Look at that! This blog is 6 years old already. No! No! Wait! Don't go anywhere, please! This isn't one of those self congratulatory anniversary posts, a most onanistic aspect in an activity that, as a former (?) blogger from Asturias once genially put it, is already mostly onanism. No, it's none of that, it's worse. It's navel gazing at a level of tying to telekinetically remove the lint.
Most of you will have noticed that I haven't been posting all that much lately. In fact, this has been by far the least productive year in this blog. This is due to several reasons, first among them is that 2013 has been kind of crappy for me personally; there've been some good things, for sure, but the overall balance is negative. Not having enough time or money to go to places has also limited my output. All this, and other things explain why most of my post this year are rants. Rants are a good way to blow off steam and channel frustrations that aren't necessarily related to beers. However, after writing perhaps the ultimate rant with Alan, I'm kind of getting bored of that, too.
It's time to rethink my relationship with blogging. I've decided I will review beers again, but not as I used to do, or everyone else does. I want to review beers without using tastings notes – I'm almost tempted to call it a “redefinition of the beer review”, but that's quite silly, perhaps, though on the other hand, the reviews will likely be pretty silly, so there you have it. I'm still working around this and want to find the right beers to start.
I also want to write more stories. I feel there aren't enough stories written about beer and its people, even less if we look at Czech beer. I know many people whose stories deserve to be told and whose views deserve to be shared and discussed, and I'm sure there is a very large audience out there who will appreciate them. But I don't want to do it for free.
This isn't arrogance on my part, nor am I suggesting I'm going to set up a paywall here (that'd be stupid). It's about being fair with myself. You see, rants are easy, they are essentially opinions, and opinions is something you can pull out of your ass any day and without much work; at most, you'll need a few links to back them up. A story – a good story, that is – requires time, a more thorough fact checking than a rant and some research, too. Chances are that you will need to interview someone, and I don't like telephone or e-mail interviews, if they can be avoided. I much prefer to be with that person in the same room, talking to them, with hardly any questions prepared before hand, mostly listening to what they have to see, perhaps over a couple of beers, because stories tend to come out a lot better when you are having a couple of beers with someone. That sort of thing often implies travelling, which takes more time and also money. And that is, basically, the first reason why I don't want to write those stories for free, the other, the main one, is that I believe I can write pretty good stories and I'd like that work to be rewarded accordingly. I will have to figure out a way to make this happen. I'm open to suggestions.
Another thing I want to do is to start working on a second edition of the Pisshead's Pub Guide. A friend has been trying to get some financing for it, but there's nothing concrete yet and there may never be. Either way, I still want to write it and I want it to be better than the first, with a companion application for smart phones and tablets. We will see what happens with that.
That's basically it. Just don't expect a whole lot from me in 2014.
Na Zdraví! And Happy New Year!