Sunday, November 19, 2023

Pivoting While Whirling

Recently, longstanding and noted wine bloggers have been declaring. Things like:

“I don’t suppose I have many of you checking this site daily for updates…” - Vinography

“I have in fact been blogging without a break about every two weeks for more than a dozen years now, and I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit to feeling a little stale at it…and (will) take a brief sabbatical from this blog” - Tom's Wine Line

“…the blog will end its 16-plus year run on Jan. 15…sadly, I don’t think it’s relevant anymore.” - The Wine Curmudgeon

And while I have noticed the world of blogging in general doesn’t seem to have the oomph it once had in the world (it’s no longer the bright shiny thing in the corner) my take on anyone who might be having an existential moment (we don’t need another crisis) in regards to their relevancy is an optimistic one.

I say this because while I have been blogging for close-on 18 years now, and religious about posting at least once a week in all that time (the hard-head in me) I see wine blogging less as a way to gather more and more readers so I can influence them (those days are long gone) and more as an exercise for my brain. I’m doing a lot of exercise these days, both physical and mental. I see the upside to longevity, as long as it has a healthy component to it. Wine blogging plugs me into a creative outlet that is part of that regimen. And traffic is still pretty good, if only for the fact that after blogging for so many years, a lot of new readers come here because of a search engine and they are looking for content that might still be meaningful. I mean, a review on a 2009 Soave from 2010 might not be so helpful in 2023, but folks who come to On the Wine Trail in Italy learned long ago not to come here for tasting notes.

Why such unbounded idealism? It’s part of my organoleptic fiber. It’s the way I look at things. And I look at a lot of things, being mostly a visual person.

I have been reading a book, Think Again, The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, by Adam Grant.  Recommended by a longtime friend and erstwhile college roommate Kevin, we both attended art and creativity classes at Santa Clara University back when the crust of the earth was cooling. We’ve bounced ideas off of each other a lot in the past 50 years, but more so in the post-Covid world we find ourselves in. For one, we have more time to investigate stuff. But we also are still interested in things like art and creativity. Kevin taught the stuff at a university in Minnesota. I entered the world of sales and business, being a single dad and needing to keep a leakproof roof above and the lights on below. It served me well in regards to rejection. I learned to see rejection as an exercise that could strengthen me and my resolve. And now, when I cogitate about the state of blogging, with or without wine, I don’t think about relevance too much. I focus on the work, the words, the exercise and the strength building. If you build it, they will come, right?

To the folks who say it’s over, what then? Because, as I see it, you have to move forward, or you stop living. As Adam Grant writes, one must rethink and unlearn. And after so many years on earth, I find that prospect invigorating, challenging, and exciting as all get out.

What can wine writers write about that will give their readers joy and excitement? For my part, I think the everyday living, with wine as a component of it, and integrating wine into one’s overall life, is the focus I have these days. It doesn’t matter if the wine is $10 or $500, if it’s 30 years old or barely a year. If it’s from Italy or New Mexico. There’s something there that tells a story. And in my view, the story is more a mirror or a reflection, than a score or an apostrophe.

Yeah, the world is whirling about at unimaginable speeds. But in order to keep from getting thrown off, we’re going to need to pivot. And that is what is commanding my attention presently. 

© written and photographed (except the first photo, courtesy of Adobe Creative Cloud) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

1 comment:

Melanie Ofenloch said...

Very well said. That's what keeps me going too.

Real Time Analytics