Question(s): Does blogging about whisky, or anything for that matter, count as “writing”? Does “writing” about whisky and putting it into a blog count as “blogging”? And where does Twitter fit in to all of this?
I mentioned in a recent post that I basically backed away from writing about whisky a couple of years ago because I saw a saturation of the subject in blogs and social media. In my mind, there was a shift from the kind of writing I do – a creative non-fiction approach – to a straight forward, “This is what I think” approach set forth by a lot of bloggers.
I’d tie my whisky writing into cultural, social and literary references, whereas bloggers would say, “This is what I like.” They, for the most part, weren’t using writing as a creative art form. They used words as a way to describe, well, “This is what I think and like.” Time and effort wasn’t put into crafting sentences which embraced words in an evocative and provocative dance with the English language.
While the information and opinions provided by blogs were informative and sometimes interesting, I didn’t see blogs as really fitting into the realm of writing. So many of the millions of blogs out there , whether commenting upon whisky, politics, celebrity or “Man in Belgium changes his name to ‘Muffler’ and marries his car,” seemed to say, “Hey! Look at this thing that I found interesting!” and not much more. This approach was taking to an even further extreme with the word limits of Twitter.
Then I had a revelation, for me, at least. Maybe the problem wasn’t that blogs didn’t fit into world of “Writing” (make sure to read that word with a posh, nasally accent). Maybe the problem was that Writing didn’t fit into the world wide web of blogs. Not an issue of the new kid not being up to par with the wise man, but a problem of the old guy not being able to fit into the sleek, fast world of the young dude.
Finally, before the cranky old man took complete control over my mind, I realized that, ultimately, it’s all about communication and connection. Certainly, I think writing as a creative craft elevates information and opinion to a level that invites readers to challenge and expand their own thoughts and beliefs. However, I also now believe that blogging, or even tweeting, is a way to quickly connect people with a shared passion in a manner that is not as readily available with more involved and lengthy traditional writing.
I don’t know who, if anyone, will share their comments about this post. But, I know that if a person in Finland gets really excited about a new whisky and tweets her thoughts, someone from Scotland will immediately respond with his own tweet. And Canada… And the U.S… And South Africa… And Israel… And Sweden… And the U.K… And…
Ultimately, we’re all trying to share our thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs as best we can, and hope our efforts connect with people. Some of us are just more long-winded than others.
Next week, I’ll examine the relationship of writing, whisky and communication through interviews with three whisky bloggers who have different approaches to sharing their passion.