Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
I started this blog because I'm passionate about beer. I love everything about the "elixir of the gods" -- the culture, the history, the camaraderie... and yes, its glorious ability to act as a delectable social lubricant.
But I love to write even more than I love to drink a good craft beer (or play a great video game). When asked what my one, true passion is (other than my wife of course)... I always answer: "writing." Lord Byron, the 19th century poet, said it best: "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." And I probably would. Not the clock tower/high powered rifle mad mind you. Writing acts as a release valve for me, and oddly enough... a different form of social lubricant that oils up the squeaky cogs of my "mad" brain.
I'm a writer. And after years of wordsmithing I think I've reached the point where I can call myself that without it sounding odd (to me) or egotistical (to everyone else). It's what I am, not what I do. I know that because I'm most happy when I'm writing... about anything. Well, almost anything. I probably wouldn't be too passionate about the lifestyles of the broke and infamous, but... ya never know. In the past I've written about George Lucas' Star Wars and PC video games, and I'm sure I'll eventually stumble onto some other topic that will "light my fire." At the end of the day it always boils down to one thing for me: passion.
I've always thought of "writers" as mythical beings, and I really do believe that "the pen is mightier than the sword." Writers have the power to make people cry, rejoice, rebel, change and even create nations. There is no limit to what a great writer can do... as long as they have passion. Sadly, any Tom, Dick, or Jane with the ability to turn on a computer can "write" about their cat (or their inanely boring life) through a blog. And because of this the luster of being a real "writer" seems to have faded to some degree. See, most of them don't have passion.
But I digress... what the hell am I getting at?
Over the years I've run into a number of "colleagues" that are jaded as the day is long. Why? They've lost their passion. I refuse to let myself become jaded. Hell, I still get giddy when -- no matter how big or small -- someone asks to profile me, or use one of my quotes, or tells me that I'm "relevant," or that my blog has made it onto a "best of" list... as was the case yesterday when the folks at the Culinary School Guide informed me that this lil blog o' mine made it onto their 100 Best Beer and Wine Blogs. All that stuff is not only very humbling, but -- even more than the money -- validates every single letter I've ever written.
A lot of great things have happened since I started this blog. I look at this space as my lucky charm. Furthermore, my life is richer for it. Writing, like all things, requires constant practice, and banging away here in my little corner of the blogosphere has not only opened doors to things I never thought possible, but has helped me perfect my craft. More importantly, it has introduced me to a brewery full of new friends.
It is said that the craft beer community -- top to bottom -- has a camaraderie unlike any other. Having experienced it personally time and time again, I can attest to the truthfulness of that statement. There really is nothing like it anywhere else, and it is my sincerest desire that the global wave of popularity craft beer is riding right now doesn't ever ruin that.
So thanks very much to all my friends, and all the people who keep coming back for more beer madness. The word "appreciate" doesn't even begin to describe my heartfelt gratitude! Oh, and thanks for letting me indulge in a little self reflection with this post. Now... let's get back to drinkin' some damn fine beer shall we?!