I’ve been doing this for five years? Really? Damn…..

Five years ago, more or less – not surprisingly, I’m running a few days behind on getting this post together – in a moment sparked almost equally by inspiration and boredom, I created a Blogspot account, typed up my musings on David Wondrich’s then-latest book (Killer Cocktails, at the time), and posted it online to be read by … well, mainly just me.

Now, having just reached the fifth anniversary of what became The Cocktail Chronicles, I have a mixed bag of results: hundreds of posts, scores of drink recipes, a daily readership that’s ranged from one to several thousand, more media attention than I deserve, about $4.50 in advertising revenue and a full-time writing career that owes quite a bit to this blog.

Five years in, I also have a dwindling enthusiasm for spending my free time doing much the same thing I do in my work life, almost no patience for the pubic lice of the Internet who seem to visit blogs looking only for items that will incense them into posting hateful comments, a fatigue with the incessant barrage of press releases pushing new types of booze that would be grossly out of place on this blog, and a lingering sense of guilt that I haven’t blogged about the countless ideas, suggestions, samples, people and experiences that I’ve come across during the half-decade I’ve been running The Cocktail Chronicles.

Five is a milestone year; if it were a child, my blog would be losing its baby teeth and asserting greater independence about now, and indeed there are times when The Cocktail Chronicles feels like a creature distinct from me, something that for a long time has been an outgrowth of my interests and my personality, but which now – due primarily to the time and effort required to keep up such an operation, coupled with my fatigue at doing the same – feels out of sync with what I’m really thinking and doing.

I’ll spare you the full extent of my bloggy navel-gazing, but suffice it to say that as this blog’s fifth anniversary approached, among the options I considered for its observation was the decision to whack it entirely. One day, it would be there, with the recipes for cutting-edge drinks I blogged about back in 2006 or 2007 that are now ubiquitous and even dated; and the next, like Paul Harrington’s belated cocktail section on Wired, The Cocktail Chronicles would be dissembled, its components scuttled into the dark depths of Internet oblivion. The idea of blogicide had a morbid allure, but ultimately – whether it’s because I still see value in the idea of maintaining the blog, or because I simply don’t know when to shut up – it’s an option I cast aside.

Anyway – enough with the Tim Burton-style necrodynamics. The Cocktail Chronicles is still here, it’s five years old (which in blog years is somewhere around 112) – whoopee! I haven’t forgotten my login password and I still drink more kickass drinks than I can reasonably expect to type up during my free time, so I’ll keep the old girl running for a while longer yet just to see where it may take us all.

Thanks for coming along these past five years, or however long you’ve been visiting the site. I’m not sure I can promise five more, but I have at least a few more good rounds left in me. Cheers.

11 Responses to I’ve been doing this for five years? Really? Damn…..

  1. Congratulations, Paul. I’m somewhere between years 4 and 5 myself, and I know where you’re coming from. Glad to see you’ll still be kicking around for a while, though.

  2. Reese says:

    Congrats, Paul! Glad to hear your cocktail wisdom will continue to flow.

    -R

  3. Matt Robold says:

    Five years blogging? That’s like 35 years in real time, right?

    Congrats, Paul! You’re the closest thing this community has to a “fearless leader.”

    Look what you started…

  4. Dr. Bamboo says:

    Many congratulations, Paul! You, along with a select group of other boozebloggers (They know who they are, the scoundrels) bear much responsibility for me spending an inordinate amount of time and money on making drinks and writing about them.

    Feel guilty yet? How about now? Now?

    *sigh*

  5. Lois Sanborn says:

    Oh, wow! Reading this post was an “Oh, no – oh, yay” experience. I’m so glad you’re going to stick around for awhile yet. I have loved your blog and think you’re one of the very best cocktail writers out there. So take it easy and don’t feel guilty about not posting often. I’ll be happy to settle for a semi-annual post as long as you don’t kill this site. Thanks for writing, Paul. Hope to see you at Zig Zag someday.

    Lois, the Lurker from Seattle

  6. David says:

    It would be rude to ask you to keep doing what you don’t enjoy any longer… but I hope you’ll give us a countdown before you pull the site (those recipes!) into the memory hole, eh?

  7. Joel Finsel says:

    You’ve helped infuse fresh excitement into my job (been tending bar for 12 years) more than you could know and provided some great talking points for me to use with my guests. Thanks buddy, look forward to future articles.

  8. Karl says:

    Decided to be lurker, no more!

    The Cocktail Chronicles is the reason to keep me reading, The Cocktail Chronicles is the reason to educate me,
    The Cocktail Chronicles is like my “hidden” guru.

    fingers crossed that The Cocktail Chronicles will keep on rocking!

    Congratulations Mister Paul Clarke!

    Best regards,
    Karl, SE Asia. KL, Malaysia

  9. Chris says:

    Thanks!

  10. If I may offer my elderly advice (MetaGrrrl.com will be 12 years old this year):
    - keep the blog but cut yourself slack on needing to post;
    - be ruthless about it being your living room and not putting up with rude guests;
    - add a friendly note to set the tone above the comment box and make that point clear;
    - know that good writing is the best revenge and good manners will outlast random asshattery.

    Lastly, when it really gets bad, sing along here:
    http://music.metafilter.com/480/Please-Stop-The-Asshattery

    love,
    Dinah

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