350 wine and food blogs in Massachusetts, most which did not exist when I started my blog. And many of them will probably not last for four years.
Why have I had such longevity? Is there some big blogging secret that I can reveal to others? What continues to inspire me after all this time? Are there still original and unique topics for me to write about? Am I still happy doing what I am doing?
The first and last questions are directed related, and there is no major secret involved. I have made it this long because I still very much enjoy doing it. Writing can be a task, but it is something which I find fulfilling, which brings me joy, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Yes, there are times when it only seems to be a laborious chore, but those are few and far between. If writing became laborious as a norm, then I probably would stop doing it. But overall, writing continues to make me very happy so I will continue to do so for a long time to come.
Not everyone feels that way, and there is no reason they should. Everyone is different, and possesses their own preferences and dislikes. Starting a blog is very easy, and appeals to many people, but a significant number of people will never complete a year of blog posts. Kudos to everyone though who has continued to blog year after year, as it is a significant achievement.
Food, wine, sake and spirits continue to inspire me as there is always so much more to learn, taste and experience. I cannot grow bored as there is always a new challenge out there, a new marvel to behold, new factoids to learn. I believe my knowledge and wisdom have continued to expand over these last four years, but there is still so much more room for growth. I have but delved into a mere fraction of what exists. Thus, I will never run out of items to write about. As I look back just over this past year, I realize how many new things I have experienced. With a new year before me, I can anticipate many more.
Let me present just a few highlights of the past year. I have acquired two certifications, becoming a Certified Sake Professional and a Wine Location Specialist. In addition, I have taught several educational classes and presided over a number of tastings and dinners. My travels have taken me to places including San Francisco, Washington, Spain, Italy, Argentina and Chile. My rants have garnered lots of attention, both positive and negative, especially when I called out Alton Brown. My extensive number of restaurants reviews have kept me at #1 (out of 203 blogs) on the Urbanspoon Boston Blog Leaderboard. I was also interviewed by the Boston Globe about my sake passion.
My passion for food, wine, sake and spirits has become more than a hobby, and has transformed into my profession for more than a year. That has been far from an easy road, but one which has been more fulfilling than any of my previous careers. It entails more than just writing on my blog, and extends in many different directions, such as teaching seminars and hosting wine dinners. To make this a profession you need to be flexible, versatile and creative. You must always be looking out for new opportunities. You'll probably never get wealthy, but you might be very happy, and that is what is most important in life.
There are many people to thank for not only this past year, but for all four years. I want to give thanks to all of my readers, and hope they continue to provide me their input, questions and comments. I want to thank all of my family and friends, who have been so supportive for all these years. I am very appreciative as well to all of the new friends I have met through the food and wine community, from fellow bloggers to chefs, from wine store owners to wine makers. Food, wine, sake and spirits are always much better when shared with others.
What is coming up in my fifth year? Hopefully more certifications, maybe including becoming a Certified Sherry Educator. More travel, with a couple of trips already planned for Niagara, Toronto and Virginia. More new restaurants, more new wines, more new friends. And who knows what else will come about. All I know is that it will be a fascinating year, with plenty of new experiences.
Go forth and drink and dine with passion!