For the past thirteen years, give or take, I would sit in front of my keyboard and type out items that popped into my mind. Sometimes I approached this with great determination. Other times, I would do the literary equivalent of throwing pasta at the wall, and seeing what would stick.
Then I would click on a button, and publish the result in order for the world to read.
It’s a strange phenomena that this medium allows us. I could write about anything, and mere seconds later, a visitor from India, South Africa, or Akron, Ohio could consume it and consider it. This was magic made true by programmers and network administrators. For thirteen years, give or take, I took advantage of this and wrote with intent and joy. For the first few years, I wrote on another blog, where I could share/describe a medical issue to which I had to attend. For the past eight-plus, I’ve chosen to write about food, with a dalliance in travel here and there.
The intent for the first blog was catharsis. The intent for the second blog, the one you’re reading now, was unashamedly professional. I wanted to publish a book with a major publishing house.
I’ve been lucky enough to now publish two .
Since then, or, more specifically, since accomplishing my intention, I could not come up with a new reason to write. And so, I stopped. I hadn’t just stopped writing on the blog. I stopped writing, period. No quick exercises at home, no notes in the margins of the books I was reading, not even a comment in any of the other blogs I was reading. Beyond a daily e-mail or two for my primary job, I barely mustered more than one-hundred words in the past three months.
What have I done instead? I’ve toiled at the said primary job, and took a week to go to Europe, again (this time to Vienna, Munich, and Prague), and half-assed some research on a beer book. But for the most part, I let the world wash over me, instead of trying to direct its tide to suit my needs.
The reasons for this were many. So many, that it was difficult for me to parse out the why’s surrounding this sudden and uncharacteristic behavior. As near as I can figure out, I should develop some new goals that exceed, but relate to, the previous professional goals. In other words, I wish to have more books published, but wish them to be “better”, for lack of a less-cliched word. What “better” means is an idea that is still being slopped around in my consciousness, and being played with every time something definable appears.
There is the rub. “Better”. How do I begin moving beyond the benchmarks of 99 Drams and Sweet Tooth? Writing about food history is a difficult field to break into, and I can count on my hands the number of people who are doing it well. It’s just my luck that I have a passion that is the niche-iest of niches.
So, to those of you writing me and asking where have I been? I’ve been here, trying to create a new intent, and trying to better myself, and not really figuring out the hows surrounding it. Not yet, at least. But don’t consider this blog dead. It’s more dormant, until I can figure out where I want to gonext.