A number of readers have expressed confusion over why my current sailing ambitions have caused me to rethink the future of Proper Course. So let me try and explain...
As I start my training program leading up to the 2007 Laser Masters Worlds I want to keep a training log, a daily journal of training activity, racing, progress made, lessons learned, notes for further training needs and so on. Should this be a blog? Or a private journal?
If my training journal is a public blog will I be inhibited from writing in it everything that I would write in a private journal? Innermost thoughts about how the training is going, details of what's happening to my body, mistakes made on the race course. Do I want to share everything with the world?
And if I write all this stuff in a blog will it be remotely interesting to anyone except myself and perhaps a handful of other Laser fanatics? Do you want to hear about the color of my pee after a long day on the water in hot humid conditions? Or tune in to a couple of Laser sailors debating the length of their vang tail and how many handles it should have and whether to tie off the end and, if so, where?
And if I do write a blog about a Laser campaign such as ab is doing with Split Tacks then what should I do about Proper Course? Proper Course and the personality of its writer have been described by various readers as funny, sunny, completely insane, casual, twisted... It's true. I do try to write it in a way that will be entertaining to a general sailing audience.
So if I use Proper Course to write a blog about my training will the change in style be fair to the regular readers? How would you feel if The Onion suddenly turned into the New York Times? Or Dilbert.Blog morphed into Freakonomics? Not that I am putting my little old blog in the same league as those publications, by any means. I'm just saying that a blog develops a certain style and it seems wrong to make an abrupt change from frivolity to seriousness, from broad to specific, from casual to intense.
But why not have the best of both worlds? Have two blogs, one more focused, serious training blog and keep Proper Course going as a more humorous, off-beat look at the sailing world and my own foolishness? Or sticking with the theme I discussed in my Sailing Magazine post, why not just throw it all into one magazine blog -- introspective training posts, nonsense writing, curious stories from the sailing world, wild sailing videos, self-deprecating stories about my own sailing screw-ups and so on?
Well, I'm not sure I want to write two blogs. I probably spend way too long at this blogging game already when I should be out sailing. And I'm not sure if I can simultaneously write blog posts about my own training on one hand and off-beat funny stories about sailing on the other. What I write in Proper Course is often the end-result of ideas and thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for the previous day or two. Would I become hopelessly schizophrenic if I were trying to be serious about my training and build up my confidence with positive self-talk while at the same time always looking to see the whacky, funny side of things? Can you be a joker and a winner?
For example, when I'm out racing and things start to go wrong, am I going to be thinking, "OK -- calm down -- put it behind you -- concentrate on the rest of the race," like a serious sailor should. Or am I going to be thinking, "Ha ha - what a crazy thing to happen - now how can I make that even more funny when I write it up in the blog on Monday?"
Does any of that make sense to you? Do you understand why I'm reconsidering where this whole blogging thing fits into my life?