter of expediency. I am paid more for the one, than for the other.

Now a blog, as I understand it, is generally more diary or journal than treatise. I have a stronger stylistic grasp of the latter, and have seldom dabbled in the former. Whats more, I have generally always followed the "indolent disposition" of Dr. Samuel Johnson that "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

On the other hand, I can think of plenty of reasons to type merrily away at this keyboard, such as that Congress is in recess and idleness leads first to boredom, then to trouble. Further, I need not ever show this to anyone else, and I can delete it at any time. So, wtf?! Right?

I cannot promise that this will be of abiding interest to anyone else, but I will honestly endeavor to make it so. Bit of a crap-shoot, really. As E.M. Forster once replied, when asked his opinion on something or another, "How do I know what I think until I have written about it?" Quite. Likewise, how do I know that it will interest anyone else until I have at least determined that it actually interests me too.

Until I think of some unifying theme, I shall write about whatever the mood takes me to write...but mostly about Scotch whisky, maybe food/cooking, and, well, anything really except politics. I am a paid lobbyist, after all.

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