Thirty in 30: Like starting over

It happens to all blogs, or at least most: the fresh-out-of-the-gate frenzy, the building of a voice and readership, the finding direction and redirection, the plateau, the falloff, and the long periods of silence. And then, usually, death — or at least, whatever the online equivalent of disappearing into the Amazon jungle is; either way, once the path of regular blogging has been left behind, at some point you forget from which direction you started and you’re never heard from again.

Four years ago, less one month, I started this blog, and I’ve followed the first few phases above, all the way through the periods of prolonged silence, stopping just short of disappearing forever. In the first couple of years, I posted pieces on scores of different drinks; in the past year, however, I’ve covered fewer than 20. Looking ahead and at what the potentials for the Cocktail Chronicles were, I realized I had two main paths I could follow: either abandon the blog and let it drift across the Internet, gradually falling to pieces like a ghost ship (or, for a more apt example, Paul Harrington’s old cocktail posts on Wired, which shed links, images and pages over the course of months before eventually disappearing completely), or I could put a fresh tank of gas in the old blog jalopy and see if it could still get up to highway speed.

Being either too stubborn or too stupid to quit, I’m taking the latter route, and hence this upcoming exercise in intense booze-blogging: what I’m thinking of as Thirty in 30. It bugs me on some level that I’ve covered so few individual cocktails in recent months; so, for each of the next 30 days, ending on the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Cocktail Chronicles, I’ll be posting one drink. The cocktails selected will be all across the map: some will be old familiars, others quite new, and several are ones I’m trying for the first time; many have dwelled in my notebooks for months or even years, waiting to be blogged about, while others are those that have caught my eye only in the last few days; and some should be fantastic, while others may be must-misses — I’ve never aimed to only cover the best of the bibulous world.

Anyway, by committing to this publicly, I stand a better chance of following through. This could turn out to be a total pain in the ass, but I’ve got a little extra time on my hands right now, so what the hell — let’s go for it.

19 Responses to Thirty in 30: Like starting over

  1. Fantastic decision, your blog is one of the best out their talking about cocktails and mixology, keep up the good work, hopefully for many more years!

  2. Cool, Paul is going supernova! Just like a stars last days, it does out with a bang. OK, I doubt you are disappearing, but this might kill you Paul. All that drinking and writing and drinking and writing. You might end up like Gary (Gaz) Regan.

    The only questions left is whether Paul is going to be a White Dwarf, Pulsar, Black Hole (let’s hope not). Or maybe we just haven’t given Paul enough attention lately?

  3. Ha ha! Better you than me. (Actually, I’m suffering similar pains with my site, and like you, I’ve had to find a gameplan to get things moving again. We’ll see how I stick it out.)

  4. Good luck with it Paul. That’s a heck of a project, but I think we’re all happier to hear you’re going full throttle rather than the alternatives.

  5. Your old posts are a treasure trove–as often as not, when I’m looking for information on a classic recipe or spirit, Google brings up a post of yours in the first page of results.

    I look forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for the next month, and to congratulating you on four years of blogging!

  6. Oooh! I’m excited… it’s always good to see people do things that they’re good at, especially when we can enjoy the results. Um, I mean drink the results. :)

  7. It’s funny that you’re doing this, because I came across some of my old blog postings from years ago and it reminded me of doing short little postings that were mainly if not all recipe just to pad up the data base.
    Damn you Clarke, you beat me to it again!
    See you Sunday….

  8. Wonderful concept! I should probably join you in this quest since I can’t even see my own blog through all the cobwebs.

    There is one problem, however, with this idea…… In the process of making the drink, tasting it, tweaking it, tasting it, make a third one to be sure….. it makes it really hard to write about a that point in the evening. I mean, which of the three keyboards that I am looking it do I use?

  9. Love it, can’t wait to see what comes up in my RSS feed!

    BTW, your site is so incredibly useful as a cocktail history reference, that I didn’t even notice that you’d not been posting regularly!

  10. I love your website, and I couldn’t be happier with the 30/30 plan. This plays perfectly into my recent feeling of being in a cocktail rut.

    All the best and keep up the great work!

  11. Thanks for the supportive notes, everybody — if this does manage to kill me, as Darcy warns, at least I’ll go out with a warm and fuzzy feeling that’s not just from the booze.

    And anybody who wants to join in on their own blogs, even for a little while (7/7?), is welcome to.

    Amelia — I usually don’t have much problem putting away 30 drinks in 30 days; it’s the blogging that slows me down.

  12. Looking forward to this month long sprint you’re undertaking! As a recent (~5 months) follower of your blog, I’ve only been around for the slow period, but I’ve enjoyed that immensely. Stay strong.

  13. Paul, you rock — I got my feet (and lips) wet in mixology about six months ago, and your blog has been a veritable gospel for my mixological studies. As I continue to grow my bar and my tastes, I look forward to and thank you for more recommendations and insights.

  14. Paul! This post strike to the heart me. It is great! I start blogging about 2 years ago thank’s in large part to your blog. Thanks for you job, man! I hope you are cocktails Duncan MacLeod actually :)

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